What to Consider When Designing an Outdoor Kitchen

Outdoor kitchen

An outdoor kitchen is an exciting addition to any home! It offers more space to entertain friends and family, adds value to a home, and encourages people to spend more time outside. However, an outdoor kitchen can take a lot of thought and planning to make it everything you want it to be. From budget and amenities to materials and layout, there’s a lot to consider!

Before construction begins, here are 5 key things to consider when designing your outdoor kitchen.

Planning an Outdoor Kitchen


Your budget should be the first thing you establish. Outdoor kitchens can quickly become expensive and get out of hand if you’re not careful. When you’re figuring out a budget think about material quality, utilities, and technology.

Higher-quality materials will be more expensive but will last longer than materials that are less expensive. If you want your kitchen to include more than a grill, it’s likely that utilities such as electricity, gas, and running water will need to be added to the area. You may also wish to have cable or internet extend to your outdoor space; these will need to be line items in your budget as well.


Where you live is going to play a part in determining what materials you use to build your kitchen. In Upstate New York materials such as stone tile, granite, glazed ceramic tile, and concrete are all durable while still being aesthetically pleasing. Even still, these materials will have to be treated every few years to maintain them and continue having a beautiful kitchen.

During the summer, the Capital Region can experience incredibly hot temperatures. Adding a pergola or roof over your kitchen will keep the space comfortable and allow you to enjoy it even on the hottest of days.


Your kitchen needs to be functional as well as beautiful. All professional kitchens have four zones – cold, hot, wet, and dry. The cold zone is for refrigeration and ice makers while the hot area is for cooking appliances. The wet area is for the sink and the dry area is for meal prep and counter space. Even if you’re not planning an extensive outdoor kitchen, your space can still feature designated areas for completing different tasks.


Keep it simple with a grill or go all out with multiple appliances and tools. Based on what you like to cook and how often (or how little) you’ll be entertaining, you may want to consider appliances than can do more than one thing. A grill that can also smoke, roast, and bake will save space and provide an array of options for your next cookout.

Some popular appliances people like to include in their designs are:

  • A grill
  • A smoker
  • A pizza oven
  • A wine fridge
  • A stove or burner
  • An ice maker
  • A refrigerator
  • A sink


Lighting, well, lights up your space! It also adds ambiance and transitions your outdoor kitchen and living space from day to night. Incorporate lighting in strategic places such as above cooking and food prep spaces and above the dining table. If you’re unable to hang lights or mount some on a wall, light polls work just as well. Accent lighting and string lights will bring the space together and create a welcoming environment.

Work with the Best

Designing an outdoor kitchen is a fun, creative, and exciting project. Admittedly, it can be a bit of a challenge as well. There are endless possibilities, from simple and elegant to luxurious and grand. For this reason, we recommend working with an experienced design professional who can take your vision and turn it into reality.

Grasshopper Gardens has a talented team of design professionals who will work with your every step of the way. From initial design meetings all the way through to the last day of construction, we’ll ensure you receive the outdoor kitchen you’ve always wanted.

Learn more about our outdoor kitchen services and how we can elevate your outdoor living space.