Outdoor kitchens are huge right now – and so they should be! They’re an excellent place to host summertime guests. Even if you’re not planning on hosting anyone, an outdoor kitchen is a great place to spend an evening with the family. Plus, if you’ve enjoyed a camping trip or two in your lifetime, then you know very well that it is just plain fun to cook outside sometimes. Finally, there are the grill masters who wait all winter long to be able to get outside and create something amazing on the barbecue.
There’s lots of reasons to have an outdoor kitchen but the big question is, what kind of kitchen do you want? A lot of your decisions will depend on how much you can invest so here are some outdoor kitchen ideas to fit any budget!
Outdoor Kitchen Ideas for Small Budgets
1. The Grill
This is the most important part of your outdoor kitchen so you won’t want to skimp on a cheap grill that can’t go the distance. Invest in something nice but to keep costs down, choose propane or charcoal so that you don’t have the added expense of running electricity to your grill fixture.
To get the counters you need without investing a lot, think about using concrete! A contractor can create shelves topped by a smooth concrete counter or even just a standalone counter without shelves. When you plan your counter, make sure to leave a nook for the grill so that you have counter space to either side.
You can keep it simple here: Shop thrift stores for a table and chairs that you can refurbish for your new outdoor kitchen.
Outdoor Kitchen Ideas for the Mid-Size Budget
4. Build with Stone
If you want to upgrade that countertop, consider creating the base out of stone. You can still use concrete or a material of your choice for the actual counter but a stone base will give the fixture an upscale yet rustic look.
5. Add Extras
Do you need a mini-fridge to keep the drinks cold? Or perhaps some extra benches so that guests can lounge where they please? Think about small extras like these that make life in your outdoor kitchen easier!
Upscale Outdoor Kitchen Ideas
6. Upscale Appliances
If you’re ready to invest a larger sum, then think about all the ways you can cook in your outdoor kitchen. Add an oven, a gas cooktop, a wine cooler or a griddle. Most importantly, think about installing a built-in smoker because this is one type of cooking that you just cannot do indoors.
7. Plumbing is a Must
With all of your outdoor appliances, you’ll certainly need a place to clean up. Install a sink so that your outdoor kitchen runs seamlessly – no running back into the house when you need water or a place to wash a couple of dishes.
8. Create Bar-Style Seating
Why stop at just one countertop for your grill and appliances? Add a second freestanding counter that can do double duty. You’ll have some extra workspace and when you are entertaining, guests can be seated around the counter to enjoy drinks as you cook up something amazing.
9. Add Ambience
If you want to set the mood in an upscale outdoor kitchen, a few tiki torches aren’t going to cut it. Instead, consider adding an outdoor fireplace, a fire pit or even a small water feature like a fountain. Add comfortable lounge chairs to this mix of luxury and your guests will never want to leave!
As you can see, there are all kinds of outdoor kitchen ideas to fit any budget. As you create your design, remember the priorities: A place to cook first, then seating for everyone followed by the luxurious stuff like extra appliances or a massive fireplace. Keep in mind that even though you may start small now, you’ll always be able to upgrade your outdoor kitchen later!