8 covered outdoor kitchen ideas to guard your grill in style

These covered outdoor kitchen ideas are perfect if you fancy a little alfresco cooking but want to protect your expensive equipment and shelter yourself from the elements

Outdoor Kitchen Project in Sherston Malmesbury with gas barbecue and built-in fridge
(Image credit: Grillo)

If you're worried about a rusty grill, consider these covered outdoor kitchen ideas. Cooking outside is a joy for many reasons. For one, you're not cooped up inside (ideal for summer), so you can take advantage of scenic backyard views and the extra ventilation.

Secondly, having more cooking space means that family and friends can watch you show off your culinary skills on your best barbecue. So outdoor covered kitchen ideas are the perfect way to add a bit of theater and make mealtime more exciting.

A sheltered outdoor kitchen means that a bit of rain or the odd blustery wind won't spoil your time to socialize. Having this overhead protection can also guard your best garden furniture and cooking apparatus against rusting too.

1. Budget covered outdoor kitchen ideas needn't look cheap

Rowlinson party outdoor BBQ decorative shelter and arbor, available at Naken

(Image credit: Naken)

At first, the cost of an outdoor kitchen might seem unviable. But if you're looking for ideas for a covered outdoor kitchen, look to this budget-friendly design. This shady garden alcove is the perfect place to fire up your gas barbeque and take cover from the scorching sun.

2. Matching your indoor and outdoor flooring

An outdoor kitchen with wooding pergola, white awning and cement effect outdoor tile decor

(Image credit: The London Tile Co.)

Create the illusion of a seamless space by choosing similar tiles as the ones you have in your interior scheme. Installing outdoor tiles is simpler than you think, and this is a quick way to achieve a coordinated aesthetic, inside and out.

3. Bring out the street food vibe with lighting

Outdoor kitchen with neon lighting and outdoor pergola lighting decor

(Image credit: Grillo)

Part Love Island luxe, part street food vibes, this fun, covered outdoor kitchen space screams backyard party idea. The key ingredient in this space is lots of garden lighting ideas, from festival-style festoons to statement neon slogan decor.

Illuminate your space for cheap with Lights4Fun products, available on Amazon.

4. Mimic your interior personality

A luxury outdoor kitchen with kitchen island, bar stools and decorative pendant lighitng decor

(Image credit: MYFACE)

It's (almost) impossible to believe that this kitchen setup is outdoors... but believe us, it is. The warm wooden elements and leather-look bar stools all make it look as if you're sitting in a luxurious cooking space inside.

To replicate this look, choose chairs made with weather-resistant materials. And, if you want to soften the seat or add extra support, why not opt for some outdoor cushions too?

And don't forget to treat yourself to some new tools. Just as you'd splash out on a new set of kitchen knives, upgrade that pair of old trusty tongs for some swanky bbq tools and accessories.

5. Create a beach bar vibe with a poolside setting

An outdoor kitchen with dining area and swimming pool in background

(Image credit: Grillo)

Holiday not on the horizon this year? Make your home feel like a staycation space by creating a covered outdoor kitchen by your swimming pool. 

This, open-plan pool deck idea is perfect for entertaining, and you can watch the kids splash about while you enjoy a glass of wine (straight from your wine fridge) and some grown-up company.

6. Factor in a roofed structure

A roofed external structure designed for outdoor cooking

(Image credit: Grillo)

Don't let the weather ruin your barbecue cravings. If you're blessed with a large outdoor space, this U-shaped kitchen layout is what you need. This setup by Grillohas a built-in bar, tarn sink, and both gas and charcoal BBQs. The Iroko wood inlay and brick feature walls add character and interest to your cooking station.

7. Make it luxe with a marble backdrop

An outdoor kitchen with marble wall backdrop decor

(Image credit: Brown Jordan Outdoor Kitchens)

This luxurious Scandinavian-inspired space is dreamy – don't you think? If you're one for clean lines and neutrality, this white and taupe color scheme is modern and minimalist. We especially like the 2-sink setup which means that you can have a raw and cooked meat section... great for safe food preparation, and an opportunity to buy the best kitchen faucets to make your space shine.

Real marble can come at a mighty cost, so look out for cheaper alternatives such as peel-and-stick vinyl contact paper. There are lots of affordable options on eBay.

8. Opt for a grill that can be wheeled or stored inside

An outdoor bbq area on a patio in a residential backyard

(Image credit: VisionScapes)

This grill gives the phrase 'meals on wheels' a completely new meaning. If you don't want to commit to a grand covered outdoor kitchen design, consider a setup that can be rolled in and out of the garage and used under shelter. Or, if you're a dab hand at DIY, upcycle your existing barbie to include some caster wheels.

Another option is to invest in a lightweight portable barbecue that can be stored away in a backyard building after use. Whichever option you choose – don't shy away from cleaning your charbroiler. Out of sight, out of mind will only make you resent the job when you come to use it again.

Can you use a grill under a covered patio?

'If people are cooking on fire pit griddles in a covered space, we recommend that the area is well ventilated to allow for good air circulation and to eliminate strong cooking smells.' says Tim Pennell, head of sales, Bramblecrest.

'If you're sitting nearby, we also recommend that outdoor furniture cushions are LOFA assured and comply with current fire retardant regulations. Please ensure a safe distance from the flame to the underside of the roof covering.'

'If the covering is constructed from fabric or similar, then the material used must be fire retardant in accordance with UK regulations. Please do not leave any naked flame unattended.'  

Christina Chrysostomou
Former acting head ecommerce editor

Hi, I'm the former acting head ecommerce editor at Real Homes. Prior to working for the Future plc family, I've worked on a number of consumer events including the Ideal Home Show, Grand Designs Live, and Good Homes Magazine. With a first class degree from Keele University, and a plethora of experience in digital marketing, editorial, and social media, I have an eye for what should be in your shopping basket and have gone through the internal customer advisor accreditation process.