Easy DIY Outdoor Kitchen Kit Build – What You Should Know

How to build a modular outdoor kitchen kit in a day with just two people and 1 simple tool, plus how it held up after 3 years.

Holy smokes! (Oops… is that a grilling pun?) We built an outdoor kitchen in a day!

If you have your own outdoor kitchen plans this year, this blog post will dive into our full brutally honest review about the assembly process and how our outdoor kitchen components from RTA Outdoor Living and Coyote appliances have held up since 2021. 

diy outdoor kitchen kit in a backyard from RTA Outdoor Living

In short, we highly recommend this prefab outdoor kitchen project for anyone who wants to establish their outdoor living space quickly. Our family has thoroughly enjoyed it since 2021.

But it does have some quirks you should know first. So we’re diving into all of the pros and cons. 

Before we styled the pergola cabana, I shot a quick “before” of this concrete slab corner of our pool deck.

backyard before

Literally just a few hours later, we had this semi custom outdoor kitchen ready for a backyard cookout. 

pergola cabana modular outdoor kitchen and outdoor dining table in a backyard

Outdoor Kitchen Space Before and After

Side note: It’s been a long road in this outdoor space over the last couple of years 

We’ve poured so much hard work into this backyard.

We never thought one of the DIY outdoor kitchen kits would be an option until we realized how quickly we could make it happen with all of the available options out there.

backyard before
DIY pergola cabana modular outdoor kitchen and outdoor dining table with swimming pool in a backyard

Why DIY Outdoor Kitchen Kits Are Worth It

Whenever we envisioned an outdoor kitchen for our backyard, we kept thinking it would take: 

  • Weeks of planning
  • Consulting design experts
  • Hiring a specialized contractor
  • Several days or weeks of building

Going into it, we knew it would be a splurge type of project, especially for us, but considering how often we host backyard cookouts and knowing outdoor kitchens can increase the value of a home, we were willing to plan a build from scratch.

But instead, Robert and I put together this Modular Outdoor Kitchen Cabinets System (MOKS) from RTA Outdoor Living and Coyote Outdoor in exactly 8 hours!

The entire outdoor kitchen planning and building process was:

  • Simple to plan and order
  • Quick to execute
  • Easy to assemble using basic skills
modular outdoor kitchen in a backyard

To be fair, we were sort of the guinea pigs of this new outdoor kitchen that had recently hit the market.

It took us longer than it normally would have since RTA Outdoor Living has worked out the kinks with a few assembly design tweaks after we received ours.

But that now just means the process would be even faster for other homeowners than ours was.

Choosing the Kitchen Layout

Beforehand, we chose the kitchen setup we wanted from all of RTA’s different configurations on their website. We don’t plan on having any plumbing routed onto our pool deck, so we chose a design without an outdoor sink.

We incorporated these elements into our outdoor kitchen designs: 

So that we’d have extra room for guests to sit, we added on the bar island as well.

RTA Outdoor Living also carries additional module design options with custom styles and a stone veneer option for their DIY BBQ island kits. But the MOKS island frame kit works better for a less expensive price range.

Delivery

Everything was delivered on pallets for us to assemble together.

(Please enjoy a glimpse at our *perfectly organized and clean garage* by the way… snicker snicker.)

delivered diy outdoor kitchen kit in boxes

Assembly

We originally enlisted the help of my dad and Robert’s best friend because we weren’t really sure what sort of heavy lifting we’d be up against, but we ended up sending them home once we realized how easy it would be. Assembly is totally do-able for just a hubby/wife duo like us!

I was better about documenting the process on video rather than stopping to take pictures of each step as we pieced it together, so be sure to check the video for more details.

Step 1 – Assemble the Frame

Essentially, it was all a matter of following instructions to construct 3 sides of the “box” for the grill island first.

building a modular outdoor kitchen frame

Step 2 – Secure Appliances and Storage Components

One-by-one, we placed the already assembled Coyote Outdoor appliances and storage components, securing them with the provided screws into the island frame.

assembling an outdoor kitchen

Step 3 – Attach Countertop

Once we had all of our components placed, we slid the Corian countertops into place along the notches at the top of the island frame.

building an outdoor kitchen

Step 4 – Add On Bar Island

We did the same for the bar island at the storage cabinet as well.

building an outdoor kitchen

The entire kitchen isn’t supposed to require any tools other than a screwdriver or drill.

That was it!

white modular outdoor kitchen from RTA Outdoor Living

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white modular outdoor kitchen from RTA Outdoor Living

Durability

The kitchen is made of durable marine grade composite with 304 steel appliances and is outdoor rated using low maintenance materials.

love how clean and sleek it looks back here next to our more rough limewashed brick.

Initially, I was worried that the white composite material would discolor over time, but after 3 years, we are still very happy with this modular kitchen!

white modular outdoor kitchen from RTA Outdoor Living
white modular outdoor kitchen from RTA Outdoor Living

Overall, after 3 years, we’re big fans of this kitchen.

If y’all see me sticking my head in this fridge on one of our 100 degree days in July, mind ya business.

white modular outdoor kitchen from RTA Outdoor Living

Pros

Now that we’ve placed everything in one piece, I thought it would help to share some pros and cons about our MOKS kitchen…

Quick Assembly

It was faster assembly than a typical outdoor kitchen (in just a matter of hours). The lightweight material made it easy for two people to lift during the assembly process.

Cheaper Than Custom

This kitchen kit was less pricey than a traditional custom outdoor kitchen as there is no need for a carpenter, mason, or any other contractor.

white modular outdoor kitchen from RTA Outdoor Living

Durable

The composite material is durable and heavy enough to withstand harsh weather. We’ve had a couple of tropical storms blow through over the past 3 years, and everything had held up perfectly. 

Great Quality Appliances

The kitchen is made to fit top of the line appliances that are outdoor rated from Coyote. After 3 years, we have no signs of rust problems, and it’s all still running perfectly. 

Easy to Clean

Every spring, we spray this kitchen down with the pressure washer for a deep cleaning along with the rest of our backyard. It’s easy to quickly wipe down before a gathering. The composite material is very low maintenance. 

pressure washer cleaning an outdoor kitchen

Cons

While we’re mostly happy with our backyard kitchen, there are still some not-so-great aspects about it.

Price

The biggest con of this outdoor kitchen kit is the price. What you gain in the vast amount of time saved, you give up in budget.

At the time of this post, this entire M6 L-Shape Refrigeration Island & Storage Bar is $13,595. Over half that amount is for the Coyote appliances alone.

Building the kitchen from scratch would have likely been cheaper, but it would have taken several days or even weeks to make, depending on the weather. 

white modular outdoor kitchen from RTA Outdoor Living

Limited Design Options

I do wish we could have done a white brick design similar to the brick on our home, but I do like how the sleek white composite adds a modern look to the backyard. 

No Charcoal or Smoker Option

We were limited to using built-in gas grills as our options, but my barbecue loving husband really misses having a charcoal grill and slow smoker.

That might be a component we add later on the side, but I wish RTA Outdoor Living and Coyote had that as an appliance option in their kit. 

All in all, Robert and I assembled this gorgeous kitchen while remaining on speaking terms (haha!) and we truly love this backyard setup!

white modular outdoor kitchen from RTA Outdoor Living
white modular outdoor kitchen from RTA Outdoor Living

You can see more about the MOKS system from RTA Outdoor Living and Coyote Outdoor here.

It’s been quite a long, laborious process in this backyard over the last few years, and it has all really paid off.

We still plan to eventually do stamped concrete on this pool deck. But other than that, we’re seeing the finish line!

backyard with pool outdoor kitchen pergola cabana and outdoor dining table
backyard with pool outdoor kitchen pergola cabana and outdoor dining table

Home wasn’t built in a day and apparently neither is a backyard.

Have you been hard at work on outdoor projects this summer? What are some big wins you’ve had in yours? We’ve gotten a little obsessed about all things outdoor here this year.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does it cost to build an outdoor kitchen?

The cost of an outdoor kitchen will vary greatly depending on the types of materials you use, the quality of appliances you use, and how many components you include. But the national average is $495 per linear foot.

Is it worth it to build an outdoor kitchen?

An outdoor kitchen provides more living space to entertain and gather with guests. Usually, homeowners see an ROI of 100-200% on the resale of their homes after building a backyard kitchen.

More DIY Backyard Ideas

How to Paint a Concrete Pool Deck That Lasts

DIY Painted Concrete Pool Deck and Patio

DIY Pergola Cabana Using a Tojagrid Kit

diy backyard cabana

Backyard DIY Fire Pit Built in a Weekend

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Simple DIY Bocce Ball Court

DIY Bocce Ball Court

41 DIY Backyard Ideas on a Budget for Easy Outdoor Living

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diy outdoor kitchen kit build in a day

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25 Comments

  1. It looks nice, but I’d be worried that it’s not anchored to the concrete. A good wind storm could flip that whole unit? I didn’t check their website for pricing, but I understand they’re selling specifically for DIY and probably not long term use. (I’m in lake country, it’s always windy at the lake, so we use concrete blocks and pavers for anything outdoor and lakefront- ha!)
    But, like you said, it’s for us that don’t want to hire mason, contractors, etc. I didn’t quite understand that fridge set up. Did you have to drill out a hole and run an extension from your house for power? A sink would be ideal, and electricity is a must, but this counter finishes off the grill and the added bar top is a very nice space. And getting it all together in a day is ideal!
    Overall, it really does look nice – I’d personally add an umbrella for shade. More comfy to cook or sit there if one isn’t baking in the sun. A nice addition to your pool area that I’m sure you’ll get lots of use from. Enjoy!

  2. A great outdoor space and you did it yourself. Y’all always do the neatest spots and they look fabulous. Love all your hints too. Your blog is one of my favorites as you do most of the unique things for all,of us to try. Thank you for taking the time to share with all of us. Blessings, Mary

  3. Fantastic idea and Congratulations! You all are a dynamic duo – I remember Batman and Robin didn’t always agree but got the job done 😉 We’d like to do something similar but would love to get a rough estimate of costs. Enjoy!