How to design an outdoor kitchen island?

You don’t have to pay top-dollar for someone who will create the design for your outdoor kitchen, most specifically an outdoor kitchen island. Just save the dollars for the builders, electricians, and plumbers. However, if you are a handyman or you have prior carpentry skills, then putting together an outdoor kitchen island may not be as difficult.

The first thing that you need before you take out the drill and the hammer is to create a plan for your outdoor kitchen island. Your plan or design needs to be concrete and as detailed as possible to minimize error and rework. It is also important to note the size and design of your yard where you will install your outdoor kitchen island as well as your cooking setup.

Make sure to put in mind the safety of your users as well as the efficiency of your design. For that, we have listed some basic designs and some outdoor kitchen building ideas that will take your backyard barbecuing parties to a whole new level, whether you are planning to build classic grilling haven or a fantasy island packed with amenities.


What are the benefits of an outdoor kitchen island?

Since most families are used to having parties and small gatherings in their homes, they have often utilized their backyard for a place to grill barbecue and other goodies. This type of gathering, though informal, is much for fun and intimate. Not to mention, it also saves a great deal of money.

An outdoor kitchen makes this event much more convenient for the host and fun for the guests. However, before you will be able to enjoy this, you must first establish the location of your outdoor kitchen and the design of your island. We have listed the benefits of utilizing an island instead of the portable wheeled counters.

Benefit 1: Since most of your appliances would be placed outside for ease of use. A nicely created outdoor kitchen island will house and protect all appliances, especially the built in ones.

Benefit 2: It provides provisions for a sink as well as cabinets and storage areas for your utensils. This way you won’t have to run back inside the house whenever you need to wash your hands or when you need to grab a fork. A good sink and drawer that may be housed in your island is the:


Sunstone Premium Sink with Hot and Cold Water

SUNSTONE A-PS21 Premium Sink with Hot/Cold Water Facet and Cutting Board (Discontinued by Manufacturer)
  • 304 Stainless steel structure
  • Complete polished hot and cold tap in one
  • Commercial-style poly cutting board


Sunstone Grills Flush Triple Access Drawer

SUNSTONE B-TD18 14-Inch Flush Triple Access Drawer
  • 304 Stainless steel structure
  • 16 Gauge for frame
  • 20 Gauge for drawer cabinet


Benefit 3: The island also serves as a place where you can prepare all the necessary ingredients for the dishes to be cooked, baked, or grilled. Doing the preparation outdoors also entertains guests and promotes bonding.

Benefit 4: The island may also serve as tables for the guests where they can eat, drink, and talk while you are doing the cooking. A good-looking countertop for this will be something like the:


Home Styles 2-Tier Kitchen Island

The counters, when design and color-coordinated look fantastic.

Home Styles Woodbridge 2-Tier Kitchen Island, White Finish
  • Woodbridge two tier kitchen island
  • Made of asian hardwood
  • The compact eating area also has two hidden storage cabinets featuring magnetic push latches


What are the tips in designing an outdoor kitchen island?

The design of your outdoor kitchen must be basic enough to be built easily yet classy and pleasant in the eye. How will you be able to make this work? We have listed some factors to consider in designing:

Function – You don’t need to be a professional kitchen designer to know the basic principles of kitchen design. Take not of the cold areas (refrigerator, bars, coolers, etc.), hot areas (grills, ovens, and stoves), wet areas (sink), and dry areas (storage and preparation counters).

All these areas must work effectively and should be in the correct proximity, each with enough spaces. An example is considering not putting the wet areas and cold areas next to the hot areas.

Exposure to elements – Since your kitchen will be located outdoors, make sure that the kitchen islands would be located under shelter. Those appliances that are portable may be exempted to this rule, especially if it needs ventilation such as the grills. Or you may include additional cooking options such as open-wood flame and other types of cooking that won’t be affected by the weather.

Location – Even if your outdoor kitchen has all the necessities to function as it is, ideally, it should still be built close to your indoor kitchen. Most likely, food that you will prepare will still come from your kitchen indoors and that you are only bringing it outside for cooking or a few hours storing.

Durability – Since it will be housed outdoors, create an outdoor kitchen island that is not hard to maintain or won’t require painting or sealing. A good quality type of island would be made from stone veneer instead of real stone because the latter is heavy, expensive, and requires a mason.

A stone veneer is lighter, cuts faster, and lasts as long as real stone. A nice and affordable design would be the:


Strips Boston Blend Thin Veneer Natural Stone Siding


What are the different shapes of kitchen islands?

  1. Straight Line Kitchens – Also called a “kitchenette”, this design may have your kitchen installed against a wall or on its own facing a small bar table where guests can eat. This is ideal for smaller spaces where only one cook can man the kitchen at a time.
  2. L-Shaped Kitchen – Unlike the straight-line kitchen, this one allows two to three people to work together. While one is cutting and whipping up ingredients in one counter, the other may be cooking and grilling, making it more efficient. This type of counter may also house more appliances.
  3. U-Shaped – This is the best design for mimicking a freestanding kitchen complete with all appliances such as grill, refrigerator, dishwasher, sink, and bar area. Only use this design if you have a wide free space.



Designing your own outdoor kitchen island may be difficult at first but once you get to know the factors that you need to consider, creating the basic overall look is not that hard. You will also find that it is fun, motivating, and engaging to begin from simple drawings up to seeing your ideas built bit by bit until it becomes a reality.

How to design a Custom Outdoor Kitchen?

Thinking of a design for your custom outdoor kitchen may be easy because you already have an idea of what a kitchen looks like, and that you are basically just taking that kitchen outdoors.

What you don’t know is that there are a lot of factors concerning an outdoor kitchen. Such factors include the changing weathers, the type of appliances you would have outdoors, how big you would like your custom outdoor kitchen to be, and many more.

You also need to consider time, space and budget constraints. You may know, the hard way, that getting everything on your wish list is difficult and stressful. Sometimes, you have to choose to be wise and practical.

What’s good in designing your own outdoor kitchen is that there is no right and wrong. In the end, your wants and needs come first. This article will simply give you guidelines to ensure concrete plans that are not impossible to fulfill.


What are the factors in designing a custom outdoor kitchen?

Weather – The outdoor kitchen should be able to withstand the changing weathers. Most kitchens sport full or semi overhead roofs to protect the kitchen and appliances from sun, rain, snow, and wind. Consider getting waterproof covers for your counters when you won’t use your kitchen for a long while to avoid any corrosion and dirt.

The roof meanwhile, will protect you and your guests from heat or sudden drizzles while in the middle of a gathering. It is best to have semi roof to cover the main parts of the kitchen while a huge folding umbrella to shelter the guests, just in case. Get something fancy looking like the:


Coolaroo 11 Feet Round Patio Umbrella

Gale Pacific, USA 317171, Patio, 90% UV Block, Adjustable Tilt, Smoke COOLAROO 11' Market UMBRELLS, Shade, Round Exterior Umbrella
  • KNITTED shade fabric so it is not waterproof. Designed to reduce temperatures underneath by up to 32°.
  • Knitted fabric provides up to 90% UV block while letting air flow through the fabric.
  • Has a premium crank mechanism and tilt system which allows you to angle the umbrella to block sunlight at various positions.


Ventilation – Place your kitchen in an area where smoke or other exhausts won’t affect the guests. Have vents installed over your grill or burner such as the:


Z Line Stainless Steel Outdoor Wall Mount BBQ Range Hood

Z Line 697-36 Stainless Steel Wall Mount Range Hood, 36-Inch
  • 1200CFM High Performance Dual Motor (4 Speed) with Timer/Auto-Shut-Off
  • High Quality Stainless Steel design
  • Dishwasher-safe Baffle Filters


For the changing weathers that affect guests, have provision for outdoor electric fans during the sweltering days or heaters during the cold months. This is to ensure the comfort of you and your guests while having an outdoor party.

Space – Ensure that you have enough space in your backyard and patio for both the custom outdoor kitchen and dining area. You don’t want the entire kitchen to capture majority of the space, as it would defeat the purpose if the guests dine indoors due to limited space outdoors.

Remember, the placement of the dining area or bar tables should be relatively near the outdoor kitchen. To save up space and enjoy the cook’s company, extend the kitchen counter for dining areas and place bar stools around it. To give you an idea, purchase something like this counter:


Home Styles Woodbridge 2-Tier Kitchen Island

Home Styles Woodbridge 2-Tier Kitchen Island, White Finish
  • Woodbridge two tier kitchen island
  • Made of asian hardwood
  • The compact eating area also has two hidden storage cabinets featuring magnetic push latches


Maintenance – Since your outdoor kitchen will be exposed to the changing weather elements, make sure that the parts and materials you use are engineered for direct exposure to rain, snow, and extreme hot and cold temperatures. If you are going to use wooden cabinets, make sure that they are low maintenance and won’t split, fade, or crack easily.

The best kinds of wood that require very little maintenance are Teak, Cypress, Cedar, Beech and Ipe. Get something like the:


Winsome Wood Storage Cart

Winsome Wood Single Drawer Kitchen Cabinet Storage Cart, Natural
  • Compact rolling storage cart offers multi-use workspace for kitchens
  • Solid beechwood body and handles in natural finish; black lockable casters
  • Includes side towel rail, wide utensil drawer, and large 2-door cabinet with shelf


For appliances, sinks, and other accessories, pick ones that are made of stainless steel. Your outdoor kitchen should be providing you with relaxation, not stress and work.

Design – Many homeowners don’t consider the placement of their appliances important. Take note of the following areas: Cold area, hot area, wet area, and dry area. Design your outdoor kitchen in a way that these four areas will likely work together. An example should be that cold and wet areas should not be directly placed next to each other.

Menu – Basically, the size of your custom outdoor kitchen depends on the appliance you will place. If your menu consists only of simple grilled hotdogs and burgers, you don’t need to purchase side burners and ovens.

But if you want to serve pizzas or be able to heat up dishes or sauté sauces and caramelized onions to top your grilled goodies, then consider investing in a larger outdoor kitchen. If you have limited space but want to serve an enticing menu filled with choices, consider investing more in Kamado style cookers that not only grills, but also bakes and roasts.

An example would be the:


Char-Griller Akorn Kamado Kooker Charcoal Barbecue Grill and Smoker

Char-Griller E06614 AKORN Jr, Red Charcoal kamado Grill
  • 153 Square inch primary cooking area with cast iron grates
  • Kamado style grills promote even heating to enhance flavor
  • Easy dump ash pan for fast and simple cleanup


Guests – How often do you host parties and gatherings? How many guests do you invite every time? Surely, you won’t need double burners and big ovens for hosting a party of five to six people, right? If you have say, 15 guests, and you host at least once a week, then you might want to beef up your outdoor kitchen by adding salad bars or wine coolers. It all depends on how you intend your outdoor kitchen to function and how much you are willing to spend on it.

Storage – To avoid frequent trips inside the house just to get utensils and plates, or ingredients to cook, make sure that your custom outdoor kitchen has built-in cabinets and a refrigerator.

All that you need should be there – cooking accessories, grill tools, placemats and tablecloths, glasses, dinnerware, etc. For food, remember that you only need enough storage; you don’t need big refrigerators and coolers. Ideally, you are only feeding your guests for a day, so have enough storage for the ingredients you will cook for a day.



With all the above factors considered, you should have an idea of how to design your custom outdoor kitchen. These factors play a vital role in ensuring that your kitchen would be a haven and not a problem.

After you have built your plan or design, try taking it with you to the location where you are planning to build your kitchen and imagine it already standing there. Look around, paint in your mind all the factors mentioned, and ask yourself, does everything work harmoniously?

How to build your own outdoor kitchen?

An outdoor kitchen may be easy or difficult to build depending on the specifications and size of your appliances. You can put together your own outdoor kitchen provided that you have the necessary tools and skills to set up these appliances.

It is note-worthy to have electrical, plumbing, and masonry skills as building an outdoor kitchen requires electrical and water outlets as well as provision for exhaust. If you don’t have these skills, it is easy to consult a plumber or an electrician.

You can use their help to set up the water, gas, and exhaust requirements while you can still manage the overall designing. A builder may also be needed if you have no prior carpentry skills. This is necessary for the countertops and other cabinets.

Building the outdoor kitchen and designing it per se, may only require your efforts and attention. To help you in building your dream outdoor kitchen that will entertain friends and guests or be used for some fun-filled family time, we have listed some advantages to set you up in creating your own outdoor kitchen and some tips for designing it.


What are the advantages of having an outdoor kitchen?

  1. Outdoor kitchens give you the opportunity to host a fun-filled party where everyone can socialize including the cook, who is almost always ostracized while everyone is enjoying the food and the weather outside.
  2. Let’s face it; having an outdoor kitchen is very entertaining. A small addition of wine coolers and beverage centers in your outdoor kitchen can vamp up your party in a lot of ways.
  3. Apart from using it for parties, the whole family also suddenly jumps at having a barbecue bonding. Lazy afternoons and boring dinners suddenly become exciting just by having an outdoor kitchen.
  4. An outdoor kitchen allows you to be in touch with nature. You can cook, dine, and grill while feasting your eyes in the beauty of the surroundings, which is one of the best ways to relax with your family’s company.
  5. It lessens the mess inside the house since all preparation and cooking will be done outside.
  6. Heat will not be contained in one area, which means that you will save electricity, as the air-con won’t exert much energy in cooling your kitchen and other parts of the house.
  7. It gives you a second kitchen, which is really handy if in case you will have your indoor kitchen remodeled or repaired. It can also help you get through sudden power outages and other emergencies (plumbing or electric).
  8. An outdoor kitchen adds value to your house. This would later be beneficial if you decide to move and sell the house especially since Americans spend a great deal in upgrading outdoor living spaces.


How can you build your own outdoor kitchen?

First you need to build an island, which will be the foundation of your outdoor kitchen. To build the island, you must create a design. After you have finalized the design, determine if you will need the help of a plumber, an electrician, a mason, or all of them. However, if you are a handyman, you might just need the help of a few fellow handy-friends.

Step 1: Pick Resilient Materials. The surfaces of your outdoor kitchen must be able to withstand climate conditions. The suggested materials of your appliances, sinks, and vents should be made of stainless steel.

The counters, floors, and walls, should be made of stone, slate, or tile. The hardware of your counters should be advised for exterior use. An example of a resilient counter top is the:


Giani Granite Countertop

Giani Countertop Paint Kit, Sicilian Sand
  • Low VOC, low odor, water-based acrylic paint for transforming outdated countertops without costly replacement
  • Fun, easy DIY project complete with step-by-step instructions
  • One weekend application process that dries in a high gloss finish to simulate the look of granite


Step 2: Build counters that may effectively house or contain cabinets, refrigerator, grill, burner, oven, dishwasher, sink, recycling bins, etc. You may need to first measure the appliances to make sure that it fits in the counters.

Also don’t forget to build counters for food preparation, as well as counters for eating and drinking, paired by tall stools for built-in seating. An adorable high stool perfect for outdoors is the:


Winsome Wood Saddle Seat Stool

Winsome 94089 Satori Stool, 29", Walnut
  • From Winsome Wood, 29-inch high saddle seat stool for use at the kitchen counter or home bar
  • Crafted in solid beech wood with attractive walnut finish
  • Broad contoured seat; square legs with supportive rungs for sturdy base


Step 3: Build shelter overhead for maximum protection of your outdoor kitchen from rain and snow. The roof won’t only protect against weather conditions, you may also use it to install varying levels of light to maximize the hours you spend outdoors. An outdoor ceiling fan also helps keep the air moving. You may choose if you want a full roof, a partial roof, a pergola, or an outdoor umbrella.

Step 4: Pick appliances that will be tucked in the kitchen island you have built. Most outdoor kitchens don’t need to hold a lot of food; it only needs enough meal for the day depending on the number of your guests.

Put this in mind when purchasing affordable, small-space appliance that use less energy and only takes a small space. It is nice to have something like the:


Danby Designer Compact All Refrigerator

Danby Energy Star 70-Pint Dehumidifier
  • Portable dehumidifier removes up to 70 pints of moisture from the air per day
  • For use in rooms up to 4,500 sq. Ft. Depending upon conditions
  • 2 fan speeds (high/low) and 24-hour on/off timer


Step 5: Install outdoor electric outlets near the appliances. Since your outdoor kitchen will be freestanding, make sure to have sockets nearby to power most of your appliances. Pick those outlets with cover to protect it when not in use such as the:


Safety 1st Double Touch Plug and Outlet Cover

Safety 1st Double-Touch Plug 'N Outlet Covers
  • Includes two covers that fit over outlets with plugs
  • Child-resistant double-touch release
  • Removable and reusable


Step 6: Install a water source. Include a small sink to wash your hands or foods for preparation. This saves you from going back and forth inside the house. A bar size-sink may suffice if you already have a dishwasher installed. A great outdoor sink is the:


Bull Standard Sink Stainless Steel

804SB 30"x18"x9" Large Single Bowl 18 Gauge Kitchen Sink Stainless Steel Kitchen Sink
  • Outside Dimensions 30 X 18
  • Depth 9 inches
  • Drain Opening 3 1/2


Optional: To ensure a relaxing and enjoying outdoor cooking and dining, plant shrubs and flowers, decorate the whole place with potted or hanging plants, or better yet, plant your own homegrown vegetables and herbs for ready to pick ingredients.



It is not difficult to build your own outdoor kitchen; you just have to consider how spacious you want it, how often you will use it, and what amenities you want in it. It could go as small as just having a grill, sink, and refrigerator and go as big as a full-fledged kitchen. It is all up to you and of course, how big you want to spend in building it.

How to select your Outdoor Kitchen Countertops?

Looks alone are not enough to choose the best outdoor kitchen countertop. Although the designs and materials are very tempting, there are many other factors that should be put into consideration such as the material’s durability, maintenance, and cost.

You can get the countertop of your dreams without spending so much and at the same time, without sacrificing quality. You just have to look long and hard before deciding on what you will like. You don’t want to invest for a countertop that you will replace in only a year or two.

Remember, even a thing as small as a countertop is a long investment. You need to have something that you will like for a long time. This isn’t like a set of kitchenware, curtains, or mats that you can replace immediately.

Also, unlike an indoor countertop, you need to get something that can withstand the changing weathers. Rain, snow, and heat can really batter the countertop; make sure to get one that lasts. With that in mind, we have put together the factors that you should consider before getting a countertop as well as the different materials that may suit your fancy.


What’s the best surface material for an outdoor kitchen countertop?

The dizzying array of countertops makes it difficult for you to pick. With all the material and designs continually developed, what is the right one for you? We have listed all the most popular materials that may help narrow down your search.

Stone – Most widely picked because it offers different kinds and variations of beautiful and colorful stones that look great as countertops. It is also durable and can stand tough use of an active kitchen.

Natural stones are classic that never goes out of style and it is heat-resistant as well. However, it requires regular maintenance and resealing for food safety and aesthetic upkeep. It is also an expensive type of countertop material.

The popular stones used as countertops are as follows:

Granite – The patters and the host of colors make this countertop unique. It is highly heat-resistant and can stand up to stains and bacteria when properly sealed. However, it is also heavy, you have to install sturdy cabinets to support the weight. If you are willing to invest for this type of countertop, check out the:


Giallo Cecilia Brazil Granite Kitchen Countertop


Quartz – Crafted from resin and quartz chips tinted with color. It doesn’t come as pure as stone because it is an engineered product. But because of that quality, it is available in more colors and patterns than natural stone. Although engineered, it is quite pricey.

Marble – Gives out a sophisticated look and feel to your kitchen. It withstands heat and yet is able to keep its surface cool, great for pastry and baking stations. However, it is susceptible to stains, scratches, and chips so many homeowners don’t fully cover their counters with marble and instead only covers and area or two.

Soapstone– Soapstone has natural a matte finish and softness that makes it suitable for older or cottage-style homes. However it needs constant oil polishing and can’t handle knife scratches well. The natural roughness may also cause tiny, almost invisible marks to glassware and china.

Tile – Made from ceramic and porcelain, tile is your best bet if you like to have a variety of color and designs without having to spend too much. Its offers nearly limitless designs and is easier to use if you are going for a themed look. Tile can also withstand the changing weathers and heat.

The only downside is ceramic and porcelain are easily smashed and chipped. This however, can be easily remedied because it is fairly cheap. Be careful of damaging it however, because these small crevices may promote bacterial growth.

Wood – Homeowners choose a wooden countertop when they are going for a more natural ambience especially if their outdoor kitchen is designed traditionally. This type of outdoor kitchen countertop also sits well with the nature surrounding it and doesn’t feel out of place.

However, it may be difficult to maintain especially if its stored outdoors it may harbor bacteria and wood may swell with constant moisture exposure. It needs frequent disinfection and oiling to protect the surface. A good example is the:


Grizzly Solid Maple Workbench Top

Grizzly G9912 Solid Maple Workbench Top
  • Since the first day grizzly started we have been using these maple workbench tops in our shipping and service departments we estimated that we have
  • We estimated that we have over 200 tops in use and expected them to be in service probably for the next 50 years. our workbench tops are made of solid
  • The tops bottoms and all edges are sealed and the appearance is clear satin smooth low sheen and natural in color


Stainless Steel – With good maintenance, a stainless steel outdoor countertop can last you a good while. Like the suggested materials and appliances for outdoors, stainless steel is good against facing harsh weathers, moisture, and heat. It is indestructible and also doesn’t harbor bacteria.

Maintaining it is also easy; a simple cleanser and towel will do the trick. However, this is prone to dents and may be expensive because of the custom fabrication. Start with something like the:


Stainless Steel Sheet 20-gauge

UltraSource Stainless Steel Tray, 20 Gauge, 18" x 26"
  • Perfect for baking or roasting
  • Baked goods rise and cook evenly due to stainless steel's superior heat conductivity
  • Heavy duty 20G stainless steel is durable and highly resistant to bending


Solid Surface – Made from acrylic and polyester, these are available in a range of colors and patterns. It resists water, bacteria, and stains, making it a good option for low-maintenance outdoor countertops. However, unlike stone, solid surfaces don’t have stronger resistance against hot pans or sharp knives, as well as scratching and chipping.

Laminate – Consists of sheets glued to plywood or countertop boards, it is usually made up of paper blended with resins. It has been the popular choice for countertops because it is very cheap and can mimic all kinds of designs out there, be it stone, wood, and many others.

It has many downsides though: It is prone to scratching and burns and sometimes it peels off after moisture exposure. Laminate isn’t advisable to be used for outdoor kitchen countertops because it will be constantly exposed to adverse weathers. If you want to have an idea how it looks like, check out:


Instant Granite Counter Top Venecia Gold

Instant Granite Venetian Gold/Santa Cecilia Counter Top Film 36” x 144” Self Adhesive Vinyl Laminate Counter Top Contact Paper Faux Peel and Stick Self Application
  • AFFORDABLE ALTERNATIVE TO EXPENSIVE QUARTZ, GRANITE AND MARBLE: every Instant Granitepattern is created from actual pieces of granite or marble! Our team has spent countless hours creating designs that consumers want most.
  • AFFORDABLE ALTERNATIVE TO EXPENSIVE QUARTZ, GRANITE AND MARBLE: everyInstant Granitepattern is created from actual pieces of granite or marble! Our team has spent countless hours creating designs that consumers want most.
  • EASY INSTALL, COMES WITH INSTALLATION TOOL AND INSTRUCTIONS: all Instant Granite vinyl film come with a no Bubble backing, making installation easier than other products. Easy removal without leaving residue.The base material for Instant Granite is a high-quality, calendered PVC vinyl and is fade resistant, easy to clean with most household cleaners, easily removable and will not damage counters.



Make sure to pick the right countertop for your outdoor kitchen. Some countertops, although cheap and pleasant to the eye, won’t be able to withstand moisture and weather changes.

A cheaper countertop that won’t last you a good while and require constant replacements would be equal to getting an expensive countertop minus the hassle. Consider investing in an outdoor kitchen countertop that will last; this may cost a bit more but will be beneficial in the long run.

How to build an outdoor kitchen on a budget?

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

Char-Griller E22424 Table Top Charcoal Grill and Side Fire Box, Black
  • 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

Char-Broil Performance TRU-Infrared 450 3-Burner Cabinet Liquid Propane Gas Grill
  • 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

Bull Outdoor Products 11001 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

Orien FSB-15OD Outdoor Beverage Center, Stainless Steel
  • 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

SUNSTONE A-SS17 Single Sink with Hot and Cold Water
  • 304 Stainless steel structure
  • Complete polished hot and cold tap in one
  • Includes special soap dispenser



Sunstone Grills Premium Sink with Cutting Board

SUNSTONE A-PS21 Premium Sink with Hot/Cold Water Facet and Cutting Board (Discontinued by Manufacturer)
  • 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

Pizzacraft PizzaQue PC6500 Portable Outdoor Pizza Oven
  • Pre-heats to 700F in 15 minutes, pizza cooks in only 6 minutes
  • Heat-diffusing pizza stone cooks crust evenly
  • Domed lid deflects heat back on pizza, moisture vent prevents sogginess



Ecoque Outdoor Wood Fired Pizza Oven and Smoker

ilFornino Platinum Series Stainless Steel Wood Fired Pizza Oven
  • 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

Lion Premium Grills L5631 Natural Gas Single Side Burner, 20-1/2 by 12-1/2-Inch
  • 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 Outdoor Products 60099 Stainless Steel Double Side Burner, Natural Gas
  • 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.