BBQ deck ideas: 11 ways to transform your decking into a chic cooking zone

These BBQ deck ideas show how an outdoor living space can be the ultimate hub for grilling, entertaining, and relaxing

bbq deck ideas: bbq on decking in tropical style garden
(Image credit: Paul Whicheloe/Future)

You need some tip-top BBQ deck ideas if you want to transform your outdoor living space into the ultimate entertaining zone. And that's where we can help.

Whether timber or composite, decking is a reliable choice for garden flooring. It looks super smart, complements all kinds of outdoor schemes, and provides a sturdy base for dining sets, sofas, and more. 

It's also ideal for outdoor kitchens and grill stations. So, if you plan to invest in one of the best BBQs this year, it's well worth considering some stylish BBQ deck ideas. From modern looks to compact setups, there are plenty of ways you can create a cool cooking zone in your plot to elevate your alfresco get-togethers.

11 BBQ deck ideas to welcome warmer weather in style

There are lots of ways to incorporate your charcoal or gas BBQ into your decked space – these looks will soon get you inspired.

1. Curate a contemporary BBQ deck for cooking and dining

outdoor kitchen with pergola and modern pendant lights

A smart and stylish setup ready for hosting guests

(Image credit: urfinguss/iStock/Getty Images Plus/Getty Images)

If you want to go big and bold with your BBQ deck ideas, then creating a super-chic outdoor 'room' for all your cooking and dining needs may be the way forward.

This stunning setup is the perfect base for cooking up feasts over flames, rustic-style. And once the cooking's over, the warm glow of the fireplace can still be enjoyed from the nearby seating area.

A pergola overhead will offer a welcome dose of shade for guests, so is always worth considering when planning your BBQ area ideas. And here, it also provides support for industrial-style pendant lights, so the party can continue well into the night.

2. Pair with a slimline countertop that doubles up as a bar

outdoor kitchen on deck

Even small decks can be transformed into practical cooking areas

(Image credit: Eirasophie/E+/Getty Images)

Narrow, decked spaces can be turned into stylish outdoor kitchens, as demonstrated here.

Simply pair a freestanding gas grill with a neat nearby counter for easy food prep. A couple of pots of fragrant herbs are a nice addition – not only do they look great but they will also help give your grilled goodies a boost with their fresh flavor.

The raised edge of this counter also doubles up as a bar, with a duo of bar stools neatly positioned on the other side. It's a great way to utilize the space fully, and also means the chef can stay social while cooking – definitely worth considering for your own grill station ideas.

3. Transform your BBQ deck into a hub for entertaining

outdoor entertaining space on deck with kitchen by Grillo

Everything you need for alfresco socializing in style – including an outdoor kitchen from Grillo

(Image credit: Grillo)

Whether you have a large family or just love to host big garden get-togethers with friends, an all-singing, all-dancing entertaining space is sure to get plenty of use all year round.

We love how this impressive decked area has been divided into different zones. The garden building hosts a bar and space to watch sport, while outdoors, a pergola is the BBQ shelter of choice, elevated with the addition of festoon lights for that inviting glow.

4. Mix materials and surround with plants for a modern jungle vibe

BBQ on decking in tropical style garden

The ideal base for sunny afternoons

(Image credit: Paul Whicheloe/Future)

Go contemporary with your decking ideas and pair a rustic, wooden (or wooden-effect) finish underfoot with industrial-style concrete counters and a sleek grill. The result is sure to make a statement.

Add architectural greenery around the scene – either in borders or oversized planters – for that tropical garden vibe. A pair of sun loungers are always a good addition to an outdoor living space too, for a spot of post-lunch relaxing.

5. Gather around a fire pit grill on a compact deck

Morso grill on decked roof terrace

This grill from Morso makes a striking centerpiece for the deck

(Image credit: Morso)

As well as the standard charcoal and gas BBQs, there are some more unusual outdoor grill ideas to consider for your deck. From grills that integrate into coffee tables to grilling attachments that suspend over rustic fire bowls, it's easy to find a style that really suits your vision.

This freestanding grill is a great example, and creates a stylish focal point for the compact zone. An outdoor rug in an eye-catching pattern and a pair of trendy chairs complete the scene perfectly.

6. Create a cozy covered cooking space

covered outdoor kitchen on deck

Get grilling whatever the weather

(Image credit: chuckcollier/E+/Getty Images)

Extend the use of your outdoor living space throughout the seasons with the help of some deck cover ideas. From pergolas and parasols to gazebos and built-in extensions, it'll mean your BBQ plans won't be interrupted by adverse weather.

This sturdy overhead structure demonstrates a beautiful way to create a garden 'room'. The beams alongside red brick walls offer tons of rustic appeal, while an antique-style tea light holder only adds to the character. And with the generous dining table, there is space for all the family to gather around.

7. Choose rustic worktops that complement timber decking

outdoor counter from Lundhs with grill

This stylish kitchen features a countertop from Lundhs

(Image credit: Lundhs)

If you're going for a built-in BBQ, remember to think carefully about how your countertops will look alongside your deck. 

Picking complementary or matching tones will help create a cohesive and considered effect. Take this setup, for instance, which combines gray hues in naturalistic finishes for a cool and laid-back look. Note how there's plenty of storage here too – a must for keeping all your best BBQ tools, cutlery, and sauces to hand.

With a scheme like this, learning how to clean decking properly is crucial for maintaining its show-stopping appearance. Our guide explains all you need to know.

8. Add a portable BBQ to small decked spaces

small decked space with BBQ from Dobbies

A cute, compact space from Dobbies

(Image credit: Dobbies)

Maybe it's just a decked courtyard or balcony garden you have to get creative with as opposed to a sprawling backyard. You can still turn it into a chic space for cooking and eating with the help of savvy space-saving furniture and compact, portable BBQs.

Foldable bistro sets, mini table-top grills, and extendable tables are all top additions for petite plots. You could also introduce vertical garden ideas for fresh herbs.

9. Smarten up your decked BBQ zone with neat railings and potted plants

bbq on decking

Define the perimeter of your BBQ zone

(Image credit: Zoonar GmbH/Alamy Stock Photo)

For raised decks, decking railings are a must. But as well as being necessary for safety reasons, they can also boost the aesthetic appeal of your BBQ space.

This bright white border is a perfect example as it provides a smart backdrop to the sleek grill and covered dining area. Don't forget about adding some container gardening ideas to the scene too, for that extra pop of color and interest.

10. Add lights for entertaining after dark

outdoor decking with kitchen at night

Glow up your space

(Image credit: oneillbro/iStock/Getty Images Plus/Getty Images)

Create a relaxing ambiance once the sun sets with deck lighting ideas in your alfresco BBQ scheme. 

Whether you opt for recessed spotlights in the decking itself, strip lighting subtly tucked beneath countertops, or wall lights on adjacent fences, there are plenty of options to go for. 

As well as practical task lighting, consider adding lower lighting solutions too, to up the sense of romance once you're finished cooking. Think twinkling lanterns and low, glowy microlights woven around nearby potted shrubs, for instance.

11. Opt for a grill station on wheels

Morso grill on deck

A practical and stylish setup from Morso

(Image credit: Morso)

Creating versatile spaces is important for modern outdoor living, particularly if your plot is more compact. Opting for a grill on a moveable counter is therefore a very practical option for a decked cooking zone, as it can be easily wheeled out of the way when not in use.

We like how this unit also includes clever garden storage for fuel, as well as hooks for BBQ tools. Not to mention, it looks fabulous, tying in nicely with the bistro set in a matching shade.

How can you safely position a BBQ on decking?

Similar to deck fire pits, there are some safety implications to bear in mind when using a BBQ on decking – whether that's composite or real wood.

'If you are placing your barbecue on wooden decking, I'd suggest slipping a flame-retardant decorative mat underneath it for added protection while cooking,' says Dan Cooper, Head Grill Master at Weber. Doing this for composite decking is a good idea too. You can find plenty of BBQ grill mats on Amazon.

'I'd also recommend positioning your barbecue approximately three feet from any walls or fencing, and placing it on a flat, firm area so that you can move freely around your grill,' Dan continues.

'Finally, make sure that you cut back your garden foliage to prevent it from leaning into the grilling area,' he adds.

If you are opting for a built-in BBQ instead, ensure it is installed with safety in mind. That includes providing enough clearance and ventilation to the zone.

Holly Crossley
Acting Deputy Editor

The garden was always a big part of Holly's life growing up, as was the surrounding New Forest where she lived. Her appreciation for the great outdoors has only grown since then. She's been an allotment keeper, a professional gardener, and a botanical illustrator – plants are her passion.