8 Ways to Build an Outdoor Kitchen on a Budget

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how to build an outdoor kitchen on a budget
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Have you been daydreaming about that perfect outdoor kitchen again? Well, don’t let the seemingly nightmarish expenses stop you from turning that dream into a reality.

A standard outdoor cooking area setup can be built for as low as $5,000 to $12,000. Worried that the low price point won’t allow for a dream outdoor kitchen?

Well, we’ve compiled eight cost-effective ideas that can turn a budget outdoor kitchen into what you’ve always dreamed of.

1. DIY Countertops

diy countertops

When shopping for countertops, try to use inexpensive materials like concrete or butcher blocks.

You can then apply epoxy to concrete countertops to seal the pores and to make it look elegant or colorful, depending on the epoxy mix.

Butcher blocks, on the other hand, often require a mineral oil finish. So, you can personalize your countertop by choosing an oil-based stain that speaks to you. Or just maintain it with butcher block conditioner and let it develop a natural color based on how you interact with it.

2. Repurpose Furniture

Instead of buying designated furniture, search for free or cheap items such as tables and cabinets that can be renovated to serve as the components of the outdoor kitchen.

Join local Facebook groups that often post updates on yard sales to level up your rare finds!

3. Simple Grill Setup

simple grill setup

Grilling is a good hobby so for the pricey built-in grill, decide on the standalone grill that pays for you. One of the best ways to cut down your costs is by comparing online prices from home improvement stores like Home Depot and Lowes.

Or better yet, look for white-label grilling accessories by following these steps:

  1. Find a grill that you like (ignore the brand and name)
  2. Search for a product with the exact same dimensions
  3. Compare their country of origin
  4. Compare the material they’re made of
  5. Compare the weight of the products

If you find one like it under a different name, then that grill is a white-label product, which means you can find a cheaper one with the exact same quality.

4. Basic Storage Solutions

Purchase storage units that are cheap and practical, e.g. plastic bins, crates, and reprieved shelves to store kitchen utensils, cookware, and supplies.

You’ll be surprised at how you can transform these cheap storage units into expensive-looking ones just by applying a fresh coat of paint, epoxy mix, or wood stain.

5. DIY Backsplash

diy backsplash

Achieve a chic backsplash with inexpensive materials such as peel and stick, recycled wood, or even by painting it yourself.

6. Opt for Low-Cost Open Shelving

Embrace plain shelves in place of pricy cabinets.  Avoiding low-cost shelving holds you back from achieving a classy but rustic look. Materials such as reclaimed wood or metal brackets can give you that intentional rustic look.

If you’re struggling to find reclaimed wood, try driving around in the countryside looking for busted fences that you can buy or even simply acquire.

7. DIY Lighting

diy lighting

Paint your desired mood with light! You can do this with the help of do-it-yourself lighting options, string lights, solar-powered lanterns, and low-priced extended fixtures.

Try finding some red Chinese lanterns on Amazon, or better yet, make them yourself!

8. Appliance Options

See that you pick out inexpensive yet sturdy equipment. For instance, you can go for older models (that have been proven to be durable) or wait until there are clearance sales to buy grills, refrigerators, and other outdoor kitchen installations at good bargains.

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Budget-Friendly Outdoor Kitchen Cost Breakdown

Basic Outdoor Kitchens

basic outdoor kitchen

Cost Range: $5,000 – $12,000


  • Not too big
  • A usual built-in grill
  • Simple and basic countertops (concrete, tile, etc.)
  • Limited storage space

Mid-Range Outdoor Kitchens

mid-range outdoor kitchen

Cost Range: $13,000 – $25,000


  • A larger area
  • A high-quality grill with additional accessories
  • Stone-made countertops
  • Extra cabinets for storing things
  • A sink and a fridge are also included

Luxury Outdoor Kitchens

luxury outdoor kitchen

Cost Range: $30,000+


  • Generous in terms of space and features a shaded area as well.
  • The appliances used in them are top-notch (grill, refrigerator, sink, dishwasher, etc.).
  • Countertops are made up of luxurious materials like granite or quart.
  • Extensive storage spaces and prep areas are provided for convenience while cooking.
  • Extra Amenities include pizza ovens, warming drawers, and even fireplaces.

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Key Questions to Get an Accurate Cost Estimate for Outdoor Kitchens

To get a better idea of how much you’re going to spend, ask yourself these questions:

  1. What dimensions do I require? What’s the area like, and how many guests are you expecting?
  2. What kitchen appliances must I have? Are you thinking about purchasing a grill alone, or would you also like to have a sink, fridge, and other extras?
  3. Which materials do I prefer? Select materials that meet both your taste and wallet.
  4. Do utilities come with it, and are they ready for connection? If not, then there is an extra expense in terms of installation.
  5. How much can I take over DIY-wise? Can some parts be done without professionals, thereby reducing labor costs?


You don’t have to spend much money on constructing your dreamy open-air kitchen. You can come up with many budget-conscious ideas to lower the cost to $5,000 and $12,000.

If you’re clever enough, you can come up with cheap ways to make your dream outdoor parties come true—from DIY countertops to revamping old furniture to making simple barbeque stands.

Last Updated on July 07, 2024
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Disclaimer: The information provided in this website is for educational purposes only and should not be considered as financial advice. Consult with a financial professional for personalized guidance regarding your specific situation.

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