Outdoor Kitchens: A Summery Extension of a Tiny House

I’m sure that many tiny house fans have already seen the various videos on Rob Greenfield and his 10×10, $1,500 tiny house in Florida. What makes Rob’s house a little different than most is his outdoor kitchen that is separate from his sleeping and living space.

The Hawaiian lanai is a traditional outdoor space that could be outfitted with a tiny kitchen.

Photo by Hale Iki

We ask a lot of our tiny house kitchens. Not only do they have to store our food and be an efficient space to cook, but kitchens tend to also act as a gathering space for owners, visitors, and pets. One way to remedy this is to move the entire thing outside.

Artist Andrea Zittel’s retreat center in Joshua Tree has an outdoor kitchen.

The kitchen is open to the outside, but still protected from the harsh sun.

While this can be difficult full-time in locations that get heavy winters, strong winds, or bugs, it can be a way to extend out your tiny home in the warmer months. Consequently, outdoor kitchens are not unusual. In warmer climates, cooking food outside on a barbecue grill is part of summer fun. An outdoor kitchen is really just a ramped up version of the grill.

Outdoor kitchens don’t need to be overly expensive to build.

Photos by Louisville ReStore

The key things to have with an outdoor kitchen include the following:

  • Some sort of roof to protect from the kitchen rain and maybe one or two walls to protect from winds.
  • An outdoor stove or grill for cooking. This can be hooked up to propane or another type of fuel. Greenfield uses propane, HomeBioGas, a fire pit, and a solar oven.
  • An easily cleanable surface for preparing food and a protected storage space for keeping pots, pans and other tools.
  • A water source. This can be from a hose, a water container with a spigot or it can even be plumbed in from a well or city source. Along with the water should be some sort of sink. This can be a simple plastic basin, utility sink, or installed sink.
  • Electricity and lighting. An outdoor kitchen can be plugged into main or off-grid power to run refrigerators and lighting. Power can also be used to run pumps for any available water source.
  • Some place to eat. One of the best ways to enjoy an outdoor kitchen, is to have an area right next to it where you can enjoy the food you’ve just cooked outside.

Acorn Tiny Houses offers tiny house and outdoor kitchen construction services.

Photo by Acorn Tiny Houses & Outdoor Spaces

Of course, you don’t have to forgo an indoor kitchen. However, creating an area for an outdoor kitchen not only saves space, but creates an outdoor living and eating location where family and friends can gather and get out of the chef’s hair.

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