How to Weatherproof an Outdoor Kitchen

A small outdoor kitchen with a wood-burning oven surrounded by plants.

Outdoor kitchens are a great way to enjoy the summer weather while retaining some of the comforts of the indoors. When bad weather hits, however, you want to make sure your outdoor kitchen can withstand the elements. Here are a few ways you can weatherproof your outdoor kitchen and ensure it stands the test of time.


Determining the best location will help ensure a pleasant experience no matter the weather. Note the general wind patterns in your area so that smoke from the grill doesn’t enter the home. You also want to avoid building your kitchen in an area that might block your view to the yard. If possible, place your outdoor kitchen in an area that offers more protection from the elements, such as underneath a covering or a mature tree.


The floor layout is the foundation of your outdoor kitchen and it needs to be well protected from the elements. You need to keep the climate in mind and how any moisture might react to different surfaces. For example, avoid using tile or marble flooring because rain will make it slippery. Wood is a great alternative and can be weatherproofed for outdoor conditions. You can also stain it to match your appliances and countertops.


An outdoor kitchen with patio umbrellas.

Covering your outdoor kitchen with a canopy or roof will enable you to cook in all kinds of weather. You can also build walls to protect against high winds or install umbrellas to shade the sun. Installing these coverings will largely depend on your climate. For example, you might want to invest in heat lamps in areas where cold weather is a concern or a mosquito nets to guard against insects.


If you want to use your outdoor kitchen throughout the day and night, consider installing a few lights. Lights will help you see what you're cooking on the grill and provide an extra layer of comfort for your guests. When installing lights, make sure you use outdoor fixtures and make sure none of the wires are exposed to the elements. Follow safety guidelines whenever doing outdoor electrical work.

Wood Finishes

It's tempting to use oil finishes on wood because they really bring out the grain. Unfortunately, you’ll have reapply them every year. Other finishes, such as polyurethane and spar varnish, don’t hold up well under in direct sunlight. Instead of traditional finishes, consider applying exterior grade paint, which does better in the elements.


An outdoor kitchen with stainless steel appliances.

Your appliances will determine the size of your outdoor kitchen. You need to provide enough space for each appliance and make sure they can survive the sun and rain. Stainless steel and ceramic appliances are weather-resistant and durable, making them a great choice for outdoor kitchens. (To get the most out of your appliances, avoid placing them next to each other and give them plenty of room on all sides.


When constructing your outdoor kitchen, use non-rusting hardware and fasteners. This includes nails, nuts, screws, hinges, and bolts. Taking this extra precaution will lessen the chances of rust and rust stains. In the event of rust, a mixture of oxalic acid can help remove stains.


An outdoor kitchen and dining area with black chairs and a table.

There are many ways you can weatherproof furniture. Avoid purchasing materials that don’t stand up to moisture. Instead, buy pieces that are easy to clean and waterproof. If the furniture is wood, you can waterproof it using a sealer of your choice. Just make sure to reapply the sealer whenever necessary.