From a simple backyard grill, outdoor kitchens have evolved to so much more. Many kitchens already include ovens, side burners, refrigerators, and other appliances. The thing is, as your outdoor kitchen grows, the cost of purchasing additional amenities and extending space grows. How will you be able to achieve an outdoor kitchen that is more than just a grilling station while on a tight budget?
First you must find out what you really need, whether it is acceptable for you to splurge on an outdoor kitchen oozing with class and amenities or just a simple straight kitchen that has the essential things you need.
Most people don’t realize that their $1,000 dollar oven will just sit unused because no one really feels like baking bread or pizza or that their side burner is only good for sautéing onions for their grilled burgers. These appliances are not cheap; think first before you purchase.
On that note, we have gathered factors that you should consider before building your outdoor kitchen on a budget. In this article, you will also see essential and extra appliances that are not painful in the pocket but don’t sacrifice quality.
What factors affect your budget for building an outdoor kitchen?
Not only the size of the kitchen makes the cost go sky-high; the materials you choose for building, the utilities such as plumbing and electrical, and types of appliances contribute on your overall bill. Let us discuss each.
Size – As mentioned, a bigger kitchen will cost you more not only because of the expenses of building it but because it aims to house more amenities and appliances that will obviously incur more cost. Decide whether you need a simple straight outdoor kitchen or a U-Shaped or L-Shaped kitchen that is bigger.
Ask yourself the following questions: How often do you have parties or barbecue gatherings? How many people do you invite every time? Are they always satisfied with your menu?
Appliance – As discussed with the size, it is up to you if you are willing to spend more to increase the type of food you can serve aside from the usual grilled goodies. That’s not to say that grilling isn’t enough; it’s more than enough for a backyard barbecue party.
However, homeowners are willing to spend much more for variety. For example, they add ovens for baking pizza, side burners for heating up or sautéing dishes, and wine coolers. It’s really up to you.
Materials – You need to build a foundation where your outdoor kitchen will stand. Concrete for the floor and tiles will suffice. Afterwards, you can choose DIY your outdoor kitchen, purchase built counters or islands, or buy prefabricated modular islands that you can assemble. The cheapest choice is to buy island kits that you can assemble and customize the way you like.
For your countertop, you can choose if you want the material to be made of stone (the most expensive), wood, tiles, stainless steel (recommended for outdoors), or laminate (the cheapest). We have a separate article discussing all of this that you may check.
As for the appliance, sink, and cabinets, make sure to pick weatherproof materials! It should be able to withstand moisture, rain, snow, extreme cold and heat. Even if you have covers, the material should be resilient and able to protect itself. Stainless Steel is a viable option.
Utilities – This is mainly for your sink and your appliances’ electric outlets. Natural gas connection will also come into picture if you plan to have a gas oven or burner. On the plumber alone, you might spend about $1,000 or more if you don’t have existing water supply in the area where you plan to build your outdoor kitchen.
The plumber has to tap the outdoor sink to a nearby water supply and do the same thing toward the nearest waste water drainage.
Electric outlets may not necessarily be as costly; it only requires simple work by your electrician. Just make sure that the lines are covered and away from rain or wetness.
For the gas, it is recommended to spend a bit more on connecting your outdoor gas range to your existing natural gas utility indoors. This is a cheaper alternative than constantly buying propane gas tanks.
What are the appliances and amenities you should have for your outdoor kitchen?
Essential: Generally, these are the appliances and amenities that are found in a typical outdoor kitchen.
Grill – Considered as the heart of the outdoor kitchen. If you are thinking on splurging on only one appliance, then this should be it. A grill comes in many types, but the popular ones are gas grill and charcoal grill.
Char-Griller Wrangler Charcoal Grill/Smoker
- Removable ash pan for easy coal clean up
- Offset for Texas style smoking
- Attaches to all Char-Griller barrel grills (#2123, #2828, #2137 and the #5050 Duo Gas and Charcoal Grill)
Char-Broil Burner Gas Grill with Side Burner and Cabinet
- 450 square inches of primary cooking over porcelain-coated grates
- 150 square inch porcelain-coated swing-a-way rack for warming
- Three top-ported tube burners for lasting performance and better temperature control
Refrigerator – Provides ease for the cook. You don’t have to run inside your house whenever you have to get ingredients to cook. A compact outdoor refrigerator has enough size to store the meat and other stuff you have to cook for the day. It should be made of stainless steel for it to last long outdoors.
Bull Outdoor Products Stainless Steel Front Panel Refrigerator
- It is 100% fridge to maximize the holding power for your favorite beverages
- Offers premium quality at outstanding saving
- Perfect addition to any outdoor kitchen design
Orien Outdoor Stainless Steel Refrigerator
- Stainless Steel Construction with Glass Door
- Durable for indoor & outdoor use
- UL Approved for home/ Commercial use
Sink – The same with an outdoor refrigerator, an outdoor kitchen sink provides efficiency as you don’t have to run back inside to wash your hands or the ingredients you will cook.
Sunstone Grills Single Sink with Cold and Hot Water Faucet
- 304 Stainless steel structure
- Complete polished hot and cold tap in one
- Includes special soap dispenser
Sunstone Grills Premium Sink with Cutting Board
- 304 Stainless steel structure
- Complete polished hot and cold tap in one
- Commercial-style poly cutting board
Extra: Additional appliances that you can add to your outdoor kitchen.
Oven – Generally, this is for baking pizza and simple breads.
Blackstone Outdoor Oven
- Revolutionary new way to cook pizza
- Pre-heats and is ready for cooking in 15 minutes
- Makes crisp oven-style pizzas in just 6 minutes
Ecoque Outdoor Wood Fired Pizza Oven and Smoker
- The Platinum Series is one of the top tier ovens made by ilFornino, boasting over 795 square inches of cooking space.
- Constructed from the proprietary one flat cooking surface, the flooring guarantees even heat distribution and retention
- Heats up between 25-30 minutes and retains the temperature at about 850+°F. On average you can cook a pizza in less than 2 minutes Made from 430 SS stainless steel
Burner – An additional appliance to your outdoor kitchen that is good for heating up food or sautéing extra ingredients for your grilled goodies.
Lion Stainless Steel Drop In Natural Gas Side Burner
- 304 brushed stainless steel
- Size 20-1/2″ x 12-1/2″, C/O 17-1/2″ x 11-1/4″
- 15,000 BTUs, Convertible grate also functions as a wok grate.
Bull Outdoor Products Stainless Steel Double Side Burner
- Bull Stainless Steel Natural Gas Double Side Burner Makes it easy to prepare your vegetables or sauces while grilling and not having to step inside to use your stove
- A two burner unit with all the power of it's indoor counterparts
- You will have the versatility of two burners
Remember, you don’t need to sacrifice quality for building an outdoor kitchen on a budget. You just have to be wise with the appliance you will buy and the method of building your outdoor kitchen island.