The cost of an outdoor kitchen has a lot of variables. A basic outdoor kitchen with a grill and countertop area will cost several thousand dollars, while a luxury outdoor kitchen with top quality appliances and custom features will cost much more. Outdoor kitchen prices vary depending on the location and size of the kitchen and your choice of materials and equipment.
The location of your outdoor kitchen will influence your outdoor kitchen prices. This is due primarily to the utilities that your kitchen will require.
Perimeter kitchens are located close to the house, usually on a patio or deck that adjoins the house. Since they are close to the house and the indoor kitchen, they eliminate the requirement for an outdoor sink and refrigerator, unless you just want one. You can add a sink and refrigerator at a later date, but it will increase your costs.
Satellite kitchens are located further away from the house. They are usually in a more remote location on the property, often near a swimming pool or spa, gazebo, guest house or terraced landscape area used for entertaining. This type of outdoor kitchen must be self-sufficient since it’s not close to the house. It requires separate utilities and a sewer hook-up or drain for proper drainage. These extra costs have a big impact on outdoor kitchen prices.
Design Tip: Utility costs for an outdoor kitchen can cost thousands of dollars. Electrical wiring and outlets, water lines and gas lines must be installed by a licensed professional contractor. They must be installed according to city codes and regulations and require building permits. To save money, try to locate your outdoor kitchen close to the house.
Outdoor Kitchen Utilities
To get realistic outdoor kitchen prices, you have to factor in necessary utility costs.
- Grill – The grill is the centerpiece of an outdoor kitchen. Most people prefer a gas grill because it’s cleaner and provides more flexibility for cooking than a wood or propane grill. A high-end gas grill is quite expensive and it requires a gas line to operate. The line has to be dug and trenched to the main gas supply connection at the house. With a satellite kitchen that’s 50 to100 feet away from the house, the gas line could get expensive.
A wood burning or coal grill will save you money. Some people like the smoky flavor that these grills give to food, but they are not as convenient or easy to use and clean as gas grills.
- Refrigerator – A compact refrigerator used in outdoor kitchens requires an 110 volt electrical line. To meet building code regulations, it has to be in conduit buried in the ground and run to your outdoor kitchen location. If it has an ice maker, a water line will be required as well.
- Sink – A sink requires a water line that connects to your home water supply. Many outdoor kitchens only have a line for cold water, but a hot water line can be installed if you want one.
- Outlets – Electrical outlets will be necessary for a rotisserie system, refrigerator, ice machine, blender and lighting. Extra outlets can be added for convenience and the use of small household appliances. All outdoor outlets must be grounded (GFCI), the ground fault circuit type.
Outdoor Kitchen Appliances
Typically the most-expensive appliance in an outdoor kitchen is the grill, but there are a lot of other appliances that can run up your outdoor kitchen prices. There’s a variety of great outdoor appliances and accessories available, but selections will usually vary with your needs and your budget. Here are some of your choices.
- Grills and ovens.
- Specialty pizza ovens.
- Deep fryers.
- Side burners.
- Compact refrigerators.
- Ice makers.
- Ice bins and coolers.
- Wine coolers.
- Beer keg dispensers.
- Warming drawers.
- Food warmers.
- Storage drawers and pantries.
- Storage cabinets.
- Cutting Boards.
- Trash bins.
- Cooking Utensils.
As you can see, the appliances and accessories you add to your outdoor kitchen will have a big impact on your outdoor kitchen prices. If you want to keep your costs down, consider eliminating the refrigerator, sink and side burners. If the outdoor kitchen is located close to the house, you can use your indoor kitchen appliances for those needs.
Design Tip: All outdoor refrigeration appliances like wine coolers and beer kegerators must be kept cold at all times to function properly. This requires ongoing costs that will increase your outdoor kitchen prices. As a cheaper option, install an ice bin that can be filled with ice for entertaining.
Outdoor Kitchen Materials
The materials you choose for your outdoor kitchen framework and countertops will affect your overall outdoor kitchen prices.
- Framework – The framework of your outdoor kitchen can be covered in a variety of materials such as stone, brick, wood, stucco, concrete, pavers and tiles. Stucco is usually the cheapest option. Natural stone is the most expensive option.
- Countertops – Countertops can be made from natural stones like granite and slate, concrete and tile. Cultured stone and man-made materials are also available at a cheaper cost. Choose a material that’s easy to maintain. Winters in northern NJ can be harsh, so your countertop materials must be able to withstand outdoor elements like rain, snow, frost and wind.
Design Tip: Select materials that can be cleaned easily. Some materials may require a sealer for maximum protection from spills and stains. Your kitchen contractor can help you choose the best materials for your home.
Outdoor Kitchen Lighting
If you plan to entertain, you will need lighting at night over your outdoor kitchen. Grill lighting is available for most outdoor kitchens. If you locate your kitchen on a patio or deck with an overhead roof or cover, take a look at available track lighting or pendant lighting. There’s wide variety of outdoor lighting fixtures that can be purchased separately through lighting companies.
You need task lighting directly over the outdoor kitchen if you plan to cook after dark. Small halogen fixtures will provide clear, bright light without taking up much space. Although lighting will add to your outdoor kitchen prices, you can’t cook in the dark. Adequate lighting is necessary to fully enjoy using your kitchen.