Four tips for designing an outdoor kitchen you will use time and again

by in At home

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Ah, summer! The season when hot days and balmy evenings make us want to spend as much time as possible outdoors. And the outdoors is the perfect place for the kitchen. Imagine enjoying a cucumber salad in the shade of an arbour, and barbecue evenings under the soft glow of lanterns once the sun goes down—without having to dash inside to the kitchen every five minutes for this or that. By keeping a few key elements in mind, it is possible to turn this space into a practical and inviting extension of your home.

Below are four tips to help you design your own outdoor kitchen.


In order to be practical, the kitchen—whether it’s inside or out—must include a few key elements. Outdoor kitchens always seem to go hand in hand with an exotic twist. Before tackling the design of your outdoor kitchen space, you must first determine what it will be used for. For example, a lounge for eating cold hors d’oeuvres or oysters that do not require a heating element, a bar-style island for serving salads and refreshments, or an outdoor kitchen for preparing complete meals. Each use has its own requirements. For a chef, the main concern would undoubtedly be to ensure there is a large enough space for preparing food as well as a proper cooking surface.

Location and environment

Since we are talking about an outdoor space, it is a good idea to consider various environmental aspects such as wind corridors caused by the position of your home and your neighbours’ houses, the amount of sun and shade, access to the yard, pool and kitchen corner, as well as the location of large trees around which the structure must be built. Speaking of which, it is preferable for the shape and materials you use to build or cover—even partially—the kitchen structure to match the look of your house.


The choice of materials is very important. Since the kitchen will be subject to all sorts of weather conditions, you must make sure that natural wear is not accelerated due to a poor design and choice of materials. Choose sustainable materials such as stone, slate, outdoor ceramic tile, treated wood or teak, and stainless steel. It is not difficult to achieve a good design plan with all the required materials if you take the space into account.

For food preparation, make sure you have enough work counters, as well as a small sink for washing fruit and vegetables. Also take into account the electrical requirements for installing a refrigerator and the natural gas supply inlet for the cooking area. A summer staple for most Québec households, a barbecue lets you cook outdoors by grilling your food over an open-flame surface. Nothing says summer like the taste of perfectly grilled meat or veggies from the barbecue. Plan on installing natural gas and stop worrying about whether your propane tank will run out when things are only half cooked!


Regardless of whether you are cooking on the stove or the barbecue, you need good lighting to keep an eye on your food. For the eating area, single lights are advised to brighten up the decor. With trendy lanterns and suspended garland lights, there is no reason not to have adequate lighting all evening.

Designing your dream outdoor kitchen requires proper planning. It must be practical, and take the available space and budget into account. After that, all that’s left to do is enjoy it to the fullest all summer long.

Have a wonderful barbecue season!

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One comment

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    Wade Joel

    I truly appreciate your tips for designing a useful outdoor kitchen. We’re currently working on designing ours and I wasn’t considering the electrical and gas requirements for the cooking area! I’m glad I read about this because I do want to get a nice grill for it. Thanks!

    Reply to Wade Joel

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