Things to Consider When Creating Your Outdoor Kitchen

If you enjoy entertaining friends and family, a kitchen on the deck or in the courtyard provides a well-equipped place to prepare food and spend time. A professionally built outdoor kitchen can cost a homeowner between $5,000 to $30,000, depending on the features. You can save money by completing a lot of the work yourself. Here are a few ideas for creating an outdoor kitchen.

Creating a Budget for an Outdoor Kitchen

Having a basic idea of the features you want will allow you to estimate the overall cost of the project. Determine the size of your kitchen, allowing space for materials, appliances, and accessories. Choose cabinets and countertop materials as you plan your food prep area. Shop around for appliances. Will you have a built-in grill, a wine fridge, or maybe a pizza oven? You’ll also want to plan for installation costs. For example, if you’re not experienced with sink installation, you can hire a professional for this part of the project.

Choosing a Location

When considering where to put an outdoor kitchen, you might choose an existing deck, patio, or courtyard. You can also build a patio and create a new outdoor space for your kitchen. There are two basic types to consider:

Perimeter Kitchen

A perimeter kitchen offers closer proximity to the home, and it is usually adjacent to the indoor kitchen space, often via a sliding door or covered walkway. Because perimeter kitchens feel like an extension of the home’s kitchen, they will not need to be fully outfitted with sinks, prep space, and appliances. You will probably only add the basics like a grill and maybe a small refrigerator.

A Satellite Outdoor Kitchen

This type of kitchen is set away from the home itself, so it is self-contained. It must have all the necessary components of a fully functioning kitchen. Because of this, you’ll need to run utilities to the kitchen and include a sewer hook-up. A satellite kitchen will require more appliances. Budget for a grill, refrigerator, and sink for a full outdoor kitchen.


Depending on what functions you desire, an outdoor kitchen can include any of the following appliances.

Add a Grill

Whether you choose a built-in model or freestanding grill, 32” is a good size if you’re only cooking for your family. If you often entertain larger groups, you can find a variety of grills that are 42” and larger.

Your Outdoor Kitchen Will Need a Stove

There are options for gas or electric stoves that are manufactured to be safe when used on a patio or deck. If you choose a wood-burning stove it will need space for the chimney. You might opt for a grill with side-burners instead of installing an entirely separate cooking appliance in your outdoor kitchen.

Another popular option for outdoor kitchens is a pizza oven. These stone fireplaces feature a chimney and an opening large enough to slide a pizza in. Instead of ordering take-out, this addition to your kitchen is a fun and easy way to enjoy a family meal outdoors.

Choose a Refrigerator

Especially if you opt for a satellite kitchen, you’ll need a convenient way to keep foods and beverages cold. You might choose a standard-size fridge or a smaller dorm-size model, depending on your needs and available space. When considering refrigeration appliances, you might also add a beer keg and/or wine cooler.

Choose a Style When Creating an Outdoor Kitchen

The theme of your outdoor kitchen could be functional and center around a grill and prep station, or it could be more about the ambiance of the space itself. Choose a theme to help personalize the kitchen.

• Country chic with rustic wood
• Corrugated tin with pallet backdrop for hanging pots and pans
• Adobe with clay ovens
• Repurposed wood with natural stone
• Concrete slab foundation and countertops
• Sleek and modern stainless steel

No matter what you choose, you will get years of enjoyment spending time outdoors with friends and neighbors. Create a space that you can enjoy by deciding on appliances and creating a budget for your kitchen.

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