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    How to Build an Outdoor Kitchen

    Authored by Tractor Supply Company

    There’s nothing better than enjoying a meal with friends or family on the patio, and outdoor cooking doesn’t have to stop at grilling. Building an outdoor kitchen gives you room to dazzle, while still enjoying that outdoor entertainment time. A kitchen outside can include a stove, refrigerator, sink, bar, or maybe even a pizza oven. Whether you are tackling a DIY outdoor kitchen or hiring a professional team, build the perfect outdoor cooking space for your inner chef.

    Creative ideas for an outdoor kitchen

    For a successful outdoor kitchen combine the fun with practical and functional. Start your outdoor kitchen plan with what you love—and what you don’t love—about your indoor kitchen. Do you like the placement of your kitchen cabinets and appliances? Is your counter space sufficient? Building an outdoor kitchen gives you a chance to expand your indoor cooking space while designing without the same limitations.

    What practical considerations should you plan for when designing an outdoor kitchen?

    One major factor when thinking of your outdoor kitchen plan is weather. If you live in a warm and sunny climate, consider a pergola or other way to shade your outdoor kitchen. If your climate comes with a cold winter, check out heating outdoor spaces to maximize the outside cooking time.

    Create a design for your outdoor kitchen. Determine the size and shape. Play around with the appliance and cabinet placement. Consider where your entertaining space fits in.

    What is a good size for an outdoor kitchen?

    The best size for your outdoor kitchen depends on two main factors:

    1. How big is your overall outdoor space?
    2. How many bells and whistles do you want to add?

    Have a large area where space isn’t an issue? Let your outdoor entertaining imagination run wild! If you’re a little short on square footage, you can still create a great outdoor kitchen design with some creativity in planning.

    Consider what amenities you’d like to add and how much room they’ll take up. You’ll probably want a grill and a dining area. You can add elements like a pizza oven, an outdoor kitchen bar and a pergola for shade while you’re entertaining during the day.

    What styles of outdoor kitchen are popular?

    Outdoor entertaining has been a favorite pastime for decades. But styles change, and so do outdoor kitchen designs! Stone veneer blends into yard landscapes. Stainless steel appliances and countertops provide a modern, clean look. And outdoor kitchen bars will always be in style.

    Stick with what you like and don't worry about what’s trending. The best outdoor kitchen ideas for your home are the ideas that you love. Base your outdoor kitchen design on your wants and needs.

    How to decide what you need in your outdoor kitchen

    Outdoor entertaining is a great way to gather your favorite people and enjoy some great food. From a grill to outdoor kitchen cabinets and outdoor shade options, things can be overwhelming. Go piece by piece and you’ll be

    What should you include in your outdoor kitchen?

    There are a few key items you should include in your outdoor space:

    What to consider when planning how you will use your outdoor kitchen?

    Carefully plan your outdoor kitchen budget. This fund will need to include appliances, flooring, shade elements, and outdoor kitchen cabinets and countertops. Don’t forget about hardware and labor to run gas, electrical and plumbing lines. Those are necessary costs to include in your budget.

    Why choose a covered outdoor kitchen?

    Many climates call for a covered outdoor kitchen. If you live in a sunny state, you can create open air shade with a pergola. But if your hometown gets a lot of rain, consider a fully covered outdoor kitchen. This can include a temporary cover such as an oversized umbrella or install a full canopy. When you plan your covered outdoor kitchen, keep in mind that your appliances should be protected from the elements.

    Framing your outdoor kitchen

    After your design is complete, the next step for your outdoor kitchen is framing your space.

    How do you frame an outdoor kitchen with wood?

    Most DIY outdoor kitchens are framed using wood. Wood is a great material because it’s cost-effective, easy to work with and readily available in many local stores. It’s also weather resistant and can withstand a wide range of elements.

    Some people prefer a steel frame to wood for their outdoor kitchen. While steel is quite sturdy, there are a few downsides compared to wood:

    • Price and availability. Steel is quite expensive and not as readily available to the general public as wood. A steel frame can make for a pricy project that takes a long time to complete.
    • Ease of use. Steel is very heavy. This means it’ll be much more difficult to transport and build with than wood. Also, you can use basic tools to cut and drill into wood. But you’ll need specialty tools to make any alterations to steel frame pieces.
    • Weather resistance. Although both wood and steel can be weather resistant, metal is known to rust and corrode over time.

    What should you pay attention to when building a wood frame for an outdoor kitchen?

    You’ll need to determine the size and shape of your outdoor entertaining area so you can purchase enough materials. Decide what type of wood to use. Some woods are more weather resistant than others. And certain types of lumber are treated for outdoor use. Be sure to research the best type of wood to use outdoors.

    What materials will you need to frame your outdoor kitchen?

    Your actual material list will depend on the size and shape of your outdoor kitchen design. But here are some key materials that you’ll definitely need to include:

    • Lumber to build your wood frame—or steel tubing if you’re building a steel frame
    • Concrete block or cement board to anchor your framing to the ground
    • Metal studs to hold your frame together, regardless of whether you’re framing with wood or steel
    • Piping and insulation for any plumbing, electrical, or gas lines you’ll have to run, particularly if you’re building a grill island away from other structures

    After you’ve covered the basics, it’s time to get to the fun stuff. Does your dream outdoor kitchen include any of these items?

    Installing the elements of your outdoor kitchen

    You’ve thought long and hard about your outdoor kitchen design. You know whether you want a stone veneer or stainless steel finish for your outdoor kitchen cabinets and countertops. You know exactly where to place your grill island. And you’ve chosen the perfect outdoor lighting. So what’s next?


    The installation phase of your outdoor kitchen project is an exciting process. It’s the final step before you can start cooking in your perfect outdoor kitchen.

    What elements of your outdoor kitchen will you need to install first?

    The first elements to install in your outdoor kitchen are utility lines. This might include digging up part of your outdoor living space because electrical, plumbing and gas lines are often installed underground. Then lay any necessary foundation such as cement board or concrete block.

    What electrical and plumbing features will your outdoor kitchen need?

    Your outdoor kitchen installation will probably include some utilities like electrical and plumbing. After all, the perfect outdoor living space includes all of the amenities! Here are a few features that will require electrical and plumbing:

    It might be a good idea to include additional electricity for other features. Place a TV in your outdoor kitchen area to watch the big game or host an outdoor movie night. You can also install a stereo system for background music when you entertain.

    If you’re building your own DIY outdoor kitchen, consider hiring professionals to install the utility lines and appliances. Electrical, plumbing and gas lines can be dangerous if you’re not an expert. When you’re working with electricity, water, and gas, there is a risk of injury to you and damage to your home. Remember: safety first.

    Once your utility lines and foundation are installed, it’s time to bring in your outdoor kitchen appliances and cabinets. Place each appliance and cabinet before anchoring or installing them to make sure you’re happy with the layout. If you want to make any design tweaks, this is the time!

    How difficult is it for a homeowner to install the elements of an outdoor kitchen?

    Installing an outdoor kitchen can be difficult. Whether you’re an expert carpenter, a professional plumber or electrician, or just a weekend handyman, you may need help. Let a professional handle any elements that need to connect to utility lines. Electrical, plumbing and gas connections should be handled by a licensed expert.

    The frame must be strong and solid enough to withstand weather and wear and tear from general use and will require some expert carpentry. If you’re an expert carpenter, you can probably handle this on your own. But if not, hire some help!

    If you’re a home handyman who can handle a “honey do” list, you can probably install your own outdoor kitchen cabinets and countertops. Sometimes these are freestanding, and sometimes you’ll attach them to your house or anchor them in the ground. You can make this happen with some basic tools.

    The easiest element to install in your outdoor kitchen is the dining area. Patio tables and chairs are generally easy to assemble, and you can place them anywhere you’d like. After that, bring in some outside decor like plants and other fun accessories to really make your style shine in your space.

    Build the outdoor kitchen of your dreams

    An outdoor kitchen is an extension of your home. Tractor Supply Company wants to help you fill your new space. Stop by any of our locations or visit our website today.