Does My Outdoor Kitchen Need to Be Covered? And How?

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does my outdoor kitchen need covering?

While designing an outdoor kitchen one of the first questions is: Does my outdoor kitchen need to be covered? Outdoor kitchens often require a hefty budget even without the roof structure.

So does the garden kitchen need to be covered? To bring the indoor comfort outdoor, covering the outdoor kitchen is going to be much needed. Pergolas are a less expensive choice that works well especially in climates, where the sun is the main concern. Roofing is a pricier solution, that works better in climates, where the main concern is rain. 

Even though the location is crucial to make an informed choice, there are 3 other factors that should be taken into consideration: durability, style, and budget. Adding a covering to an outdoor kitchen is also a perfect occasion to introduce new features to the outdoor kitchen, like fans or heaters. Let’s dive into analysis.

Does my outdoor kitchen need to be covered [depending on the state]?

Usually, to cover the outdoor kitchen, owners take into consideration 4 options: canopy, pergola, gazebo, and roof. All of them have strong and weak points. Canopies and pergolas may do just about great in the rather dry areas, and are not going to be helpful in the winter. Gazebos and roofs work better for a variety of weather but usually require a heftier budget. 

Price50$ – 500$300$ – 15000$300$ – 20000$7000$ – 11000$
Style variety*********

Choosing the best solution for your household depends a lot on your location. Usually owners want to use their outdoor kitchen whole-year-long, so analyzing climate is crucial. It is very important to figure what your outdoor kitchen area needs to be protected from sun, rain or snow.

CanopyPergola with canopyGazeboRoof

While analyzing it’s worth checking a map prepared by National Center of Environmental Information.

Is your state the wettest or much above average? States with the most rain during summer are:

  • Florida
  • South Carolina
  • Louisiana
  • North Carolina
  • Georgia
  • Alabama
  • West Virginia
  • Iowa
  • Mississippi
  • New Jersey

If you do live in one of them you should definitely consider a solid roof that is going to cover your outdoor kitchen area with its precious appliances.

On the other hand, citizens of the following states experience least of rain/ snow during the year:

  • Nevada
  • Arizona
  • Wyoming
  • New Mexico
  • Montana
  • Utah
  • Idaho
  • Colorado
  • North Dacota
  • South Dacota

Less water pouring out of the sky means an outdoor kitchen should be rather covered by constructions protecting from the scorcher. Solid constructions might have a huge advantage: the possibility of installing the wet fan.

Let’s dive deeper into our 4 options: canopy, pergola, gazebo, and roof.

What canopies work with outdoor kitchen?

retractable awning for an outdoor kitchen

There are plenty of canopies that can be used for an alfresco kitchen. The size of the canopy depends on the area to cover. Use a meter to check the depth and length of the construction. Very often a standard solution like this one might work just fine. It can cover up to 169 square feet and has wind vented peaks. The price is very pleasant: 149,95$.

For a more stylish look, a sail shade may be considered. It’s easy to use especially in places where the material can be hooked to existing walls or poles. The cost of installation, unfortunately, grows if the poles have to be installed for this canopy.

The great advantage of canopies is they’re pretty easy to start using and rather do not require extra labor to count in a budget. On the other hand, they’re pretty fragile and might not last longer than 5 years.

Does pergola work with an outdoor kitchen?

pergola outdoor kitchen

A solution that suits plenty of needs. A great option for people who love a romantic look of an ivy-covered ceiling as well as those who want a classy look for their indoor-outdoor experience. Pergolas are usually made out of wood, but there are plenty of options including vinyl, fiberglass, aluminum, CPVC, brick and stone pillars. As the outdoor experience should be similar to an indoor one, it’s worth looking around a house before picking a product. 

For some people unpainted wood is going to work great, others are going to cover it with color, or pick a different material. As this construction can warm up from the sun it’s worth checking prior to buying how it’s going to react to sunbeams.

If the wood is your material of choice it’s important to check its features. After all, it’s a peace of construction that is going to experience a lot outside, so it needs to be made out of seasoned wood. A great idea would be to have it build from glulam, which is a “super wood”, way more resistant to water.

On top of pergola usually a canopy is used. If it’s not delivered in the set it’s worth buying a water-resistant one.

This solution is going to work better in sunnier and not-so-wet areas. It’s more universal with a permanent roof (e.g. acrylic glass).

Is a Gazebo good choice for an outdoor kitchen?

gazebo outdoor kitchen covering

Building a gazebo in the garden might be an excellent idea, especially when it adds to the style of the property. It’s going to work well on greater properties, as the gazebo is going to take space from a lot. Gazebos are usually built out of wood or metal and are covered with a roof. 

If your dream is to have a gazebo made out of wood it is very important to check it’s quality. Gazebos cost a substantial amount of money and they’re supposed to last for plenty of years. To age well gazebo needs to be created from excellent quality wood, that has been seasoned and with eliminated imperfections (that may rot in the future). A perfect type of wood for a gazebo is glulam. Each type of wood needs to be taken care of by covering with an impregnator.

Gazebos made out of metal are usually less pricy than wooden. There are plenty of options accessible in a variety of styles. Although metal seems to be lower maintenance material check it 1-2 times a year for rust.

A very important factor in buying a proper gazebo for your outdoor kitchen is safety. A roof should be either high or have ventilation. 

Gazebo is a very universal solution, that works during sunny, rainy, and even snowy afternoons. To get this indoor-outdoor experience whole-year-round purchasing a gazebo for your outdoor kitchen is a great choice.

How to cover an against the wall outdoor kitchen?

outdoor kitchen against the wall roof covering

Placing an Outdoor Kitchen against the wall has a lot of advantages:

  • easier plumbing work,
  • easier electrical work,
  • easier keeping look of the property coherent.

All of that sums up to: if you’ve built your garden kitchen against the wall roof is going to be an excellent choice of coverage.

How big should be a roof over an outdoor kitchen?

The size of the roof depends on the size and shape of the kitchen area. Usually all the appliances and countertops are placed under the roof. Some owners decide also to add an alfresco dining space under the roof. 

How the roof over an outdoor kitchen should look?

The easiest answer to this question is: the same, or as similar as possible to the roof o the house. This way the property looks is going to be coherent, and present well on the photos (aka it’s going to work well on sales if you decide someday to sell the property). 

How to choose a style of coverage for an outdoor kitchen

outdoor kitchen covering style

An outdoor kitchen should reflect the style of the property, and so does the coverage. If you wonder what is going to work best for you, just walk around your house and backyard and look for things you can copy in the covering – like ceiling or lighting style. It might be also color or shape. Picking up a great option may occur not to be the most creative work, but one that requires observation.

Fans, Heaters and Lightning for an Outdoor Kitchen

outdoor kitchen fan and lightning pergola covering

While you plan your new covering for the outdoor kitchen it is worth considering a few appliances. For cooling up in the summer wet fan might be the best idea ever. They come in a wide price range and are also accessible in a portable version.

Whole-year-round usage of an outdoor kitchen is going to be possible thanks to heater installation. They can be placed on the ceiling, but also just put on the floor.

I wrote an entire blog post about outdoor kitchen lighting ideas. Basically without lighting outdoor kitchen is useless after sunset – as both cooking and eating are not safe. There are plenty of light sources that can be used and mixing them gives the best results.


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