Homeowner’s Guide To Modular Outdoor Kitchens

Updated: Jan. 04, 2024

Relax on the patio with the latest trend in outdoor living. Get ready for summer with an outdoor modular kitchen.

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The last time I went home, my in-laws’ outdoor kitchen sprung a leak. Water rushed from behind the masonry as I scrambled to find the shutoff. Several filthy hours of digging and repairing later, we enjoyed a cocktail by the lake while I nursed my aching muscles.

Would an outdoor modular kitchen have saved me any work? Probably.

Kathryn Emery, a home and lifestyle expert from BeTheBestHome.com, says until about a decade ago, built-in outdoor kitchens were all the rage. They increased the value of the home as a focal point for entertaining, but installation and labor made them quite the investment.

“Enter outdoor modular kitchens,” Emery says. “[They are] quickly becoming the preferred way to expand an outdoor living space.”

Where regular outdoor kitchens add permanence, modular ones offer flexibility, because they’re easy to disassemble (ahem) and move. You’ll still need to run lines for gas, water and electric. But for a handy DIYer, that should be no problem. Here’s what you need to know about modular outdoor kitchens.

What Is a Modular Outdoor Kitchen?

Just like a built-in outdoor kitchen, a modular kitchen brings the indoors outside. Chop, cook, grill, refrigerate — whatever you can do in a standard outdoor kitchen, you can do with a modular one.

But instead of fitting into the landscape of your yard or patio, modular kitchens come in sections that can be arranged and customized depending on your vision or individual space.

Joe Raboine, vice president of design at Belgard, puts it this way: “Modular can mean different things to different people. But when it comes to outdoor kitchens or outdoor design, we’re looking at standard units or sections of materials that make installation quick and efficient, while also allowing for flexible arrangements.”

Besides cooking and storing, Raboine says “some modular outdoor panel systems can be used to create bars, counters, seating, planters, fire features and more, allowing for your entire outdoor living space to have a cohesive design.”

Benefits of a Modular Outdoor Kitchen

Modular outdoor kitchens aren’t for everyone. While some look and perform like custom-built kitchens, others may not be as durable, especially if you opt for a cheaper one.

But for many homeowners, the benefits of modular outdoor kitchens outweigh the drawbacks. Benefits include:

  • Faster installation: Standardized units come ready to install, with less disruption to your property.
  • Flexibility: Infinite design possibilities due to interchangeable components.
  • Cost: Choose a modular kitchen design that that fits your budget.
  • DIY-able: Depending on the brand and materials, many can be assembled by homeowners.

Where To Source Modular Outdoor Kitchens

Are you ready to take the plunge into outdoor living? Shop online and have an outdoor modular kitchen delivered right to your door.

BBQGuys

module Outdoor Kitchenvia merchant

This popular outdoor kitchen resource offers a huge selection of ready-to-install kitchen kits that ship in days. Choose from multiple prices, brands and configurations for your backyard oasis.

A simple grill with ice chest kit starts at $2,000, while luxurious tile and stone options with gas grills, refrigerators, sinks, kegerators and storage run more than $10,000.

Belgard

module Outdoor Kitchenvia merchant

If you’re in the market for a beautiful modular outdoor kitchen that looks indistinguishable from a custom-built kitchen, look to Belgard.

Built with luxury in mind, these heavy-duty kitchen modules with masonry facades are guaranteed for life. They cost less than traditional masonry and install in a fraction of the time. Raboine says expect to pay about $30 per square foot depending on your market, features and site conditions.

Lowe’s

module Outdoor Kitchenvia merchant

Lowe’s offers hundreds of modular outdoor kitchen options. And because they operate more than 1,700 stores nationwide, you probably live near one if you need help.

Lowe’s features entire kitchen sets, or you can buy individual components to make your kitchen your own. Prices vary depending on brand and configuration, but this highly-rated cabinet, grill and sink set from Char-Broil costs about $5000.

Wayfair

module Outdoor Kitchenvia merchant

Build a modern, sleek outdoor kitchen on a budget with Wayfair’s Veradek five-piece modular system. It features a stainless steel sink and tons of storage and counter space for about $2,200.

Add personality to the open shelves with baskets and cookware. It fits a Kitchen Aid four-burner gas grill, sold separately. If you’re looking for something more upscale with a fridge, sink, grill and rotisserie, Wayfair has those too. Revamp your backyard cooking space with these modern outdoor kitchen ideas.

RTA Outdoor Living

module Outdoor Kitchenvia merchant

RTA stands for “ready to assemble,” so they know modular. Emery says RTA’s modular outdoor kitchen system (MOKS) simplifies the installation process, and their website is packed with information to get you started.

Creat your kitchen with the RTA Design Tool and pick from linear, L-shaped or island MOKS. RTA products are DIY-able and ship right to your door. Costs vary depending on your design, but expect to pay anywhere from a couple of thousand dollars to more than $15,000.