Planning Outdoor Kitchen Zones
Expert Advice

Courtesy of BBQ Guys, bbqguys.com

Your outdoor kitchen design plans should feature 4 main workspaces creating a natural flow for functionality, convenience, safety, and entertaining.

Cooking Zone

This is where you shine as the BBQ master. It’s where your built-in grills, smokers, side burners, griddles, and even pizza ovens live. Also include room for doors and drawers that both provide access to gas lines and store indispensable grilling utensils. Propane grillers benefit from a propane tank bin to keep unsightly fuel cylinders tucked away.  Regardless of gas type, your cooking zone must have proper outdoor kitchen ventilation to clear your space of potentially harmful fumes.

Prep Zone 

Preparation and planning are essential and so is the space to do it. Prep stations often include sinks or bar centers and are perfect for washing veggies, cleaning dishes, or serving drinks. The convenience only increases with the addition of outdoor kitchen storage components like roll-out trash bins, paper towel holders, cutting boards, and dry storage. No matter how big you go with your prep zone, it should be adjacent to the cooking zone to improve overall efficiency.

Plate-and-Serve Zone 

A place to put down burgers and steaks once they’re done grilling. This prevents hungry guests from crowding around the hot grill and makes the lunch line run much smoother. A stretch of open counter space to lay out a serving tray and stack of plates is often enough, but a warming drawer can really come in handy if you’re cooking food in multiple batches for a large group of family and friends.

Entertainment Zone 

Serve up drinks for all your friends and family with your outdoor bar and get the party started. This zone is home to your outdoor television and refrigeration appliances like beverage fridges, ice makers, wine coolers, and kegerators. Keep in mind that there should be a buffer, whether it’s distance or insulation, between the entertainment and cooking zones — heat from a grill positioned too closely will force refrigeration units to work much harder to stay chilled inside.

With a firm understanding of work zones, you can now move on to the next step of outdoor kitchen planning which is how you want to arrange and design your zones.

Tailgater Magazine