Elevate Your Outdoor Living: Inspiring Covered Outdoor Kitchen Ideas Jamie August 17, 2023

Elevate Your Outdoor Living: Inspiring Covered Outdoor Kitchen Ideas

The Allure of Outdoor Kitchens

Outdoor kitchens are increasingly becoming a popular addition to homes, infusing a sense of luxury into everyday living. From hosting barbecues to enjoying a tranquil breakfast in the open air, they offer an enriching experience that goes beyond the traditional confines of indoor cooking and dining.

Why Choose an Outdoor Kitchen?

The decision to install an outdoor kitchen is often driven by a desire for an enhanced lifestyle. An outdoor kitchen provides an opportunity to embrace alfresco dining, enriching one’s culinary experience. It allows homeowners to make the most of their outdoor space, transforming it into a functional and stylish extension of their home.

In addition to offering a unique culinary experience, outdoor kitchens also add value to a property. They are an attractive feature for potential buyers, offering a unique selling point that sets a property apart. For those who enjoy entertaining, an outdoor kitchen provides the perfect setting for hosting gatherings, from laid-back summer barbecues to sophisticated dinner parties under the stars.

The Benefits of a Covered Outdoor Kitchen

Incorporating a covered design into your outdoor kitchen brings about numerous benefits. The most obvious advantage is protection from the elements. A covered kitchen allows for all-year-round use, shielding the cooking and dining areas from rain, wind, and excessive sun.

A covered outdoor kitchen also provides the opportunity to incorporate more sophisticated and high-end appliances, as they are better protected from weather and environmental damage. Furthermore, the structure adds a defined space in the garden, creating a cosy and inviting atmosphere.

Benefits of a Covered Outdoor Kitchen Description
Protection from the elements Enables all-year-round use and protects appliances and furniture from weather damage.
Increased property value Adds a unique selling point that can attract potential buyers.
Enhanced lifestyle Provides a unique culinary experience and an excellent space for entertaining.
Defined outdoor space Creates a cosy and inviting atmosphere in the garden.

To explore further into the realm of outdoor kitchens, you can delve into small outdoor kitchen ideas or consider various outdoor kitchen countertop ideas for added inspiration. If you’re interested in how to integrate your cooking area with the rest of your garden, our outdoor kitchen patio ideas may prove useful.

Understanding the allure of outdoor kitchens and the benefits of a covered outdoor kitchen is the first step towards creating your dream outdoor living space. As you navigate the world of covered outdoor kitchen ideas, remember to consider how each design and feature will enhance your outdoor culinary experience and suit your lifestyle.

Inspiring Covered Outdoor Kitchen Ideas

Creating an outdoor kitchen provides the perfect space for dining, entertaining, and enjoying the great outdoors. By incorporating a cover, you not only protect your kitchen from the elements but also create a cosy and inviting environment. Here are three covered outdoor kitchen ideas to inspire your next outdoor project.

The Rustic Retreat

For those who love the charm and warmth of country living, a rustic retreat is an ideal covered outdoor kitchen idea. This design emphasises natural materials like wood and stone, creating a cosy and inviting space where family and friends can gather over a meal. A rustic fireplace can serve as the focal point, providing warmth and a cosy ambience.

Complement the setup with rustic decor items, such as lanterns and wooden furniture. Don’t forget about the cooking area – a stone pizza oven or a classic BBQ grill can enhance the rustic theme of your outdoor kitchen. For more compact spaces, check out our article on small outdoor kitchen ideas.

The Modern Oasis

If sleek and contemporary is more your style, consider creating a modern oasis. This design features clean lines, minimalistic decor, and high-tech appliances. Stainless steel, concrete, and glass are commonly used materials in modern outdoor kitchens, offering durability and a sleek appearance.

Lighting plays a crucial role in creating a modern oasis. LED strip lights or spotlights can highlight key areas like cooking and dining zones. For your countertop, consider materials that are both stylish and functional, such as granite or quartz. For countertop inspiration, visit our outdoor kitchen countertop ideas page.

The Classic Cabana

If you’re looking to create a holiday vibe right in your backyard, a classic cabana style outdoor kitchen could be the perfect choice. This style is all about creating a relaxed, beach-like atmosphere with tropical elements.

Thatched roofs, bamboo accents, and vibrant colours are signature features of the classic cabana style. For the dining area, consider a bar-style seating arrangement with tall stools, which lends itself well to casual dining and cocktail parties.

Remember, no cabana is complete without a grill for those summer BBQs. For additional inspiration on creating a cabana-style outdoor kitchen, check out our outdoor kitchen patio ideas.

Each of these covered outdoor kitchen ideas offers a unique aesthetic and atmosphere. Whether you’re drawn to the warmth of a rustic retreat, the sleek lines of a modern oasis, or the relaxed vibe of a classic cabana, there’s a design that’s perfect for your outdoor space. Remember, the key to a successful outdoor kitchen design lies in careful planning, considering your space and lifestyle, and adding personal touches to make the space truly your own.

Essential Components of a Covered Outdoor Kitchen

To bring your covered outdoor kitchen ideas to life, there are several vital components to consider. These include the cooking equipment, seating and dining areas, lighting, and heating elements.

Cooking Equipment

The heart of any kitchen, outdoor or indoor, is the cooking equipment. This is likely to include a grill or barbecue, but for a truly high-end outdoor experience, it could also include a pizza oven, outdoor cooker, or smoker. The choice of cooking equipment should reflect your culinary preferences and needs. Consider also the ease of cleaning and durability, particularly given the equipment will be exposed to the elements, albeit under a cover.

Seating and Dining Areas

No outdoor kitchen would be complete without a comfortable and stylish area to sit, dine, and entertain. The seating and dining areas should be spacious enough to accommodate your typical number of guests. This might include a dining table and chairs, an outdoor sofa, or even a bar with stools. For smaller spaces, take a look at our small outdoor kitchen ideas for inspiration.


Effective lighting is crucial for creating the right ambience in your outdoor kitchen, as well as ensuring safety and functionality after dark. Consider a combination of task lighting for the cooking and preparation areas, and softer, ambient lighting for the seating and dining areas. Consider also decorative lighting features, such as fairy lights or lanterns, to add a touch of magic to your outdoor space.

Heating Elements

Even in the height of summer, evenings can get chilly. Therefore, heating elements are a crucial component of a covered outdoor kitchen. This could include a fire pit, outdoor fireplace, or patio heaters. These not only provide warmth but can also create a cosy and inviting atmosphere.

Each of these components plays a vital role in creating a functional, comfortable, and stylish outdoor kitchen. Remember to consider both practicality and aesthetics in your design choices. For more design inspiration, check out our articles on outdoor kitchen countertop ideas and outdoor kitchen patio ideas.

Design Considerations for Covered Outdoor Kitchens

Crafting the perfect outdoor kitchen involves a myriad of considerations. As you sift through various covered outdoor kitchen ideas, it’s essential to keep in mind the space and layout, material choices, and climate and weather considerations.

Space and Layout

The first step in designing a covered outdoor kitchen is to consider the available space. This will directly influence the layout and size of the kitchen. Consider how the kitchen will fit with the rest of the outdoor living area. Make sure there is enough room for cooking, dining, and entertaining.

For smaller spaces, clever design strategies can maximize utility without feeling cramped. Check out our small outdoor kitchen ideas for inspiration.

Material Choices

Next, consider the materials. The materials chosen for the kitchen surfaces, appliances, and the cover should be durable, weather-resistant, and complement the home’s exterior.

For countertops, choose materials that withstand heat and cold, resist stains, and require minimal maintenance. Granite, concrete, and stainless steel are popular choices. For more options, visit our outdoor kitchen countertop ideas page.

The choice of material for the cover should also be robust and weather-resistant. It should provide adequate protection from the elements, while also letting in natural light.

Material Pros Cons
Granite Heat and scratch-resistant, available in various colours Can be expensive, requires sealing
Concrete Durable, customizable Can crack, requires sealing
Stainless Steel Heat and rust-resistant, easy to clean Can get hot in the sun, shows fingerprints

Climate and Weather Considerations

The local climate should significantly influence the outdoor kitchen design. In areas with abundant sunshine, the cover should provide ample shade to keep the kitchen cool.

For regions prone to rain or snow, consider a sturdier cover and weatherproof materials. The design must ensure that the kitchen and appliances are protected from the elements throughout the year.

If the outdoor kitchen is in an area with strong winds, consider incorporating a windbreak into the design. It could be a wall, screen, or a row of shrubs or trees.

The layout should also consider the sun’s path to maximize natural light and warmth in colder months while avoiding overheating in summer.

Investing time in thorough planning and design can result in an outdoor kitchen that not only enhances your outdoor living experience but also increases the value of your home. For more inspiration, check out our outdoor kitchen patio ideas.

Practical Tips for Planning Your Outdoor Kitchen

When it comes to designing the perfect outdoor kitchen, planning is key. Here are some practical tips to consider when mapping out your outdoor cooking space.

Considering Function and Flow

Before finalizing your covered outdoor kitchen ideas, it’s crucial to consider the function and flow of the space. Typically, outdoor kitchens follow the same ‘work triangle’ principle as indoor kitchens. This concept ensures that the sink, refrigerator, and cooking appliances are placed in a triangular layout for optimal efficiency.

When planning the layout, consider how the kitchen will be used. If you entertain frequently, an open layout with easy access to the grill and refrigerator might be ideal. If you’re a serious cook, you might prefer a layout with ample prep space and high-quality appliances.

Remember to also consider the flow of traffic. You want to ensure that the cook won’t be constantly interrupted by people walking through the ‘work triangle’. Check out our small outdoor kitchen ideas for inspiration on creating a functional kitchen in a limited space.

Thinking About Maintenance

Maintenance is another important aspect to consider when planning your outdoor kitchen. Outdoor kitchen materials and appliances should be durable and easy to clean.

Consider surfaces that won’t easily stain and can withstand the elements. Stainless steel, for instance, is a popular choice for outdoor kitchen appliances due to its durability and ease of cleaning. For countertops, choose a material that is heat and scratch resistant. Visit our outdoor kitchen countertop ideas for more information on selecting the perfect surface.

Remember, regular maintenance will not only keep your kitchen looking its best, but it will also extend its lifespan.

Incorporating Personal Style

While functionality is crucial, your outdoor kitchen should also reflect your personal style. Whether you prefer a rustic, modern, or classic aesthetic, make sure your kitchen design complements your home’s exterior and your outdoor living space.

Consider incorporating elements that showcase your personality and style. This could be through the choice of materials, colour scheme, lighting fixtures, or even the landscaping around the kitchen area.

Don’t forget about comfort as well. Seating should be comfortable and arranged in a way that encourages conversation. For more tips on creating a harmonious outdoor living space, check out our outdoor kitchen patio ideas.

Remember, planning an outdoor kitchen is an exciting project that can add value to your home and your lifestyle. By considering function, maintenance, and personal style, you can create a stunning and practical outdoor kitchen that you’ll enjoy for years to come.