This comprehensive article identifies the 5 Roadblocks that prevent most people from taking immediate action on building their dream outdoor kitchen, and shows how 3 types of prefab outdoor kitchen kits can help you to overcome those obstacles.
Overcome the ONE Thing Keeping You From Building Your Outdoor Kitchen THIS Summer
Feeling a little setback, or maybe even a bit rushed to build an outdoor kitchen you've been dreaming about setting up and running?
It IS a bit dreamy…
Basking in the sunshine, surrounded by family and friends, serving them up with your best dishes and drinks, sharing laughter and good times, being seen as the ultimate host.
The mouth-watering smell of the food is in the air. You can almost taste it just thinking about it…
What do you feel is holding you back from the dream?
It's likely that one (or, possibly more) of these common roadblocks is keeping you stuck in that loop:
- Lack of Knowledge
- Choice Overload
- Lack of Skill
- Price or Budget
- Lack of Time
Here's how the rest of the article will flow…
(Click the links to jump ahead to any of those sections.)
First, I'm going to show you how each of these 5 Roadblocks is preventing you from getting started, and how a prefabricated outdoor kitchen can help you to overcome them.
Then, I'll introduce you to a few good models* to look at from the 3 types of outdoor kitchen kits that will get you started on your search for the best prefab outdoor kitchen kit for your home.
I'll also point out, and link to, some important considerations you'll need to think about before installing an outdoor kitchen on your property.
*(If you just want to see the models, click here to jump ahead.)
Breaking Through the Roadblocks
Luckily for you, no matter which of these roadblocks is holding you back, there's a whole category of products that help you to overcome them.
Prefabricated (or pre-fab) outdoor kitchen kits are pre-packaged solutions that get around one or more of these five obstacles to your dream.
Let's go down the list…
1. Lack of Knowledge
This might be why you are online searching for options in the first place. You are probably excellent behind the stove and in the kitchen, but don't know the first thing about building or assembling one.
In other words, you can clearly envision the dreamy end results, but don't know how to get there. There's a lot to research.
Working backwards from the components you use regularly and are familiar with (like the grill, sink, refrigerator, etc.) you'll then find that there are sooo many options for each.
They also don't stand alone, and bring up more questions:
- Will I need to get gas to the grill? And, how?
- Do I need supporting appliances?
- What kind of materials do they need to be made of to be outside?
- Can the components I buy tolerate the rain?
- How will I get electricity to the fridge?
- What if I choose the wrong components?
The questions alone can be overwhelming, and lead you to question yourself—wondering whether or not this is a good idea.
You might end up intimidated, and pull back from the project altogether.
The Prefab Solution to Lack of Knowledge…
Prefab kits allow you to start with a vision of your finished outdoor kitchen, and provide you with everything you need to get it set up.
Grills and other cooking appliances such as side-burners or rotisseries, compact outdoor refrigerators, stainless steel cabinets, sinks, custom countertops, dining space, and more.
And, all of those components match and fit together perfectly and seamlessly—with complete instructions on how to put them together with the most basic of tools.
Several vendors provide a wide selection of these kits, and most can be delivered right to your door.
2. Choice Overload
It's like when you go to a new restaurant with a huge and detailed menu. It presents so many options that you can't decide quickly, unless you already know exactly what you want.
With outdoor kitchen components, your options come in the form of sizes of fridges and grills, storage cabinets and capacities, counter-top materials and designs, stainless steel or brick finishes… and so on.
Once you start looking at all of the options available to you to build an outdoor kitchen, you might hesitate.
And push back the decision another week…
Or another month, or another year…
Until it just never seems to get done.
The Prefab Solution to Choice Overload…
While you still have a wide variety of islands to choose from, you can now narrow your decision-making to how you want your outdoor kitchen to function.
Since the kits come with all the appliances pre-selected and pre-fitted to the chassis, you can now limit your decision to something as simple as how large a grill you want. Or, whether or not you'll need a sink or a refrigerator.
Basing your decision on overall function, look, and quality means you won't suffer from Choice Overload and can choose quickly and decisively.
3. Lack of Skill
If you're the handy, Do-It-Yourself (DIY) type, you're probably inclined to get all the parts and pieces together and start building.
However, once your start looking at all the different stages that goes into designing and building a fully-functional kitchen, you might see a gap in your skillset.
Perhaps you're good at construction, but not at designing something pretty. Or, you're great with electrical work, but running that natural gas line or water line is a little intimidating.
(Maybe it even requires licensing that you don't have.)
Once you see that gap, it feeds into a fear of failure. Which means you'll hesitate, or foresee too much time, and never get around to building your outdoor kitchen.
Lack of skill could also mean you don't have access to skilled people. That is to say, you don't know any contractors, designers, etc. that can help you with your project.
Which means you'll have to seek out, and probably have to pay, professionals (or skilled amateurs) that you can trust to do the work for you.
The Prefab Solution Lack of Skill…
Since much of the work has already been done at the factory, there isn't much left for you to do,
Depending on the kit, all the design/styling may have been taken care of. And, you won't have to do ALL the construction work yourself. You can focus on a few basic skills with tools like a screwdriver and a wrench.
Also, you can limit your need for professional contracted talent based on the components you select. (For example, a propane grill eliminates the need for a natural gas line. No sink? No plumbing needed!)
4. Lack of Money (A Low Budget)
When we don't have all the skills to design and build our outdoor kitchen from scratch, we'll have to pay others to do it… designers, contractors, builders.
And then there are all the components—grills, refrigerators, sinks, countertops, storage cabinets…
When you look at each thing one at a time—each service, each component, and delivery for each one—the costs add up.
Then you might start cutting costs to fit your budget, which means you begin to skimp on the dream.
When the dream loses its luster, you tend to give up and abandon it, and end up frustrated.
The Prefab Solution Lack of Money or Low Budget…
The predetermined the design of a prefab outdoor kitchen kit makes it easier and cheaper for manufacturers to mass-produce.
And that savings is passed on to you.
Shipping is also simplified into fewer packages, and becomes significantly cost-effective.
All of this allows for vendors to offer more budget-friendly packages at several tiers of quality and function—and, allows for you to buy into the outdoor kitchen lifestyle at a better price.
5. Lack of Time
Maybe you have the skills, access to talented contractors and designers, know what you want, and have plenty of money, but you don't have the time to go through the process of starting from scratch.
Planning and building both take time.
It can take several weeks to have your outdoor kitchen designed, coordinate your contractors, have all your components delivered, area prepped, utility lines run, before actual construction even begins.
If you've only just begun to think about the process late in the season, you might miss out on taking advantage of the best weather conditions this year.
Which means you'll have to wait until next season.
The Prefab Solution to Lack of Time…
Since the design is already predetermined, much of the planning stage is unnecessary. You simply need to follow instructions, or dictate them to your contractors to follow, which saves you time.
An unfinished (or ready-to-finish) island can be taken from concept to reality in under 10 days. A finished island kit can be fully assembled the same day it arrives at your home.*
*(See more about finished and ready-to-finish islands, below.)
Here's an awesome 2-minute video from BBQGuys.com showing the simplicity of a finished prefab outdoor kitchen island kit being put together in a matter of hours:
Assembled in About 2 HOURS…
(Model shown is the Coyote Ready-To-Assemble 6′ Premium Outdoor Kitchen Grill Island, briefly mentioned below.)
Prefab Kits Let You Focus On The Dream…
The Prefab Kit's simplicity and relative ease of installation allow you to focus on the features you want in your outdoor kitchen, and the role you want that kitchen to play in your life, without having to concern yourself too much with design and construction details.
Do you have a small space, and just planning to do come cooking on the grill outside? You can choose a grill-only option.
Do you think you'll need to keep cold food or beverages handy? You might consider a kit with an outdoor refrigerator.
Maybe you want to serve drinks and do on-location food prep. Look at islands with sinks.
Or, keep your guests in close proximity with a dining counter or media center.
Do you like the simplified construction, but want to have a more customized look? Many companies offer several finishing options to choose from. OR, you can get an unfinished island and have your own way with it.
WARNINGS & Important Considerations
Before we move on to the products, I want to be sure you're properly prepared for installing one of these in your home.
Even though these kits make construction of your outdoor kitchen faster and easier, there are still some important things to consider before getting started.
For example, some questions you'll need to answer include:
- Does the location provide a stable platform for something as heavy as an outdoor kitchen island?
- Will you have access to the utilities you'll need such as natural gas, plumbing, or electricity?
- Is there an easy way to get such a bulky item from the delivery truck to your yard or patio?
Safety, location, grill fuel type, delivery logistics, and whether you'll need utilities connected are all important to take into account.
Some manufacturers provide a “Pre-Delivery Guide” to help you prepare to receive your outdoor kitchen island kit. I will link to them in my suggestions below, when available.
While you're still shopping around, please take a look at my article, BEFORE You Buy a Prefab Outdoor Kitchen Kit for an in-depth overview of these special considerations.
3 Good Prefab Outdoor Kitchen Kit Options
Ok, now allow me to introduce you to a few products to begin your search for the best prefab outdoor kitchen kit for your home and situation.
There are 3 major categories of prefab outdoor kitchen kits. So, I'll be listing one of each of the 3 types:
- A Finished Island
Everything from shape, finishing, and appliances are pre-selected – Most convenient, Least customizable.
- A Modular Island Kit
Each appliance/section of the kitchen is its own finished module, which can be arranged in various configurations – Convenient, Semi-customizable.
- A Ready-to-Finish Pre-Framed Kit
Frame is cut and shaped to fit pre-selected appliances, but finishing and countertop not included – Most customizable, More work.
–> Read more about The 3 Types of Prefab Outdoor Kitchen Kits
For our purposes, I'm going to say the minimum requirements for a prefab kit to be considered an “outdoor kitchen” are:
- A Grill to cook your food;
- Counter Space for food prep; and
- A Refrigerator to store food and beverages.
(You can get a grill-only island, but that doesn't really constitute a full “kitchen” in my view.)
I could also include a sink, but I wanted to keep these suggested options as simple as possible. (I will mention upgraded versions and options when available.)
Disclosure: 3GoodOnes.com is a professional review site. Some of the links in this post are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase an item, I will receive an affiliate commission for your purchase. (e.g., As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.) It is my hope that this post leaves you so well informed, that you won't mind that very much.
A Little Something About Stores & Brands
First, I will also do my best to link you to reputable stores on the Internet that will deliver to your home.
As for brands, of course they're not all the same. They can vary wildly in price, quality, and reputation.
I'll do my best to list products with the best reputations below. But, to give you a little perspective, I find that the best outdoor kitchen brands fall somewhere on a scale from Budget-Friendly to more Premium brands.
On the more budget-friendly end, these brands continue to maintain a good reputation for their products and accessories:
- Cal Flame
On the higher-end for both quality and price (sometimes leaning towards the more “professional” or “luxury” end) you'll find:
- Fire Magic
…just to name some of the popular few.
ALL of these are solid brands that produce good products. The differences you will find are often in style, construction materials, warranty, and available accessories.
The main question is, what kind of bang are you trying to get for your buck?
With the budget-friendly options, you will get more space and accessories.
Premium brands offer a more upscale look, and a potentially longer-lasting investment.
Ok, on to the products…
Finished Outdoor Kitchen Island
We'll start with the simplest setup – one of the most basic kits you can buy: A completely finished island with Propane gas…
|Shop online at:||Amazon (e6004)|
Appliances Connection (PV6004)
BBQ Guys (e6004)
Home Depot (e6004)
Cal Flame outdoor kitchen products range from small barbecue carts and grills, to fire pits & fireplaces, to elaborate and complete backyard kitchen solutions.
This nationally renown hearth and barbecue manufacturer is based in the USA, where they make all their products.
The Cal Flame Pavilion PV6004 is a good all-in-one kit that provides the basics for outdoor kitchen entertainment in one compact station.
At just over 6 ft wide (73″), 45 in. high, and 33 in. deep, it has a relatively small footprint. When you take the grill's size into consideration, that leaves you about 7 sq. ft. of counter space on which you can prepare or serve food.
Beneath that counter sits the 4.6 cu. ft. stainless steel outdoor refrigerator. It has ample room for drinks and food, with 5 adjustable shelves, door storage for bottles, and a (tiny) freezer for an ice tray.
Also convenient are the electrical outlet which allows you to hook up accessories like a blender, fans, or lamps, and the umbrella hole, to provide some shade for the chef.
Model numbers: PV6004 vs. e6004
These model numbers confused me a little bit when doing my research, but here's the difference: Customization options.
The PV6004 is customizable. You choose from several different models of grills, access doors, countertops, and side finishes. There is only one option for the refrigerator, however.*
*(You can always replace it with your own outdoor refrigerator.)
See what your retailer has available when you make your purchase.
(Prices will vary depending on your options.)
The e6004 has a predetermined set of options. You don't get to choose, but that's what makes it an easy choice. Here's what it comes with…
It comes with the Cal Flame P4 4-Burner Gas Grill, with more features than you might expect from a basic BBQ grill:
- Four 15,000 BTUs high powered burners, each with its own Burner Ignition System, and one 15,000 BTUs infrared back burner for extra rotisserie cooking power.
- 304-Stainless Steel construction, with patented cast stainless steel knobs in a seamless design, means it is rust-resistant to endure the elements, and easy to clean.
- Easily removable Heavy-Duty V-Grates that can fit in a dishwasher.
- A full-width drip tray, that catches any mess under the cooking area, is on rollers, so it can be easily pulled out for cleaning.
- Dual Halogen Interior Lights assist in cooking day or night
… and more. The grill normally uses liquid propane, but can be converted to use natural gas using Cal Flame's Natural Gas Conversion Kit.
You also get a single, stainless steel door for access to the cabinet* with the propane tank and storage.
*(Note that this cabinet space, unlike the space for the refrigerator, has no flooring. Your propane tank, and anything else you put in there, will sit upon the surface that the island is built on.)
Siding finishes and countertops for the e6004 appear to vary depending on your retailer. Be sure to confirm which options come in the box, and don't rely on the images presented on the website.
Cal Flame is just one example of a company whose outdoor kitchens come in a variety of setups and sizes. From basic islands like this one, to L-shaped islands with seating, to elaborate multiple-grill-and-appliance filled entertainment centers with roofing.
Continue Searching Online…
Modular Outdoor Kitchen Kit
Mont Alpi is a barbeque design and supply company based in California, but also operating in the UK and South Africa. They create modern, stylish-looking pizza ovens, fire pits, grill carts, built-in grills, and BBQ islands.
All their islands are based on a modular design, and they sell a wide variety of modules – sink modules, refrigerator modules, storage cabinets, beverage centers, grills – giving you great freedom in assembling the perfect layout for your outdoor kitchen.
I chose the Mont Alpi 400 Deluxe 45-Degree Island Grill Kit (MAi400-D45FC) here for a few reasons.
First, it's a basic set up with a grill, outdoor refrigerator, and storage cabinet. But, it also has convenient drawers beneath the grill, to store tools and other cooking accessories.
Second, it's exemplary of the convenience of setting up a modular outdoor kitchen kit. (Despite having only one predetermined layout.)
Putting Mont Alpi islands together is relatively easy, as each module arrives assembled. You wheel them to your location, and press them adjacent to each other. A few bolts and plates hold them together in the back, and on the inside.
This video will show you how that works in detail:
It also has a slick, modern look to it. The smooth, white faux-granite “waterfall” countertops, combined with smooth stainless steel surfaces and ambient lighting make for a very impressive look.
I also like how the 45° angle modules bring the outer modules a little bit closer to the chef, making the appliances a little more accessible, while expanding the preparation space at the same time. The shape also allows it to fit in a tighter space or corner.
Speaking of the appliances, the Mont Alpi Deluxe Island 400 comes with a third one: a convenient side burner built into the countertop on the left side.
It's a ceramic infrared burner with a stainless steel cooking grid. The height is adjustable for extra temperature control. Use it for searing, boiling, or heating large saucepans, adding additional cooking potential to this compact bbq island station.
The cabinet beneath the burner is where you'd store the propane tank if you're using that fuel option for the main grill.
The Mont Alpi Built-In Grill 400 is a 32-inch, 78,000 BTU Propane Gas Grill (convertible to natural gas). The main cooking area measures 30″ x 18″ inches, with 8mm stainless steel cooking grids, and 4 high-efficiency 12,000 BTU tubular stainless steel burners.
It also boasts several unique features:
- A double lined lid for superior heat retention;
- A stainless steel warming rack;
- A ceramic infrared burner in the rear of the grill for the heavy duty rotisserie kit (included);
- Dual halogen interior lights for cooking after dark;
- The front control panel features a temperature gauge, control knobs lit by blue LED light, and a bottle opener so you can open up a drink while tending the grill;
- A pull-out grease tray for easy cleaning.
The two large easy-glide drawers below the grill are useful for storing tools, prep items, and and keeping other things handy.
The refrigerator is a little on the small side at 2.1 cu. ft. However, the convenience of being in its own pre-built module might make up for that. Additionally, it has:
- A locking door to keep sneaky minors out of your beer stash;
- See-through glass door so you can search the contents without opening the fridge and wasting energy;
- Eye-catching blue interior lighting that looks cool day or night.
Thanks to the modular design, if you wanted to expand your outdoor kitchen island, you can upgrade it by adding modules. For example, get a module with a sink, or an additional cabinet. (Or,even another grill!) 🤯
If you don't like the 45° angle, you can get it without those expansion modules (model MAi400).
Mont Alpi also makes a larger island (Model MAi805) with a larger grill. Some options even come in black stainless steel for a different modern look.
Continue Shopping Mont Alpi Online…
Oh, and it also has its own rockin' music video…
RTF Pre-Framed Outdoor Kitchen Kit
|Shop online at:||BBQ Guys|
Here's an option for those of you who want to do a little more of the styling on your own, but like the convenience of having all the appliances selected for you.
It's a special kit put together by BBQ Guys by combining products from two companies: Blaze and Grillnetics.
Blaze Outdoor Products (originally Blaze Grills) started as barbeque grill manufacturer, but now specializes in affordable outdoor kitchen appliances and accessories.
The countertop and paneling are not included, and will have to be purchased separately.
Grillnetics is an outdoor cabinetry company, focusing on products for DIY outdoor kitchens and built-in-barbeque islands.
Fully built, the island is 11 feet wide, and though the grill and side burner take up some of the counter top, it leaves ample space for food preparation and serving.
The package comes with:
- 32″ built-in grill (natural gas OR propane—decide upon ordering);
- Combination door & double drawer storage unit;
- 4.5 cu. ft. outdoor refrigerator
- Built-in side burner; and
- A roll-out drawer for trash or a propane tank.
… and 6 Grillnetics cabinet frame kits in which to insert all those appliances and accessories.
Here are some quick takes on the appliance features.
- 304 stainless steel construction;
- 32-inch built-in gas grill with four 14,000 BTU stainless steel burners (56,000 total cooking surface BTUs);
- 10,000 BTU infrared rear burner;
- Push-and-turn flame-thrower primary ignition;
- Removable warming rack;
- Heat zone separators for different cooking zones across the grilling surface;
- Double-lined Grill hood protects the outer layer from heat discoloration.
- Two 12,000 BTU brass-plated burners for superior heat retention;
- Raised cooking grate for better airflow; and
- Stainless steel cover for when the burner is not in use.
Compact Outdoor Refrigerator:
- 20-inches wide, 4.5 cubic feet of storage;
- Reversible stainless steel door;
- Adjustable leveling legs for an exact fit;
- Door lock with key to secure your food or drinks;
- Interior lighting, 3 adjustable shelves, see-thru crisper, shelves and beverage dispenser on the door;
- Thermostat with automatic defrost.
As I mentioned, missing from this package are the outer paneling and countertop (which you will have to purchase and apply separately), giving you the freedom to create a custom finish that will match your outdoor kitchen design and motif.
For ideas, and to see what's possible with siding and countertops, check out some ideas on Google.
To get you started, here are a few links to buy siding & paneling online:
Well, I hope that this article has shown you how one of the various types of prefab outdoor kitchen kits can be the very thing you need to make that outdoor kitchen of your dreams a reality:
- Provides for fast and relatively easy installation;
- Allows you to choose from many options without overwhelm;
- Overcomes the need to have special skills or access to professionals with them;
- Get the features you want on an affordable budget;
… allowing you to focus on how your outdoor kitchen will enhance your lifestyle, and getting it up and running as quickly and completely as possible.
Thank you for reading. If you have any questions about this article, or anything to add for other readers, please add them in the comments below.