Outdoor Kitchens for Small Spaces

  • Wide shot of a small outdoor kitchen setup
  • Although compact spaces are no stranger to our outdoor kitchen designers, outdoor living design supervisor Erin Hopson admitted some challenge with this one. The homeowners — by all accounts, a “really great older couple who were a delight!” — wanted a space to entertain close loved ones once or twice a week. Easy, right? Throw in a very tight fit and butt the design up against the house, shrink the budget, then stir generously for 10–12 minutes over medium heat. Pepper to taste for a project that’s more than meets the eye.

    “We tried to talk them into spacing it a little further out for some breathing room, but they didn’t want the extra walk,” Erin explains. “Once the owners told me their interior kitchen was basically halfway across the house, I was on their side. Who can blame them? I think I’d tolerate that for maybe a day.” With all these factors in mind, doggedly optimistic Erin and her brilliant designers set out to work within tight limitations to give these homeowners an outdoor kitchen that fit their hosting needs, cut down on the back-and-forth, squeezed in quality-of-life conveniences, and stayed simple to clean. Here’s how they did it.

  • Small Grills Deliver Big Results

    Since the client’s needs were constrained to this alcove, Erin recommended a small Blaze Grill — especially after learning the intention was to cook and entertain and cook for up to 5-6 guests at once. Our designer rooted the Blaze propane gas grill firmly to the left; the idea here was elbow room, one of those little things you don’t miss until it’s gone. The slimmer grill also left enough counter area for food preparation and small kitchen tasks.

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  • Efficient Outdoor Kitchen Storage

    In any intimate design, space is often a luxury. That’s what makes the Blaze Access Door and Double Drawer Combo fit like a glove — sure, access doors are required for gas plumbing, but they also offer easy utility. Though the bin to the right was a great fit for the 5-lb propane tank, the pipe access faces away from the grill. Erin chose to place the tank behind this door instead, while dry storage and BBQ tools fill out the drawers.

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  • Waste Erased

    With the propane tank accounted for, what else could be done with this door? Erin suggested two opportunities: extra storage or waste disposal. The client decided on the latter, so our designer added the Blaze Roll-Out Trash and Propane Drawer. With the same ease and soft-close of the Blaze doors and drawers, our pleased customer can instantly sweep debris and waste out of sight — without the exposure of an unsightly bin.

    Shop Outdoor Kitchen Trash and Recycling Bins

  • Gas Vents are Always Necessary

    Gas build-up is no joke. Once our designer fully explained the combustive dangers (and general safety restrictions), the client gratefully agreed that an island vent panel was in order. Erin chose the Luxor Slimline 4 x 16 Vent Panel for its high value at a reasonable bargain. With an outdoor kitchen design as compact as this one, Erin saw no need to complicate the design with extra panels; this one piece will fit the ventilation standard.

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