Imperial Wholesale Logo
Imperial Wholesale Logo
Thousands of Products Available for In-Store Purchase
Back to Articles

How to Make the Most of Your Outdoor Kitchen

How to make the most of your outdoor kitchenLooking to spice up your grilling area? We’re here to help. From tips to keep your countertops clean to ideas on how to incorporate the items you love most, we’re dishing it all, including:
  • Covering the area
  • Adding a dash of what you love
  • Bringing your indoor style out
  • Keeping the space clean
  • Making room for your guests
Follow along to learn how to implement all this and the kitchen sink—pun intended.

Cover the area

If your outdoor kitchen isn’t getting much use, it may be due to its lack of coverage. As an example, when your grilling area is left uncovered, it becomes exposed to rain, excessive sunshine, and other extreme weather conditions. And many times, when your outdoor area is exposed to these conditions, you may feel inclined to neglect that area.

However, when you cover your outdoor kitchen area, you can avoid these complications. By installing a gazebo, pergola, or even something as simple as an umbrella stand, you’ll be able to toss your old excuses of “it’s too sunny” or “it’s too rainy” out the window.

For inspiration, check out how John Kraemer & Sons installed a beautiful gazebo and Mosby Building Arts incorporated functional umbrellas below.

Carman Bay Cottage (Lake Minnetonka)
Poolside Outdoor Kitchen

Add a dash of what you love

Another way to make use of your outdoor kitchen is to add a touch of personality. Often, this is an overlooked step when it comes to outdoor living. As an example, most people tend to include all the functional items—a grill, table, and storage—but forget to incorporate the pieces that bring their area to life.

Applying this tip is completely up to you because it’s all about adding what you love. But to get your inspiration started, we’ve provided the following examples:
  • If you like family-style Italian, consider a pizza oven
  • If you like slow-cooked ribs, consider a smoker
  • If you like frozen margaritas, consider an ice maker
  • If you like fries with your burger, consider a deep fryer
  • If you like cold ones on tap, consider a keg refrigerator
  • If you like crab feasts, consider a tripod-style burner
  • If you like celebrating in the winter, consider a portable heater
  • If you like celebrating in the summer, consider fans or misters
By taking some time and implementing a touch of your personality, your outdoor kitchen will be loved and put to use in no time.

Bring your indoor style out

Just because your kitchen is outside, doesn’t mean that it has to look like it’s outside. In fact, one way to get more use of your outdoor kitchen is to design and decorate it like it’s inside. So with this tip, stay away from being boring, safe, or bland. Rather, mix in your favorite colors, patterns, and designs until you’re in love with your new space.

Take the following images as an example:

Piney Point Village Remodel

With this outdoor kitchen, JMC Designs Inc. used the home’s Mediterranean influence to tailor the outdoor area. They used one-of-a-kind tiles and exquisite backsplashes to transform what could have been an ordinary grilling area into a unique entertaining space.


The next outdoor kitchen area that we’re highlighting was designed by Astoria Designs. They pulled inspiration from the inside of the home to create a beach cottage vibe filled with hardwood décor and bench seating to create a bright and beautiful ambiance.

Brisbane Samford Kitchen

This outdoor kitchen, design by Sublime Architectural Interiors, channels all things modern. It uses crisps lines, stainless-steel appliances, and minimalistic décor to paint a beautiful picture. In fact, this outdoor area is so exquisite, that it almost feels like it’s not entirely outside.

Beverly Hills Custom Home

And finally, take a look at this outdoor kitchen designed by C&C Partners Design/Build Form. Here, you can see that they used Spanish influences to create a beautiful, one-of-a-kind outdoor space.

Keep the space clean

One of the most common excuses for not using an outdoor dining area is the maintenance. And trust us, we totally get it. Cleaning up and maintaining your outdoor kitchen is most likely not your most favorite task in the world; but it needs to get done, especially if you’re looking to use your grilling area on a weekly or daily basis.

When it comes time to clean your exterior kitchen, we recommend crossing the following off your list of to-dos:
  • Clean and cover your grill regularly
  • Turn off and unplug all appliances if you’re away for awhile
  • Hose off the flooring
  • Wipe down countertops
  • Dust cabinetry
  • Sanitize sink after use
  • Clean oven and grill spills
  • Polish all stainless-steel surfaces
  • Clean fans
  • Look into pest control options if you see fit
To help you stay on track with your cleaning list, we encourage you to create and print your own to-do list to ensure your outdoor kitchen remains spick and span.

Make room for people

Our last recommendation for making the most out of your outdoor kitchen is to provide enough room for your guests to relax, celebrate, or gather. This may seem intuitively obvious, but it can actually have a lot of impact on your outdoor space.

For this tip, try to imagine what your ideal outdoor kitchen area looks like. When you think of this ideal scenario, do you see you and your spouse drinking wine and relaxing, your extended family playing cards over the holidays, your neighbors gathering for a block-party celebration, or maybe even a mix of these?

Whatever way you imagine it, make sure there’s enough room for all parties to gather. Think of your outdoor kitchen as an entertainment location, rather than just a plain kitchen or grill. By doing so, your area will feel more inviting and more practical to put to use.

A few of our favorite outdoor seating arrangements include the following:

Mercer Island Waterfront Estate

A cozy, quaint area designed by Shuler Architecture.

Rural Retreat in Kensington

A traditional seating arrangement by Randle Siddeley.

Creative Outdoor Solutions

Bench seating that doubles as storage by C.O.S Design.

fresh and clean

And finally, a one-of-a-kind canopy seating area by Molly Wood Garden Design.

Your next steps

Don’t neglect your outdoor dining area any longer. Instead, make your kitchen space sizzle by implementing one (or more) of our suggestions.

For more inspiration, tips, and product details, feel free to contact us. With our Elite service, the sky is the limit. From initial brainstorms, to custom stone creations, all the way to installation, we’re here to assist with it all.