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Our Modular Outdoor Kitchen Built in a Day!

How to build a modular outdoor kitchen in a day with just two people and 1 simple tool without the need of a contractor.

This post is sponsored by RTA Outdoor Living and Coyote Outdoor Living

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

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

backyard before

Now we’re ready for a bonafide cookout. Woo to the hoo!

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

It’s been a long road over the last couple of years taming the landscaping, updating the pool, painting the pool shed, painting the concrete pool deck, building the pergola, making the bocce ball court, building the fire pit.

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

This kitchen was one of the very last projects on our list besides a fence and eventually stamping the concrete.

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

Whenever we envisioned an outdoor kitchen for our backyard, we kept thinking it would take weeks of planning, a specialized contractor, and several days 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 System (MOKS) from RTA Outdoor Living and Coyote Outdoor in exactly 8 hours!

modular outdoor kitchen in a backyard

To be fair, we were sort of the guinea pigs of this new outdoor kitchen that just hit the market, and it took us longer than it normally would have since they have 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 others 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 a sink.

We incorporated this 36″ Coyote C Series Grill, outdoor refrigerator, pull-out trash, and double drawer storage cabinet so that everything we need would be in reach for cookouts.

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

Delivery

Then 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.)

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. Totally do-able for just a hubby/wife duo like us.

Assembly

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.

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

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

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

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
white modular outdoor kitchen from RTA Outdoor Living

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

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

white modular outdoor kitchen from RTA Outdoor Living

It’s a good thing we have an outdoor kitchen since cooking inside without A/C from the water accident is really challenging right now. Haha!

white modular outdoor kitchen from RTA Outdoor Living

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

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

Pros:

  • Faster assembly than a typical outdoor kitchen (in just a matter of hours)
  • Cheaper than a traditional outdoor kitchen as there is no need for a carpenter, mason, or any other contractor
  • Lightweight material to make it easy for two people to lift during the assembly process
  • Durable and heavy enough to instead harsh weather
  • Made to fit top of the line appliances that are outdoor rated from Coyote
  • Low maintenance materials to keep it clean
  • Modern, sleek look
white modular outdoor kitchen from RTA Outdoor Living

Cons:

  • Not as fast or simple to assemble as it seems (but this is likely due to the fact that ours was the very first MOKS design that has now been changed to make those necessary corrections)
  • When installing the storage cabinet component, we had to trim a little of the opening with an oscillating tool in order to make it fit.
  • The countertop was really tricky to place correctly into the notches as it took us about 20 minutes to make the island frame completely square to fit it.
white modular outdoor kitchen from RTA Outdoor Living

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 this summer and even over the last 4 years, and it has all really paid off.

We still plan to replace the fence and 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.

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23 Comments

  1. OMG! your backyard is looking so amazing, really love your ideas and the small fridge is soo cute. congrats for this and enjoy your beautiful moments with your amazing kitchen. thanks dear

  2. Everything looks amazing!!! I am so happy for you. It truly is a labor of love. I am so behind in blogging. I need to post updates to our backyard remodel. Take care and enjoy your gorgeous backyard!!!

  3. This backyard overhaul is just amazing – the difference today from when you moved in is incredible. It is really an oasis now. Congrats to you & Robert! I love the kitchen set up, may it bring your family years of fun meals! 🙂

  4. Not shocked that this project too is ah-maz-ing. I know you all will enjoy your fruits of labor. So far, we powered washed our deck, and stained it. The end results are beautiful. You always inspires me. All I need now is $$$. However, anything we are able to do ourselves, we do it to. Love that garage sales are happening again, as well as rocking fb-market place. Thank you so much for sharing

  5. I think it looks really nice. May I ask what state you’re in? I’m just wondering how it’s going to hold up in either rain and snow or heat as I’m in Arizona. I also wondered if it was sturdy enough to add things to such as the fake rock front or anything like that to fix it up. You’re doing a fantastic job on your yard

    1. We are in the Carolinas. We get all the seasons and all the weather. The back yard gets shade through part of the day. It DOES get hot but not like that Arizona heat. We have a grill cover to protect the grill. But, the rest is marine grade composite so it’s meant to get wet. It holds up just like Polywood or Trex decking does.

  6. It looks wonderful, did they give you a cover for it? That would really be a customer service plus. If you get to keep that one I would be really curious to see how it holds up.
    I hope you guys really aren’t going without an AC!?! I live in southern Arizona and I have a spare window AC just in case my AC were to fail. Just a week ago I bought an Airo portable unit for my garage to see how it did and it has been great. It pulled out 4 or five gallons of water and dropped the temp 8 degrees and I was able to shut the numerous fans off. It uses R1410 coolant which is the most up to date.

  7. What a great job! I love to read about all of your projects. I would love to find a table and chairs that you have in this area. Keep up all of the great ideas.

  8. I am SO jealous. Your backyard is an oasis. That kitchen is gorgeous, as is everything. Congratulations and enjoy the luxuries from all of your hard work. Cheers!

  9. Looks great but you kind of skipped over the electrical for the fridge? and is the grill gas? I was lucky when I built my grill surround that my house is piped for gas.

    1. I’m so sorry, Julie. I should have mentioned the grill is powered by propane. We have an electrical line running along our fence, but we just cut the power on that because our fence is getting replaced very soon. So until that project happens next, we aren’t plugging in the fridge. You do need an electrical line to run it though.

  10. awesome! please share where you found those beautiful blue/white bistro chairs. just what i need for my small deck area. thank you.

  11. What a transformation. You guys are so talented. Your backyard is very beautiful and inviting. Have fun entertaining.

  12. 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!

  13. 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

  14. 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!

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