Custom Outdoor Kitchens - Outdoor Barbeque

The Open Air Kitchen: A Great Room in the Great Outdoors

Open Air Kitchen

For many years, the standard for outdoor cooking was just a kettle grill on the back patio. Today’s homeowners want to bring their culinary passions and their love of the outdoors together. No wonder outdoor kitchens are more popular every year as this is becoming one of the fastest growing landscaping trends. 

“A well-planned outdoor kitchen will have all amenities that the griller needs, in a setting that allows hosts and guests to socialize,” says Jack Dorcey of Bever Landscaping in the Twin Cities, MN.  Before Dorcey starts the design process, he asks clients about the social needs of the space: how many family members will use the area on an everyday basis, as well as how many guests will be coming for the Fourth of July. Then the conversation turns to the amenities: the size of the grill, the number of side burners, locations for drawers and trash bins, even outdoor refrigerators that are built to withstand Minnesota winters.

Natural Stone Masonry

The Building Blocks. High-end masonry kitchens offer the ultimate in flexibility and endurance. A masonry structure can last for decades. Modular retaining wall block offers an affordable alternative.


Outdoor Kitchen

Made in the Shade. Pergolas can be built over patios, deck, and fire pits to provide protection from solar heat, glare, and UV rays. By adjusting the size, spacing and orientation of the components, landscape designers can achieve anywhere from 10 to 90 percent sunlight reduction. A trellis, planted with climbing vines or roses, can provide privacy and screen an undesirable view.

Outdoor fireplaces

Fire Features. The secret to a sociable setting is as simple as building a fire. Fire features add warmth and light to your outdoor entertaining space, so you can use it earlier in the spring and later in the fall. Jim Christensen, a registered Landscape Architect of Bever Landscaping in the Twin Cities, MN, sees fire features being utilized in most backyard renovation projects done in recent years. A simple fire pit can be built into a patio. A gas fire pit is a smokeless, odorless alternative. Gas pits cost more because a plumber must install the gas line and connect the line and fire outlet orifice. The most desirable fire feature is the outdoor fireplace, which brings an architectural element to the landscape even when it’s not in use. Outdoor fireplaces require professional planning and building code compliance.

Outdoor Fireplaces

The Bottom Line. How much does this cost? According to Dorcey, prefabricated, do-it-yourself outdoor kitchens run about $5,000. A custom, dream kitchen can exceed $50,000. An outdoor fireplace can cost between $7,000 and $30,000. For homeowners who love to relax and entertain outdoors, an outdoor kitchen is worth every penny.

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