Outdoor Kitchens: the Good, the Better and the Cost

Outdoor Kitchens: the Good, the Better and the Cost

When I think of the fall season, I think football games, the smell of grilling and spending time appreciating the outdoors. Few fall pleasures are as enjoyable as a good cookout in the backyard with family and friends.

There are many variables to the overall cost of grilling outdoors. Some of us choose a simple cooking setup while others choose the full-blown, pro-like station with more options than we have in our indoor kitchen. 

At The Collective Outdoors, we often get the same questions: What does an outdoor kitchen cost to build and what types are available?

The answer varies. The most costly items in the construction of an outdoor kitchen are the appliances, gas, rock or exterior construction, countertops, and electrical. Some kitchens have all of these while others have few. Appliances usually consume up to 35 percent of the overall budget, so it’s important to understand which options fit your needs.

The Minimum: Food Prep Station
If you don’t need appliances or your indoor kitchen is very close to the backyard, a basic food prep station will do the trick. This is the most affordable way to entertain outdoors. This would include a party station to make drinks and plenty of countertops for setting food and trays.
Cost Estimate: $4,200+

The Basics: A Grill and Countertops Most people want one simple item: a grill. This is for the couple or growing family that enjoys grilling and plans to use the space two to three times a week. Usually these kitchens are at least 6-feet long and have a four-burner grill with large countertop areas on each side. I always recommend adding a trash drawer to keep it stored away and out of sight.
Cost Estimate: $7,000+

Extra: A Kitchen with Amenities You can take your outdoor grilling up a notch with a fridge and a Big Green Egg. An outdoor kitchen at this price point leaves room in the budget for a drawer set for storing utensils and paper towels. Other trendy amenities include a USB charging station and raised bar-top areas for eating and enjoying company. You can switch from a rock countertop to concrete or granite for an upscale look.
Cost Estimate: $9,500+

Full Service: Elevate with a Sink  The comfort a sink provides in an outdoor kitchen is awesome. This enables easier food prep, available water, and speeds up the clean-up process. But it comes at a hefty price due to various local city codes and permitting requirements. 
Cost Estimate: $14,000+

The Splurge: The Ultimate Outdoor Kitchen This outdoor kitchen is for the family or entertainers that thrive outdoors. Want to entertain and cook for large groups, have everything at your fingertips outside, and become the envy of your neighbors? You will never have an empty house on Sunday again. Try a grill that has lights, soft-close drawers, a smart fridge, and a Wi-Fi built-in grill for easier cooking. Large frying stations and spacious griddles can also add to the ultimate cooking experience. And an ice maker for cocktails is a must.

Fort Worth-native Dale Jackson is the founder of local landscape services company Blooms Landcare. In the summer of 2018, he launched The Collective Outdoors, a retail space in the Historic Southside that specializes in luxury outdoor living.