4 Big Ideas for Small Outdoor Kitchens

4 Big Ideas for Small Outdoor Kitchens

A challenger grill cart for an outdoor BBQ kitchen.

Key Takeaways:

  • Two-thirds of Americans have a BBQ grill
  • Outdoor kitchens are extensions of our homes but also our lives
  • Kitchenettes and using vertical spaces to your advantage are practical and efficient ways to broaden a small outdoor kitchen
  • Smaller appliances can equal significant space savings 

Americans love to BBQ – almost two-thirds of us have a grill. There’s just something about preparing a meal in the open air for the world to inhale that makes us feel alive. There are conversations, warm smiles, and adult beverages where there are BBQs, and in Texas, we LOVE our BBQ. 

A small backyard can keep many folks from expanding their grill area into a complete outdoor kitchen, but there are ways around that. Limited space shouldn’t stop you from cooking up a dream outdoor kitchen. There’s still a lot you can do with a restricted area. This article discusses the value of outdoor kitchens and 4 creative outdoor kitchen ideas for small spaces. 

The Importance of Outdoor Kitchens 

People have been cooking outside for as long as they’ve been cooking. Maybe that’s why the idea appeals to us so very much. The smell of the food wafting across the yard and the sound of the crackling flames are only part of the BBQ charm – and it goes much deeper than that.

Outdoor kitchens are about connecting with family and friends. They bring neighborhoods together and inspire kindness and empathy. Limited space doesn’t limit your ability to have a beautiful, inviting outdoor kitchen. 


Kitchenettes are mini kitchens that typically include a refrigerator, sink, and at least 2 feet of counter space, much like a hotel room kitchen area. They are also excellent for an outdoor kitchen in a small backyard. Add whatever type of cooking appliance you’re partial to, such as a smoker, grill, or pizza oven, and you’ve got yourself a tiny but functional – and fun – outdoor kitchen. Small outdoor kitchens are charming venues for:

  • Coffee dates
  • Book clubs
  • Kids club meetings
  • Birthday parties
  • Intimate dinners
  • Neighborhood get-togethers


Ceramic grills, like The Big Green Egg, are perfect for outdoor kitchens in all types of environments. Set it inside a 48” Challenger Torch Cart. This low-maintenance, weatherproof cabinet supports your large Big Green Egg ceramic grill. It includes dry-sealed storage to protect all your equipment and pantry items. 

Make Use of Vertical Space

When your square footage is limited, upward is the only direction you have to go. Creative use of pegboards and rope can have your pots, pans, and utensils up and out of the way. There are several ways to add height to a space to make it look bigger. Try these:

Use Dark Floor Coloring


Using a dark color on the floor makes your space look taller. Dark tiles and bricks are beautiful in an outdoor kitchen and help maximize your space’s height. If you use a rug, ensure it’s as wide as your area. Small rugs appear to diminish the space. 

Display Tall Art


Portrait-oriented art helps elongate a space. Long, sprawling plants and vines work the same way. Towering bamboo and grasses can work great for those without a green thumb. Anything with a vertical orientation draws attention upward and away from the width of the space. 

Strategic Lighting


Lights can make a room look bigger when the ceiling is low. It works similarly when there is no ceiling. Use lights to enhance the size and shape of the room and give it an airy feel. Different types and heights of lights keep the eyes floating along instead of bouncing back and forth at the same height.

Even small outdoor spaces have lots of vertical space. The trick is using it creatively to your best advantage. 

Use an Island

Many outdoor kitchens include gorgeous dining areas complete with 6 or 8 seats. Smaller outdoor kitchens often overlook islands because they can take up a bit of space. The truth is that they are multipurpose and save space in the long run.

The 76" Challenger serves as a fantastic island with plenty of room for prepping, serving, cooking, and entertaining.  An island is a great place to prep and plate your grilling material, and then your guests can also sit around it to enjoy their meal. It also serves as storage for your supplies and pantry items. The XL and larger Big Green Eggs fit inside the 76” Challenger, freeing up even more space and making your grill much easier to move. 

Make It a Mini

Choose mini appliances instead of full-size versions to save space in a small outdoor kitchen. All types of kitchen appliances come in smaller versions, including refrigerators, sink basins, grills, smokers, combo doors and drawers, and storage carts. 

Small drink coolers make beautiful additions to an outdoor kitchen and are smaller than regular-size refrigerators. The Big Green Egg makes a super-efficient mini ceramic grill that can take a small space to new heights. Think in lines of one-cup coffee makers and a smaller seating area. Cozy but classy are the vibes with a mini outdoor kitchen. 

There’s no downside to having an outdoor kitchen, no matter how small. An outdoor kitchen adds value to your home, expands your cooking and living areas, and gives you a unique entertaining space. Your creative touches and rare personality make it a special place. 

Your Small Outdoor Kitchen Dreams Are About to Be a Reality


Putting together a small outdoor kitchen doesn’t take a tremendous amount of work. You can accomplish it easily, and we can help. We can assist with everything from design and planning to delivery and installation, whether you love to cook four-course meals or just a great pizza in your outdoor living space. 

Check out our website to see all the great products to transform your yard into the ultimate luxury spot. Give us a call today, and you could be outside cooking in no time.