How to build a modular outdoor kitchen in a day with just two people and 1 simple tool without the need of a contractor.
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.
Now we’re ready for a bonafide cookout. Woo to the hoo!
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.
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.
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.
So that we’d have extra room for guests, we added on the bar island as well.
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.
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.
One-by-one, we placed the already assembled Coyote Outdoor appliances and storage components, securing them with the provided screws into the island frame.
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.
We did the same for the bar island at the storage cabinet as well.
The entire kitchen isn’t supposed to require any tools other than a screwdriver or drill.
That was it!
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.
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!
If y’all see me sticking my head in this fridge on one of our 100 degree days in July, mind ya business.
Now that we’ve placed everything in one piece, I thought it would help to share some pros and cons about our MOKS kitchen…
- 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
- 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.
All in all, Robert and I assembled this gorgeous kitchen while remaining on speaking terms (haha!) and we truly love this backyard setup!
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!
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.