Outdoor kitchens aren’t exactly the cheapest addition to a backyard. So, if you’re investing in an outdoor kitchen, you’ll want it to last for years to come. This means that you’ll need to plan everything – from the right countertop materials to whether the kitchen is open or sheltered.

One of the best ways to maintain anything kept outdoors is to cover it. So, what about covering an outdoor kitchen? Do you need to cover every part of your outdoor kitchen when you’re not using it, or just in particular seasons? After all, you’d cover a hot tub or pool if it wasn’t in use, right?

If you’re wondering whether you should cover your outdoor kitchen or not, you’ve come to the right place. Here’s everything you need to know about the importance of covering an outdoor kitchen.

Do I Need To Cover My Outdoor Kitchen?

To put it simply – yes, you need to cover your outdoor kitchen.

Covering an outdoor kitchen is the best way to maintain its quality for years to come. Without covering your outdoor kitchen, you risk exposing it to harsh elements that can cause damage. This can be anything from debris and dust to scratches and dents from objects during a storm.

So, it’s in your best interest to maintain the quality of your outdoor kitchen by keeping it covered when not in use.

What Cover Does My Outdoor Kitchen Need?

What Cover Does My Outdoor Kitchen Need

There are several kinds of covers you can use to cover your outdoor kitchen. Any of these are good options, so it mostly depends on your budget and particular needs.

Temporary Covers

If you’re on a budget, temporary covers are your best option. These are basically like fitted sheets that go over countertops and grills, which work to protect outdoor furniture and appliances. The covers are designed to keep moisture, debris, dirt, and anything else (including bird droppings) from damaging your outdoor kitchen.

Outdoor kitchens are designed for durability, so it might seem like these covers aren’t going to do anything. However, this doesn’t mean that they are indestructible. Even the hardiest countertops, like granite, will wear down over time without a suitable cover.

Also, using a temporary cover is inexpensive and doesn’t take much time to put over the kitchen and appliances. Plus, it saves you from having to clean the countertops and grill from leaves and other debris from the great outdoors!

You should get into the habit of covering your outdoor kitchen, appliances, and furniture with a temporary cover whenever you’re not using it. This includes at night and whenever there is unpleasant weather.

Permanent Covers

Permanent covers for outdoor kitchens come in a variety of forms. These include overhangs, roofs, pergolas, awnings, and gazebos. As the name suggests, these permanent covers provide permanent protection for your outdoor kitchen throughout the year, and can vastly improve the appearance of your backyard.

Installing a permanent cover is no cheap or easy task. This is a permanent addition to your backyard and potentially your house, if your outdoor kitchen is close to your house. There are lots of things to consider, too, including how large the cover needs to be to cover everything.

The standard height for a permanent cover is usually 8 feet. This is to allow enough space for all the appliances, and won’t leave the kitchen feeling cramped. Try to avoid opting for shorter ceilings, as this can make the kitchen fill with smoke and become dirty quicker. However, if the cover is too tall, it won’t protect the kitchen from the elements enough.

You also have to consider how vast you want the cover to be. Do you want it to also cover the dining table and furniture for people to sit underneath? Remember, the more people who want to entertain, the bigger the kitchen needs to be, and the bigger the cover.

Even those who have installed permanent covers have invested in temporary covers, such as grill covers, to keep the kitchen appliances extra protected. You’ve got to think about the harsh reality of wind and rain and storms, which can still affect your outdoor kitchen even with a permanent cover.

The best thing about permanent covers, however, is that they can improve the appearance of your backyard. Pergolas and awnings are particularly beautiful, and are great for providing some shade in a large garden. This is especially handy for homes that are in particularly warm areas.

Other Ways To Protect Your Outdoor Kitchen

It’s clear that a cover is a necessary purchase and installation for an outdoor kitchen. However, not all covers are going to protect other aspects of your outdoor kitchen, such as furniture like chairs, tables, and couches.

While you can use covers for furnishings, you’ll find that they are better protected when they are moved inside. This means you don’t have to bother with covering them, and also keeps the furniture protected against harsh weather conditions in winter.

If you have heavy furniture items that cannot be moved, such as a heavy table, you can find covers online. Just make sure to buy the right type of cover according to the material of the table. Aim for a heavy-duty cover that will prevent the table from soaking up moisture and developing mold or mildew. Also, the cover needs to protect it against scratches and dents.

The key to having an outdoor kitchen outside during the cold months is to winterize the furniture and outdoor kitchen. Winterizing is a term used to describe the necessary steps to prepare your backyard for winter. This includes cleaning the grill, storing the furniture away, draining the faucets and sprinklers, polishing the cabinetry, turning off the gas line, and more.

Cover An Outdoor Kitchen: Yes Or No?

The simple answer is: yes, you need to cover an outdoor kitchen!

Whenever you don’t use your outdoor kitchen, it needs to be covered. The cover can be anything from a temporary cover to a permanent roof that covers the entirety of the kitchen. Whatever the cover is, it needs to be large enough to protect the whole kitchen space and its furnishings from the elements.

Without covering your outdoor kitchen, you’ll need to spend more time and money cleaning the area, and potentially treating scratches, stains, dirt, and more.

As well as this, you need to winterize your outdoor kitchen and furniture to ensure the quality remains until the next time you use the kitchen again.


So, there you have it! Covering your outdoor furnishings and appliances is all part of having an outdoor kitchen. Outdoor kitchens are a pricey investment, so you’ll want to maintain the quality of the kitchen for years to come. Make sure to invest in a good cover system – whether temporary or permanent – to keep your outdoor kitchen looking gorgeous!

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do You Winterize An Outdoor Kitchen?

There are several things you need to do to prepare your outdoor kitchen for winter. These include:

  • Draining the water lines (faucets and sprinklers)
  • Polishing the cabinetry
  • Polishing the grill
  • Storing outdoor furniture in the shed
  • Cleaning out the ice maker
  • Emptying the refrigerator
  • Turning off the gas line
  • Ensuring everything is under a suitable cover