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How to plan an outdoor kitchen - 5 easy steps to the ideal outdoor space

How to plan an outdoor kitchen - 5 easy steps to the ideal outdoor space

You have decided that you want to take your outdoor space to the next level. One of the greatest ways to do that is by adding an outdoor kitchen with one of Napoleon’s Built-In Grills. Like any project that makes you happy provides a sense of pride, and makes the neighbors jealous, you need to thoroughly think it through. Let us guide you in learning how to plan the ideal outdoor kitchen.

1.What will you use your outdoor kitchen for?

When designing the ideal outdoor space, taking your backyard to the next level, and elevating your property value, you need to know why you want the space and what you will actually use it for.

  • Are you a grilling machine? Make sure you have a bangin’ Built-In Grill.
  • Do you love to entertain? Seating and conversation spaces are the perfect addition.
  • Do you hate how the oven heats up the house in the summer? Did we mention Built-In Grills yet?

With an outdoor kitchen, you can socialize while you grill up a storm, or smoke the perfect ribs. There’s more space outdoors and with the right planning, an outdoor kitchen will ensure that you won’t be forever running into and out of the house, letting in bugs and smoke. Your house will remain nice and cool because all your cooking can be done outside too!

2.What does an outdoor kitchen need? (Including a Grill)

If you are planning an outdoor kitchen yourself, you can start from scratch, picking everything that will make this space perfect for you. What will you need in your ideal outdoor kitchen? Looking at how you plan on using the space will help you decide on what your must-haves and what your nice-to-haves will be. This will help you plan your budget for this project.



The best part about thinking of your needs and wants list is that you can find ways to achieve some wants when you fulfill your needs list. You can use our built-in grills and some of our fantastic accessories to achieve your wish list. Want a pizza oven; use one of our Napoleon Pizza Stones. You can also turn our Built-In Grills into a charcoal grill or a smoker with the use of our Charcoal Tray and PRO Stainless Steel Smoker Tube.

3.Where will you put your outdoor kitchen?

Ideally, your back yard is a blank slate; just waiting to be landscaped into a space worthy of your wildest, home décor magazine inspired dreams. The size of the space you have to work with will help you decide where, and how big you go. Other factors that dictate where your outdoor kitchen will go are the distance to utilities like gas, water, and electricity. Planning an outdoor kitchen close to the house will require minimal runs for both (thus less expensive), however can dictate the size or shape of your BBQ station. A licensed contractor, or your local dealer will be able to help.

  • Check your local building code restrictions, including building permit requirements when planning to make sure your ideas don’t go up in smoke.
  • Get the lay of the land, are there mature trees, shrubs, or neighbors that can be disturbed, don't forget hills too!
  • How far will you need to run utilities?
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4. Will your outdoor kitchen take shape?

The decision on where in the yard your outdoor kitchen will go is going to have an impact on the shape of your BBQ station. There are, however, some common shapes that you can start with, and expand on to create the outdoor kitchen of your dreams.

  • Linear – just a straight run. Inexpensive and simple. It can be used as a bar that allows you to survey your domain while you grill to your heart’s content.
  • L-shaped – you can run this interesting shape straight off the house (building code permitting) like a peninsula, or have a freestanding island. It allows separation of your grilling (hot spot) and prep/entertaining area (cool zone).
  • U-shaped – a u-shaped island takes the most space and is just that, a U. This will allow for many different workstations and is the most extravagant.

5. What about materials?

You have an idea, you know where it will go, and what shape it will be, but what materials will you be making your outdoor kitchen out of? There are a number of fantastic materials that are ideal for building.

  • Steel stud is ideal for the bones of your outdoor kitchen and Built-In Grill, it’s sturdy and heat resistant.
  • Tile is an inexpensive option for cladding the outside and for use as the counter top.
  • Stone can range from inexpensive – faux stone panels, to expensive – honed and quarried granite. It’s a durable material, ideal for all weather, it’s a great material for the sides and countertop too.
  • Concrete is a current, in-fashion material that can be used in the same manner as stucco for the walls and even poured as the countertop.

Now that you know what to consider, you know how to start planning an outdoor kitchen. There is a lot to think about, but with these five tips, you will be able to get the ball rolling. Your local dealer will be able to help you too. Speak with a local dealer today to begin planning your perfect outdoor kitchen.


Happy Grilling