21 Outdoor Kitchen Ideas and Inspirations

updated Mar 5, 2022
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(Image credit: @izzys.homeandgarden)

As the weather heats up, cooking al fresco is so much better than staying cooped up inside a little kitchen. So move your small gathering to the yard this summer by adding an outdoor kitchen to your space! Need some inspo? Check out our small outdoor kitchen ideas to get it in gear. And don’t worry; it’s possible to convert even a small space into an outdoor kitchen that allows you to prepare food in the great outdoors. Even if you’re only working with a small balcony, you can still create a setup that allows you to cook food.

 Outdoor kitchens are the perfect match for a backyard dining room, decked out with rugs, décor, a hammock and even a fire pit.

Below, 21 of our favorite small outdoor kitchen ideas:

1. Bold and Beautiful

This simple but effective outdoor kitchen sets a dramatic tone, with an all-black set up that pops against the lush greenery surrounding it. A place to grill and plenty of counter space is all that’s needed here, but clever shelving also provides a place for simple decor, like the small candles seen here. 

2. Modular Kitchen

This fully customizable outdoor kitchen from Soleil Carre features modular units that allow you to configure your space in a way that works for you. A sink, cutting board and outdoor grill are just some of the options you can choose. 

3. Airy Adobe

This outdoor kitchen in Barcelona may look large, but in reality, it’s set on a terrace atop an apartment building. A spacious countertop holds a small sink and a sizeable pizza oven, while cabinets create plenty of space for storage. 

4. Elevated Grill Space

This clever space was a DIY project, and turned an outdoor grill into a functional outdoor kitchen. Surrounding a grill with counter space and an overhang to keep out bad weather is a wonderful small outdoor kitchen idea if you’re short on space. 

(Image credit: The Balcony Garden)

5. Light and bright

Keep things light and bright with a white outdoor kitchen that features natural stone and wood accents.

(Image credit: Destiny Alfonso)

6. All about the accessories

Some of the best small outdoor kitchen ideas aren’t the kitchen itself, but the accessories you choose. How dreamy is this Phoenix, Arizona home’s outdoor kitchen? The pretty woven chairs help warm up the concrete countertops and a big umbrella for shade is a must.

(Image credit: Sherry Hart Designs)

7. Put a roof on it

A roof over your outdoor kitchen is a great small outdoor kitchen idea if you live in a climate that gets rain year-round. It’ll keep your kitchen in tip-top shape and protect you from the elements. If you have the budget for it, we suggest recreating this gorgeous poolside dining area with lanterns.

(Image credit: @izzys.homeandgarden)

8. Simple but never basic

This picture-perfect outdoor kitchen in Hamburg, Germany was a DIY project by Izzy and her four daughters. It proves that a sink and burner can be enough to get your outdoor meal prep going. Plus, as you can tell, your outdoor kitchen can also totally double as a décor accent.

9. Island life

This bright white outdoor kitchen has its own island—how dreamy. If you have the space and budget for it, a center island is a great small outdoor kitchen idea for the extra countertop space you’ll score. This one pairs stunningly with light wood accents.

10. Room for brews

Details make the kitchen. If you love entertaining and plan to throw plenty of outdoor parties, consider this small outdoor kitchen idea: install a two-drawer refrigerator, like this one from Kalamazoo Outdoor Gourmet, to neatly house all your choice brews.

11. Small victory

Stephanie Izard — the acclaimed Chicago chef behind Girl & the Goat — has an outdoor kitchen that proves you don’t need a ton of square footage to build an impressive space. The kitchen, from Kalamazoo Outdoor Gourmet, uses a classic brick enclosure for the appliances, and the soapstone countertops offer plenty of prep space. The large rustic table in the center invites guests to sit back and wait for what is sure to be a delicious meal.

(Image credit: Sue Stubbs)

12. Backsplash goals

Here’s a small outdoor kitchen idea: A statement backsplash for your outdoor cooking space. We love how this one in New South Wales, Australia pairs with the concrete countertops in an outdoor kitchen by Adam Robinson Design.

(Image credit: @thehappybuild)

13. Classic black and white

The black cabinets, white counters, and statement backsplash in this outdoor kitchen are to die for. Plus, check out the built-in compartment for firewood that doubles as a décor accent and the slots for pretty baskets.

14. Orange and blue

When it comes to the best small outdoor kitchen ideas, don’t be afraid to play around with color. We’re obsessed with the way this orange grill pairs with the blue backsplash and outdoor dining chairs in this beautiful kitchen

15. Statement island

Have fun with your outdoor kitchen island by embracing prints. We’re digging how this island’s blue print goes with the gray backsplash and countertops in an outdoor kitchen by Velinda Hellen Design.

(Image credit: The Horticult)

16. Arbor on wheels

Here’s one of our favorite small outdoor kitchen ideas to try if you want a spot to entertain your guests in your backyard but don’t have a lot of room. Copy this setup by The Horticult and make a rolling arbor. You can roll it into place when your shindig is underway, and tuck it back when you need more space in your yard for other things. This one was made with two industrial step ladders that only cost $60 for a cheap and eye-catching DIY.

(Image credit: The Horticult)

17. Write on

Another charming take away from The Horticult‘s outdoor kitchen space is the black chalkboard paint on the wall above the workstation where the dinner or drink menu is on display for all diners to see.

18. Up and down

Vertical cedar paneling gives this outdoor kitchen from Mark Szczerbicki Design Studio a modern upgrade to a 70s vibe.

(Image credit: Lorraine G Vale)

19. Devil’s in the details

Bring a touch of elegance to your outdoor kitchen by incorporating the same kind of crown molding you have inside your home to your outside space, like Lorraine Vale did.

(Image credit: Place of My Taste)

20. Deck kitchen

Here’s a small outdoor kitchen idea for you if you don’t want to close off your backyard with an added building to house your outdoor kitchen. Try carving out the entertainment spot with a mini deck like this one from Place of My Taste. A brick enclosure houses the appliances, and a patio table accented with an outdoor rug sits neatly next to it.

(Image credit: Harrisons Landscaping)

21. Mixed materials

For a more minimalist design, consider blending bluestone tiles with dark wooden cabinets, like Harrison’s Landscaping did, to create a moody, contemporary look. 

Additional reporting by Carolin Lehmann