A Diy Outdoor Kitchen is found only at the homes for the rich and famous, right?
That actually couldn’t be further from the truth.
Now more than ever, families are using their outdoor spaces as true living spaces - as extensions of their living rooms. It makes sense that outdoor kitchens are popping up everywhere.
If you want to encourage your friends and family to spend more time outdoors (think about how clean your house will stay inside) then nothing encourages it more than an outdoor kitchen.
Beautifully designed outdoor kitchens are no longer luxury items reserved for only the privileged few. There are numerous options available for those on a budget or those who want to create a DIY outdoor kitchen.
Ideas for a DIY Outdoor Kitchen
So, you have decided you are going to take the plunge and you are going to build your very own DIY outdoor kitchen. Where do you even begin?
Here are a few pointers to help get you started.
Decide on the area and style
Really take the time to plan how big (or small) you want your DIY outdoor kitchen to be. This is not something you want to rush into. You have to be thoughtful on how far out you want to place your gas grill, seating, etc.
What about covering the outdoor kitchen? Do you want to add a pergola so you have a place to string lights? Is it in the budget to cover the entire cooking area with shelter? These are all points you have to take into consideration before you begin the project.
Once you have decided where you will place all the items, then you have to decide on a style. You can choose to go with a traditional look, contemporary or a craftsman style. This is the time to express your personality. Plus, by choosing your style early, you can shop for items as they go on sale since you know what you are looking for.
Purchase a modular outdoor kitchen
Pre-made modular outdoor kitchens are a good option for people who are unsure of building everything from the ground up. For example, you can purchase kitchens that have gas grills, mini-refrigerators, and shelves already included. There are versions available with countertops, sinks and cutting boards.
The good news is you can add to the configurations as time goes on or build around the kitchen.
Pre-fabricated kits come with everything from cabinets, to trays, to shelves and grills. You can find almost any configuration for any budget.
Buy used materials such as bricks, stone and pavers
If purchasing a pre-made outdoor kitchen set or island is still too far out of the budget or isn’t exactly what you want, then it’s time to consider building your own.
If you plan far enough in advance, you can hunt for leftover materials such as stone and pavers. These make great accents to an outdoor kitchen that you can use to accent your kitchen. Don’t think only about the cooking area either. This is the time to decide on your flooring and how it will support your new kitchen equipment.
Shop sales for appliances
The good news is appliances and outdoor grills go on sale throughout the year. If you plan far enough in advance you can start shopping for the lowest prices.
The ideal time to purchase appliances is around major holidays. If you can’t wait until a sale starts, then you can always check the clearance section at the big box retailer too. People return compact dishwashers, refrigerators and grills throughout the year because of spacing issues.
Don’t forget the permits
Depending on your local ordinances, you may have to pull a permit for the outdoor kitchen. Most cities do not require this if you are only installing a rolling cart or pre-fabricated kitchen.
Other Items for Your DIY Outdoor Kitchen
Don’t let your imagination stop at just a gas grill. Consider the following additions to an outdoor kitchen and why you might want to include one of these options. Sure, some of these are extras and nice-to-haves but if you have it in your budget then you can add an extra touch. Especially if these are items that you feel comfortable installing for yourself.
Here are additional items you may want to consider for your outdoor kitchen that will take it to the next level.
If you are going to be outside all day or have a big party, the last thing you want to do is schlepp tons of dirty dishes from outside to inside. A dishwasher is both convenient and practical. As you use various tools throughout the day as you’re grilling, then this will make cleanup a breeze.
There are compact dishwashers available in an 18” size (as opposed to the standard 24”). There are also even smaller options with dishwasher drawers that look sleek and are ultra-convenient for the outdoors.
2. Beverage Center
Having a place to keep your beverage cool throughout the day is an entertainer’s best friend. Not only will you be able to keep adult beverages cold, but you can keep lots of bottled water on hand as well. Whether it’s white wine, bottled water, beer or juice boxes, a beverage center will provide refreshment all day long.
Think of all the trips it will save from the outside to inside the house if you have all your drinks in one place throughout the day.
3. Pizza oven
If you like pizza (and who can resist homemade pizza?) then a pizza oven is one splurge that is bound to wow your friends and family. The great news is you can actually do this for a small amount of money. You can do this completely as a DIY pizza oven project or buy a pre-fabricated pizza oven.
4. Compact Refrigerators or Refrigerator Drawers
Outdoor refrigeration makes life so much easier when you are grilling out all day. Whether it’s storing the meat that will be cooked, the sauces you need or holding your favorite beverages. You will be thrilled at how much more efficient your kitchen will be if you have some sort of refrigeration.
5. Prep Area
A sink and cutting board are great additions to any outdoor kitchen. The sink makes it so easy to wash your hands after handling raw items or for washing vegetables before you toss them on the grill. It’s also helpful if you don’t have a dishwasher outside and need to quickly clean your utensils or platters.
The cutting board makes it so simple to add fresh food onto the grill, or chopping herbs for a sauce. Think about how much you use these items in your indoor kitchen and you will quickly realize what a helpful addition these are to an outdoor kitchen.
6. Additional Cabinets and Storage
You probably haven’t even realized how many extra utensils and dishes you need for grilling out all day. Between the serving platters, tools, serving utensils, plates, glasses and silverware there’s a lot to keep up with! Having additional cabinetry or shelves is a huge benefit. You can store the items away when you’re not using them and then they are ready when you do need them.
Additional shelves and storage (such as cabinets) make throwing a get-together even easier on you. If your friends and family have a habit of showing up at the last minute, then extra storage is a must for your outdoor kitchen. You won’t have to worry about having a clean set of dishes because they will be waiting on you in your beautiful outdoor kitchen.
7. Dedicated Gas Line
This may seem like a splurge but the amount of time and effort you will save by having a built-in dedicated gas line will pay for itself. You never have to worry about your propane tank running out and the last-minute trips to getting them filled.
8. Extra Burner
If your gas grill doesn’t come with an additional side burner then you may want to consider having an additional one put in. The convenience of being able to heat up a sauce while you are grilling will be worth it.
Time to Plan Your DIY Outdoor Kitchen
Now that you know how to get started with the plan and all the ideas you should consider, you are ready to get to work!
An outdoor kitchen takes thought and planning, but the end result will be worth all of the effort. It will make your backyard more enjoyable and keep your friends and family over all day long.