10 Must-Haves for a Great Outdoor Kitchen

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    With the desire to move as many everyday activities to the great outdoors as possible, outdoor kitchens are among the many ways people are finding to spend time outside. Not to mention, it is a great way to add to your home’s appeal and showcase your style.

    This post will break down considerations when looking to build an outdoor kitchen. Many features would make it your favorite area of the house but narrowing it down to ten would help make the decision easier. The below suggestions can all be implemented in a budget-conscious or more luxurious way.

    How Much Does it Typically Cost to Build an Outdoor Kitchen?

    You can make your backyard kitchen as expensive or inexpensive as your budget allows. Obviously the less you want to spend, the more you’ll have to sacrifice for your space. With that in mind, planning is of the essence to ensure you stay within your budget.

    The current national average for an outdoor kitchen is around $13,500. This average is coming from a range of between $5,513 and $21,825. With this wide range, you have quite a bit of wiggle room to decide what your absolute must-haves are to make sure you’ll get the most use out of the space.

    Two of the important costs are assembly and maintenance. When it comes to assembly, you can either take the project on yourself and make it a DIY or hire someone. You can have a 20%-40% cost savings on the total project if you’re handy enough to do it yourself. (You may be able to save a little more money if you just cover a concrete patio that you already have!)

    Maintenance is a cost that sneaks up on you. Adding a new room to your house with many electrical hook-ups will drive up costs and monthly bills. The more functional you make your outdoor kitchen, the more you will end up paying on an ongoing basis that isn’t just a one-time fee.

    Is an Outdoor Kitchen Worth it?

    Deciding if a backyard kitchen is worth it depends on a handful of things. The question you should ask yourself is if you’re going to be getting your money’s worth. Outdoor kitchens are undoubtedly an investment and you ultimately need to make sure that you’re going to be spending a considerable amount of time using your new outdoor space. (Check out these amazing backyard ideas on a budget!)

    The climate you live in can also be a major determinant. A warm climate where winters are much more tolerable may mean that you’re going to be using the space most months of the year. Those who live in cooler regions may only have a few good months of use during the year.

    Regardless of any of the above, outdoor kitchens bring people together and give us another reason to spend time outside. If you’re ready to make the investment and begin the project, based on this alone, an outdoor kitchen will add value to your life.

    10 Must-Haves for A Great Outdoor Kitchen

    There are plenty of fun features that could be added to an outdoor kitchen. What’s important will vary from person to person. Weighing out the pros and cons of everything you might want will be useful in making sure your expectations aren’t higher than your budget.

    After narrowing down a long list of features, below are the top ten hands-down best features an outdoor kitchen could have. This list includes components of functionality but also aesthetics. Part of what makes an outdoor kitchen amazing is the flow that the design can have with the home.


    Arguably the most important feature. Not only will a nice, stainless steel grill look great, but it is also the foundation for being able to cook up a storm for you and all of your guests. Behind every great outdoor kitchen is a powerhouse grill.

    Although every part of building an outdoor kitchen can cause decision fatigue, we know deciding on the perfect grill for yours is probably one of the biggest stressors. This is a decision to not be taken lightly, but don’t let it scare you too much. There are so many amazing options on the market.

    A few fan-favorite grills are:

    Plenty of Storage

    It’s very convenient to not have to make multiple trips inside. Plan to give yourself ample storage in your outdoor space. This will ensure you’re able to stock up with everything you need to avoid the hassle of going inside for everything from dishes, to cleaning supplies, and snacks for all.

    The average cost of cabinets per square foot ranges between $200-$600. If you’re a good minimizer you can probably save a bit of cash through the belief that less is more. But if you’re someone who spends a ton of time in the kitchen or just downright has a lot of things, storage will be well worth the investment.

    Pizza Oven

    Everyone loves pizza. Especially homemade from a brick oven. Pizza ovens add such an authentic touch to an outdoor space and complete the look. This is an amazing way to bring the restaurant home to you. Pizza ovens are amazing for families and are guaranteed to be a hit with any kids. With the perfect pizza oven, you’ll be able to make memories that last a lifetime.

    Even if you won’t be making pizza every day, you can get your money’s worth because you can make almost anything in a pizza oven that you can in a conventional oven. Just with a better, wood-fired taste.

    A fully assembled pizza oven will cost about an average of $5,000. For those of us who love to cook and are looking to add major points for aesthetic appeal, a pizza oven is a must-have.

    Beer Tap

    If you’re looking for a way to keep the party going all night long, a beer tap is a move for you. The experience of being able to sip a cold beer straight from the tap, in your own home is luxury like no other. With plenty of options in the market when making the selection, going for a kegerator that you can build right into your countertop will look the most appealing.

    Ice Maker

    Just another way to avoid the strenuous act of going back inside! An ice maker is an easy addition and a great alternative to investing in an entire fridge, especially if paired with the below must-have. Ice makers are a great build-in for counter space and with a nice stainless steel look, will be a sleek addition.

    The BBQ Guys rated the Marvel 25 Pound 15 Inch Outdoor Rated Crescent Ice Machine as one of their top picks clocking in at around $2,300. While this is definitely in the higher range, you can find more affordable ice makers between $500-$1,000 if this won’t be one of your main splurges.

    Wine Fridge

    A must-have to make sure you’re supplied with all of the beverages you may need. Wine fridges can also serve as a great alternative to splurging on an entire fridge, which will drive up the cost greatly.

    A wine fridge can also be multi-use for storing other beverages like water and soda. A plus side of this is the cost. You can find a quality wine fridge for under $1,000. Some great options are:

    Deep Sink

    Especially if you’ll be storing another set of dinnerware outdoors, having a nice, deep sink will be such a perk when it comes to cleaning up. By having a sink readily available outdoors, you won’t have to worry about running back and forth with dishes that could break.

    While a sink can be one of the most highly functional components, installation isn’t the easiest. Home Stratosphere pointed out the additional costs for labor and running additional water lines to get your sink up and running.


    Not only will a covered area over your kitchen keep you dry, but it will also be a great shaded area to escape the sun on blistering summer days. After a quick search through Wayfair, we came to find you could spend as much or as little as you wanted here. The lowest populated prices were at as little as $400 up to $18,000.

    Optimal Seating

    With any great outdoor kitchen comes the space to seat all of your guests who will be coming over to reap the benefits. Seating is a great way to personalize your space and showcase your style.

    You can have as much or as little as you desire depending on how many people you’ll be entertaining. Even if you plan on using the space for mostly just yourself, being able to sit and enjoy the view of your beautiful outdoor kitchen while enjoying the meal you just made is a must-have.

    Outdoor heater

    Last but not least on the list of must-haves for an outdoor kitchen is an outdoor heater. For those of you in cooler climates, this will extend the amount of time you get to reap the benefits of the space. A heater can go a long way with making sure you get the best bang for your buck on the total investment of the space.

    Outdoor heaters are another surprisingly less expensive must-have ranging between about $150-$1,000. Also depending on how much space you have, there are several options for types of fixtures. You can go with classic standing ones, hanging ones that are much less noticeable, or for style, you could choose a linear heater with faux flames.

    In Conclusion

    This wraps it up for our list of must-haves for an outdoor kitchen. There are endless ways to work any of these into your space to fit your style and budget. Once you decide to push forward with your new outdoor kitchen, take the time to enjoy the planning process to personalize the space to what fits your needs best. It’ll be worth it.

    At the end of the day, this is an investment and you want to make sure you spend a considerable amount of time weighing the pros and cons of all of the different features that can be added. So when you are ready, just search for some of the best deck builders near me!

    We hope that our list of must-haves will send you in the right direction towards building the outdoor kitchen of your dreams! We are confident that you will enjoy this for years to come with all of your family and friends if you decide to go for it.

    Take your best backyard ideas to a sizzling new level with the outdoor kitchen of your dreams! Reach out to All Pro Decks and Get A Free Estimate Today!

    Justin Wylie

    Justin Wylie, owner of All Pro Decks & Patios is a Deckorators® Certified Pro Elite located in the San Antonio Hill Country area. He specializes in building decks, patios, patio covers, pergolas, concrete slabs, fireplaces and more while providing quality and service for his customers.

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