What Is a Summer Kitchen?

What Is a Summer Kitchen?

Summer kitchens have been around for centuries, and their purpose has always been the same: to provide a space where food can be prepared and cooked outside of the main house. Summer kitchens were often used by farmers and other people who spent a lot of time outdoors, as they provided a convenient place to cook food without having to heat the main house. This article will discuss the history and purpose of summer kitchens!

History of a Summer Kitchen

The concept of building a summer kitchen originated in Europe in the Middle Ages. At this time, it was often referred to as an “outdoor kitchen” or an “outhouse” and was used for food preparation during the hot summer months.

During this era, cooking over an open flame or furnace was not feasible; instead, most homes cooked over fire pits that were located outside. This necessitated having a special area outside where people could prepare meals without having to go inside their homes each time they needed something cooked. As such, many European households began constructing separate kitchens away from their main house which were specifically designed for outdoor cooking.

These structures became known as summer kitchens because they served the same purpose as the main kitchen but were located outside and away from the house, allowing people to enjoy cooking outdoors during the hot summer months without having to enter their homes. Some of these kitchens were built on small islands off the coast of Europe while others were constructed near a lake or a stream.

History of a Summer Kitchen

Over time, more and more European households began building summer kitchens and by the late 1800s, they had become commonplace in many parts of Europe. Eventually, this trend spread to other parts of the world, including North America where they are still used today.

Summer kitchens are ideal for individuals who want to take advantage of outdoor cooking during hot weather or who simply don’t have access to an indoor kitchen. They provide all the necessary tools and equipment for cooking outdoors and can be used to prepare a variety of meals. In addition, many summer kitchens are equipped with special features such as grills, smokers, fire pits, and other amenities that make outdoor cooking even more enjoyable [1].

Key Elements for the Perfect Summer Kitchen

Strategic Storage Solutions

Storage is key when it comes to creating a perfect summer kitchen. A well-organized space allows you to quickly access what you need and find the right ingredients for your recipes. Make sure that you have enough storage space for all of your tools, dishes, and ingredients. Utilize shelves, drawers, cabinets, and baskets to keep everything tidy and in its place.

Prep Space

Your countertops should be functional while still looking good with the overall design of your kitchen. Choose materials that are easy to clean like granite or quartz so you can easily wipe away spills and messes. Install backsplashes near the stovetop area to protect walls from cooking splatter as well as add a decorative touch. Make sure your countertops have plenty of room for all of the prepping and cooking that you’ll be doing over the summer months.

Entertainment Center

Create a space in your kitchen that allows people to gather, watch T.V., or just relax and chat. Consider incorporating an island with bar stools, setting up a seating area, or installing a mini fridge for drinks and snacks. This will provide the perfect spot for friends and family to hang out while you are cooking dinner or hosting parties.

Shade and Breeze

There is nothing more annoying than having a kitchen that’s too hot and humid during the summer months. Installing fans, blinds, or screens can help with temperature control, as well as provide additional privacy when needed. Try to position windows strategically so you can take advantage of natural ventilation and get some cool breezes coming into your kitchen.

Key Elements for the Perfect Summer Kitchen


Proper lighting is essential for any summer kitchen – it will help create an inviting atmosphere as well as make food prep much easier. Natural light from windows can brighten up the room and make it feel larger, but if your kitchen gets too hot in the summer months then consider using window treatments like blinds to block out some of the sunlight. Accent lights such as pendants or recessed lighting can be used to highlight certain areas or to provide a cozy atmosphere.

Having functional lighting in your kitchen is essential for any type of cooking or preparing that you may do. Install light fixtures in different areas of the room to create different levels of brightness throughout. Focus on task-specific lights like over the stovetop or near prep spaces so you can have enough light while cooking without overwhelming the space.

Mini Fridge

Having a mini fridge in the summer kitchen is great for storing snacks, drinks, and leftovers. Make sure it’s easily accessible so you don’t have to run around looking for things. Placing a mini-fridge near your prep area or seating area can be helpful when entertaining guests as well.

Outdoor Cooking Station

If you’re lucky enough to have access to an outdoor space then consider adding an outdoor cooking station. A grilling station or outdoor stove can be a great way to take the cooking outside and enjoy cooking outdoors. If you’re tight on space then consider adding a portable grill or smoker to your backyard so you can still have the convenience of an outdoor cooking station without taking up too much room. Consider also a sink and countertop area where you can do some of your prepping outside. This will be perfect for outdoor parties and family gatherings. Creating a summer kitchen should be a fun and enjoyable process.

Heating Source

If you live in a colder climate, then having a heating source for the kitchen is essential. This could be something as simple as an electric heater or space heater that can be plugged in to provide extra warmth on cooler summer nights. You may also want to consider installing radiant floor heating if you have tile floors in your kitchen. Having a reliable source of heat will help make sure that your summer kitchen remains comfortable and cozy even when it gets chilly outside.


Don’t forget about the accessories that will help bring your perfect summer kitchen together! From colorful placemats and dishes to rugs and curtains, there are plenty of ways to add some personality to your space. Invest in quality tools such as wooden cutting boards, whisks, tongs, knives, and more to make sure you have all the necessary items for prepping food. Adding plants or herbs is also a great way to bring life into your summer kitchen and make it more inviting [2].


Benefits of a Contemporary Summer Kitchen

A summer kitchen is an outdoor cooking and dining area that offers numerous benefits to homeowners. Here are a few of the most popular advantages of contemporary summer kitchens:

  1. Increased Home Value – A well-designed, modern summer kitchen can add significant value to your home. It increases the usability and livability of the outdoor space and makes it easier for potential buyers to envision themselves living in your home;
  2. Enhanced Entertaining Capabilities – Traditional kitchens can quickly become overcrowded when entertaining guests, but a contemporary outdoor kitchen provides extra space and versatility for hosting parties or large gatherings. Outdoor grills and wells allow you to prepare delicious meals without worrying about running out of room or having to move indoors during inclement weather;
  3. Versatile Styling Options – There are a variety of stylish and sophisticated designs available to create a contemporary outdoor kitchen that fits your tastes and needs. From classic stone countertops to modern stainless steel appliances, you can customize your summer kitchen with whatever features will make it most enjoyable for you and your family;
  4. Improved Comfort Level – Having an organized, functional outdoor space makes entertaining more comfortable for everyone involved. You don’t have to worry about running inside every few minutes or dealing with the mess and smells of cooking indoors. Instead, you can enjoy the fresh air while preparing meals in a beautiful contemporary setting;
  5. Cost-Effectiveness – Contemporary summer kitchens are much more affordable than traditional indoor kitchens due to their limited size, simple design, and minimal materials. Plus, many outdoor kitchens are built to last, so you won’t need to worry about costly repairs or replacements anytime shortly;

Overall, contemporary summer kitchens provide an attractive way to improve your outdoor living space while also increasing your home’s value. With so many benefits, it’s no wonder why this type of kitchen is becoming increasingly popular among homeowners. Whether you are looking for a functional space for entertaining guests or just want to enjoy the outdoors from the comfort of your own home, a modern summer kitchen is sure to be an excellent addition to your property [3].

Benefits of a Contemporary Summer Kitchen

Summer Kitchen as a DIY Project

Summertime is the perfect time to tackle home projects and one of the most rewarding DIY projects that you can do is creating a summer kitchen in your backyard. A summer kitchen also referred to as an outdoor kitchen, is a great way to bring extra space and convenience while also adding value to your home. With some planning and hard work, you can create a beautiful outdoor living area that will make your summer gatherings even more enjoyable.

Before starting your project, it’s important to consider what type of design and features you want for your summer kitchen. You’ll need to plan out where it will go about other elements in your backyard such as seating areas or existing decks or patios. Think about how you’d like to use the space and plan out the details such as appliances, materials, and counters. 

When it comes to building your summer kitchen, there are many options available to choose from. You can build a basic structure with simple materials such as pressure-treated lumber or cinder blocks or opt for more permanent structures made from brick or stone. Don’t forget about adding amenities such as a sink, grill, refrigerator, and other items that will make your space even more functional. After your summer kitchen is built you can decorate it with furniture, plants, lights, and other accessories so it feels like an extension of your home inside and out.

Creating a summer kitchen in your backyard is not only rewarding but also a great way to add value to your home. With some planning and hard work, you can create an area that will be enjoyed by family and friends for many years to come.

Exploring the Concept of a Summer Kitchen: Definition and Characteristics

A summer kitchen is a unique culinary space often associated with warm-weather cooking and outdoor living. Below is a detailed comparison of the definition and key characteristics that define a summer kitchen.

Aspect Summer Kitchen Definition Key Characteristics
Design and Location A summer kitchen is an outdoor or semi-outdoor cooking and food preparation space, typically separate from the main indoor kitchen. Characterized by its location outside or in a separate structure from the main kitchen, primarily used during the warm months. Open-air or semi-enclosed cooking area. Equipped with grills, stoves, or outdoor ovens. May include dining and seating areas.
Seasonal Use Summer kitchens are designed for warm-weather use, often in spring, summer, and early fall when outdoor cooking and dining are enjoyable. Primarily used during the warmer seasons to take advantage of pleasant weather and outdoor living. Ideal for barbecues, picnics, and al fresco dining. May be equipped with features like shade structures, fans, or misting systems for comfort. Designed for social gatherings and entertaining.
Functionality These kitchens are equipped with cooking appliances and tools tailored for outdoor and warm-weather cooking. Designed to support outdoor cooking with grills, stoves, sinks, and food preparation areas. Grilling and barbecuing capabilities. Convenient food preparation and serving areas. May include refrigeration and storage for outdoor dining.

Explanation of the table:

This table provides a detailed comparison of a summer kitchen, emphasizing its definition and key characteristics. A summer kitchen is a dedicated outdoor cooking and dining space designed for warm-weather use, promoting outdoor living and social gatherings. It typically features cooking appliances, seating areas, and amenities tailored for outdoor culinary experiences.


What is the point of a summer kitchen?

A summer kitchen is a separate outdoor kitchen that was traditionally used to reduce the heat and smoke in the main house during the hot summer months. It was also used for food preparation, cooking, and socializing. Summer kitchens are still popular today as they provide an additional area for entertaining guests or preparing meals outside of the home. Furthermore, a summer kitchen can be relatively inexpensive to construct and allows families to work together in preparing meals without having to worry about heating up their homes.

What is an outdoor kitchen called?

An outdoor kitchen is typically referred to as a summer kitchen or an alfresco kitchen. It is often built outdoors and can include features such as grills, countertops, cabinets, and other amenities for cooking and entertaining. Outdoor kitchens are perfect for those who love spending time in their backyard or patio during the summer months.

What should I consider when building an outdoor kitchen?

When building an outdoor kitchen there are several things you should consider beforehand. For example, you need to think about the size of your space, how it will be used (e.g., entertaining guests or preparing meals), the types of appliances you may want to include, where the utilities will come from (e.g., gas lines), any necessary permits or zoning requirements, and the cost associated with building your outdoor kitchen. Additionally, it’s important to take into account the weather in your area and make sure that your outdoor kitchen is designed to withstand any potential climate changes throughout the year.

What are some features of an outdoor kitchen?

An outdoor kitchen can include features such as countertops, grills, cabinets, sinks, refrigerators, and more depending on the size of your space and what you plan on using it for. Other popular features may include pizza ovens, smokers, fire pits, built-in bars, or seating areas for entertaining guests. Whatever you choose to add to your outdoor kitchen should match the overall aesthetic of your outdoor space while still being functional and efficient.

Are outdoor kitchens expensive to build?

The cost of building an outdoor kitchen can vary greatly depending on the size and features you opt to include. Generally speaking, a basic outdoor kitchen with countertops, grills, and cabinets will typically cost less than one with more complex features such as pizza ovens or built-in bars. Ultimately, it is important to create a budget before beginning any construction so that you don’t end up overspending on your project.

Are outdoor kitchens expensive to build?

What are the benefits of an outdoor kitchen?

An outdoor kitchen provides a variety of benefits for homeowners. Aside from adding value to your home, an outdoor kitchen allows you to entertain guests or prepare meals without having to heat your house. Additionally, it allows you to spend more time outdoors and enjoy the fresh air while cooking and socializing with family and friends. Finally, an outdoor kitchen can be relatively inexpensive to construct and maintain depending on the features you choose to include.

What is a detached kitchen?​

A detached kitchen is a type of outdoor kitchen that is completely removed from the main house. This allows for more flexibility in terms of design and can provide additional space for entertaining guests or preparing meals. Detached kitchens are also typically less expensive than attached kitchens as they do not require any modifications to the existing home structure. Furthermore, most detached kitchens are constructed with weather-resistant materials so that they can withstand any climate changes throughout the year. ​

How to make an outdoor kitchen cheap?

One of the best ways to make an outdoor kitchen on a budget is to use your DIY skills and creativity. You can construct countertops out of wood pallets, use bricks or stones for the flooring, repurpose old furniture as seating options, and add features like fire pits or built-in grills without breaking the bank. Additionally, you should be sure to shop around for materials that are within your price range while also looking at second-hand stores and online classifieds for any furniture pieces or appliances you may need. Finally, you should research any necessary permits or zoning requirements before beginning construction to avoid any unexpected costs down the line.

What is the primary purpose of a summer kitchen?

The primary purpose of a summer kitchen is to provide a separate, seasonal cooking and dining space that allows you to prepare meals without heating up your main indoor kitchen during hot summer months. It’s designed to keep your home cooler and enhance your outdoor living experience.

What are some common features of a well-equipped summer kitchen?

A well-equipped summer kitchen often includes a grill, countertops for food preparation, storage for cooking utensils and accessories, a sink with running water, and seating for outdoor dining. Some may also have a small refrigerator, a cooktop, or a wood-fired pizza oven, depending on your preferences and needs.

Is a summer kitchen only suitable for warm climates, or can it be used year-round?

While summer kitchens are especially popular in warm climates, they can be used year-round in various regions. In colder climates, you can consider adding features like outdoor heaters or a covered structure to make the space more comfortable during the cooler months, allowing you to use your summer kitchen throughout the year.

What are the advantages of having a summer kitchen in your outdoor space?

The advantages of having a summer kitchen include reducing indoor cooking heat during the summer, expanding your living and entertaining space, enjoying the outdoors while cooking, and enhancing the overall value and appeal of your home. It also promotes a more relaxed and social cooking and dining experience.

Can I customize the design and features of my summer kitchen to suit my needs and preferences?

Yes, you can customize the design and features of your summer kitchen to match your specific needs and preferences. You have the flexibility to choose the appliances, materials, and layout that best align with your outdoor cooking and entertaining goals. This allows you to create a personalized and functional space.

Useful Video: The Summer Kitchen


Summer kitchens are an essential example of how humans have adapted to the climate and environmental conditions. By allowing families to cook outside, they created a space where the heat generated by stoves, open fires, or charcoal braziers can be better endured in hot weather. Summer kitchens provide an efficient way to reduce indoor temperatures during the summer months, saving energy costs and preserving the traditional cooking methods that are still relevant today. With their unique blend of functionality and practicality, these outdoor spaces offer many benefits for those looking for a more comfortable summer experience. Ultimately, summer kitchens offer an important reminder that thoughtful design has been used throughout history to adapt to climatic conditions and make life easier.


  1. https://www.thespruce.com/what-is-a-summer-kitchen-5214353
  2. https://buildingalifestyle.com/five-key-elements-for-the-perfect-summer-kitchen/
  3. https://www.homestead.org/homesteading-construction/summer-kitchen/