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Covered Outdoor Kitchen Ideas

This post was originally posted on Oct. 7, 2017 and updated April 20, 2020.

Thinking about how you can take the features and amenities of your indoor kitchen to the outdoors? Transforming your backyard or patio into a luxury outdoor living space is easy with Brown Jordan Outdoor Kitchens. Having an outdoor kitchen expands your living space and is an investment that you’re proud of – and once you put all that hard work into building it, you’ll want to show the kitchen design off as much as possible. With seemingly endless features and amenities, you can enjoy an outdoor cooking and entertaining experience with family, friends, and guests that goes beyond just the summer months.

Outdoor Kitchen Design Ideas

Some of the possible outdoor kitchen amenities include a seating area, grilling station, refrigerator, and more. One of the best ways to protect your investment in your outdoor kitchen – ensuring you can use it for many years through multiple seasons – is by installing a covering. A covering for your outdoor kitchen will provide shade from the elements while cooking, eating, and entertaining outdoors. Here are our favorite outdoor kitchen roof ideas to flaunt and protect your outdoor space.

covered outdoor kitchen ideas

1. Canopies

While there are multiple covered outdoor kitchen ideas you can choose from, the easiest, most versatile, and least expensive to install is the canopy. Outdoor kitchen canopies can play a double role: they protect diners from the elements, and also can be used to accent the dining area space.

Canopies offer multiple styles and sizes to choose from. For example, a sturdy, sizeable metal canopy can double the size of your outdoor kitchen area and provide a permanence that lasts through areas with unpredictable climates. Or, you can choose a more trendier canopy with striking architectural features to define the room, like this fun example from Houzz.

2. Gazebos

Although often used interchangeably with “pergola,” gazebos are noticeably different in that they always have a round shape. The most traditional type of gazebo is in the form of an octagon with a domed roof that is supported by 8 symmetrical pillared columns. Gazebos are traditionally made of wood, but many manufacturers today build metal gazebos as well. Most metal gazebos are constructed from metal frames with metal roofs, and metal frames with canvas roofs, which take on a tented appearance.

3. Pergolas

Similar to a canopy but with an Italian look and feel, pergolas provide a sophisticated option for covered outdoor kitchen designs. A pergola is a garden feature forming a shaded walkway, passageway, or sitting area of vertical posts or pillars that usually support cross-beams and a sturdy open lattice, often upon which woody vines are trained.

As a type of gazebo, it may also be an extension of a building or serve as protection for an open terrace or a link between pavilions. Wood is the classic material for pergolas. Aluminum pergolas are available as well, but they tend to be strongly minimal in design and fit best in a modern backyard or patio environment (unlike the Mediterranean look of the traditional wood).

Other Options

covered outdoor kitchen idea

If you’re looking for much more coverage and protection, or you’re not ready to fully commit to the exposed elements, there are many other options to give you the outdoor kitchen feel without committing to a fully outdoor room. For example, an enclosed or screened-in porch gives you an outdoor view of the backyard and scenery, but provides both a full-coverage and protection for your outdoor kitchen appliances.

A transition room is a great option if you want the comforts of the indoors, but with the outdoor environment feel. One thing to note with these transition rooms is that you will need to include ventilation for your outdoor kitchen. This element needs to be included in the building phase to ensure safety and comfort for you and your guests.

Things To Consider

Besides choosing which style covering you want to install over your stainless steel outdoor kitchen, there are a few other important things to consider.


One aspect you should consider is the electrical needs for your outdoor kitchen covering. A popular trend is to add lighting to not only enhance the design of your roof, but also to allow you to entertain guests in the evening. Or if you live in a hot climate, installing ceiling fans to keep the air moving away from your cooking appliances on summer days.

Additionally, you might consider wiring for a sound system or an outdoor television hookup. Keep in mind that the electricity will come from your house, so make sure you have space for for additional circuits in your panel box. There are many creative ways to cover or disguise wiring to keep your covered outdoor kitchen area looking sleek. And you can’t forget the plumbing. If you have a sink in your outdoor kitchen you will need to keep in mind where you will connect your sink to.

Rain and Snow

It’s important to remember that roofs collect rainwater that will naturally flow downhill. You’ll want to include some sort of guttering system with your outdoor kitchen covering to direct the water away from your house as well as your outdoor appliances.

Related – How To Winterize Your Outdoor Kitchen

Benefits of Covered Outdoor Kitchens

outdoor kitchen roof idea

Although outdoor kitchens are functional for many reasons – added space, state of the art cooking facilities, ideal entertaining – spending time outdoors inherently has a few uncontrollable factors. Namely, the weather. Installing some sort of covering for your outdoor kitchen adds an immediate protection layer from the elements.

A well-placed canopy or enclosed porch can protect guests from an unexpected rain shower. A sturdy pergola can provide shade on those perfect, yet cloudless, sunny days and prevent sunburn and heat exhaustion. Outdoor kitchen coverings can also provide some shelter from high winds on especially breezy spring days.

Whether you choose a gazebo, a pergola or an enclosed porch, you can’t go wrong in selecting some sort of coverage for your new outdoor kitchen.

Need more inspiration for your outdoor kitchen? Visit our outdoor kitchen gallery for some ideas that will make your patio unique! We don’t just create outdoor kitchens; we create luxurious outdoor entertainment and living spaces for you to enjoy with family and friends. Talk to the industry leaders about transforming your outdoor living area and take outdoor cooking to a new level.

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Call 203-626-5625 or click to learn more about Brown Jordan Outdoor Kitchens.