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An image of an outdoor kitchen.

Overview

There is always room for an outdoor kitchen. Whether you’re a keen cook with a large outdoor area and a flair for barbecuing, or a foodie renting an apartment with a balcony, there are ways to incorporate outdoor cooking into your space.

We’re sharing three outdoor kitchen designs for three differently sized spaces to give you an idea of what’s possible.

Safety tip: Always wear the appropriate safety equipment (safety glasses, gloves, ear muffs and a mask, for example) and always follow the instructions for the product or equipment.

Start by brainstorming your must-haves for your outdoor kitchen. Is it a pizza oven to create mouth-watering recipes? Or is it a fully stocked barbecuing area? Grab a pen and paper, sketch out your space and create a list of what you’d like.

Tip: Don’t forget to allocate space for a designated prep area. This is key for making outdoor cooking as easy as possible.

Steps

1 Cost-efficient outdoor kitchen

This budget-friendly design is ideal for people with a smaller space, such as a balcony or courtyard. You can do a lot with these areas – if you plan carefully and choose some strategic pieces, you can transform almost any space into a cosy outdoor kitchen.

Outdoor balcony area.

The key is to maximise every inch. A two-burner barbecue is a compact, lightweight option that gets the job done. Add in a preparation station stocked with essentials (tea towels, barbecue wipes, rubs, spices, plates, cutlery and glassware) and place it within arm’s reach. Add a chopping board on top so you have a place for food prep.

A woman keeping a tong on the table and a BBQ machine next to it.

For both the barbecue and the preparation station, look for wheels. This will allow you to easily move things around if bad weather rolls in or if you want to use the space for a different purpose.

Lastly, add a touch of green by growing your favourite herbs and edible plants in outdoor pots – it's both functional and pretty!

Outdoor balcony area with a barbecue machine and a table next to it.

2Starter size outdoor kitchen

If you have the space for a permanent barbecue area but are new to outdoor entertaining, start with an entry-level set-up. It will extend your living space outdoors, increase the use of your area and boost the value of your home.

Tip: Try matching the colour of your decking with your built-in barbecue and seating area. This will tie everything together, providing a luxe, cohesive feel.

A woman opening a BBQ machine.

Have fun with colours and design for the tiling of your outdoor benchtop or splashback, but make sure to choose outdoor tiles that are going to hold up against the weather. For a modern touch, try cladding. It creates privacy while doubling up as a striking visual element that adds depth and dimension to your space.

A person keeping his hands on outdoor bench seat.

Bench seats with storage are a versatile addition. They serve as a place for your guests to sit while also being a place to tuck away outdoor accessories and cushions. Don’t forget to utilise the space underneath your barbecue, too – use it to house gas bottles, accessories, cutlery and more.

Tie the look together with cushions, candles and other décor that reflects your personal style and chosen colour scheme.

An outdoor area with a BBQ machine.

3All-in-one outdoor kitchen

This all-in-one area will make you the host with the most. A complete outdoor kitchen has the same functionality as an indoor kitchen, complete with cabinetry, storage, a prep area, sink, fridge, barbecue and pizza oven.

Start by ensuring that all of the materials and appliances you’ve chosen are suitable for outdoor use, and then get creative! Space to work and move around in is what elevates an outdoor kitchen from ordinary to extraordinary, so make sure to allocate plenty.

Think about installing a pizza oven, which can be the heart and soul of your entertaining space. Do some research to determine what type of pizza oven will best suit your needs. (There are a wide variety to choose from.)

Add a tiled splashback to make clean-up a breeze and don’t forget to incorporate storage space for things like firewood and accessories.

Close up of an outdoor Chapala black cast iron pizza oven.

Add in additional storage for essential items like cooking tools, utensils, and ingredients. This will help keep things organised and within reach. Storage solutions should be durable, weather-resistant and spacious.

Consider cabinets with adjustable shelves, drawers, and storage compartments. Think about how these cabinets will function in different areas, such as the beneath or above the fridge, underneath the barbecue or sink and general storage.

Tip: If you’re in an area that needs it, outdoor screening will make your space feel more cosy and intimate.

A woman opening a cupboard in an outdoor area.

Potted edible flowers and herbs will bring some lushness to the space. Lastly, an entertaining area isn’t complete without a place for guests to sit and enjoy their meals, so invest in a dining table and benches.

Closeup of a barbecue machine.

4 Wondering which barbecue is right for you?

Health & Safety

Please make sure you use all equipment appropriately and safely when following the advice in these D.I.Y. videos. You need to be familiar with how to use equipment safely and follow the instructions that came with the equipment. If you are unsure, you may feel it is safest to consult an expert, such as the manufacturer or an expert Bunnings Team Member.

Grave health hazards are linked to asbestos, which may be in homes built up to 1990. Health hazards may result from exposure to lead-based paints in older materials and copper chromium arsenic (CCA) treated timber. For information on the dangers of asbestos, lead-based paint and CCA treated timber and tips for dealing with these materials contact your local council's Environmental Health Officer. You can also use a simple test kit from Bunnings to indicate the presence of lead-based paint.
Please note: Our range of engineered stone products is no longer available. Our team members can help you with our wide range of alternatives to suit your project, and we're working closely with our suppliers to introduce new options soon.