How To Create An Outdoor Kitchen And Dining Area

Tara Dickinson
5 minute read

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Although food is a basic need of physical nourishment for the body, it is also emotional nourishment for the heart and soul. Food is bonding; it brings us together. Cooking for and feeding others is a deeply satisfying endeavor that brings communities of all sizes together. Meeting a friend, hanging out with coworkers, family celebrations, and countless other social functions are centered around food. This is universal among all types of societies. Eating delicious food feels good, and doing it with others reinforces those good feelings. So let’s get cooking!

outdoor kitchen


Outdoor kitchens are fun spaces for everyone to enjoy; cooking and dining al fresco is quite satisfying as well. Therefore, investing in a well-designed outdoor kitchen will provide a perfect place to relax with others while adding value to your home at the same time. Making it convenient and efficient will only increase your enjoyment of an outdoor kitchen.

Outdoor entertaining is the perfect way to get away from the world of electronics and enjoy the rejuvenating features of being in nature. Outdoor spaciousness also provides ample comfort for distancing desires while being able to take advantage of fresh air and sunshine.



Every homeowner has different needs, thus planning before starting your outdoor kitchen modeling is a good idea. Questions to ask yourself:

  1. What size gatherings do you plan to host the most?
  2. What are your space allowances?
  3. What is your budget?
  4. What is your desired purpose?

Once usage and budget is determined, you can start deciding what elements will make up your unique outdoor kitchen and dining area.


Next step in designing your awesome outdoor kitchen is to consider where in the yard, or around the house, apartment, etc. you will be placing the layout.

  1. Proximity to your main house kitchen is ideal as you will most likely be shuttering supplies back and forth.
  2. Don’t forget to include ample space for countertops. A grill and sink with no counter space makes the cooking and serving process too difficult.
  3. Consider adding an island to your outdoor kitchen.
  4. Do you have adequate coverage of your kitchen from the elements?
  5. Do you need to install a pergola or sail shades?
  6. A pergola allows for the inclusion of lighting and heating which makes the dining and cooking area available for use year round.
  7. Make sure to cover the three zones:
    1. cooking (oven & cooktops)
    2. cleaning-prep (sink, trash, & counterspace)
    3. refrigeration


Once the kitchen structure and dining area is designated, the next element to consider is task lighting. This addition is necessary to utilize the kitchen during shorter daylight hours and evening dining times. Plus it makes the whole area more appealing and of course functional. Areas to light:

  1. The dining area
  2. The storage cabinets
  3. Meal prep & cooking areas
  4. Ambient lighting in seating and dining area


Because your outdoor kitchen needs to withstand climate changes, be resistant to grease, as well as other seasonal elements, the materials you use are important. Best practices would be to utilize low-maintenance, durable, and stylish materials. It would also be nice if your chosen materials complemented your home and landscape. This is an extension of your home, thus you want it to feel connected.

  • Brick
  • Ceramic
  • Concrete
  • Quartz
  • Stainless steel
  • Stone
  • Treated, hardy wood


Also in your planning process, think about appliances and what you’re likely to use because many of them run off propane. Will you need to include storage places for these canisters? Or do you have gas in place in your home already; will you run lines to connect to them? Some good questions to review. Some appliances that you’ll likely find in outdoor kitchens include:

  • Barbeques
  • Deep fat fryer
  • Ice cream maker
  • Premium grills
  • Stone pizza oven
  • Smoker
  • Tandoori oven

Other Features & Accoutrements

  • Fireplaces and fire pits
  • Patio furniture: couches, chairs, sofas, side tables, ottomans, & pillows
  • Sinks
  • Sliding glass doors if you want easy access your inside kitchen
  • TV viewing areas 


Grilling and BBQing seem to be synonymous with outdoor kitchens and dining. If this is part of your passion, again, ask yourself a few questions before installing your ideal outdoor kitchen setup:

  1. Barbequing for mainly family or larger groups?
  2. Do you need additional storage for associated implements?
  3. Can you include a fire pit?
  4. Plan the seating around the area.


Another part of your outdoor kitchen setup includes an area or appliances and accessories for a beverage station. What will you use the most:

  • Coolers
  • Ice machine
  • Keg setup
  • Mixed drink bar
  • Refrigerators for juice, mixers, sodas
  • Wine racks & glasses


Sharing a meal with your tribe, your family, your friends, or new acquaintances, offers benefits in so many ways, to good health of mind and of body. So get busy with that outdoor kitchen and dining implementation and start the fun. Please don’t forget to consider purchasing affordable second hand appliances and furnishings. This is an eco-friendly and sustainable practice that keeps good quality products out of our landfills. Check out The Local Flea Outdoor Furniture in San Francisco, providing the largest selection of quality pre-owned items when shopping for your outdoor kitchen elements.




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