As the weather gets nicer, you’ll want to spend more time outside. It’s definitely frustrating to run back and forth between the nice outdoors and your indoor kitchen, so why not build an outdoor kitchen in your backyard? Even if you think it’s an expensive, time-consuming project, there are many different ways you can still have an outdoor kitchen. Here are some backyard cooking ideas that you’re sure to love.
1. Pizza Oven: If you’re looking for a place to start or a small project to test out whether or not you want to create a whole outdoor kitchen plan, a pizza oven is perfect. You can even build the pizza oven on your own, though it might take a while if you don’t do many DIY projects. A wood-fired pizza has a much smokier and better quality than store-bought or take-out pizzas. Your guests will be truly happy to have a wood-fired pizza in their hands!
2. Transform the Patio: If you have a lot of unused patio or deck space, consider using the whole thing to create a unique kitchen plan. You can create a kitchenette complete with a bar or island, add a grill and mini-fridge or even a wine cooler. Don’t forget a sink and maybe even a flat top that you can cook non-grilled meals on. Consider adding an awning or other outdoor cover so that you can eat outside without the sweltering heat during the summer days. You don’t have to go big, though! Even taking a corner of your deck and building some countertops around your patio grill can create a kitchen space.
3. Recycle from Others: If you want to save some cash while creating your outdoor kitchen, visit some salvage yards or peruse the neighborhood for any home renovations going on. Sometimes flippers will remove perfectly good cabinets to bring in new ones that have updated features. You can bargain with them to take the lower cabinets and DIY them to fit your needs. That way, you haven’t spent a lot of money on brand new cabinets–but don’t forget to treat them for the outdoors!
4. Serving Table and Bar Cart: If you have a small outdoor space or a tight budget but still want to spruce up your backyard serving area, consider DIYing a serving table and/or a bar cart! For all the non-DIYers out there, you can find a simple serving cart from any local store that sells furniture. If you’re making your own, be sure to install some shelves to store plates and glasses, or even a wine rack. You can also paint it any way you’d like, which can be a great project to include the kids on! If you’re purchasing one, make sure to look for one that will provide you with optimal storage. Sometimes they don’t come pre-assembled, either, so consider whether it’d be more time-consuming to screw the pieces together or to just make it yourself by visiting your local hardware store. Either way, adding a serving table or bar cart to your deck will certainly upgrade it. You could also create a space away from your deck with some lounge chairs and patio furniture to put the serving table. Line the walkway to it with some welcoming garden flags!
5. Build a Whole Outdoor Living Space: This is definitely the biggest, longest, and most intensive project idea. You can create an entire outdoor living space right outside your kitchen or living room. If you’ve never done a DIY project this large before, you should probably consult a professional contractor or two. Think about what features you want, such as a fireplace, TV, full-service bar, built-in shelves, or even a couch and chairs. Also, consider the practicality of outdoor living space. If you live in a climate that rains or storms a lot during the summers, you might not want to invest the time and money that comes with building an outdoor space to that magnitude. The same goes for areas that are prone to heavy snows in the winter or tornadoes. Building your own outdoor entertaining space does have its perks, though! You can entertain outdoors with all the comforts inside. Stream the big game, cook a huge meal, and even enjoy a nap on the couch. It also makes for romantic evenings by having the outdoor fireplace going.
6. A Fire Pit Deck: Build a fire pit and then build your deck around it! Add steps down into the fire pit area that double as seating. That way, the fire won’t affect any guests walking between your back door and the yard. You can build cabinets on the edge of your deck to hold firewood, tongs, spears and other fire pit necessities–even install a mini-fridge to keep the s’mores ingredients from melting in the summer heat!
7. Shed Transformation: Consider renovating your outdoor shed into the outdoor kitchen of your dreams. The best part is that you’ve already got walls, so think about how to add electrical by incorporating reusable energy, like solar panels, to power your grill or any other necessary outdoor kitchen needs. The shed will make a perfect structure, and you can install doors on both sides to open wide during the summer and catch a cross breeze and natural light. Most are a great size to put a decent dining table in, and you can create a unique walkway to your shed by installing some personalized garden stones!
A backyard kitchen is perfect for homeowners who want to invest in their outdoor entertaining capabilities. If you find yourself hosting a lot of outdoor parties or backyard barbecues, having a usable outdoor kitchen is a great addition to your home. Plus, it’ll add a lot to the resale value later on. Adding an outdoor kitchen can be done in simple ways, but if you want an expansive entertaining space, you should definitely consult a professional!