10 best outdoor kitchen ideas – perfect for alfresco entertaining

Love the idea of cooking up a storm alfresco? These outdoor kitchen ideas are for you

Outdoor kitchen ideas:
(Image credit: Ikea)

Looking for outdoor kitchen ideas? If you love hosting in the garden and fancy taking your cooking outside too, an outdoor kitchen could be the garden upgrade you need. Far from a luxury reserved for the few, it’s a practical addition to an outdoor dining area. And the best news? It can be done on as low or high a budget as you like.

From bespoke designs with built-in storage to modular and portable styles, you can create an outdoor kitchen regardless of the size of your garden. Below, we’ve listed 10 great ideas for creating your own – there’s no excuse not to get that barbecue rolling now…

1. Opt for a modular portable design

Outdoor kitchen ideas:

(Image credit: Ikea)

We love Ikea for its innovative and accessible ideas at the best of times, and its line of barbecues and storage trolleys for outdoor kitchens is no exception. The Klasen range of furniture can be combined in a variety of ways to create a garden cooking space at a low cost – and all of the products can be wheeled into storage come winter.

2. Make a feature of an outdoor oven

Outdoor kitchen ideas:

(Image credit: Morsø/Oso Living)

An outdoor oven like this striking Morsø design from Oso Living deserves to take centre stage, and we’re loving the way it’s framed by a practical yet stylish hut, complete with extra shelving and two bar counters. Plus, having the whole kitchen sheltered under a solid roof means this set-up is practical whatever the weather.

3. Invest in built-in storage

Outdoor kitchen ideas:

(Image credit: WWOO)

If you have more money and space to play with, investing in a permanent kitchen with built-in storage is a great option for die-hard outdoor cooks. With plenty of storage for keeping dinnerware, tools and condiments, this design from outdoor kitchen company WWOO features plenty of worktop space for easy prep – plus space for drinks, too.

4. Pair a barbecue with handy shelving

Outdoor kitchen ideas:

(Image credit: Ikea)

Perhaps you have space for little more than a barbecue – in which case, slimline shelving could be the answer to your outdoor kitchen prayers. This design from Ikea features their ÄPPLARÖ wall panel, which can be fully customised to your needs – you can attach shelves, hooks and even a storage bench to the panel base.

5. Get Italian vibes with a pizza oven

Outdoor kitchen ideas:

(Image credit: Garden House Design)

Pizza ovens are on trend right now for a very good reason: there are few things better than homemade pizza eaten straight from a hot stone slab. Some, like this Delivita model (shown within a Garden House Design project), at just 30kg, can be placed on any sturdy surface – which means it’s as well-placed on a small balcony as it is a large garden.

6. Include an outdoor sink

Outdoor kitchen ideas:

(Image credit: Garden House Design/WWOO)

Permanent kitchens have the luxury of being able to incorporate almost every part of your indoor kitchen, including a sink and tap – meaning no more carting the dirty plates back into the house. As long as you can plumb the sink in, you’re all set to be able to cook and wash up from your outdoor garden. We love the way this design from WWOO incorporates a splashback, too: there’s nothing like a patterned tile to add pizzazz to a garden space.

7. Protect from the elements

Outdoor kitchen ideas:

(Image credit: The London Tile Company)

Protect yourself against soggy waterlogged food by positioning your kitchen under shelter. An existing structure on the side of your house is perfect for this, but you can easily erect a pergola, gazebo or canopy for similar levels of protection. Framing an outdoor kitchen in this way also helps to zone your garden, creating a clear cooking-dining space that’s separate from other more casual areas of the plot. A durable and practical tile underfoot, like the above from The London Tile Company, completes the look.

8. Paint it black (or green, or blue, or…)

Outdoor kitchen ideas:

(Image credit: Cuprinol)

If you’re opting for a modular design like Ikea’s, there’s no end to the ways you can customise your kitchen to make it your own – including painting it. Want to inject colour into your space? Choose your shade and make a feature of it. Love pattern? Get hold of some stencils and be creative! Prefer your kitchen to blend in? A dark green shade, like Old English Green from Cuprinol, is perfect.

9. Invest in a kitchen-bar

Outdoor kitchen ideas:

(Image credit: Danetti)

An outdoor bar feels particularly useful in the summer months when you’re hosting friends alfresco – so why not combine it with a kitchen for the full works? This outdoor kitchen bar set from Danetti does just that in a sleek design. Look closely and you’ll see it’s actually a combination of three products: a garden bar, a drinks trolley and an outdoor kitchen cabinet. Clever, huh? A DIY design like a pallet bar is also easy to tweak to include extra storage for cooking equipment – all you’ll need is a barbecue.

10. Go for meals on wheels

Outdoor kitchen ideas:

(Image credit: Morsø)

Another one for small spaces, this trolley is a great portable alternative to a full-on outdoor kitchen set-up. It has worktop space for food prep, a tabletop grill for easy cooking, and extra shelving space underneath to store equipment, dinnerware and even a small bin – plus it moonlights as a drinks trolley, too. Want one of your own? We like this design from Made.