June 26, 2019

Outdoor Kitchens By The Numbers

This design by Sandra Gjesdahl won NKBA’s Outdoor Kitchen category in the 2018 Design Competition. Photography by Reid Rolls Photography.

The outdoor kitchen is definitely “a thing” — and exclusive NKBA research reveals what’s driving the phenomenon. Here’s a smattering from the latest report on what homeowners want, where challenges and opportunities exist, top choices in materials, products, features, lifestyle, usage and more. So, throw a steak on the grill and grab a few stats!

1. Bottom Line

Typical spend is about $13,000 on an outdoor kitchen, but about 22% of homeowners are building very high-end kitchens ($30,000+) and 14% spend between $20,000 and $30,000.

2. Size Matters

Most outdoor kitchens (66%) are between 100 and 400 square feet, including a sitting area in the meal preparation space. 22% are more than 400 square feet, and just 12% are under 100 square feet.

3. Fuel the Fire

31% of homeowners have two grills in their outdoor kitchen.
44% use propane, 45% connect to natural gas, 22% are charcoal.

4. Finishing Touches

Stainless steel is the grill hood finish of choice, by 77% of homeowners. 75% have additional burners, 57% have warming racks, and 50% have a rotisserie.

5. Look Up

About half of homeowners install some fixed overhead structure (52%); 30% install a pergola, and 13% have an adjustable/retractable structure; 12% have no overhead structure.

6. Creature Comforts

62% of outdoor kitchens have a TV; 62% have built-in storage or cabinets; 58% boast a fire pit; 26% feature a wine refrigerator; 25% install an ice maker.

7. Helping Hands

64% of homeowners used a designer, 41% used a landscape or garden architect/specialist, 10% used an architect.

8. Between a Rock and a Hard Place

Natural stone is the choice of 57% of homeowners for outdoor countertops, followed by quartz at 23%.

9. “I wish I’d spent more time/money on…”

Shelter/shade enclosure, 12%; A bigger space, 10%; Counter, 9%; Atmosphere/temperature/lighting control, 7%; Cabinets/storage, 5%.

10. But Who Cleans Up?

The male head-of-household takes the lead in outdoor cooking 75% of the time.

Recent DesignWire