In this ultimate outdoor kitchen FAQ guide, I’m going to be giving you the answers to your most frequently asked outdoor kitchen questions. Learn more with the Grilling Life Q&A.
Adding an outdoor kitchen to your home is a great way to create additional living and entertaining space. You’ll have a brand-new area to cook in while enjoying time outdoors with your family and friends—it doesn’t get much better than that.
But if you’ve never added an outdoor kitchen space, it’s a project that can seem daunting to start. It’s more complicated than just rolling a grill out onto your patio. So where to begin?
In this guide, we’re sharing answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about outdoor kitchens so you can get started dreaming up and building your own outdoor cooking oasis.
Be sure to check back on this guide, as we often add questions and update the answers with new articles!
Let’s dive into these outdoor kitchen FAQs!
In This Article, We’ll Explore:
Click a topic below to be taken directly to that section.
What are the Benefits of an Outdoor Kitchen?
There are so many great reasons to build an outdoor kitchen at your home. Check out our article on The Benefits Of Adding An Outdoor Kitchen to see why we think it’s well worth the investment.
How Much does an Outdoor Kitchen Generally Cost?
How much your outdoor kitchen costs will depend on how big you build it, the materials you choose, and the appliances you install.
If you choose to stick to the basics, with a less expensive grill, a small footprint, and few to no bells and whistles, your outdoor kitchen will likely cost somewhere between $2,000 and $10,000.
If you decide to go big with a top-of-the-line grill, additional luxury appliances, and high-end finishes in a big space, you could spend anywhere from $30,000 to $100,000.
How Much Space do I Need for an Outdoor Kitchen?
When you’re planning your outdoor kitchen, you’ll want to give plenty of thought into the space you’ll need to cook and entertain comfortably.
Think about how many people you typically like to entertain and where/how they’d be seated in your kitchen. You should also envision how much space you’ll need to move between the cooking and dining areas and to have your ingredients and supplies within reach.
It’s best to keep in mind that you need to have enough space between your grill and seating area to be able to work the grill safely.
A second consideration is to include enough space on the sides of the grill to accommodate all your supplies.
You don’t want to build your kitchen only to discover you don’t have enough room to grill and move around!
Where is the Ideal Location for an Outdoor Kitchen?
Your outdoor kitchen should be in a spot close to your home, so it’s convenient to bring food to and from the house.
It should also be in a place where it can be easily hooked up to gas and electricity, and away from a playground, basketball court, or anywhere kids or a ball might come into your cooking space.
You’ll also want to be strategic about placing it somewhere where wind from the grill won’t be directed into the dining and living areas.
Finally, keep it comfy by placing it somewhere with good views of the rest of your yard, relative privacy from your neighbors, and shade from either trees or a patio cover or pergola.
What Shape can my Outdoor Kitchen be?
The shape of your outdoor kitchen can depend on the size and shape of your yard or outdoor space, and how you like to cook and entertain.
If you don’t have much space, consider a straight-run layout where your kitchen is placed against one wall.
You can also opt for L-shaped, U-shaped, G-shaped, or galley layouts.
Split-level designs are great for bar service and can also enable you to have a separate cook prep and serving section.
What Materials can I Use to Make my Outdoor Kitchen?
When building your outdoor kitchen, you’ll want to choose materials that can withstand the elements.
Your grill and appliances will most likely be made from stainless steel.
For walls, you’ll want to opt for stone, brick, concrete, or a durable wood like teak.
For your cabinets and drawers, most builders recommend stainless steel or marine-grade polymer.
Here the key things to keep in mind when selecting materials for your outdoor kitchen.
- Choose materials rated for outdoor use.
- Choose materials that can handle high heat.
- Choose materials that are easy to wipe down and clean.
- Choose materials that require little maintenance.
- Know if your materials will require refinishing.
Can I Feature a Built-In Grill in my Outdoor Kitchen?
Absolutely! Your outdoor kitchen can be built to incorporate your exciting built-in gas or charcoal grill, or you can purchase a new one and have it installed.
Go on to the next section for some great examples.
What Kind of Grill Insert Should I Invest in?
Since the grill is the focal point of your outdoor kitchen (and isn’t as easy to fix as a grill that isn’t built into a countertop), you’ll want to invest in a high-quality grill that will last a long time.
Look for a grill with a great warranty as well, so if something breaks you’ll be covered.
Check out our Gas Grill Buyers Guide for help making your purchase or…
Click on the below links for some great grill insert suggestions. Every one of the below inserts are made to withstand the elements.
What other Appliances can I Install in my Outdoor Kitchen?
Aside from your grill, the other appliances you add to your outdoor kitchen are entirely up to you and your cooking style and the options are many!
Other great options are:
What Materials can I Use for my Outdoor Kitchen Countertop?
Durability is the most important factor to consider when choosing a countertop material.
Opt for natural stone, concrete, or tile that can stand up to rain, wind, and UV rays for years to come.
Other options include:
What are my Backsplash Options for my Outdoor Kitchen?
The backsplash of your outdoor kitchen is a great place to be creative with your design.
You can choose from durable and waterproof ceramic, porcelain, or glass tiles. Natural stone tiles like marble, granite, and slate offer tons of color and size options to match any decor.
You can also opt for long-lasting pebbles, brick, and corrugated metal sheets, or even mix and match materials to find your ideal look.
What can be Done for Ventilation for my Outdoor Kitchen?
Even though you’re cooking outside, your outdoor kitchen will still need ventilation to make sure your barbecues stay safe and fun.
Install natural gas or propane vent panels to reduce the risk of gas building up in your island and igniting if there’s a leak.
If your outdoor kitchen is covered or your grill has a wall behind it, install a Vent Hood to whisk away smoke and ensure your guests can breathe easy while you’re cooking.
A vent hood can also help prevent smoke stains on the wall behind your grill.
Does my Outdoor Kitchens need to be Covered?
While your outdoor kitchen doesn’t have to be covered, we highly recommend it to protect your investment and extend the life of your appliances and fixtures.
Consider installing a covering like a canopy, gazebo, or pergola, or building it within a screened-in porch or under a balcony or overhang to shield it from the elements.
What Amenities do I Need or Want for my Outdoor Kitchen?
When it comes to amenities in your outdoor kitchen, the sky’s the limit.
The most commonly included amenities include refrigeration and a sink with hookups for hot and cold water.
Many people also opt for a wine fridge, ice storage or ice maker, kegerator, and bar set-up to serve cold drinks to their guests.
You can also enhance your guests’ overall experience with discreet pull-out trash and recycling bins, comfy seating, and a fire pit or heater for nighttime parties.
Can I have a Sound System Built into my Outdoor Kitchen?
Yes! Sound systems and speakers are easy to build into outdoor kitchens and can add another layer of ambiance to your cookouts and parties.
What Kind of Maintenance is Required for an Outdoor Kitchen?
While choosing the right materials will help your outdoor kitchen hold up over time, you’ll still need to do some maintenance to keep it looking great.
Plan on cleaning it and removing debris regularly, keeping your grill and appliances clean, and sealing your countertops annually depending on what material they’re made from.
Can my Outdoor Kitchen Withstand the Elements?
If built and maintained correctly, your outdoor kitchen should be able to withstand the elements and give you years of quality outdoor cooking.
You can give your kitchen a hand by building it with a roof or cover and covering your appliances and counters during the winter or any other long period when you won’t be using them.
Will my Outdoor Kitchen Cabinets Rust, Warp, or Fade Over Time?
If you choose cabinets made from a quality, non-porous, and UV-resistant material, they should not rust, warp, or fade over time.
Regular maintenance will also keep them looking like new.
How can I Get my Outdoor Kitchen Designed?
You don’t have to be a contractor or design expert to start the process of creating your dream outdoor kitchen.
Check out this Free Outdoor Kitchen 3D Design Service from BBQGuys to get started.
Final Thoughts on our Outdoor Kitchen FAQ
We hope this FAQ guide helped you find answers to everything you wanted to know about designing an outdoor cooking oasis.
Outdoor kitchens are an incredible way to up your entertaining game and cook while enjoying time outside, and we know you’ll have an awesome time creating your own.
If you have any additional questions or think there are any topics we missed in this outdoor kitchen guide, leave us a comment or shoot us an email and we’ll add them in!
We’re always looking to grow this outdoor kitchen FAQ guide with information that will help other grilling enthusiasts learn more about designing their own outdoor cooking oasis.
Now It’s Your Turn
I want to hear from you:
Do you already have an outdoor kitchen? Share Pics!
Do you have design tips to share?
What features and utilities would you like to include in an outdoor kitchen?
Let me know by leaving a quick comment below.
If you still have questions, please feel free to send me a message.
Disclosure At The Grilling Life, I am committed to researching and writing thoughtful, informative and editorially independent reviews of the best products for your outdoor cooking needs. If you like what I do, you can support me through my chosen links, which earn me a commission. This allows me to continue sharing with you my love for all things barbecue. Your support is truly appreciated.