Although there are a variety of covered outdoor kitchen ideas to choose from, the canopy is the simplest, most flexible, and least costly to install. Canopies for outdoor kitchens can serve a dual purpose: they can shield diners from the elements while also adding style to the dining area.
Canopies are available in a range of types and sizes. A durable, large metal canopy, for example, can double the size of your outdoor kitchen area while still providing durability in areas of changing weather. Alternatively, like this fun example from Houzz, you can choose a more trendy canopy with striking architectural features to define the space.
Pergolas are a sophisticated choice for covered outdoor kitchen designs, similar to a canopy but with an Italian look and feel. A pergola is a garden feature consisting of vertical posts or pillars that support cross-beams and a sturdy open lattice, often upon which woody vines are trained, that forms a shaded walkway, passageway, or sitting area.
It may also be an extension of a house, provide cover for an open terrace, or serve as a link between pavilions as a form of gazebo. Pergolas are traditionally made of wood. Aluminum pergolas are also available, but they appear to be more minimalist in nature and are better suited to a modern backyard or patio environment (unlike the Mediterranean look of the traditional wood).
Gazebos are a form of gazebo.
While the terms "gazebo" and "pergola" are often used interchangeably, gazebos are distinct in that they are often round. An octagon-shaped gazebo with a domed roof supported by eight symmetrical pillared columns is the most typical style of gazebo. Traditional gazebos are made of wood, but several manufacturers now produce metal gazebos as well. Metal frames with metal roofs and metal frames with canvas roofs, which have a tented look, are the most common forms of metal gazebos.
While outdoor kitchens are useful for a variety of reasons – more space, state-of-the-art cooking facilities, ideal entertaining – there are a few uncontrollable aspects to spending time outside. The weather, to be exact. Installing a cover for your outdoor kitchen provides an immediate layer of security from the elements.
A well-placed canopy or enclosed porch will shield visitors from a sudden downpour. On those ideal, cloudless sunny days, a sturdy pergola will provide shade and avoid sunburn and heat exhaustion. On particularly windy spring days, outdoor kitchen covers may also provide some insulation from the elements.
You can't go wrong with any kind of cover for your new outdoor kitchen, whether it's a gazebo, a pergola, or an enclosed porch.