Bring an extra layer of entertainment to your home with an outdoor grill kitchen

Mar 15, 2024

Quick Guide to Outdoor Grill Kitchens:
– Essential Features: Built-in grills, storage cabinets, countertops, and sinks.
– Popular Additions: Pizza ovens, refrigerators, side burners, and lighting.
– Design Consideration: Space available, layout preference, and functional needs.
– Installation Options: DIY kits, modular units, or custom-built solutions.

The dream of cooking and dining al fresco transforms with the addition of an outdoor grill kitchen. Whether it’s the allure of grilling under the stars or simply the joy of combining the comfort of home with the freshness of the outdoors, an outdoor kitchen extends your living space and enhances your cooking experience. From simple grill islands to elaborate BBQ stations complete with all the culinary comforts, the possibilities are as broad as your imagination and space allows.

Outdoor kitchens can range from a modest setup centered around a built-in grill, to a fully outfitted kitchen featuring counters, sinks, and storage—just like your indoor kitchen, but surrounded by the peace and beauty of nature. When planning your outdoor kitchen, it’s important to consider not only the grill and appliances but also the materials and design that will blend harmoniously with your outdoor landscape.

Embarking on the journey to create your ideal outdoor kitchen should start with understanding your space, your needs, and your culinary ambitions. Whether you opt for a straightforward grill island or an extensive kitchen station complete with a BBQ island, the key is to tailor your outdoor kitchen to fit your lifestyle and to ensure it becomes a cherished part of your home where memories are made.

Guide to choosing the right features for your outdoor grill kitchen - outdoor grill kitchen infographic pillar-5-steps

Choosing the Right Grill for Your Outdoor Kitchen

When it comes to building an outdoor grill kitchen, one of the most important decisions you’ll make is choosing the right grill. Your grill is not just a cooking device; it’s the heart of your outdoor cooking experience. Let’s break down the options to help you make the best choice for your space and cooking style.

Built-in Grills

Built-in grills are a sleek and integrated option that can elevate the look of your outdoor kitchen. They are designed to fit into custom spaces, providing a seamless look that many homeowners love. The main advantage of built-in grills is their ability to blend with outdoor kitchen cabinets and countertops, creating a cohesive and stylish appearance.

  • Pros: Aesthetic appeal, custom fit, saves space.
  • Cons: Can be more expensive, difficult to replace or upgrade.

Freestanding Grills

Freestanding grills are more versatile and portable than their built-in counterparts. They come in various sizes and styles, making it easier to find one that suits your cooking needs and budget. If you’re not ready for a full outdoor kitchen build-out, a freestanding grill can be an excellent place to start.

  • Pros: More affordable, portable, easy to replace or upgrade.
  • Cons: Can take up more space, less integrated look.

Grill Sizes

Choosing the right grill size is crucial. Think about how you plan to use your grill: Are you cooking for large gatherings, or do you prefer intimate family BBQs? Grill sizes are typically measured in square inches of cooking surface. Here’s a quick guide:

  • Small (up to 400 sq. inches): Good for small families or occasional grilling.
  • Medium (400-600 sq. inches): Ideal for most families and small gatherings.
  • Large (600+ sq. inches): Best for those who frequently entertain large groups.

Standard Size Grill

The standard size grill for an outdoor kitchen tends to be around 42 inches. This size offers a balance between cooking space and efficiency, suitable for most grilling needs. It allows enough room to cook multiple items at once and is often equipped with additional features like side burners and rotisseries.

  • Why 42 inches? It’s large enough for entertaining but not so big that it overwhelms your space or uses too much fuel.

Making the Choice

Your choice between a built-in or freestanding grill will largely depend on your budget, space, and how you envision your outdoor cooking experience. Consider the size based on your typical guest list and remember, the right grill will enhance not only your cooking capabilities but also the enjoyment of your outdoor space.

Keep these considerations in mind to ensure your outdoor grill kitchen becomes a place of joy, comfort, and delicious meals for years to come.

Next, we’ll delve into designing your outdoor grilling area, focusing on storage, countertops, and making the most of your outdoor space.

outdoor grill kitchen

Designing Your Outdoor Grilling Area

Designing your outdoor grilling area is not just about choosing the right grill. It’s about creating a space that combines functionality with aesthetics, making your outdoor cooking experiences both enjoyable and efficient. Let’s explore the essential components needed to bring your outdoor grill kitchen to life.

Outdoor Kitchen Storage

Storage is key in any kitchen, and your outdoor grill kitchen is no exception. Outdoor kitchen cabinets provide a place to keep your cooking utensils, spices, and other essentials protected from the elements. Opt for materials like stainless steel or marine-grade polymer that withstand humidity and temperature changes.

Outdoor Kitchen Countertops

Your outdoor kitchen countertops need to be durable and easy to clean. Materials like granite, concrete, and tile are popular choices. They not only resist weather and heat well but also add a touch of elegance to your outdoor space. The right countertop material can elevate the look of your entire outdoor kitchen.

Grill Islands

Grill islands are a fantastic addition, acting as the centerpiece of your outdoor kitchen. They not only house your grill but can also include built-in storage, a prep area, and even a bar for guests to gather around. When designing your grill island, consider the flow of movement around the grill and the accessibility of your cooking tools and ingredients.

Patio Furniture

Choosing the right patio furniture is crucial for creating a comfortable and inviting outdoor dining area. Look for weather-resistant materials like teak, aluminum, or all-weather wicker. Consider adding an outdoor dining table, chairs, and even lounge seating to accommodate both dining and relaxation.

Outdoor Decor

Finally, outdoor decor plays a significant role in setting the mood of your outdoor kitchen. String lights, outdoor rugs, and plants can transform your space into a cozy retreat. Don’t forget about functional elements like outdoor lighting for evening cooking and dining.

By focusing on these key elements, you can design an outdoor grilling area that’s not only practical but also a beautiful extension of your home. Whether you’re flipping burgers on a summer afternoon or enjoying a quiet evening under the stars, your outdoor kitchen will be a cherished part of your home for years to come.

Next, we’ll explore the essential features that make an outdoor grill kitchen not just a cooking space but a hub of entertainment and enjoyment.

Essential Features of an Outdoor Grill Kitchen

Creating an outdoor grill kitchen is about more than just a place to cook. It’s about crafting an area that invites friends and family to gather, share meals, and create memories. Let’s dive into the features that transform a simple grill setup into a full-fledged outdoor kitchen.

Pizza Ovens

Imagine pulling a freshly baked pizza out of your own outdoor pizza oven. These aren’t just for pizza; they can bake bread, roast meats, and more. A pizza oven adds versatility to your cooking options and becomes a focal point for entertaining.

Outdoor Kitchen Sinks

Having a sink in your outdoor kitchen means you can wash hands, utensils, and ingredients without running inside. It’s a simple addition that significantly boosts the functionality of your space.

Outdoor Refrigerators

An outdoor refrigerator keeps ingredients and drinks chilled and within arm’s reach. No more running back and forth to the kitchen for cold beverages or to keep your marinating meats chilled.

Side Burners

Side burners are perfect for sauces or sides that need stovetop cooking. They allow you to manage your entire meal outdoors, without missing any of the action.

Outdoor Kitchen Accessories

Accessories like utensil hooks, spice racks, and cutting boards ensure everything you need is at your fingertips. These small additions can make a big difference in the flow of your cooking and entertaining.


A gazebo not only adds elegance to your outdoor space but also provides shade and protection from the elements, allowing you to enjoy your outdoor kitchen in any weather.

Outdoor Lighting

Proper lighting extends the usability of your outdoor kitchen into the evening hours. It adds ambiance and ensures safety while cooking and moving around after dark.

Patio Heaters

Patio heaters mean the changing seasons don’t have to limit your outdoor cooking and dining. They allow you to enjoy your outdoor kitchen comfortably, even on cooler days and nights.

Each of these features contributes to making your outdoor grill kitchen a versatile, comfortable, and inviting space. Whether you’re hosting a large gathering, enjoying a family meal, or simply relaxing with a glass of wine, these elements ensure your outdoor kitchen meets all your needs and desires. With the right planning and features, your outdoor grill kitchen will become your favorite spot in your home.

Next, we’ll discuss how to plan and build your outdoor grill kitchen to ensure it fits your space, lifestyle, and budget.

outdoor grill kitchen

Benefits of an Outdoor Kitchen

When you think about an outdoor grill kitchen, it’s not just about the cooking. It’s about transforming your backyard into a vibrant space for living, laughing, and dining. Let’s dive into the benefits of adding an outdoor kitchen to your home.

Entertaining Ease

Imagine having friends and family over, and instead of being stuck in a hot, crowded kitchen, everyone is spread out in the open air, enjoying the breeze. An outdoor kitchen makes this dream a reality. It’s the perfect setup for gatherings, allowing hosts to cook and socialize without ever leaving the party. Plus, with everything you need at your fingertips, from the grill to the fridge, you’ll find entertaining is a breeze.

Enhancing Outdoor Space

An outdoor kitchen does more than just serve as a place to cook; it elevates your entire backyard. Integrating a grill, countertops, and dining area can transform a simple lawn into a luxurious outdoor living room. It’s not just about functionality; it’s about creating a space that complements your home’s aesthetics, blending seamlessly with your landscaping and outdoor decor.

Seasonal Cooking Options

With an outdoor kitchen, the changing seasons bring new and exciting cooking possibilities. Summer barbecues, autumn harvest meals, even winter grilling—if you’re brave enough to bundle up—become part of your culinary repertoire. This setup allows you to enjoy the freshest seasonal ingredients in the open air, making each meal an event to remember.

Grill Comfortably

Forget about sweating over a hot stove in the summer. An outdoor kitchen lets you cook in the comfort of cool breezes and natural shade. Not only does this make the cooking process more enjoyable, but it also keeps your indoor kitchen clean and cool, saving on air conditioning costs and cleanup time.

Space Maximization

An outdoor kitchen is a smart way to maximize the usable space of your property. It takes the cooking outdoors, freeing up space inside your home. This is especially beneficial for those who love to host large gatherings but find their indoor kitchen too cramped. Plus, it adds a functional area to your home without the need for an expensive renovation or addition.

In short, an outdoor grill kitchen is more than just a place to cook. It’s a versatile space that enhances your lifestyle, making every meal an occasion and every moment outdoors something to cherish. In the next section, we’ll explore how to plan and build your outdoor grill kitchen, ensuring it perfectly fits your space, lifestyle, and budget.

Planning and Building Your Outdoor Grill Kitchen

Building an outdoor grill kitchen is an exciting journey. It transforms your backyard into a vibrant space for cooking, entertaining, and relaxing. Let’s dive into how to make your dream outdoor kitchen a reality, focusing on outdoor kitchen plans, configurations, grill choices, and more.

Outdoor Kitchen Plans

Start with a vision. What do you want your outdoor kitchen to achieve? Whether it’s hosting large family barbecues or enjoying quiet evenings, your goals will shape your plan. Consider how your outdoor kitchen will blend with your home’s architecture and your garden’s landscape.

Small, Medium, Large Configurations

  • Small configurations are cozy, often fitting into a 10-foot space. They typically include a grill and a sink.
  • Medium setups stretch to about 16 feet, allowing room for more appliances, like refrigerators.
  • Large configurations exceed 20 feet, offering ample space for elaborate cooking setups, including pizza ovens and more.

Built-in vs. Freestanding Grills

Choosing between a built-in and a freestanding grill is crucial. Built-in grills offer a seamless look and can be customized into your outdoor kitchen’s counters. They’re perfect for a permanent, upscale feel. Freestanding grills provide flexibility. You can move them as needed and easily upgrade in the future.

Outdoor Kitchen Kits

For those looking for a straightforward solution, outdoor kitchen kits are available. These kits come with everything you need, making the assembly process simpler. They’re great for DIY enthusiasts who want a hassle-free approach to building their outdoor kitchen.

DIY Options

If you’re hands-on, consider a DIY outdoor kitchen. It allows you to fully customize your space. You’ll need to select materials that withstand the weather and high temperatures, like stainless steel for countertops and durable woods or metals for cabinets.

Supported Assembly with Apps

Technology can make building your outdoor kitchen easier. Apps like BILT® offer 3D interactive instructions, guiding you through the assembly process of your outdoor kitchen components. It’s like having a professional by your side, ensuring you get every step right.

In summary, planning and building your outdoor grill kitchen involves several important decisions—from choosing the right size and grill type to deciding whether to go with a kit or customize your space from scratch. With careful planning, the right tools, and a bit of creativity, you can create an outdoor kitchen that not only boosts your home’s value but also becomes your favorite place to cook and entertain.

We’ll address some frequently asked questions about outdoor grill kitchens, helping you navigate common concerns and considerations.

Frequently Asked Questions about Outdoor Grill Kitchens

When it comes to setting up an outdoor grill kitchen, there are several questions that often come up. Let’s dive into some of the most common inquiries to help you make informed decisions about your outdoor cooking space.

Can I use a regular grill in an outdoor kitchen?

Yes, you can. However, there are a few things to consider. Regular grills are typically designed for temporary placement and may not offer the durability or the integrated look that built-in grills do. If you decide to use a regular grill, ensure it is positioned safely and has adequate space around it to prevent any fire hazards. For a more cohesive and functional design, built-in grills are recommended as they are specifically designed to fit into outdoor kitchen setups.

What is the standard size for a grill in an outdoor kitchen?

Grill sizes vary, but the most popular and recommended size for an outdoor kitchen is a 42-inch grill. This size is large enough to handle a significant amount of food, making it ideal for entertaining, yet it doesn’t overwhelm the space. When choosing a grill size, consider how much you plan to cook and entertain outdoors. Smaller grills work well for intimate family meals, while larger grills are better suited for those who frequently host large gatherings.

Is an outdoor kitchen worth the investment?

Absolutely. An outdoor kitchen not only extends your living and entertaining space but also adds value to your home. It creates an inviting area for gatherings, improves your cooking experience, and can even reduce your energy bills during warmer months by keeping heat outside. Moreover, with the right planning and design, an outdoor kitchen can be a beautiful addition that complements your home’s exterior. While the initial investment might seem high, the benefits, both in terms of lifestyle and property value, often outweigh the costs.

The key to a successful outdoor kitchen is thoughtful planning and design. Consider how you’ll use the space, what features are most important to you, and how the kitchen will fit into your overall outdoor living area. With careful consideration and the right tools, an outdoor grill kitchen can become a cherished part of your home.

Moving on, let’s explore how JM Mento Landscape Design can bring your outdoor kitchen dreams to life, offering professional insights and solutions tailored to your unique needs and preferences.

outdoor grill kitchen


At JM Mento Landscape Design, we understand that an outdoor grill kitchen is more than just a place to cook outside. It’s an extension of your home, a space where memories are made, and a spot where the aroma of grilled food blends with laughter and good company. Our commitment is to transform your vision into reality, ensuring that your outdoor kitchen is not only functional but also a beautiful addition to your outdoor living area.

Why Choose Us for Your Outdoor Grill Kitchen?

  • Expertise and Customization: Our team brings years of experience in landscape design, including the creation of bespoke outdoor grill kitchens that cater to the specific needs and styles of our clients. Whether you envision a cozy corner for family barbecues or a fully equipped culinary haven for entertaining, we tailor every project to your unique vision.
  • Quality and Durability: We prioritize high-quality materials and construction techniques that stand the test of time and weather, ensuring your outdoor kitchen remains a focal point of your home for years to come. From food-grade stainless steel countertops to weather-resistant cabinets and appliances, we select materials that blend aesthetics with functionality.
  • Seamless Process: We offer a one-stop shopping approach, handling everything from the initial design to the final installation. Our process is designed to be as seamless and stress-free as possible, supported by tools like the 3D interactive BILT® app for a clear vision of your project from the start.
  • Sustainability: At JM Mento Landscape Design, we’re committed to eco-friendly practices. We carefully select sustainable materials and construction methods to minimize the environmental impact of your outdoor kitchen, ensuring a space that not only looks good but also respects the planet.

Your Outdoor Kitchen Journey Starts Here

Embarking on the journey to create your dream outdoor grill kitchen with JM Mento Landscape Design means choosing a partner dedicated to bringing your vision to life. We believe in crafting spaces that enhance the beauty of your outdoor area while providing functional, enjoyable environments for cooking, dining, and entertaining.

Explore the potential of your backyard with JM Mento Landscape Design. Together, let’s create an outdoor grill kitchen that’s not just about cooking outdoors but about celebrating life’s moments in the open air. Discover how we can transform your outdoor living space today.

Your outdoor kitchen dream is within reach. Let us help you turn it into a stunning reality.

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