Are Outdoor Kitchens Worth the Money?

That depends on why you want one! If you’re really keen to cook, host and/or entertain outside and you have the money to spend on doing so, then it will surely be a worthwhile endeavor and a good investment for you, your family and friends. Those who regularly hold al fresco get-togethers will find it revolutionizes their next garden party!

Another reason to do so is the huge value it adds to your property; should you ever wish to sell up and relocate (or be forced to for unforseen circumstances) then you’ll be guaranteed more money as a result of installing an outdoor kitchen.

They are absolutely a trending subject, so potential buyers will at the very least have their interest piqued when it is mentioned. However, the amount of value you will see your home increase by really depends on how good a job you do, as well as the location of your home.

For instance, if you fail to design and implement a kitchen that is not of the same quality as your home, it will be more of a hindrance than it is a help; visitors will be put off by the lacklustre end result, so make sure it’s as fancy as the rest of the place!

Outdoor kitchens also give you more space to play with, expanding the overall size of your home without actually having to renovate or extend the building itself. This whole new room, albeit located outdoors, is just as useful as any other space in your home, and will also cost less to achieve.

You could also consider the fact that you’ll likely be spending a lot more time outside in your kitchen as a reason they are worth the money; being in the fresh air and absorbing plenty of vitamin D is good for us, and that’s a scientific fact. If you’ve been needing a justification for investing in this project, consider it found!

Where should an outdoor kitchen be placed on a patio?

The ideal place for an outdoor kitchen depends on the property it is being built on, so it’s difficult to give a specific answer to this question. As long as it is on a flat surface, where you’ll be able to keep everything well maintained and nothing is at risk of damage, it’s really up to you!

What is important to note is that you should aim to place everything as close to the home as possible - you don’t want it to be fully exposed to all of that sunlight, and it should be protected from oncoming winds as much as possible.

Remember that depending on your plan, you will need access to supplies of water, gas and electricity, so the kitchen must be designed with this in mind! Figure out where the lines are for the necessary hookups and build up accordingly.

You may want to invest in an overhead covering to serve as added protection for your furniture and any appliances; this also means you can host events outside whatever the weather, so there’s no need to plan in advance.

Think about any existing structures, plants or pools in your outdoor space and whether you want the kitchen to complement them or be a standalone, separate space. Also consider how you might use this outdoor kitchen as an extension of your existing one indoors, as this might help you to narrow down your planning or ideas somewhat.

What views do you want your guests to have whilst they eat? Facing a wall when you have some gorgeous scenery to take advantage of would be a waste of your space and an opportunity to create some free ambiance with the help of Mother Nature!

Also, if you have neighbours that can see into your property from any side, you might want to create as much space between you and them as possible, not only for your privacy but to create a buffer for sound, just in case things get noisy.

How much does it cost to build an outdoor kitchen?

Every outdoor kitchen is different! The price of building one for yourself in your own outside space depends on what materials and appliances you utilize, how large the project is and what level of labour is required, amongst other factors.

According to Homes and Gardens magazine, a “true outdoor kitchen with worktop space, storage and appliances” is going to cost you approximately $5,000, whereas anything with more premium features and expensive accessories could get as pricey as $35,000.

Anything much more above that price point, and you’re effectively paying for the brand names of the very high-end appliances and furniture you’ve clearly picked out. When it comes to value for money, you should try to stay within the sums above.

If you’re looking for some budget-friendly, easy on the eye outdoor kitchen furniture, IKEA is a fantastic place to look. They have matching garden sets to complete the arrangement, and it’s all easy enough to put together.

Do you need a sink in an outdoor kitchen?

That’s up to you to decide! If you have a sink right next to your back door, then installing another one only meters away seems a little counterintuitive and silly, no?

But if your kitchen is on the other side of the house, or you would deeply appreciate the convenience of not having to go inside, then you could well benefit from installing a second one.

Not only is it ideal for washing your hands during the preparation of food, as well as before and after dinner, you can also wash your cookware and utensils between uses, preventing any cross-contamination when switching from meat to vegetables.

Plus, if you’re scrubbing up barbecue gear or big, greasy pots and pans, it might save you additional cleaning of your indoor sink, floor and counters to wash them down outside. This is ideal if you’re storing everything outside too, as it means you don’t have to keep going back and forth when you’re cleaning up.

Are you lucky enough to have an outdoor bar or drinks area? You might appreciate the sink there for when you need to rinse things off or give your garnishes a quick wash before slicing and dicing them.

Essentially, need is a strong word, but if you can afford an outdoor sink and feel it would be useful, it can be a great addition to your space.

What does every outdoor kitchen need?

Though your kitchen doesn’t have to be the same as everyone else's, you might be wondering: are there any appliances, surfaces or accessories you need or should make sure to get to ensure you have the best outside cooking and eating experience?

Well, there are several things you might want to consider including or prioritizing:

  • Plenty of weatherproof, outdoor suitable preparation space, so you don’t need to squash all of your cooking into the same tiny area and have enough room for all of your ingredients!
  • A table and enough chairs for however many people you plan on regularly eating, so everybody has a space
  • A cooking vessel, whether that’s a barbecue, gas grill, smoker or something more elaborate
  • Extra trash and recycling bins, to make sure you don’t have more mess than your existing garbage disposal methods can cope with

Something you might not be aware of is that certain states or councils require you to apply for a permit before constructing any sort of structure in your outdoor spaces. Whilst this might not be the case for you, it’s worth doing your research beforehand and making sure you get all of the necessary paperwork before you proceed with the project.

If you fail to obtain anything required, you could be in for a sizable fine or other repercussions - again, different depending on the area - so it’s well worth taking the time to check everything out.

What countertops are best for outdoor kitchens?

Tile, natural stone or concrete! Any materials in this category are going to be water resistant enough to stand up to the elements - if you’re not having any coverage, this is even more important, as they will be completely exposed to wind and rain!

Should you wish to get something more extravagant and man-made, like glass or quartz for instance, be sure you consult the manufacturers before you buy! It’s possible they may be damaged over time by UV as a result of certain pigments they may contain, so do your due diligence or be disappointed.