When we chose the layout of our home, one thing that really sold us was the large covered patio. Living in Oregon, this is a must have! We knew we wanted to add an outdoor kitchen but the builders price was obscene! Ryan decided that we would DIY our own and surprisingly, this simple outdoor kitchen DIY was one of the easiest DIY's to date! We'll share our step-by-step on how we built this outdoor BBQ/fridge set up and how it's holding up almost two years later!
Simple Outdoor Kitchen DIY
We started this project in May of 2021 and had a little bit of a stall waiting for the countertop. Ryan build the kitchen set up from scratch, but ordered the countertop from a local countertop company. DIYing our own countertop was not something we were ready to take on!
Click here to shop our specific grill insert and here to shop our outdoor refrigerator. Click any image below to shop the materials needed for your own outdoor built in BBQ!
Simple Outdoor Kitchen DIY Tutorial
Check out this simple to follow tutorial so you can build your own DIY outdoor kitchen!
Step 1 - Planning Your New Outdoor BBQ
For our outdoor kitchen, we included a grill, doors under the grill and a refrigerator. This leaves plenty of counter space for serving and prepping. The size of our island is pretty small which for us, leaves access to get to the side of the house. We had a gas line on our home, so the location was pre-determined. If you're using propane, it can be wherever you'd like! Decide the style of the outdoor kitchen. Ours is a farmhouse style with board and batten to match our exterior.
Step 1 - Measure
Measure where your outdoor kitchen will go. Know the measurements for height, length, and width. One important thing to note, measure the slope (if any) of the area you building the island. Know the cutout dimensions of everything you are adding (BBQ, flat top grill, side burner, etc).
Step 3 - Frame
Use the tin-snips to cut the metal studs and build the frame. Attach the metal studs together with the sheet metal screws. Make sure that all the vertical pieces are plumb (straight up and down) as this will be supporting all the load of the island.
Step 4 - Sides of the BBQ Frame
Attach the concrete board to the metal studs using the sheet metal screws. A thin coat of outdoor spackle can help make a smooth finish and fill in screw holes. Attach cedar strips with glue to finish design and help frame out cut-outs as needed.
Step 5 - Paint
Paint the sides the color of your choosing with an outdoor paint. We used Sherwin Williams Pure White. Click here for a full review on this paint color!
Step 6 - Level
While building, you should be trying to keep the top level, but as you add the countertop, any unlevelness will cause cracks. To get the top perfectly level, I put concrete board on the top. Then I built a temporary frame around the top. I then sealed all the seams and poured a self leveling flooring substrate.
Step 7 - Countertop
This is the one step I outsourced. I hired a company to cut a countertop for me. They came and laser measured the top and then 6 weeks later came with a finished countertop and installed it.
Step 8 - Add Your Appliances
For your final step, insert your BBQ and place the refrigerator in the cutout! Now you can sit back and enjoy your new outdoor kitchen!
Why Do You Need an Outdoor Kitchen?
An outdoor kitchen structure looks so much better than a stand alone bbq in our opinion. The countertop gives you a place to serve, a place to set tools, and a place to prep your food. The refrigerator is great for storing beverages or kids snacks during the summer.
What We Would Have Done Differently
Our porch sits at a slope (so water drains away from the house) so this made measuring a tad difficult. We had to account for the slope so that the BBQ didn't slope as well.
More Outdoor Kitchen Ideas
Check out these gorgeous outdoor kitchen ideas to give you more inspiration!
Hopefully this post gave you some inspiration if your looking at building your own outdoor kitchen! Please let me know if you have any questions by leaving a comment below, or feel free to DM me on Instagram!
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