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Free Outdoor Kitchen Design Software – How to Design Your Outdoor Kitchen in Just 5 Minutes

By Jayme Muller

May 26, 2022

Technology_Meets_Your_Outdoor_Kitchen

So you’ve decided to build and design an outdoor kitchen.

You’re probably quite thrilled about the process. With visions of entertaining in your luxurious outdoor space playing in your mind like a slideshow for an HGTV ad… There is much to be excited about!

Unfortunately, you’re excited until you realize how much effort it is.

If you have already begun the process and logistics of just the outdoor kitchen design, it’s likely you’re feeling…

Frustrated.

Confused.

Overwhelmed.

Technology_Meets_Your_Outdoor_Kitchen

Let’s be honest…

Outdoor kitchen design can be downright stressful.

You can draw it by hand on paper, which is fine… If you’re an architect.

Many retailers will offer a line drawing option which is okay… It just doesn’t do much for your vision. It’s pretty hard to imagine what a stick figure version of your outdoor kitchen will look like in your backyard.

Some designers can even offer an advanced 3D model of your dream outdoor kitchen. The problem? You have to pay for it. You’ve locked yourself into paying for a design before you even know if you like it or not.

The wave of questions crash so quickly in your mind you can hardly keep up…

How do I begin?

What do I have space for?

How do we plan for appliances and storage space?

Is there a free outdoor kitchen design software?

Do I have control over the design?

How will this actually look?

These are all important questions that have to be addressed. So let’s discuss.

Quick Links:

Challenges of DIY Kitchen Outdoor Design

Tamara Day and her husband planning their backyard and their outdoor kitchen

At this point, you’ve realized that designing a kitchen for your outdoor space is a huge time investment.

After sinking hours of research into layout, grills, storage, and other outdoor appliances… You may not have even gotten started!

It’s understandable why the design process can feel frustrating. You’re tired of taking one step forward and two steps back. When this happens… Many homeowners call it a truce and bring on a contractor to handle the job.

Yet, the challenge doesn’t end there.

Do You Just Use a Contractor for Your Outdoor Kitchen Space Design?

Close up of an outdoor kitchen blueprint with a pencil on the paper

Now the difficulty lies in finding a contractor that is experienced in building outdoor kitchens.

Just to let you know… There’s not many out there.

And if you do find one?

They may be a great builder… But not necessarily an expert in creating outdoor kitchen design plans. (Just something to keep in mind!)

Depending on the decisions you make… The process from start to finish can take anywhere from several weeks to several months. You know what that means?

By the time your outdoor living space is ready to use… Prime barbecue season has already gone and passed.

So what should you do about this? You want your outdoor kitchen now, not 4 months from now.

Before we dive into our free solution… Here are a few design tips to help you orient your project. After all, this will likely be the focal point of your space.

Have your own Outdoor Kitchen Idea?

Use our 3D design tool for free and bring your outdoor kitchen idea to life.

Outdoor Kitchen Design Ideas & Tips

As you’ve seen… There’s a lot to keep in mind when designing your custom outdoor kitchen!

Thankfully, it doesn’t all have to be complicated.

There are a few outdoor kitchen design principles that all homeowners would do well to keep in mind.

Let’s begin!

Remember Your Why

friends enjoying their outdoor kitchen after using free design tool software to create it

While this seems like a no-brainer… Sometimes our why gets lost in the planning process.

What do we mean by this, exactly?

Always remember why you are embarking on an outdoor kitchen project.

Are you looking at entertaining large gatherings often?

Do you want a cooking station complete with all the bells and whistles?

Or are you just looking for a reason to be in your outdoor space?

No matter your reason… Your why will dictate the elements you should design into your outdoor kitchen.

Keeping this in mind will ensure you design the perfect final design for your needs.

There’s something else you should always keep in mind…

Give Yourself Plenty of Space

fantasy brown granite countertop on outdoor kitchen

Here’s a mistake we see homeowners make all the time with DIY outdoor kitchen design.

We often get distracted with all of the glamour of appliances.

No shame there!

But by the time you add a built in grill, sink, power burner, and possibly more… You’ll quickly realize you don’t have enough counter space.

Considering that having a food prep area is a huge part of the convenience… You don’t want to miss out on counterspace!

Same goes for storage.

While not nearly as exciting as the other outdoor appliances… It’s a must have for your outdoor kitchen.

Don’t you want a place to store all your utensils and other accessories?

Of course you do!

So don’t forget to add storage. You don’t have to go crazy, either. A simple drawer will do the trick for most.

Before we show you how to design your outdoor kitchen… Here’s one more tip to keep in mind.

Don't Cut Corners

making a budget list for outdoor kitchen project

When you’re in the middle of creating your outdoor kitchen design… It’s tempting to do a couple things:

  1. Design far larger than you need or have room for

  2. Add more appliances than you need

Now, there’s not necessarily anything wrong with this!

The trouble comes in when your eyes are bigger than your stomach. More specifically… When your desires are bigger than your budget.

If your budget can handle all the bells and whistles… That’s fantastic! Go for it.

But if your budget is wincing at the cost of your grandiose design… Resist the temptation to cut corners.

Oftentimes, homeowners are tempted to use cheaper materials to keep costs down.

outdoor kitchen falling apart

Don’t fall victim to this idea!

Your outdoor kitchen should be designed to last a lifetime. That simply won’t happen if you cut corners on material quality.

In a few years… You’ll be in for a series of repairs. Sometimes, even a full replacement is necessary!

Not only is that frustrating… It’s going to end up costing you more money in the long run.

So, what can you do?

Deeply consider if you need to design your outdoor kitchen to be as large as originally planned. Unless you plan on hosting large gatherings frequently… You can probably get away with downsizing an island or removing one completely.

Secondly, take a hard look at appliances. Consider your “must haves” vs your “nice to haves”.

Whittling down a sink or refrigerator may be all you need to get your design in check.

Now that you understand a few backyard kitchen design principles…

You’re wondering how to do it yourself!

Get a 3D Model Done for Your Outdoor Space in Minutes

Ready to start your project?

Use Our Free 3D Design Tool and Bring Your Outdoor Kitchen Idea to Life!

We at RTA can empathize with the struggles of designing and building an outdoor kitchen.

Researching is exhausting… Conflicting information is frustrating… And it is challenging to find a local contractor or designer to help.

We understand there are many roadblocks on the path to designing your outdoor kitchen. Sometimes, it’s enough to make you throw in the towel. (Don’t quit yet!)

Our mission is to remove those roadblocks… And simplify the process as much as possible.

Ultimately, you shouldn’t have to compromise.

Our solution to this problem?

We created a tool to design your outdoor kitchen online for free.

This free outdoor kitchen design software allows you to design, configure, reconfigure and visualize your layout… All in a matter of minutes.

Talk about getting your design at warp speed!

And if you’re curious to discover the cost… You can start the process of obtaining a unique proposal from our Design Team.

But we’re getting ahead of ourselves.

This outdoor kitchen design tool is truly a passion project.

Several hundred hours have been invested into developing version one. We spent so much time on this design tool because we didn’t want this to be just another gimmicky sales grab. There’s already too much of that online. 

We all have enough stress in our lives. Designing a backyard kitchen doesn’t have to be another stressor.

In fact… It should be enjoyable!.

How do we accomplish this, you ask?

Good question.

You're in the Driver's Seat

person using free 3d design tool software on their laptop

The RTA outdoor kitchen design software puts you in control of the destiny of your outdoor kitchen space.

You can experiment with outdoor kitchen ideas… Receive instant results… And all from the comfort of your own home.

It’s immediate gratification at its finest. Your free plans from the outdoor kitchen design tool leave nothing to be desired. No more crossing your fingers and hoping that expectations meet reality!

Even better… You can make tweaks with a simple click of the mouse.

Don’t want the storage door? Try swapping it out for a refrigerator. Don’t want a natural gas grill? Swap in a charcoal grill or pellet grill. Don’t want a stone finish? See what modern concrete looks like.

You can configure the layout and location of appliances as well. No longer are you limited to the basic “stock photo” standard version of outdoor kitchens.

The outdoor kitchen design tool allows you to create unique outdoor kitchens to match your unique desires.

Can you see how easy it is to create an outdoor kitchen design online?

Let’s go ahead and test it.

Can't wait to get started? Go For IT!

Use our free 3D design tool to start putting together the outdoor kitchen of your dreams!

How to Design an Outdoor Kitchen for Your Space

Now that you’ve heard all about our outdoor kitchen design software… It’s time to get down to brass tacks.

How does it work?

This tool is incredibly simple to use. No technical skills are needed. Your imagination is the only prerequisite.

However… We’ll walk you through the process to make sure you’re fully confident.

Below, you’ll see a picture of a custom RTA patio kitchen. This is the design we’ll create together using the design tool.

There are only five steps from start to finish… So you’ll catch on quickly.

We’ll have your custom outdoor kitchen designed in just a few clicks! Let’s begin.

rta outdoor kitchen with umbrella

Step One: Choose Your Outdoor Kitchen Layout

It’s time to kick off this patio kitchen layout design.

The first thing you will see on your screen is a variety of layouts.

Right underneath “Select Your Kitchen Layout”, you can select linear, L-shaped, U-shaped, and galley.

Under each of these categories, more options will appear.

For the purposes of this design… We’ll be selecting L-shaped.

Now we’ll have to reference our image. Is the grill island on the left side or the right side? There’s no corner island in this example so we don’t have to worry about that.

As you can see… The grill island is on the left side in this example. So that’s the option we will select in the design tool.

You’re probably wondering how the ceramic Asado smoker fits into all this. We promise, we’ll get back to that later!

For now… Once you have the correct option selected, click “next” in the upper right hand corner.

Alright, let’s move onto the next step.

Step 1 of outdoor kitchen design tool from rta outdoor living
Step 1 of outdoor kitchen design tool from rta outdoor living on mobile

Step Two: Select Your Grill Island Size

Next, we have to determine what size you want your grill island to be.

You’ll notice in the upper left corner, one of the islands is highlighted. This is to remind you that you’re deciding on the size of your grill island, not the bar island.

Simple enough, right?

In this example… We’re working with a 7′ grill island. So that’s the option we will select.

From there, click “next”.

Step 2 of outdoor kitchen design tool from rta outdoor living
Step 2 of outdoor kitchen design tool from rta outdoor living on mobile

Now we have to select the secondary bar island size. Now, you’ll notice the island on the right side is highlighted.

The bar island in the example is 7’… So that’s what we’ll click on!

Once you’re done, click “next”.

From there, it’s time to place appliances.

selecting island size in the outdoor kitchen design tool from rta outdoor living
selecting island size in the outdoor kitchen design tool from rta outdoor living on mobile phone

Step Three: Select Your Grill Island Appliance Layout

This is where you may feel overwhelmed. There’s no need to be!

It’s true… There’s a lot going on with this page.

But don’t despair.

This page is simply showing you all of the appliance layout options available. If you don’t like the option you selected… You can always go back and adjust.

Let’s look to our example.

We have central built in grill with storage access underneath… And appliances/storage to each side of the grill.

Reviewing our example, the first option is the choice we will select. Once finished, we’ll click “next”.

Step 3 of outdoor kitchen design tool from rta outdoor living
Step 3 of outdoor kitchen design tool from rta outdoor living on mobile phone

Now, we have to select appliances for the bar island side.

You’ll notice there’s less variety with the bar. Looking at the example… We have one stainless steel fridge on the bar island.

We’ll select the first option for extra large accessories here.

After that… It’s time to select your appliances.

selecting appliance layout in outdoor kitchen design tool from rta outdoor living
selecting appliance layout in outdoor kitchen design tool from rta outdoor living on mobile

Step Four: Choosing Your Appliances

Here’s where it gets really fun!

Flipping through the available appliances is where your vision begins to take form.

As usual, we will begin working on the grill island.

Starting from the left… We need to find the option that has both a single side burner and double drawers.

To do that, you’ll simply click the arrow until you find the selection you want. Repeat this for the stainless steel grill and pull out trash.

After a few clicks… We’ve arrived at the same setup as the example.

You’ll notice that the center access doors have a green check mark on them. This simply indicates that those doors will fit underneath the grill.

Some appliance combinations in the design tool will not work in reality. It’s not common… But if it does happen, you’ll see a red icon with an exclamation mark.

Just choose another configuration, and you’re good to go!

Step 4 of outdoor kitchen design tool from rta outdoor living
Step 4 of outdoor kitchen design tool from rta outdoor living on mobile

Now, click “next” to start configuring the bar island.

With this example… The choice is easy! We’re looking for the 24″ outdoor refrigerator with the handle on the left side.

Beautiful.

When you click next… Now you’ll see where the Asado smoker comes in. You can choose to add on either a pizza oven or Asado stand.

Since the example we’re working with has an Asado… That’s what we’re choosing. Just check the box!

The design tool automatically places the stand next to the grill island. If you wanted it on the other side, all you need to do is select “swap positions”.

Since we want the Asado stand on the left… We’ll just leave it as is.

selecting appliances in free outdoor kitchen design tool from rta outdoor living
selecting appliances in free outdoor kitchen design tool from rta outdoor living on mobile
choosing add ons for outdoor kitchen design in free tool from rta outdoor living
choosing add ons for outdoor kitchen design in free tool from rta outdoor living on mobile

And voila!

We’re nearly done. There’s just one more step to review.

Step Five: Enjoy Your Outdoor Kitchen Layout

final 3d render of an outdoor kitchen design in rta outdoor livings free tool
Screenshot of the RTA Design Tool Showing How You Choose the Finish Options

After clicking away… It’s time to enjoy the fruits of your labor.

Now you’ll see your 3D outdoor kitchen design digitally rendered in front of you.

Pretty neat, right?

By default, your design will appear in a Weathered Wood Ash finish.

You can easily switch up the finishes and countertops on the right hand side. Select either “Pick Countertop” or “Finish Style” to see which combination you prefer. You’ll find we offer granite countertops in addition to concrete.

Feel free to play around with it. This is supposed to be fun, after all!

Since our example’s finish appears in Stacked Stone Graphite… We’ll select that option.

You can also view your design from any angle. Click and drag on the screen to discover the full experience.

No need to admire from afar, either. You can scroll your mouse to get a closer look at everything.

Curious about the surround texture? Go ahead, take a close peek.

And there you have it. A complete custom outdoor kitchen design… All done in a few minutes.

With the RTA outdoor kitchen design app, everything is within your grasp. Talk about convenience.

Now, let’s see how it works for real customers!

Outdoor Kitchen Designs from Happy Customers

Everyone loves a good success story.

That’s why we’ve decided to compile some photos here from happy customers.

These customers used our design tool, worked with our Design Experts… And ended up with beautiful outdoor kitchens.

Here are some great outdoor kitchen ideas:

dark plank outdoor kitchen 3d render design from free software by rta otudoor living
l-shape rta outdoor kitchen with dark plank finish built on a deck
straight outdoor kitchen island design from free design tool software
straight outdoor kitchen island with a stone finish on a patio
3d render of an l shape outdoor kitchen equipped with a grill and side burner
L shape rta outdoor kitchen with stone finish and pizza oven

Still Not Convinced?

Allow us to put you at ease. Here’s a quick clip of Charlie Moore, ‘The Mad Fisherman’, designing his RTA outdoor kitchen with our design tool.

As we’ve been saying, it really is as easy as a few clicks!

It took just a few minutes for Charlie to design his kitchen and ordered shortly thereafter. As you can see in the video, the exact kitchen he designed arrived in his yard and came together in one afternoon.

Doesn’t get much easier than that!

Trust us, you can do this.

So what’s next?

Bonus

So you’ve finished your outdoor kitchen island design… And it looks fantastic!

You’re ready to add your dream outdoor kitchen to your backyard. Now what?

Get a Free Quote!

showing the location of the free quote button in the rta outdoor living free design tool software
showing the location of the free quote button in the rta outdoor living free design tool software on mobile device

On the right hand side of the page displaying your design (top left if you’re on a mobile device), there is a button that says “Free Quote”. Click on it.

You will be led to a simple form to fill out. Basic contact info, project related questions, and any additional comments.

Your design will be sent to one of our Design Experts to assess and create a unique proposal. They will get back to you and answer any questions you may have.

And there you have it. It’s that easy. We can guide you from not knowing where to begin to a full outdoor kitchen design (and proposal on the way) in minutes.

Our goal was to make this process as easy as possible for you and allow you to make informed decisions.

We know how busy you are. The process of designing an outdoor kitchen can seem daunting… Like a chore. We wanted to remove this stress and make the process enjoyable.

With all the stress and frustration removed… That leaves you with more time to host the moments that matter.

You can thank us later!

ready to consult an expert?

Our RTA Design Experts are ready to help you get your outdoor kitchen project in motion. Book a call below to get started.
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