Architectural Home Designs & Decorating Ideas

Make Your Back Porch The Heart Of Outdoor Entertaining With A Patio Kitchen

Gabriela Connell
4 minute read

As the weather warms up, it’s time to start taking advantage of outdoor living spaces. One of the best ways to transform a basic back porch into an entertainment oasis is by adding an outdoor kitchen. With a few key design elements, you can create a fully-functional cooking and dining area right off your home’s back entryway.

Outdoor kitchens make it easy to grill up meals, chill drinks, and host gatherings on your own turf. No more sacrificing valuable indoor space or cluttering up the actual kitchen when you want to entertain. A back porch kitchen provides convenience for everyday cooking and gives your patio parties a special flair.

Design Considerations for Your Back Porch Kitchen

When planning your outdoor cooking area, the first step is determining the available space on your porch or patio. Measure the footprint and check for electrical outlets or gas lines that could service appliances. Consider the flow of traffic and allow enough room for multiple people to work and maneuver around the kitchen safely.

Next, think about how the space will function. A complete outdoor kitchen should include zones for cooking, prepping, cleaning, dining, and storage. Map out areas for essential appliances and work zones suited to the types of meals you’ll be preparing.

back porch kitchen ideas

Layout Options

Freestanding kitchen islands are popular for their flexibility, while built-in galley style layouts maximize space efficiency. The overall shape could be a U, L or a straight configuration depending on your porch dimensions.

Be sure to allow enough open area for people to gather, dine and mingle near the cooking space. Having distinct zones helps keep the chef isolated from guests for safety and workflow.

Must-Have Appliances

Standard equipment for an outdoor kitchen includes a grill, sink, small refrigerator, and potentially a stove top or oven. Look for appliances made of stainless steel or specialty weather-resistant materials. Ensure proper ventilation for any gas and electric units.

Ideally position the grill close to the home’s back door for convenient transfer of cooked food indoors. Place the sink near the prep area and refrigerator for efficient cooling and cleanup.

Countertops and Cabinets

When choosing countertop and cabinetry materials, durability and weather resistance are top concerns. Tile, stainless steel, concrete, and weatherproof laminates stand up well to the outdoor elements while providing attractive, easy-care options.

Closed cabinets provide essential storage for dishes, utensils, pantry items, and appliances not in regular use. Open shelving also works for displaying serving ware and small decor.


Popular flooring choices like tile, stone, concrete, and composite decking offer decorator options while being able to withstand spills and heavy usage. Consider the aesthetic you want along with practical factors like traction, comfort underfoot, and ease of cleaning when selecting porch kitchen floor materials.

Lighting and Electricity

Proper illumination is key for an outdoor kitchen. Incorporate task lighting over work zones along with ambient mood lighting. Hardwired fixtures are most reliable, but solar and outdoor-rated plugs can also supply needed power.

Design Elements for an Inviting Back Porch Kitchen

Once you have the kitchen basics covered, focus on amenities and extras that will make the space welcoming for leisurely dining and entertaining.

Comfortable Seating

Arrange weather-resistant barstools, chairs or benches to provide gathering spots around the grilling and prep areas. Plush cushions and throw pillows add comfort and flair to the decor.

Visual Appeal

Incorporate decorative tile backsplashes, accent walls, artwork, textiles and greenery to enhance the kitchen’s curb appeal. Paint or finish surrounding railings, floors, and ceilings to complement the design.

Entertaining Extras

Up the fun factor with additions like a wine refrigerator, beverage center, ice maker, fire pit, heating elements, fans, and speakers for background music.

Shelter and Shade

Provide relief from sun and weather with a permanent roof structure, retractable awnings, umbrellas, or sail shades. Landscaping elements like vines, lattice, and curtains add cozy seclusion.

Budget Considerations

Outdoor kitchen costs vary widely based on size, features, and materials selected. Affordable DIY projects using plastic laminate, repurposed furniture and basic appliances can cost a few hundred dollars. The mid-range for a more well-appointed patio kitchen is $2,000 to $5,000. For a luxury, stone-clad outdoor entertaining space with premium brands, expect to spend $10,000 or more.

Maintaining an Outdoor Kitchen

An outdoor kitchen requires some periodic maintenance to keep it looking its best. Routinely check for any damage from weather, pests, mold or mildew. Keep surfaces sealed to prevent water intrusion and associated deterioration or corrosion. Appliances will last longer if covered or stored when not in use.

Don’t forget routine cleanings to remove grease buildup, food debris, and dirt. Wipe down stainless steel to maintain its luster. Annual deep cleanings give the space a fresh start each season.

Maximize Outdoor Living on Your Back Porch

Adding an outdoor kitchen helps transform a plain back porch into a destination space for relaxing, dining and entertaining. Ambience and functionality work hand in hand when designing the ideal layout tailored to your needs.

Take full advantage of welcoming weather by extending your living area to the great outdoors. An outdoor kitchen lets you spend more time enjoying beautiful days and evenings from the comfort of your own home.

Creating an outdoor cooking and dining area allows you to get the most from a covered back porch. With strategic kitchen placement and weather-resistant amenities, you can take everyday meals and entertaining to the next level.

A well-designed back porch kitchen adds beauty, convenience and purpose to your exterior living zones. Just add food, friends and fun to fully experience the possibilities of outdoor home life!