Building an Outdoor Kitchen: Wood-burning Stove

Lead Image
  • 5-6 hours
  • Advanced
  • 400-500
What You'll Need
Old water heater metal container tank
Insulating materials (insulating brick, pumice rock, wood ash, or vermiculite)
Welding equipment
Drill set

When you have an outdoor kitchen, you can literally have an enjoyable meal anytime, whether with family or friends. Outdoor dining is one of the best dining experiences one can have as you can dine while enjoying the scenery or the weather. To build an outdoor kitchen, you must have your own wood-burning stove.

Step 1 - Prepare Your Equipment and Materials

The old water heater metal container tank that can hold 30 to 50 gallons of water can be found at local dumpsters or from friends discarding their old water heaters. Make sure the inside of the metal tank is rust-free.

Step 2 - Set Up Your Stove Tank

Cut off the top part of the tank and place it upside down. Then weld the sides and use the flat portion to create the flat cooking surface. Create a hole at the back portion to use as an air channel.

Step 3 - Insulate Your Tank

Use lightweight, heat-resistant materials as insulating agents to create your wood-burning stove. Properly insulating your wood stove for your outdoor kitchen will keep the fire and heat from going through your stove as it will just go towards your pot.

Step 4 - Create an Opening Port

At one end of the stove, create an opening port where you can open to add your wood to increase the fire and increase the heat.

Step 5 - Create a Chimney Pipe

An insulated chimney is best when it is placed above the fire. It will increase the heat transferred to the pot above. The chimney should be about two to three times taller than the starting point of fire where the woods are placed for burning. The gaps between the pot and the top portion of the stove should be minimized to allow less heat to be released for maximized cooking properties.

Step 6 - Color Your Stove

It is best to color your stove black to allow more heat to be absorbed. A dark, earth-toned color is always best for heat absorption. Painting your stove will also help preserve the metal properties of the stove and prevent it from corroding too quickly.

Important Tips to Remember

Avoid using flammable liquid gas to start the fire—this is very dangerous. Install a smoke detector near your outdoor kitchen. Regularly test it to determine if it is still working. Clean your chimney regularly as creosote builds up over time. Creosote can be a source of chimney fires and should always be removed once present. You may include a glass or metal cover on your wood stove. Also put some holes on it to allow a draft to enter and help build a lasting and good fire.