outdoor kitchens zone


Outdoor Kitchen Plan

About Planning an outdoor kitchen

When planning an outdoor kitchen, there are many, many details that need to be ironed out.  This is not just a project that you can do without planning.  With a project like this, you cannot make decisions as you go along.  You need to have everything figured out from where to dig up the lawn for the gas lines, to where to put the hooks to hang the tongs on.  There are many major decisions to be made and many small ones as well.  Either way, everything must be planned out before the construction begins.


The first thing that you need to decide is where you would like to put your outdoor kitchen.  If you already have a patio, that is great.  You can put your outdoor kitchen right on that, and it will save you the hassle of building one. 

If you have a deck, then that could be a hassle.  With a deck, you will need to add extra beams for additional support. Also, if you want to put your kitchen on your deck, it has to be large.  If your deck is small and connected to the house, your outdoor kitchen will be too close to the house as well. 

You want your kitchen to be close enough to the house to easily run the utility lines, but not too close where you are practically cooking on your outdoor kitchen in the house.

If you do not already have a patio, it is not very expensive to have a concrete slab poured in your yard.

You just want to make sure that it is large enough for the kitchen and maybe a patio set as well. If you generally entertain several people at once, you should consider getting another seating area besides the counter top table designed on the kitchen.


outdoor kitchens 

Once you have decided where you would like to put the whole kitchen, you will need to figure out where and how you will hook up your gas connection, electricity, and water.  People have even been known to run a phone line out to their outdoor kitchens.  There is a simple way where you can dig just one hole and run almost all of your utilities through that one hole. 

If you dig a twenty-four inch deep trench you can run everything you need and cut costs.  This saves you from paying for the excavation and you will still have your gas and electric lines twelve inches apart which is required by local codes.  Trying to figure out how you are going to run all of the utilities to your outdoor kitchen is usually the most difficult part of the planning.  Now that you have that out of the way, you can move on to more important issues.  Color coding.

outdoor kitchen plan

When you are planning your outdoor kitchen, the colors are important.  You do not want it to clash with the colors of your house and your patio.  You can pick out a color for the structure and the cabinets to match the color of the house.  Then you can find bricks for the outer edge of the kitchen and maybe even a counter top that match the bricks around your pool, which match the floor of your patio.  If the colors all match the outdoor kitchen will look more “together.”

outdoor kitchen plansNow that you have your structure picked out as well as your counter top, you can pick out the rest of the things that you will need for your kitchen.  You will need to begin picking out your grill for cooking.  You need to decide if you only want the grill or if you want other cooking sources as well.  You can have a small wood burning oven if you want one as well as electric burners. 

You need to decide if you think that you will need these things or not.  Picking out a refrigerator is next, and then picking out the small accessories.  You will need things as simple as hooks for hanging your utensils and pot holders on.  You will need to pick out exactly what you need before moving on because everything will be measured so that it fits perfectly in the unit. 

The next step in planning your outdoor kitchen is to figure where everything in the kitchen will go.  You will need to measure each appliance and see where it will fit.  You want to place your grill first, and then work everything in from there. 


outdoor kitchen grillThe grill is the heart of the outdoor kitchen. It is a good idea to put the grill in a spot where the smoke will not be blowing in the faces of your guests.  You also want to place it in a way the smoke will not be trapped beneath the protective roof or “hood.”  

You will want to put everything around the grill in the most convenient of ways.  You will want to have the hooks for the utensils in reach of the grill.  You will want your storage shelves to be high enough up so that you are not killing yourself to bend and get the supplies that you need.  Planning and measuring everything is important before you begin installation.

One last thing to plan is the permits.  You will need to go to city hall and get any necessary permits for doing the job.  When you get there, tell the clerk what type of work you are doing and she will let you know the permits that you need.  It is important to let them know about the trench that you will be digging for the utilities as well. If you plan out every detail before you begin your project, it will go that much smoother.