The main image is courtesy of RTA Outdoor Living.
In recent years, outdoor cooking has gained significant popularity among homeowners. Whether hosting barbecues, enjoying family meals, or entertaining guests, homeowners have been learning that an outdoor kitchen adds a new dimension to their culinary and hosting skills, as well as to their overall enjoyment being outside.
One practical solution that continues to fuel this trend is the use of modular outdoor kitchen kits. These kits offer convenience, flexibility, and custom-like aesthetics for creating the perfect outdoor cooking and entertaining spaces.
In this article, we explore the many benefits and features of modular outdoor kitchen kits and how they are enhancing both culinary capabilities and indoor-outdoor living.
Table of Contents
- The Rising Popularity of Outdoor Cooking
- What are Modular Outdoor Kitchen Kits?
- Benefits of Modular Outdoor Kitchen Kits
- Key Features to Consider
- Designing Your Outdoor Cooking Space
- Leading Modular Outdoor Kitchen Brands & Shopping Sites
- Maintenance and Cleaning
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
The Rising Popularity of Outdoor Cooking
Over recent years, outdoor cooking has transformed from simple backyard barbecues to elaborate culinary experiences approaching restaurant-caliber.
Homeowners are increasingly looking for ways to extend their living space and create outdoor environments that are perfect for entertaining, including enjoying meals with family and friends. In fact, outdoor kitchens have become a popular central outdoor feature, allowing individuals to cook, dine, and socialize in the open air.
Al Fresco cooking and dining are also very prevalent for cuisines that use strong-smelling ingredients, such as fish paste, garlic, seafood or curry powder, all of which tend to permeate throughout the home’s interior when cooked indoors.
Outdoor cooking allows strong odors to dissipate in the ambient air, while allowing you culinary freedom to try even the most daring dishes, such as delicacies made with fermented soybeans.
Specialty outdoor appliances such as pizza ovens, smokers, and Tandoors are becoming must-haves in today’s modern outdoor kitchens, as they address a missing element in many indoor kitchens: wood-fired smokiness.
What are Modular Outdoor Kitchen Kits?
Modular outdoor kitchen kits are predesigned, prefabricated systems that consist of various chosen components that form an integrated outdoor cooking space.
These kits typically include modules for:
- Grill Islands
- Refrigeration, and more
They are designed to be easily assembled and customized to suit individual preferences and available outdoor space.
The creation of an outdoor modular kitchen can start modestly by choosing solely those key modules that are best-suited to your current needs and space constraints for immediate installation and usage.
While gathering outdoor cooking experience with your initial system, you can then make plans for future additions and upgrades, such as:
- Side Burners
- Storage Pantries
- Ice Bins
- Warming Drawers
A modular kitchen will also allow you to incorporate new product introductions that suit your evolving cooking and entertainment needs.
The video below from RTA Outdoor Living gives a helpful overview to understand the value proposition and market need for modular outdoor kitchens. RTA was launched in 2017 focused on making outdoor kitchens more easily attainable for a larger population of homeowners. RTA’s unique approach to modular outdoor kitchens is to simplify the design and build process by using high-strength concrete panels that can be assembled in a few hours by two people. A wide-range of appliances that make a kit fully functional is available through their integrated partnership with Coyote Outdoor Living. Their “housing” system (e.g. islands, siding, cabinets and countertops) also works with many other leading appliance brands, when going through their custom-design process.
Benefits of Modular Outdoor Kitchen Kits
Convenience, Flexibility & Economics
One of the significant advantages of modular outdoor kitchen kits is their convenience, flexibility, and economics. Unlike traditional outdoor kitchen setups that require extensive planning, design, and construction, modular kits offer a ready-made solution.
They can be easily installed and customized according to your specific needs. With modular kits, you have the flexibility to choose the components that best suit your current cooking style and outdoor space, with the ability to integrate additional modules as your tastes, preferences and needs change in the future.
Existing components can also be upgraded should you prefer newer modules with more features.
Modular outdoor kitchen kits provide a wide range of customization options. You can select the layout, materials, and finishes that align with your design preferences.
Whether you prefer a sleek modern look or a rustic charm, there are modular kits available to match your aesthetic. Additionally, you can add or remove components as needed, allowing for future upgrades or changes to your outdoor cooking space.
Compared to building a custom outdoor kitchen from scratch, modular outdoor kitchen kits offer a cost-effective alternative. They eliminate the need for hiring contractors and managing complex construction projects.
With modular kits, you can save both time and money while still achieving a high-quality outdoor cooking space, while growing and modifying the space as needed.
Key Features to Consider
When selecting a modular outdoor kitchen kit, several key features should be taken into consideration to ensure optimal functionality and longevity.
- Durability and Weather-Resistance
- Cooking Appliances and Accessories
- Storage and Organization
- Choosing the Right Modular Outdoor Kitchen Kit
Durability and Weather-Resistance
Since outdoor kitchens are exposed to various weather conditions, it is crucial to choose a kit made from durable and weather-resistant materials. Look for materials such as stainless steel, stone, or high-quality polymers that can withstand harsh outdoor elements and resist corrosion and deterioration.
Cooking Appliances and Accessories
Consider the cooking appliances and accessories included in the modular kit. A good kit should offer a range of options, such as grills, burners, side burners, rotisseries, and smokers, to accommodate different cooking techniques and preferences.
Additionally, ample counter space and storage for utensils, spices, and other cooking essentials are essential for a functional outdoor kitchen.
Storage and Organization
Efficient storage and organization are vital for keeping your outdoor kitchen tidy and well-maintained. Look for modular kits that provide ample cabinet space, drawers, and shelving options to store your cooking tools, dishes, and other supplies.
Built-in waste management systems can also be a valuable addition.
Choosing the Right Modular Outdoor Kitchen Kit
When choosing a modular outdoor kitchen kit, consider the following factors:
- Size and layout of your outdoor space
- Cooking and entertaining needs
- Design preferences and aesthetic appeal
- Budget constraints
- Durability and quality of materials
- Warranty and after-sales support
Research different brands and read customer reviews to ensure you select a reputable and reliable manufacturer.
Most important, make sure that the outdoor kitchen kit that you choose makes sense for your needs. In other words, choose modular options that you will use and that those items have the right placement conducive to your cooking style.
Designing Your Outdoor Cooking Space
Designing your outdoor cooking space is an exciting process that allows you to unleash your creativity. Consider the overall layout, focal points, and traffic flow within the space. Incorporate elements such as outdoor seating, lighting, and landscaping to create a welcoming and inviting atmosphere.
Designing for work-flow is critical for any kitchen. With an outdoor kitchen, be sure to consider what reliance the outdoor kitchen will have on the indoor kitchen. Having access to a pass-through window between the two kitchens, for example, is a highly effective way to reduce unnecessary foot traffic.
Enhancing the Outdoor Experience
To enhance your outdoor cooking experience, consider adding additional features to your modular outdoor kitchen kit. These may include outdoor fireplaces or fire pits, pizza ovens, beverage stations, or outdoor audio systems. These elements can elevate your outdoor space and create a multifunctional entertainment area.
Consider healthy module options such as a Sous Vide for a more hands-off approach to the backyard barbecue. Spend more time entertaining and allow your Sous Vide to prepare a restaurant-quality meal while you attend to guests.
The modules you choose should allow you to enhance your outdoor experience when entertaining, by not tying you down to prepare the meal nor sacrificing food quality.
Safety should be a top priority when designing and using your modular outdoor kitchen kit. Ensure that the installation complies with local building codes and regulations. Keep flammable materials and substances away from the cooking area. Install proper ventilation systems to prevent the buildup of smoke and fumes. Educate yourself on safe grilling practices and regularly inspect and maintain your cooking appliances.
Before starting the installation process, carefully read the manufacturer’s instructions and guidelines. Ensure that you have all the necessary tools and equipment. If you are not confident in your DIY skills, it is recommended to hire a professional for proper installation.
Leading Modular Outdoor Kitchen Brands & Shopping Sites
This list of links will take you to each brand’s respective modular outdoor kitchen offerings:
- BetterPatio Designer
- Brown Jordan Outdoor Kitchens Elements
- Cal Flame BBQ Islands
- Challenger Designs
- Char Broil
- Coyote Outdoor Kitchens & Grills
- Mont Alpi
- NewAge Outdoor Kitchens
- RTA Outdoor Living
- Stoll Industries
- Trex Outdoor Kitchens Explorer Series
- Urban Bonfire Classics
Specialty Outdoor Brands & Shops
- Danver Residential Gallery
- Directory of Brands Available on BBQGuys
- RTA Outdoor Kitchen Buyers Guide
- RTA Outdoor Kitchen Design Tool
- Trex Outdoor Kitchen Design Tool
- Trex Outdoor Kitchen Gallery
- Weber Outdoor Kitchen Design App
Maintenance and Cleaning
Regular maintenance and cleaning are essential for the longevity and optimal performance of your modular outdoor kitchen kit. To maintain your modular outdoor kitchen kit properly, be sure to clean the surfaces and components regularly following the manufacturer’s recommendations.
Surfaces, grills, and accessories should all be cleaned after each use. Avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive materials that may damage the finishes.
Perform routine inspections to identify any signs of wear or damage and address them promptly to prevent further issues. Regularly check for gas leaks, blockages, or malfunctioning components. Clean or replace air filters and inspect the plumbing system.
Following these maintenance practices will ensure that your outdoor kitchen remains in optimal condition and provides you with years of safe, enjoyable cooking experiences.
Modular outdoor kitchen kits offer a practical and convenient solution for creating the perfect outdoor cooking space. With their flexibility, customization options, and cost-effectiveness, these kits allow homeowners to enhance their cooking capabilities while entertaining guests with ease.
By considering key features, choosing the right kit, and following proper installation and maintenance practices, you can expand your culinary experiences in a highly functional and stylish outdoor kitchen for many years to come.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Can I add additional components to my modular outdoor kitchen kit?
Yes, modular outdoor kitchen kits are designed to be customizable. You can add or remove components based on your changing needs and preferences.
Are modular outdoor kitchen kits suitable for all climates?
Modular outdoor kitchen kits are typically made from durable and weather-resistant materials, making them suitable for various climates. However, it’s essential to choose a kit that is specifically designed to withstand the weather conditions in your area.
How long does it take to install a modular outdoor kitchen kit?
The installation time can vary depending on the complexity of the kit and your DIY skills. It’s recommended to read the manufacturer’s instructions and guidelines carefully and allocate sufficient time for the installation process.
Can I move my modular outdoor kitchen kit if I relocate?
Modular outdoor kitchen kits are designed to be portable and can be disassembled and moved to a new location. However, it’s advisable to consult the manufacturer’s instructions and guidelines to ensure a proper relocation process.
What are the primary materials used in modular outdoor kitchen kits?
Modular outdoor kitchen kits are commonly made from materials such as stainless steel, stone, or high-quality polymer. These materials offer durability and weather resistance, ensuring the longevity of your outdoor kitchen.
How much does it cost to build a nice outdoor modular kitchen?
Installing an outdoor kitchen typically costs between $5,000 and $20,000, with most homeowners spending between $10,000 and $15,000. The total cost will come down to size, appliance options, building materials, and area in which you live
How does a non-modular outdoor kitchen differ from a modular outdoor kitchen?
A non-modular outdoor kitchen, typically known as a custom outdoor kitchen, is built primarily on on-site. This type of outdoor kitchen involves designing and constructing each element individually, including countertops, cabinets, grill, sink, and other features.
Non-modular outdoor kitchens require more planning, design expertise, and construction skills compared to modular ones. The construction process involves working with various materials like concrete, stone, or brick to create a unique and tailored outdoor kitchen. Custom outdoor kitchens are typically designed to fit the specific space and requirements of the homeowner.
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