Dreaming about your ideal outdoor kitchen but not sure where to start?
Outdoor kitchens offer convenient outdoor cooking, a comfortable outdoor location to entertain guests, and many other benefits. They’re also highly customizable to your needs and layout, so the options are truly endless. Here are some outdoor kitchen ideas to give you inspiration as you begin your outdoor kitchen design journey.
Outdoor Kitchen Idea for Small Spaces
A small outdoor kitchen can be just as functional and stylish as a larger one. The key is to make the most of your space and choose appliances and features that fit your needs. For example, a compact fridge or under-counter refrigerator is perfect for storing food and drinks. Memphis Grills’ outdoor grill islands offer a variety of sizes so you can customize your island to your patio size. Our doors and drawers also come in a wide variety of sizes so you can make the most of your outdoor space – however big or small. This setup features the Memphis Pro Built-In, but all our built-in pellet grills are a great choice.
Stone Island Outdoor Kitchen
This beautiful outdoor kitchen showcases a Stone Island outdoor kitchen grill island and a Memphis Grills Elite Built-In pellet grill. With a built-in pellet grill, granite countertops, storage drawers, and a cart for additional storage, this outdoor kitchen is equal parts function and elegance. The patio features a dining area and lounge chairs to relax on those perfect summer nights.
Outdoor Kitchen Idea with Bar Seating
An outdoor bar is the ideal place to enjoy a meal or drink with friends, and it’s even better with a grill built into the island! A bar island is a convenient place to prepare and serve food and drinks, while the seating area offers a comfortable place to relax and socialize. It’s great for larger outdoor spaces, but also works well for small spaces where seating space is limited. Add stools or chairs to your bar for a comfortable and stylish seating option.
U-Shaped Outdoor Kitchen
A large u-shaped outdoor kitchen is the perfect space for entertaining guests. With plenty of counter space and storage, you’ll have everything you need to prepare a meal or drink. The grill island with a Memphis Elite Built-In smoker and grill offers a convenient place to cook and a spacious prep area, while the generous counters offer a place to pull up a chair or serve food. This outdoor kitchen features two grills and a side burner, but you can easily add a sink, fridge, or any other appliances you need. It’s a great option when you have the extended family or the baseball team over- plenty of space to cook up a feast!
Outdoor Kitchen Idea with Wood Fired Pizza Oven
There’s nothing like enjoying restaurant-quality wood fired pizza in your own backyard. With a pizza oven built into your outdoor kitchen, you can easily make delicious pizzas for your guests. The brick oven style pizza oven offers a rustic and authentic cooking experience, while the stainless steel grill provides a modern flair. Or use the Memphis Wood Fire Grill as your pizza oven, with temperatures up to 700 degrees, this grill makes the best wood fired pizzas. This outdoor kitchen also features two side burners, a fridge, and plenty of counter space- everything you need to make the perfect pizza. So invite your friends over for a pizza party and enjoy!
Outdoor Kitchen with Beale Street Built-in
This outdoor kitchen is perfect for those who love to entertain and features a Beale Street built-in grill. This grill is just as versatile as the Memphis Grills flagship brand but comes in at a lower price point. The outdoor built-in grill features one-touch temperature control and provides ample space for all of your grilling needs. The sink and fridge make it convenient to prepare and clean up after your meal.
L-Shaped Outdoor Kitchen with TV
This stylish outdoor kitchen features a built-in grill and mounted TV. The L-shaped layout provides ample counter space, while fitting into the corner of your patio or deck so you have room for a table or other outdoor furniture. The built-in TV is perfect for watching the big game or your favorite show while you grill. The L-shape design gives you plenty of space to fit appliances and storage options like:
- Multiple side burners
Elevate Your Outdoor Kitchen
Small L-Shape with Sink
This outdoor kitchen design is perfect for small spaces. The compact L-shape design offers plenty of counter space, while the built-in sink is a great place to wash dishes or prep food. The small L-shaped design makes it easier to add more appliances and the bar adds seating without the need for additional furniture.
Outdoor Kitchen with Fireplace
A fireplace is a great addition to an outdoor kitchen, providing both warmth and atmosphere while you grill or hang out with friends and family. This outdoor kitchen idea features two built-in grills to cook for a large crowd or prepare multiple dishes at once. The counters are a convenient place to prepare and serve food and drinks, while the seating area offers a comfortable place to relax and socialize. It’s great for larger outdoor spaces, but also works well for small patios or decks. The built-in fireplace adds both warmth and style, making it the perfect spot to entertain guests all year long.
Outdoor Kitchen with Pergola
This outdoor kitchen features a beautiful pergola, providing both shade and style. The wood cabinets offer a woodsy feel and plenty of storage space for all of your grilling supplies, while the pergola provides a comfortable place to relax and enjoy the outdoors. This outdoor kitchen also features a built-in grill, perfect for cooking up your favorite meals. The wooded elements give a true open air kitchen feel. It’s an ideal setup if you have a wooded outdoor space, or if you want to bring a cabin feel to your backyard.
Small Outdoor Kitchen with Fridge
This small outdoor kitchen is perfect for those who love to grill, but don’t have a lot of space. Featuring our Memphis Elite, this stainless steel built-in pellet grill is fueled by wood pellets, providing a clean and efficient grilling experience. The fridge is a great place to keep cold drinks while you’re grilling or store ingredients for your next meal.
Poolside Outdoor Kitchen with Kegerator
This outdoor kitchen space is perfect for entertaining by the pool. The fridge keeps your drinks and food cool, while the built-in kegerator means you can have ice cold beer on tap while you’re grilling on your Memphis Elite Built-In. The beautiful countertops provide a durable and attractive surface for prep and serving and the sink makes it easy to clean up after cooking. It’s the perfect setup for staying cool and refreshed on a hot summer day.
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Outdoor Kitchen with TV and Extra-long Bar
There’s no better place to watch the big game with friends. The extra-long bar fits six chairs facing the TV while the Memphis Pro Built-In pellet grill lets you cook up a game time meal. The spacious countertops provide plenty of prep space and the cabinets offer ample storage for all of your grilling supplies. The stylish shade sail shelters guests and the stainless steel appliances from the rain and sun. It’s the perfect setup for any sports fan who loves to entertain.
Poolside Outdoor Kitchen with Umbrella
This luxurious poolside kitchen is the perfect place to relax and stay cool in the outdoors. The Memphis Pro Built-In grill under the umbrella means you can cook up your favorite meals even on the hottest of days. The outdoor living room features a second umbrella so guests can relax while you cook up a delicious meal. It’s the ideal backyard space for entertaining.
Space-saving Outdoor Kitchen
This outdoor kitchen is perfect for small spaces. The compact design features a Memphis Elite Built-In grill, storage, and counter space, all in one sleek unit. It’s perfect for a small outdoor patio where space is limited. The space-saving design means you can have all the amenities of an outdoor kitchen without sacrificing style or function. Even if you don’t have a massive yard, you can have a beautiful outdoor kitchen!
Waterside Outdoor Kitchen
What’s better than an outdoor kitchen where you can park your boat? This picturesque outdoor cooking area features a Memphis Pro Built-In pellet grill and plenty of storage and counter space. The relaxing lounge area is the perfect place to chill and take in the waterfront view. The best part is that when you’re done cooking, you can hop in your boat and enjoy a sunset cruise.
Outdoor Kitchen with Mountain View
Who doesn’t love grilling with a view? This amazing outdoor kitchen lets you grill and take in the scenery at the same time. The stainless steel Memphis Elite Built-In grill and matching storage drawers, beautiful brickwork, and sleek countertops give you all the essentials of an indoor kitchen in the great outdoors. It’s the perfect place to relax, cook, and enjoy nature.
Outdoor Kitchen with Roof and Ceiling Fan
This outdoor kitchen is the perfect place to entertain guests while staying cool. The stylish roof protects you and your grill from the elements and the ceiling fan keeps you cool on those muggy summer days. The Memphis Elite Built-In grill and ample counter and storage space make it easy to cook and serve your favorite meals. It’s the perfect backyard oasis.
Minimalist Outdoor Kitchen
This outdoor kitchen is perfect for those who appreciate a minimalist aesthetic. The simple and modern design features a Memphis Elite Built-In grill, storage space, and countertop in one simple unit. It’s perfect for small outdoor spaces where you want to maximize function without sacrificing style. It’s the ideal place to grill up a meal for friends and family in style.
Outdoor Kitchen Design Tips
Outdoor Kitchen Layout and Location
First thing’s first: Where is the kitchen going to go? Do you have outdoor kitchen ideas in mind? Here’s a few tips to get you started:
- Make sure sight and walking lines are hindered as little as possible.
- Keep the distance between your indoor and outdoor kitchens as short as necessary.
- For safety reasons, give it space away from any outdoor recreational areas if possible.
- Place the grill in a way that uninvited smoke won’t travel inside the house.
- Don’t forget about the cooking triangle!
Selecting the Floor for an Outdoor Kitchen
As you plan your dream culinary space and start coming up with outdoor kitchen ideas be sure to think “safety first.” When it comes to what you’ll be walking and standing on while cooking, climate plays a big part when choosing the best option for outdoor flooring. Safety and convenience are two important things to consider when brainstorming for your outdoor kitchen designs. Here are a few tips:
- Professionals recommend concrete, brick, and natural stone which offer the most wear and slip resistance.
- Materials such as tile and marble get slick and slippery when wet and may not hold up too well against grease or food stains.
- This one is obvious, but stay away from combustible or moisture absorbing subfloor materials such as plywood.
Memphis Pro Built-In with beautiful outdoor kitchen flooring
After you consider the safest material to use, look into different outdoor kitchen design ideas and what fits with your budget. Many experts still recommend concrete as the go-to for both its affordability and durability. Concrete also allows for flexibility when it comes to kitchen aesthetics because there are many ways to improve its appearance such as stamping, coloring, or adding a rock-salt finish.
It’s also important to consider what type of flooring you’ve used for other outdoor landscaping so you can choose a kitchen floor that matches or complements those other spaces. It can be overwhelming to sift through all the possible designs and ideas yourself, so here are some of the more popular selections:
- Contemporary: Slate or cast-concrete tiles that are designed for the outdoors or clean, washed concrete in integral colors.
- Tuscan: There are tumbled pavers, unhoned travertine, deep-washed exposed granite, or stone-texture stamped concrete.
- English/Traditional: Brick or darker flagstones, washed concrete, or stamped cobblestone concrete.
- Tropical: Flagstone or faux (fake) rock, texture-stamped concrete.
- Old World: Repurposed brick, exposed aggregate, Windsor Cobblestone texture stamps, fleur-de-lis, and grapevine borders.
Appliances for Outdoor Kitchens
Another crucial part of the floor plan and versatility of your outdoor kitchen are appliances. Make sure you know what you want, as well as the sizes, because they determine the size and design of the kitchen itself. And, if you’re planning on a grill, (and why wouldn’t you be?) it’s recommended to purchase one that is higher quality, as they last longer and are typically higher-performing (we recommend a Memphis Wood Fire Grill, but we’re a bit biased). Here’s a standard list of appliances to consider:
- Grill and Smoker (some grills can do both).
- Refrigerator (only recommended if you use your outdoor kitchen a lot)
- Stovetop or side burners (more on that below)
- Brick oven (or get a wood fire grill with convection capabilities—hint, hint)
- Warming tray—helpful if you often feed large groups
- Sink—can be expensive, too, but it’s mostly due to the building codes and costs of plumbing. The current trend is adding a hot water heater under the counter to save on the hassle of plumbing hot water from the house.
Outdoor Built-in Grills vs Freestanding Grills
You can’t go wrong either way, but the favoring opinion is built-in grills for outdoor kitchens because they often offer a sleeker more professional look. The downside is if you move, it’s much harder to bring your grill with you. Freestanding grills have the advantage of mobility but lack the sleek look of their integrated cousins.
Grill Side Burners
A useful appliance you could add to your outdoor kitchen arsenal especially if your outdoor kitchen is far from your indoor kitchen. It has many benefits such as:
- Heating sauces or boiling water while you’re grilling.
- A separate burner may be more powerful than one that’s built into the grill.
- A plug-in burner allows for both indoor and outdoor use.
Countertops for Outdoor Kitchens
You’re going to need space for prep work, platters, tools, and eating even if you have a separate seating area. Also, it’s good to have varying heights for counter space which allows for multiple tasks.
There are three traditional height options:
- 36” high counters are best for those who wish to stand while doing prep work and cooking.
- 30” high counters are best for sitting and eating.
- 42” high counters, also called bar tables, are great for standing as well as ideal placement for ready-to-eat food and beverages.
It’s best to have a mix of the various countertops included in your outdoor kitchen design as it allows for maximum functionality and flexibility.
Outdoor Kitchen Storage
Storage is also a must-have, and it needs to be waterproof and durable to survive the elements. We usually recommend getting more cabinetry/storage than you think you’ll need (as long as it works aesthetically, of course). Memphis Grills offers a wide range of Doors & Drawers all made of 304 stainless steel to match our grills. Each drawer comes with soft closures and slides and can hold up to 100 lbs. BBQ tools and entertaining supplies have an odd way of accumulating in a well-used outdoor kitchen.
Rain and Sun Coverage
Mother nature is on her own time and often won’t tell the weatherman what’s going to happen next, so it’s smart to invest in a roof or cover for your kitchen. There are numerous variations of canopies, umbrellas, and pergolas that might fit the bill. This can be one of the most expensive parts of the project so if you’re on a tight budget look for a movable cantilevered umbrella.
Tip: Get one with a removable cover so it can be washed.
Outdoor Building Codes
Many high-end outdoor kitchens require separate electrical, plumbing, or gas lines brought directly to them. It’s important to be aware of the local building codes as well, and each city and county has its own regulations. This is where hiring a professional for your project can come in handy as they’re required to be up to date on local codes. If you choose to DIY, you will want to speak with your local government as they will face you in the right direction.
Building Your Outdoor Kitchen to Last
Your budget may not allow you to create your dream outdoor kitchen just yet, but it’s still a good idea to include everything you want in your layout so you can at least prepare for future additions. This means doing things such as:
- Build in phases—plan space for an island, water feature, or fire pit you may want to add.
- Run gas or electricity for anything you may want to add later. Choosing to wait until later for gas and electricity means extra cost in ripping up floors and walls.
As you can see, building an outdoor kitchen is no small task. It takes a lot of time and money to get it done properly, but it’s all crucial if you want to make those outdoor days full of food and friends possible. There are options and upgrades for every budget, so with a little elbow grease or help from a professional, your days of fun and sun are just around the corner.
For more design ideas and inspiration, be sure to check out the photos in our Outdoor Kitchen Gallery.
Build the Outdoor Kitchen of Your Dreams with Memphis Grills
As you’ve seen, there’s a lot that goes into creating an outdoor kitchen and there are endless possibilities for designing an outdoor cooking space. The outdoor kitchen ideas listed here are just a taste of the layout and design options available. At Memphis Wood Fire Grills, we take pride in helping you create the outdoor kitchen of your dreams. Check out our outdoor kitchen resources to continue your design journey or find a Memphis Grills dealer to make your dreams reality!