8 Outdoor Kitchen Island Ideas You’ll Love

Updated: Dec. 18, 2023

These outdoor kitchen island ideas will help you create a beautiful and functional outdoor cooking space. There's one to fit every budget!

outdoor kitchen with a grill and stone tile counter tops in a desert backyardJUPITER IMAGES/GETTY IMAGES

Benefits of an Outdoor Kitchen Island

Nothing says summer and outdoor living like cooking and eating in your own back space. And what better way to enjoy your outdoor living area than with a fully functional kitchen?

And just like inside your home, a kitchen island is a great option for tying the kitchen to other areas surrounding it. Take a look at these inspiring outdoor cooking spaces.

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Waterfall Countertop Outdoor Kitchen Island

Waterfall countertops are a big trend for indoor islands, so it’s no surprise they look just as impressive in the backyard. It will cost you more in material but pays off in style, giving your outdoor kitchen a sleek and luxurious finish. This space by @newnature93 features a granite waterfall counter — a smart choice because of its durability against the outdoor elements.

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Stone Outdoor Kitchen Island

A built-in grill makes cooking outdoors a lot more convenient. But pair your built-in grill with a matching island (as shown here by @ralphceballo), and now you’re really cookin’! You’ll have double the work space. It also can be used as a serving area, or even a dining table if you add a couple of bar stools. Don’t forget to check out these built-in grill ideas.

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Two-Tier Outdoor Kitchen Island

A two-tier island/bar, like this one by @we_landscapedesign, allows space for food prep on the lower level without sacrificing dining space on the upper level. As you’re chopping, serving and grilling you can easily talk with your guests while they sit at the island.

And just because you’re outdoors doesn’t mean you can’t have fun with material choices. The mixed wood and stone in this island adds modern flair to the whole backyard living space. If you’re looking for more, then you must check out our list of modern outdoor kitchen ideas.

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Reclaimed Wood Outdoor Kitchen Island

If a custom stone island is not in your budget, don’t throw in the towel (or the grill spatula) just yet. Your outdoor kitchen dreams are still possible.

This beautiful outdoor island by @retwiggdstylist is a DIY project made from reclaimed wood and vintage metal latches. It’s a clever and affordable design, and the wheels allow you to move anywhere the backyard party takes you!

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Curved Outdoor Kitchen Island

When planning your outdoor kitchen, why not throw yourself a curveball? This curved outdoor island from @sararaak has a grill area and bar seating all in one. The curved shape not only accommodates extra seating, but mimics the curved design of the patio and the nearby circular fire pit area, cohesively integrating the island into the backyard design. Even with limited backyard space, these small outdoor kitchen ideas can help you create a functional, stylish place to cook and entertain.

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L-Shaped Outdoor Kitchen Island

Outdoor grill islands come in all shapes, sizes and budgets. If you’re a serious outdoor cook, consider an L-shaped island that can fit in all the bells and whistles.

Urban Bonfire created this stunning grill island for a client who’s wishlist included a pizza oven, a multifunctional grill, an extra burner and storage. Here’s a similar looking store-bought version that’s not exactly cheap, but more affordable than a custom job. Oh, and we also recommend the Tytus Grill Island.

Photographer: Hugo Landa Garcia.

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Outdoor Kitchen Island Cart

An outdoor island cart is lightweight and easy to move around, so you can roll it right up next to your grill as needed.

If you have the right skills, you can build an outdoor cart like this beautiful project by @12ga_customs_woodwork. Or if you don’t want to DIY, try customizing a store-bought cart (here’s a good option from Amazon).

As shown above, clever add-ons like hooks, a paper towel holder and a bottle opener add convenience and function to your outdoor meal prep area. Don’t forget to take a look at these amazing outdoor cooking station ideas.

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Outdoor Kitchen Island With a Wall

This DIY outdoor kitchen island by @home_on_the_bluff features a modern slatted wall that provides style and function. The slatted design definitely looks cool and allows for extra storage. A magnetic knife strip, along with containers for oils, vinegar and spices, all attach to the wall for convenient access without taking up counter space.