Outdoor Kitchen Installation: Prices, Ideas, & Tips

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    Many of us spend more time in the kitchen than any other room in the house.

    You eat your meals there, first of all – at least three a day. And it’s usually the gathering place for family check-ins, get-together, and regroups. You might prep meals together, pack lunches for the next day together, wash the dishes together. The kitchen is a 24-hours-a-day, 7-days-a-week space.

    But sometimes your kitchen might feel a bit stuffy, especially in the summer when turning on the stove can bring too much heat – even with the air conditioning on. Don’t you wish you had a space to go outdoors? Grilled food tastes so much better anyway. A freshly seared, meaty burger with grill marks is so much juicier than anything you can create indoors. And you can breathe the crisp, clean air and your family can spread out without being trapped in the confines of indoor walls.

    No wonder outdoor kitchens are increasing in popularity. Approximately 60 percent of homeowners are planning to add outdoor kitchens, according to the National Kitchen & Bath Association, and outdoor kitchens were put at the top of the Better Homes & Gardens outdoor living trends list.

    Maybe you have a solo grill on your patio, but you’ve been dreaming of a fuller outdoor kitchen space with some bells and whistles. Maybe you want something with cabinets or a sink so you don’t have to constantly move indoor utensils and dishes outside. Or maybe you want enough space to create gourmet meals while enjoying sunshine, smelling fragrant blooms, and listening to the birds sing.

    We don’t blame you. Dining al fresco can be addictive.

    As you dream up your space, you might be asking yourself, “How much does it cost to install an outdoor kitchen?”

    To assist you in your custom outdoor kitchen vision, try these tactics for tips, ideas, and prices of various options so you can make a well-informed decision.

    Outdoor Kitchen Trends   

    Today, people are amping up their outdoor kitchens in creative ways, and this can determine outdoor kitchen costs.

    People are seeking larger kitchens to ensure they can have room for entertaining. Gathering on the patio is a regular occurrence, and you want to make sure you can fit all of your family and friends.

    Those installing outdoor kitchens today are also looking for appliances that can provide maximum enjoyment. This includes ice machines for cooling drinks, wine chillers for keeping vino at the right temperature, as well as slow cooker plug-ins, outdoor griddles, and pizza ovens for creating unique gourmet meals.

    Next to outdoor kitchens, many people are also installing herb and vegetable gardens to elevate the freshness of the ingredients for their feasts.

    Even the materials being used to build outdoor kitchens today are changing. Natural stone is making a big comeback.

    The look blends in with most homes and also looks earthy and natural, with long-lasting appeal.

    Important Questions to Consider When Planning An Outdoor Kitchen  

    To find the outdoor kitchen that truly fits your needs, you have to ask yourself some key questions. This way, you’ll build up outdoor kitchen ideas that best fit your needs, and have a better idea of your outdoor kitchen costs.

    Cooking & Beverages  

    The cost to build an outdoor kitchen can also be determined by how you like to cook.

    Consider what type of cooking you like to do. What are the preferred methods of cooking you use and what appliance brands suit your needs best?

    Do you require a slow cooker or ice machine? This can add some electrical needs to your project.

    And where will you be serving food most often – at a bar or at a patio table? This can dictate the overall design of your outdoor kitchen.

    The same questions need to be asked about the type of beverages you and your guests will enjoy most – everything from beer to cocktails to wine to juice, water, and soda.


    Another big outdoor kitchen costs determinator is your outdoor entertainment plans.

    Ask yourself these key questions:

    • How many people will use the space on a regular basis?
    • What types of gatherings will you hold?
    • What time of day will you use the space most often?
    • Do you require shelter from the weather, which includes wind, sun, and rain?
    • What activities do you envision your family and friends doing to relax in your space and how many of these relate specifically to your outdoor kitchen? Games/cards/trivia? Watching sporting events? Reading quietly? Gathering around a bar to chat? Gathering around a fire? Dinner at an intimate table? Yard games? Swimming or soaking in spa? Listening to music or meditating?

    Outdoor Kitchen Costs & Design Tips   

    As you can imagine, the overall design of your space will also dictate the costs to build an outdoor kitchen.

    There are quite a few considerations you can’t ignore when looking at the design of the space and how everything will be connected to offer the best outdoor dining and entertainment options.

    Proximity To Your Home  

    Do you want to have easy access from your outdoor kitchen to your house, kitchen, or garage?

    Eliminating steps in navigating food, beverages, and serving ware back and forth can not only make the entertainment smoother, but it can also save you time, giving you a chance to mingle and enjoy your guests.

    Bar Height & Counter Space  

    When you are factoring the cost of installing an outdoor kitchen, you also have to consider seating for you and your guests.

    To draw people to your cooking area, bars are a great option so you can cook and entertain.

    You want to choose counter height bars that are 30- to 32-inches high over an elevated bar height that is 36- to 40-inches high. Surveys show that people prefer counter height bar seating to full bar height seating because it’s easier to adjust their bar stools and reach the ground with their feet. Building to bar height can split your design into two heights and reduce your functionality.

    When you design an outdoor kitchen counter at a singular counter height, your space is maximized. You can also spread out food and beverages across the entire space and play cards or games at the same time, making it more usable.

    Also, the most common regret we hear from folks who have put in outdoor kitchens is that they didn’t invest in enough functional counter space. More is always better here.

    Appliance Placement, Utilities Plan & Lighting  

    Another important consideration that comes into play when factoring outdoor kitchen costs is appliances and utilities needs.

    Ask yourself what you’ll need to fully enjoy the space. You may need water if you want an ice machine. You’ll require electrical if you have a plug-in appliance or lighting. And you’ll need a gas connection for some grills and fire features.

    As far as location goes, you’ll want hot appliances to be located away from seating and drinking areas for maximum comfort. And you should also consider the predominant wind direction in your backyard when choosing your grill location.

    General lighting in the outdoor kitchen area is also a key feature to add, particularly if you think you’ll be cooking in evenings. Great features to add are task lighting for grills or beverage areas and accent lighting to highlight design accents or features.

    What is the Cost to Build An Outdoor Kitchen?  

    Determining the best outdoor kitchen for you will depend on your budget and how you want to address all of these design considerations and entertainment needs above.

    There are typically four categories of outdoor kitchens with different price ranges. These should give you some guidance in the cost to build an outdoor kitchen based on your needs.

    Prefabricated Outdoor Kitchen  

    With a prefabricated outdoor kitchen, you can get tremendous value, ranging from $10,000 to $25,000.

    Save on your outdoor kitchen costs here by choosing simple appliances in a linear shaped bar. A stucco model can also save you some money.

    If you want to customize this type of kitchen, upgrade to stone veneer, choose better appliances, and add some outdoor lighting.

    Simple Outdoor Kitchen – Veneered  

    If you’re looking for a simpler option, a simple kitchen can range from $10,000 to $20,000.

    To cut down on outdoor kitchen costs, choose a smaller grill and include only must-have accessories. Upgrading counters and finishes, or adding a tiered bar or L-shaped bar tend to add up toward the higher end of the price range.

    Large Outdoor Kitchen  

    Large outdoor kitchens are key for those who really like to cook and entertain outdoors.

    The cost to install outdoor kitchens like this range anywhere from $25,000 to $65,000. Kitchens that are priced toward that higher end have upgraded counters and finishes, L-shaped bars, a tiered bar, and the addition of a beer or rootbeer tap.

    Luxury Outdoor Kitchen  

    For true gourmets, a luxury outdoor kitchen can fill the bill for roughly $55,000 and up.

    In this case, outdoor kitchen costs escalate with the addition of a TV, sound system, multi-bar, heaters, and other luxury items.

    Pizza Ovens  

    Other options that add to the cost to install outdoor kitchens are popular extras like pizza ovens.

    Prefabricated pizza ovens range from $4,000 to $13,000, while Mugnaini Italian Pizza Ovens with stone veneer will range from $15,000 to $25,000.

    Ready to Polish Your Outside Gourmet Skills?   

    Whether you’re looking for a small outdoor kitchen that is perfect for your smaller family or you want a grand space suitable for making pizzas and grilling steaks and playing music – rain or shine, it’s important to factor in your needs to truly determine your outdoor kitchen costs.

    There are so many options available with this type of outdoor addition. We know it can be confusing. We hope this information helps break down some of the options for you.

    But we know just looking through these options might even make your head spin. Let High Prairie’s experts help. We can simplify the process for you by discussing your needs and looking at your space. This can give you some options you may not have considered and make the whole process simpler and more exciting when you know you’re getting exactly what you need to satisfy your outdoor cooking and entertaining needs.

    Ready to see how High Prairie can transform your Kansas City home landscape with an outdoor kitchen? We’d love to share our design and installation expertise with you. Get started today with a free consultation. Together, we can prepare a design that you will love and your neighbors will envy.

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    About The Author

    Robyn is a 2009 Graduate of the Kansas State University Department of Horticulture. She grew up in South East Kansas where she graduated from Humboldt High School. She was a Kansas State University Leadership Scholar and President of the Horticulture Club. She married Bret in 2009 and they have a daughter Ellie, born in 2021. Their family is completed by three adopted dogs.

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