Surprisingly backyard kitchens are becoming more and more popular these days. There is just something about cooking in the outdoors that makes cooking a lot more enjoyable. After spending thousands of dollars on an indoor kitchen, it can be tough to spend that much on an outdoor one. So, you might be asking yourself, “How do I build an outdoor kitchen on a budget?”
Outdoor kitchens can be made on a budget if you do not mind using 2nd hand materials in your kitchen. Spending $5000 should be more than enough for a budget outdoor kitchen, and you can do almost whatever you want with that build. Budget build or not, it’s important to use quality materials for your kitchen so that it lasts as long as your house lasts.
Now you know that budget is not an issue for an ideal build. It’s time to start working. Outdoor kitchens are fun and provide another level of experience in cooking. In this article, I will discuss how you can build an outdoor kitchen on a budget in detail. So, grab a cup of coffee, take a seat and keep reading the article.
Planning For Your Outdoor Kitchen
To start planning for your outdoor kitchen, you need to ask some questions yourself. These questions will help you make a clear plan for the best budget outdoor kitchen.
Question No. 1: What are you going to use your outdoor kitchen for?
Ask this question to yourself to plan what is going to be the real use of your kitchen. You can use it for regular cooking, seasonal barbeque, maybe you prepare and smoke fish all outside, making snacks and drinks, or maybe something else. Whatever you choose will help you take the next steps of your final plan. You may find a few DIY BBQ ideas to support you with your outdoor kitchen plans in this post.
Question No. 2: What are you going to cook?
Some dishes are meant to be cooked outdoors, and those are the food items the outdoor kitchen is famous for. I know you are thinking about barbecue for sure, but some other dishes are also made for outdoor cooking.
A few examples of those dishes could be rotisseries, pizzas, smokers, bread, and wok burners. It is better to get an outdoor oven for these special dishes. I am sure you would like to enjoy those delicious foods with your friends and family.
Question No. 3: Where would you like to place the kitchen?
If you have a bungalow with a huge outdoor entertaining area, you must be building the kitchen around that place. But if you haven’t made such a place or will make one in the future, you need to plan well for the kitchen placement.
I would personally suggest you put the outdoor kitchen near the indoor kitchen. No, that does not mean those two kitchens should be adjacent to each other. But you should try to keep the outdoor kitchen in a place where you can easily go to the indoor kitchen. In that way, connecting water, gas, or power will be easier.
Measurement and a bird’s eye view plan of your backyard, taking note of everything listed above, can help you get a good image of how and what to create.
Question No. 4: Do you want to use the kitchen in all seasons?
Unless you want a fancy kitchen for cooking barbeque only in the winter season, you should think of maximizing the usage of your outdoor kitchen.
Protection from sun, wind, and rain is a must. Ensure maximum protection for the cook and the kitchen as you will be working with gas and water.
Question No. 5: How are you going to organize the kitchen?
This is a common question for both indoor and outdoor kitchens. You need to think of a lot of stuff before organizing a kitchen. Think about the size of your kitchen against the size of your house. Think where the kitchen should be positioned.
There must be a refrigerator somewhere around the kitchen. Think about how you are going to supply power to the refrigerator and where it should be positioned. As it’s going to be an outdoor kitchen, think about the wet and dry season, where the water should get drained. Setting up the gas line is also important.
Let me simplify these things. Divide your kitchen into three mandatory zones: preparation, cooking, and serving. Think about where you are going to prepare for cooking, think about where you will cook and where you are going to serve the food. If you are still confused, I suggest you talk to a kitchen designer who will design your kitchen according to your house.
Question No. 6: How are you going to design the kitchen?
People like to make their kitchens look good. Especially when you are making an outdoor kitchen, guests will be able to watch you cooking there. Therefore, you should think about making the kitchen look gorgeous, just like your house.
Stuff You Need
For building an outdoor kitchen, you need some stuff to start with. Two things are mandatory for every kitchen, and you cannot but include them in your kitchen. The first thing is a built-in cooking appliance. Your kitchen is not going to be a temporary one. For a permanent outdoor kitchen, a built-in cooking appliance is a must.
The second thing is the food prep space. A good kitchen should have a large prep space, and you must include it in your outdoor kitchen. If your budget is too low to afford a large space for your kitchen, try to get at least a meter of space for food preparation. Trust me, a small space for the kitchen is painful.
If you have enough budget, consider adding the following things to your outdoor kitchen. They will increase your convenience while you cook delicious food in your kitchen.
- A sink with a sufficient flow of water
- An outdoor fridge (No, not the indoor fridge)
- At least a shelter for wind, protection against sunshine and rain is preferred.
- Enough storage for your frying pans, pots, and other kitchen items
- A good lighting system – both for cooking and eating
- A heater for working in all seasons
Building Your Outdoor Kitchen
As your target is to get the best out of your budget, I will discuss a lot about these things in this section. Read the steps attentively. You don’t want to miss anything from your tight budget segment.
Step 1: Choose an outdoor cooker.
Remember I told you to think about what you are going to cook? You need that for choosing an outdoor cooker or BBQ.
Now, these cookers can cost as cheap as $50 and as expensive as $7000. From my experience, I suggest you go for something that will cost around $1000. I am sure that will be able to fit your budget needs.
Step 2: Get a standard cooking space.
Even a standard barbeque can fit many people’s needs, but you should look for a good cooking space. Get a model that can sit on a benchtop.
In that way, it will cost less and provide a permanent solution. Choose the one that matches the look of your house and budget.
Step 3: Spend on a shelter.
As you are on a budget, getting a permanent shelter could be really hard. You can make a DIY shelter by spending a few bucks, but try to save a good amount of money to build a permanent shelter later. Shelters save lives. You should try to get a better shelter if you can.
Step 4: Don’t forget the food prep space
If you have an old bench or something like that, it should do food prep space work. You can also look for a second-hand food prep space online or from a friend.
If you can manage a stone top or a block of concrete, there is nothing better than that for a budget option.
Step 5: Think about paving.
In general, your outdoor kitchen should be placed on a paved surface. But if you cannot manage that, try to lay some pavers on the grass to make a temporary solution.
Step 6: Sink, fridge, and maybe a heater
I would suggest you get a sink for your kitchen if you have a decent water supply. Call a plumber to set your sink outside. It really does help.
As you are on a budget, you can go for a standard fridge as outdoor fridges are costly. If you still have some money left, try to get a heater for enjoying pizza nights with your friends.
If you have read the whole article attentively, I am sure you have a clear idea about building an outdoor kitchen on a budget. Standard DIY outdoor kitchens can be made cheap, and it will be enough for home use.
I hope this article “How do you build an outdoor kitchen on a budget?” was of help to you. Good luck with your new budget outdoor kitchen. This video clip should offer you some additional support.
6 thoughts on “How To Build an Outdoor Kitchen on a Budget?”
This is an excellent and very informative post.
You have covered this from every possible angle. It is a great idea to make a permanent kitchen space outdoors, rather than all the running in and out from the main kitchen. Just having the main the essentials will make it a much easier to use space. And if it is easier to use, it will be used far more often.
So if you live in a climate where you have long hot summer evenings, then it is almost a basic requirement!
Yes, I think it is a fantastic idea, there are cheaper options and to set up your BBQ area with innovation is the way to go. Many Thanks, Geoff for your feedback so appreciated it.
J W RIDDELL-THE FUN HUB
Wow, I love the idea of building the outdoor kitchen. Actually, I haven’t thought about it until 2 days ago when my neighbour told me she bought some kitchen furniture for her balcony. I haven’t seen it just yet and was wanting to explore what I could do similarly and on a budget. Thanks for the ideas and advice!
Thank You, Sunny. I’m sure you can do the same as your neighbour with planning.
J W RIDDELL-THE FUN HUB
Absolutely wonderful ideas for an outdoor kitchen. I have added an old trailer/camper to my garden in one corner, which will work as a sit-in for rainy days. Thank u for this lovely article.
You made me think by adding those questions while planning an outdoor kitchen. Good thing I thought about it, as I would have gone wrong.
So glad my article sparked those thoughts, Aparna. Thank you for your feedback it is very much appreciated.
J W RIDDELL-THE FUN HUB