Tips for an Outdoor Kitchen on a Budget

Tips for an Outdoor Kitchen on a Budget
Photo by Maarten van den Heuvel on Unsplash 

Spring is finally here!

Which means, for a lot of the world, that summer weather is on the horizon. So why not add an outdoor kitchen to help you take advantage of the beautiful days and nights in the months ahead?

Outdoor kitchens can vary in scope and size; they can be as simple as a table and a portable grill or as complex as a full-fledged kitchen, only waterproofed!

Which means the cost of an outdoor kitchen can vary greatly depending on how much of it you do yourself, and the components you add. 

When planning your outdoor kitchen, think about what you’ll need:

  • ⬥ Food prep and cooking area

A food prep area can be something as simple as a folding table and/or rolling kitchen cart you pull out when you’re planning to use your outdoor space.

  • ⬥ Storage

Using a big plastic tote tucked in a corner can do the job nicely, or there are many waterproof cabinets available that you can buy to store your cooking utensils in.

  • ⬥ Seating

A patio set or even camping chairs can provide a place for everyone to sit together without breaking the bank. 

Cooking options

An obvious central point for your backyard kitchen is something to cook on. For many people, a BBQ grill fits the bill, but there are other options.:

  • ⬥ A fireplace.

You can opt for custom, semi-custom or DIY versions you can make yourself.

  • ⬥ A firepit.

Similar to a fireplace, only more informal and open to the air whereas a fireplace vents smoke through a chimney.

  • ⬥ Outdoor oven

While there are waterproof ovens available for purchase, there are also more traditional versions such as a brick or stone pizza oven.


Countertops and storage cabinets are a great addition to an outdoor kitchen. And, like your choice of cooking equipment, cabinets and countertops can vary in scope and complexity…and of course, cost.

One way to save on an outdoor kitchen is to buy a pre-made bar-style structure or outdoor grill island.

Simply measure the space you’re planning to use and find a pre-made grilling station that will fit. One benefit to this option is that you can take it with you if you’d like, when you move to another home.

Use salvaged materials

A good way to reduce the cost of an outdoor kitchen build is to use materials such as reclaimed wood, stones, bricks or pavers. Flea market finds such as vintage plastic or metal chairs, or even wicker tables and chairs in good condition can really cut your build costs as well.

Choose “portable” utilities 

Often, outdoor kitchens have electrical, water and gas lines run underground to power them. As you can imagine, this can significantly increase your costs.

To save costs, go for “portable utilities” such as propane tanks and jugs, buckets or tubs for your water needs.

Choose one or more plastic tubs filled with water from the house (or outdoor faucet) or use a camping sink. Take one look at the different camping sinks available and you might be surprised at what you find.

As you can see, an outdoor kitchen is within the reach of just about any budget. All it takes is a bit of forethought and planning to match your needs with a budget you can live with.

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