The sky’s the limit with an outdoor kitchen, but before you dive into the deep end of choosing countertops, here are a few important things to think about to be sure an outdoor kitchen meets your particular needs.


  • What’s your goal? Be specific about what your dream outdoor cooking experience includes. Is it an expanded grilling setup or a brick pizza oven? Is it simply space to cook or seating for a crowd?
  • How complex do you want it to be? It can be as simple as a grill, or include high-tech electric fireplaces, sound systems, etc. Ideally, the outdoor kitchen should be close to the indoor kitchen, and sometimes that means you can skip things like an outdoor refrigerator if you’re budget-conscious.
  • Will you need a permit? Some design elements require permits, like plumbing any outdoor appliances for electricity or water. Find out about local requirements before getting too far into the planning process.

Remember that whatever your outdoor kitchen looks like, you’ll need to think about safety measures just like you do when cooking indoors. Make sure electrical outlets are adequate for the appliances you’re using, any gas lines are leak-free, and there’s a fire extinguisher nearby just in case.