How to build your own outdoor kitchen for al fresco cooking

Add an outdoor kitchen cooking area to your plot for dreamy garden dining this summer.

Outdoor kitchen ideas uk

by Eleanor Weaver |
Updated on

If you always dreamed of having an outdoor kitchen, now is the time to turn that dream into reality! When staying in became the new going out over the past few years, lots of us started cooking more in our gardens. This sparked a move toward seriously stylish outdoor kitchens where once a squeezed-in BBQ sufficed. Al fresco cooking spaces are now show-off garden features that set the tone for relaxed outdoor living.

So if you’re tempted to add one to your plot this year, take advantage of these innovative outdoor kitchen ideas. Create your own outdoor kitchen area using a hybrid, gas or charcoal BBQ and table station or fork out on a purpose-built outdoor kitchen. A stylish al fresco kitchen gives you a practical outdoor living space and is a great investment that’ll add value to your home.

Best outdoor kitchens at a glance:

Best all-in-one BBQ for families: Texas Outdoor 4 Burner Gas BBQ Kitchen
Best healthy all-in-one BBQ: John Lewis Grillstream 6 Burner Hybrid Gas and Charcoal BBQ
Best for work surfaces: Vonhaus Gas BBQ and Modular Kitchen
Best pizza oven: Morso Forno Outdoor Oven Deluxe Package

We'll guide you through the best all-in-one BBQ units, plus how to create an outdoor kitchen from scratch. Using tables, screening and modular units you have the freedom to design the outdoor kitchen of your dreams. Also, we'll share some of our tops picks on-trend outdoor kitchen accessories.

We've worked with Jules Barton-Breck, Modern Gardens writer, to create an edit of ideas. These showcase the big garden trends right now that will work whatever your budget, size, and style. Hungry for more? Scroll to the FAQs at the end of this article.

Outdoor kitchen ideas UK

Use an all-in-one barbecue unit

One of the cheapest ways to create a smart outdoor kitchen yourself is to buy an all-in-one unit that features a BBQ plus storage space and surfaces to prep food. Position it against a wall and fix shelves and hooks in matching materials to create that full kitchen vibe.

You can even cheat the idea with a storage/serving unit lined up next to your barbecue for extra preparation space or by building a surrounding service area.

Many of these BBQ kitchen units are on wheels too which means you can easily move them. Want to grill breakfast in the sunshine? Shelter from a chilly east wind? Let garden guests barbecue their own skewers to break the ice at a party? Just wheel your kitchen to wherever you want it and you’re good to go!

Best all-in-one BBQ for families

The Texas Outdoor 4 Burner Gas BBQ Kitchen includes a cast-iron cooking grid, side burner, sink, and tap, chopping
board, utensils set, cover, gas bottle regulator, and hose plus storage shelves. It has four grill burners plus one side burner. The generous cooking area is 66 x 46.5cm - perfect for cooking up Moroccan-spiced chicken and honey-glazed ribs. This BBQ is compatible with low pressure butane, propane and LPG. It's a BBQ, and then some.

Customer review: "Once out together it looks and feels like an altogether more expensive product, the grills work well and heat up evenly."


  • Packed with features
  • Feels more expensive than it is
  • Generous cooking area


  • Takes time to assemble

Best healthy all-in-one BBQ

Hybrid barbecuing is the way to go, for the juiciest chicken drumsticks and tender grilled lamb cutlets. The John Lewis Grillstream 6 Burner Hybrid Gas and Charcoal BBQ is a stunning outdoor catering unit that includes a six-burner hybrid BBQ to cook for up to 12 people at once, warming rack, plentiful storage, and a sleek stainless steel finish - all on wheels. The Grillstream system drains fat away so it's a virtually flare-free and healthy way of grilling.


  • Cater for large groups
  • Secondary cooking area or warming rack
  • Plenty of storage


  • No customer reviews

Create an outdoor kitchen from scratch

If your barbecue doesn't have wheels, pick a tabletop oven or grill to put on a wheeled shelving unit instead.

What’s great about this option is that you can also easily store it in your shed or garage throughout the winter and wheel it out on a dry, sunny day. Plus, it gives you more versatility - use your wheeled shelving as a mobile kitchen or take off the tabletop grill and use it as a drink or entertainment trolley instead.

Alternatively, you could create your own integrated kitchen diner by using an extra-large table and placing a tabletop barbecue or pizza oven at one end.

Rather than trying to fit in an outdoor kitchen and a separate dining area, combining the two with a built-in island creates a multifunctional entertaining zone.

Best pizza oven

Morso Forno Outdoor Oven Deluxe Package
Price: £1,794.95 (was £2,328)

This stylish, Morso Forno Outdoor Oven Deluxe Package includes the Morso Garden Table, which gives you plenty of prep space, storage, and wheels to move it around, and the Morso Forno Oven has a grill and pizza oven in one. Makes toasting bruschetta and sophisticated pizza parties an elegant yet simple experience.


  • Stylish
  • Effective flue pipe
  • Premium quality
  • Lots of accessories included


  • No customer reviews

Best outdoor kitchen table for food prep

Ooni Large Modular Table
Price: £299.99

The Ooni Large Modular Table creates the perfect space for popping your table-top grill or pizza oven on with two height-adjustable shelves, built-in hooks and two lockable wheels. This table measures 80 x 80 x 90cm but there is a smaller alternative available and plenty of useful kitchen accessories to buy as an add on.

Customer review: "This is a perfect size for the 16” Koda pizza oven. Very stable and sturdy and also looks great in my garden. Definitely recommend having this bit of kit with the oven. The table also takes the pizza topping station which is also great - another great piece of kit in my eyes. With youngsters around it feels safe to have the oven on such a stable table."


  • High quality
  • Easy to move
  • Sturdy
  • Portable


  • None

Best small outdoor pizza oven

A pizza oven in your outdoor kitchen will offer up a crispy cheese and tomato in a minute or two and also allows you to slow-roast meat or bake bread. This Ooni Fyra 12-inch Wood Fired Outdoor Pizza Oven will sit perfectly atop the Ooni Modular Table. Cook 12-inch pizzas, garlic bread and sourdough on a thick 15mm cordierite baking stone.

Customer review: "We bought the Ooni Karu ahead of a planned pizza party and it didn't disappoint. It's a very smart piece of kit. Cooks pizzas perfectly without much difficulty, we managed to cook 15 pizzas in an evening without any trouble. We love the Ooni Karu - it's portable and we plan to take it along with us when we next go camping."


  • Small, lightweight and portable
  • High quality
  • Multi-fuel
  • Temperature control with gas


  • None

Best portable grill

Perfectly designed to be moved around your outdoor space, this compact George Foreman GFSBBQ1 Portable Grill Gas BBQ can sit atop your outdoor table. It has a grill area big enough to cook up to three portions at once, and its elevated design means you don't need to worry about it scorching your table-top.

Customer review: "Light, portable, easy to light. Thermostat helps control the cooking. Grill plates easy to remove for cleaning. The feet give a really good stable base for safe use."


  • Portable
  • Compact
  • Easy to use
  • Non-stick grill is easy to clean


  • No cooler 'safe zones' for indirect cooking

Have freedom with freestanding modular units

Freestanding kitchen and shelving units with backs can be placed anywhere in your garden on a hard surface and are great for creating the all-in-one kitchen station of your dreams. Installation is super-speedy and it can be moved should you decide to switch around your garden. Look for outdoor kitchen ideas and designs made with low-maintenance materials so you won’t need to waste precious hours keeping it looking good.

As well as having good space for meal prep and a tabletop grill, you can make sure there's room for gas storage and even a fridge if you'd like to store food and chill drinks for guests - it's a great way to customise your kitchen. Just make sure your electricity provisions are met.

Best premium BBQ

This stainless steel BBQ is the perfect option for an outdoor entertainment area and is designed to fit perfectly with the rest of the Cirencester Modular Outdoor Kitchen Range. It has six premium stainless steel gas burners providing an extra-large cooking area, a large warming rack, an infrared side burner, and two drop-down work surfaces.


  • Premium quality
  • Perfect for large garden parties
  • Robust stainless steel


  • No product reviews

Best outdoor fridge

This accompanying Cirencester Double Door Outdoor Fridge has a capacity of 228L with low noise operation and has a 304 grade stainless steel finish. It'll keep those drinks cool in the summertime and even has adjustable levelling castors that allow you to install your kitchen onto uneven ground.


  • Premium quality
  • No assembly required
  • Matching outdoor kitchen products in the Cirencester range


  • No customer reviews

Best outdoor storage cabinet

Don't forget about storage! There are a number of storage cabinets in the Cirencester Modular Outdoor Kitchen Range and this one provides plenty of space with adjustable shelves inside. These give you full flexibility in your design and each unit can be fixed together with butterfly screws.


  • Premium materials
  • Matches other outdoor kitchen products in the Cirencester range


  • No customer reviews

Best modular outdoor kitchen

It may not look like it, but Draco Grills Avalon Stainless Steel Outdoor Kitchen has a modular design that allows you to configure your kitchen just the way you want it! It includes the Draco four-burner stainless steel barbecue and built-in side burner, outdoor refrigerator, outdoor sink, and tap with granite top cabinets.


  • Premium product
  • Built to last
  • Complete outdoor kitchen


  • No customer reviews

Splash the cash on a bespoke outdoor kitchen

If you're looking for the best of the best and have the budget, why not buy a complete, bespoke outdoor kitchen for your garden? With space for cooking, prepping, and storage, they are made from low-maintenance materials meaning they’ll look good all year round and won’t need covering up. If you need any further incentive, then statistics show that you could recoup the costs of building an outdoor kitchen by up to 200% when the time comes to sell your house.

Think your garden is too small for an outdoor kitchen? Think again, because you can still enjoy the outdoor cooking experience by going for a compact shelf design that will fit along just one side of your patio, turning the entire area into an outdoor kitchen/diner.

Best stainless steel outdoor kitchen

The Draco Grills Outdoor Kitchen is an ideal choice for smaller spaces and will look fantastic in your garden. The granite kitchen includes a stainless steel gas barbecue that's great to look at and even better to cook on, a side burner, a full-functioning sink with tap, and a fridge unit. Making spatchcocked chicken with sauces and salsas on the side has never been easier.


  • Premium materials and design
  • Complete outdoor kitchen
  • Optional add-ons


  • No customer reviews

Best black outdoor kitchen

We love this stylish and functional Beefeater Signature 3000E Cabinex Outdoor Kitchen with its matte black finish that'll look beautiful in a modern garden. Made from a rigid and robust Cabinex aluminium frame, this kitchen features scratch-resistant black porcelain benchtops, a mixer tap and stainless steel sink, a bar fridge, and of course, the four-burner gas barbecue itself.


  • Complete outdoor kitchen solution
  • Weatherproof
  • Perfect for large outdoor gatherings


  • Currently pre-order only

Outdoor kitchen accessories

Add some fun outdoor kitchen accessories, such as an outdoor clock, outdoor radio, pendant lights, or a wall-mounted planter grid behind the cooking area so you’ve got fresh herbs to hand.

It'll be just like a proper kitchen.

Herb Planter - Handmade
Price: £49.95+

Add a little green to your garden wall with this wall-mounted, handmade Herb Planter that'll add structural decoration to your kitchen. Fill the aged terracotta pots with trailing hanging plants, cacti, succulents, or herbs that you can use for your recipes. Choose a two, three or four-tier planted with the option to have it lined, painted. Perfect for growing herbs or strawberries to accompany your sizzling BBQ creations.

Customer review: "Very pleased with this planter , will look even better when the herbs grow . Matched the photos and description."


  • Handmade
  • Size and finishing options
  • Good customer service


  • Wall fixings not included

Best outdoor clock

We love the minimalist, modern design of this Habitat Garden Wall Clock - a must if you want to keep track of your cooking and give your guests a time for when all the grub will be ready!

Customer review: "Fab clock with clear face, charming design, just right for my garden! Really good value for money."


  • Very well reviewed
  • Simple and stylish
  • Value for money
  • Water resistant


  • Battery operated

Best outdoor light

Designed with frosted glass to create an ambient glow, the Eva Solo SunLight Pendant lamp provides 20 hours of illumination after eight hours of full charge in the sunshine and is a great choice for bringing the kitchen aesthetic outdoors.

Customer review: "Having bought Eva Solo products before we knew we liked the styling and design. We didn't expect the solar light to work on it's first night as we had placed it down a dark alleyway but it did and it emits a beautiful warm light."


  • Energy-efficient
  • Cable free
  • Long illumination time


  • Not dimmable

Best utensil holder for outdoors

Keep your outdoor kitchen counter organised with the John Lewis Dipped Stoneware Utensil Holder, finished in a durable glaze. It's dishwasher safe, easy to clean, and if you want to free up countertop space, just pop it into your kitchen cupboards when you're not cooking.


  • Minimalist
  • Easy to clean
  • Dishwasher safe
  • Durable


  • Will break if dropped

Best outdoor rug

Using a rug is a great way to customise your outdoor space. This easy-to-care-for Iswik Star Tile Outdoor Flat Rug is patterned with stars to imitate cement tiles will really help to define your cooking and/or dining space.

Customer review: "I love it. So pleased I ordered the bigger size. It looks fantastic on my decking and the quality appears to be a lot better than cheaper ones on the market. I brought at sale price, so feel I’ve got good value for money.


  • Resistant to moisture and stains
  • Durable
  • Fade resistant


  • None

Create the illusion of an outdoor kitchen room

Perhaps you want to squirrel yourself away in your garden to try out some new al fresco-cooked recipes? Putting your outdoor kitchen in a corner of your plot and screening it off with a short wall will create a defined cooking zone.

The beauty of this outdoor kitchen idea is that the wall doesn’t have to be huge – you can use a low screen, create a wall of plants or use a doorway to accentuate the sense of entering a room. You could even create a tiled wall of your own against the garden fence!

Another idea is to make a feature of your outdoor kitchen and create a separate room by setting it up on a large raised deck or by putting different flooring beneath your kitchen space for a stylish indoor-outdoor look.

Or you could place your kitchen beneath a pergola to recreate a beautiful galley kitchen effect. The options are endless!

Top tip: If you use a screen or trellis, you can use the gaps and hooks as a savvy storage solution for your outdoor kitchen utensils!

Best outdoor screen

Available in a range of design, colours, and sizes, Screen with Envy has a beautiful collection of garden screens that'll add style, and privacy, and help define your outdoor kitchen area. We love this screen that's been inspired by the traditional design of windows seen in Arabic architecture.

Customer review: "Received these screens five days after ordering. They are absolutely beautiful and look very special in the garden. Very impressed."


  • Weatherproof
  • No need to be treated
  • Low maintenance


  • None

Best outdoor decking tile

Super easy to add to your garden, you can use this Harting Grey Glazed Outdoor Porcelain Paving Tile to create your very own kitchen floor. Made of weatherproof porcelain, each decking piece easily clicks together.


  • Robust and durable
  • Easy to clean
  • Good slip resistance


  • No customer reviews

Best slatted panels

Forest Garden 6x6 Double Slatted Panel x 3
Price: £416.50 (was £490)

These Forest Garden 6x6 Double Slatted Panels feature slats mounted alternately on the front and back, creating that partition, whilst still letting some light and air flow through. The timber is pressure treated to give a 15-year anti-rot guarantee and is available in three sizes.


  • Contemporary fencing style
  • Treat wood that's low maintenance
  • Lets air flow through


  • None

Best garden pergola

Using a pergola is a fantastic way of framing your outdoor open cooking and dining space whilst still allowing plenty of ventilation. To create a whimsical display, grow a climbing plant across the top of the structure such as wisteria.

Customer review: "Quality of the wood is excellent. Half the price of a similar product in my local garden centres. I thought they might have reduced the size of the wooden posts to save cost, but they have not. Excellent 100mm square posts. The edges and joints are well finished and fit nicely together. The timber has been treated and there is no unsightly number, or printing on the timber. Instructions very clear and easy to follow."


  • Well reviewed
  • Quality product


  • None

Best living wall

To make your outdoor kitchen fit in more seamlessly with the rest of your garden, incorporate a living wall into your kitchen design. This beautiful tapestry of classic evergreen plants provides a real focal point and the 18 boxes comes with all plants and compost included.

Customer review: "I highly recommend Garden in a Box, their communication was clear, timely and very helpful; and delivery was as per the plan."


  • All plants and compost included
  • Easy to maintain
  • Great customer service


  • None

Outdoor kitchen inspiration

If you're not sure which direction to go, there is loads of inspiration online. Check out some of our favourite outdoor kitchen ideas:

BBQ with side shelves
All-in-one BBQ unit ©Getty Images
Purpose built outdoor kitchen
Freestanding modular units ©Getty Images
A kamado BBQ kitchen lit up for an evening of entertaining


What to consider in your outdoor kitchen

Before you set a budget or decide what you want in your outdoor kitchen, throw your mind open to the many possibilities your garden presents.


Your outdoor kitchen should be a designated area with enough room close by for a dining table and chairs, where you can prep, wash and cook a variety of foods on different appliances, and include storage units and work surfaces. But it doesn’t have to be huge. Have a walk around your plot and consider what options might work where.


Think too about how you’ll use your new kitchen. Will you be a fair-weather chef? Then moveable units on wheels that can easily be stored in a shed or garage over the winter might suit. Or do you want to use your outdoor kitchen all year round? Then a permanent covering such as a pergola or canopy to protect it from bad weather is a must-have.

People dining outside from outdoor kitchen
©Getty Images

Catering needs

How many people will you be catering for? If you like entertaining regularly in your garden then buying small appliances could be a false money-saver as you’ll have to constantly cook in small batches, using more power, rather than being able to sit down and enjoy the party. The clean-up afterwards will take some work, though.


Consider whether you’ll need a power source for lighting and appliances, as the cost of installation will need to be included in your budget if you don’t already have an existing outdoor electric supply.

Dreaming done? Now’s the time to be realistic about what you want and what your budget will allow, along with the space you have available. Decide how much money you want to spend, and start making a detailed plan of what you want, and where. It’s well worth drawing up plans for two or three kitchen options in different configurations and/or parts of your garden. You may find one delivers far more with your budget than the other.

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Eleanor Weaver is the Deputy Homes & Garden Product Editor for A Modern Kitchen, specialising in kitchen accessories and appliances, including washing machines and microwaves. Having been a renter for a decade now, she loves looking for home inspiration in her spare time and is a master of DIY.

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