Keeping Cool: How to Provide Shade for Your Outdoor Kitchen

Posted by Michael Dougherty on May 4, 2017 1:30:09 PM

Shaded outdoor kitchenThere’s a lot to consider when designing your dream outdoor kitchen, from choosing the right appliances to setting up plumbing to making sure your kitchen is the right size.

If you’ve got a sunny exposure in your backyard, one thing you don’t want to forget is to be sure to provide some shade! After grilling the perfect hamburger, it’s a shame for guests to have to risk sunburn (or run indoors) to enjoy it.

If you don’t have a lot of trees in your backyard, you have several options to consider when it comes to providing some shade for keeping cool during sunny days.


Patio umbrellas are relatively inexpensive solution for sunny spots, and come in fun patterns to add a splash of color. Umbrellas are also temporary fixtures, meaning you can store them elsewhere during cooler weather. They aren’t completely weatherproof, however, so you’ll need to remember to clean off pollen and leaves, make sure they’re secured in heavy wind, and replace them when they get too worn or faded.


Whether you set up a simple tailgating tent or a colorful “shade sail” (made from triangular cuts of cloth suspended on poles), the idea is the same: a cloth roof that filters the sunlight over a large area. Canopies are typically sturdier than umbrellas and let guests spread out a bit more while keeping cool.

Open-roof pergolas

Another option is to include an open-roof pergola. These permanent structures can be incorporated into the overall design of your outdoor kitchen, lending visual interest and grace.

As the name implies, open-roof pergolas do let some sunshine in, so you’re not completely blocking out the sun, but they do keep your guests cooler as they enjoy the weather. In many ways it’s the best of both worlds!

Closed-roof pergolas

If you’d prefer a section of your outdoor living area that’s completely shaded, a closed-roof pergola is the way to go.

These permanent fixtures also protect you from the rain, so you can enjoy your outdoor space in any weather. (You can even safely install a TV or entertainment center if you’d like!)


Want more ideas for designing the ultimate outdoor kitchen? Read our top tips for outdoor kitchen design, plus the kitchen design mistakes to avoid.

If you live in the San Jose area and you’re ready to get your plans in the hands of professionals who can make them reality, give Unlimited Outdoor Kitchens a call at 1 (888) 7-GRILL-IT  or click the banner below to schedule a consultation.

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