Outdoor Kitchens: The Essentials and the Extras

outdoor kitchen

Summer is quickly approaching, and with the longer days also come hotter temperatures. One way to keep the heat out of your home is to cook outside more often. With an outdoor kitchen, all of the amenities you need to cook a great meal are right in your backyard.

Outdoor kitchens are highly customizable. They can be as simple and open as you would like, or you can spend a little more time and add extra amenities based on your personal preferences. At Pagosa Peak Custom Fireplaces, we will work with you to design and construct the perfect outdoor kitchen area. To get started, we’ve compiled a list of outdoor kitchen essentials, as well as the fun and useful extras you might have not considered. When you’re ready to get started on your own outdoor kitchen, let us know!

outdoor kitchen grill


Outdoor Cooking Option

This is a no-brainer, but what you may not be aware of are all of the options available. For the standard outdoor kitchen, we suggest going with a grill. A side burner is a great addition if this is the route you choose to take. For a non-traditional take on your outdoor kitchen, consider going with a pizza oven or a BBQ smoker.

Counter Space

Crucial for comfortable cooking, a good rule of thumb is to have at least 12 inches on each side of the cooking surface, or two feet overall.


Proper lighting is crucial for evenings when you get a late start on dinner, or when cooking takes longer than expected.

Lighting for your outdoor kitchen does not need to be expensive, just as long as your selection allows you to see while you cook.


Often overlooked, having a structure to cover your outdoor kitchen will help protect you and your outdoor kitchen equipment from the sun and other elements.

An umbrella or canopy is a cheap and easy fix, but if you are looking for more of a long-term solution, then we suggest building underneath an existing overhang from your home or deck, or underneath a pergola.

outdoor kitchen sink



For convenience, it’s nice to have a sink included in your outdoor kitchen to rinse fruits and vegetables or wash your hands off while cooking.


Having cool items at the ready can be very nice, especially in the heat of the summer.

A mini fridge or freezer is a great option here, but if you are looking to get into more specific types of refrigeration, consider an icemaker for cocktails and other beverages, a kegerator for a frosty cold brew, or a wine cooler for perfectly chilled wine.


Storage is an excellent addition to an outdoor kitchen that will help you maximize space.

Cabinets are the most universal storage option, as they are versatile and can be used in a multitude of ways based on your preferences.

Trash Bin

Just like the sink, including an area for a trash bin in your outdoor kitchen design will ensure that you don’t have to run in and out of the house every time you need to throw something away.

Bar Area

To some, the bar is a necessity. This simply comes down to whether you plan on using your outdoor kitchen for entertaining guests as well.

If you are considering installing a bar into your outdoor kitchen design, keep in mind the other extras that will help improve your bar such as a refrigerator or icemaker.


At Pagosa Peak Custom Fireplaces, we want your outdoor kitchen to exceed your expectations. To discuss the design and installation process, give us a call at 970.264.2006.


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