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Outdoor Kitchen Island Build Plans

Create an outdoor kitchen island with these free build plans.

This portable kitchen island will transform your barbecue into a functional outdoor kitchen.

Create an outdoor kitchen island with these free build plans. This portable kitchen island will transform your barbecue into a functional outdoor kitchen. Housefulofhandmade.com

If you’ve always wanted a beautiful outdoor kitchen, but never had it in your budget, this outdoor kitchen island is the answer. The large rolling kitchen island can store all your barbecue and entertaining gear, while giving you a large area for food prep and serving.

The other side of the portable kitchen island has room for bar stools to transform your patio into the perfect gathering space.

Create a beautiful outdoor kitchen with these easy build plans. A portable kitchen island is the perfect place for cooking outdoors next to your barbecue. Housefulofhandmade.com

The sun is shining, the birds are chirping and the leaves are falling! It’s a beautiful fall day and I am so excited to be enjoying it under our new pergola!

But now that the pergola is built and we have installed the clear roof, it’s time to fill it up. What good is a big covered patio area if there is no furniture for gathering and entertaining.

Add extra seating to your outdoor dining area with this portable kitchen island. It's the perfect place to add some bar stools. Housefulofhandmade.com

When we started planning what we wanted for our unused side yard, I knew I wanted a place to eat outdoors.

I love dining al fresco in the summer. And the kids always ask if we can eat outside. But we didn’t have a space for it.

We have tried to make due with just the kid’s nautical picnic table while my husband and I hold plates on our laps. However, that only worked after we prepared the food and served it indoors. Not really the perfect outdoor dining experience I had in mind.

Now that we have a large covered patio we can finally create the perfect dining area so our family can enjoy those beautiful dinners under the sun and stars. But first, we needed a place to prepare and serve the food (no more doing that in the house).

This beautiful outdoor kitchen island has plenty of storage and includes room for extra seating. Get the free build plans at Housefulofhandmade.com

About 6 years ago I purchased a large stainless steel table top from a scratch and dent furniture store. It did not have legs, just the table top.

I have held onto it for ever (or at least if felt like that while taking up valuable space in our tiny garage).

When I purchased it, I did so with the idea to use it outside to create a prep area next to the barbecue. So we dusted it off and I set to work designing the perfect outdoor kitchen island.

I love this beautiful outdoor kitchen island. There is so much storage for all your barbecue and outdoor cooking gear. Get the free build plans on Housefulofhandmade.com

I knew I wanted to create a portable kitchen island. Something that could be moved around depending on our needs. I also wanted somewhere to store all those outdoor dining and cooking supplies so we wouldn’t have to run back and forth from the patio to the house.

And finally, I wanted an area for seating on one side so the kids could sit up and help with the cooking. They love to be involved. What we came up with is the perfect portable outdoor kitchen!

Create a portable outdoor kitchen in an afternoon with these free build plans. This easy to build outdoor kitchen island is perfect for entertaining and cooking outdoors. Housefulofhandmade.com

Instead of cupboards and drawers that would not be water tight, I chose to make shelves to hold plastic bins with lids. And in the middle is a large area to hold a cooler.

Now any food needed can stay cool while you are cooking (or better yet, a perfect place for drinks on ice). The sides and back of the outdoor kitchen island are wrapped in cedar fence pickets to add lots of warmth to the stainless steel top.

Plastic storage bins are perfect for storing all your outdoor kitchen gear. Create a beautiful outdoor kitchen island for your patio with these free build plans. Housefulofhandmade.com

Now it’s time to build the outdoor dining table and benches so we can really start enjoying our new patio and portable outdoor kitchen area. And if the weather stays so nice, maybe we will get in a few meals outside before the snow starts falling!

Turn your patio into an outdoor kitchen with this easy to build outdoor kitchen island. Get the free build plans on Housefulofhandmade.com.

How to Build a Portable Outdoor Kitchen Island

Tools:

  • Miter saw
  • Kreg jig
  • Drill
  • Nail gun
  • Tape measure
  • Sander

Supplies:

  • (9) 8′ 2×4 boards
  • (6) 8′ 1×4 boards
  • (10) 5 1/2″ x 6′ cedar fence pickets
  • (2) 3 1/2″ x 6′ cedar fence pickets
  • (100) 2 1/2″ blue-cote Kreg screws
  • (150) 1 1/4″ finishing nails
  • Wood glue
  • Stain
  • Outdoor wood sealer
  • (4) 3″ swivel castors with locks
  • 38″ x 72″ counter top

Cut list:

  • From the 2x4s cut:
    • (4) island frames, 61 1/2″ x 1 1/2″ x 3 1/2″
    • (4) island frame sides, 35″ x 1 1/2″ x 3 1/2″
    • (10) vertical frames, 28″ x 1 1/2″ x 3 1/2″
    • (4) shelf sides, 16″ x 1 1/2″ x 3 1/2″
    • (4) shelf supports, 18″ x 1 1/2″ x 3 1/2″
  • From the 1x4s cut:
    • (22) shelf slats, 23″ x 3/4″ 3 1/2″
  • From the cedar fence pickets cut:
    • (10) side panels, 35″ x 1/2″ x 5 1/2″
    • (2) top side panels, 35″ x 1/2″ x 3 1/2″
    • (5) back panels, 68 1/2″ x 1/2″ x 5 1/2″
    • (1) top back panel, 68 1/2″ x 1/2″ x 3 1/2″

Build the base of the island by attaching two of the island frame boards between the island frame sides. The back island frame board should be 12″ from the back of the island frame sides. Repeat for the top of the island.Build a portable kitchen island for the outdoors with these free build plans. Housefulofhandmade.com

Build the sides and center posts of the outdoor kitchen island by securing the shelf sides between the vertical frames so they are 16 1/2″ up from the bottom. Build a total of 4.

Create an outdoor kitchen island out of 2x4s! Get ready to enjoy the warm weather with these free build plans. Housefulofhandmade.com

Attach the sides and center posts to the base of the island. Attach two to the outside of the base and two 18″ in from that. Make sure the pocket holes for the outside of the portable kitchen island are facing out so they will be hidden by the cedar pickets.

This easy to build outdoor kitchen island is perfect for creating a budget outdoor kitchen area. Housefulofhandmade.com

Attach the shelf supports between the vertical frames. The bottom should be 16 1/2″ up from the base of the outdoor kitchen island.

Love this easy to build outdoor kitchen island. Includes a spot for a cooler and bar stools. Housefulofhandmade.com

Attach a vertical frame board to the end of each of the island frame sides.

Create an outdoor kitchen island with seating. The easy build plans are from Housefulofhandmade.com.

Secure the island top to the outdoor kitchen island.

This portable kitchen island is wonderful for the barbecue area. And it's super easy to build. Housefulofhandmade.com

Add slats to the bottom and the shelves with wood glue and 1 1/4″ finishing nails.

Slats are the perfect way to build easy outdoor furniture like this outdoor kitchen island. Housefulofhandmade.com

Sand, stain and seal the finished frame before attaching the cedar.

Start by attaching the cedar panels to the back of the kitchen island. Notch out the bottom panel so it fits over the 2x4s on the sides. Attach the cedar with wood glue and the finishing nails on each vertical post. Continue up the back until the top panel. This one will need to be notched out like the bottom panel. Then attach the cedar to the sides of the outdoor kitchen island starting at the bottom in the same manner.

Cedar fence pickets are the perfect way to add island style to this portable outdoor kitchen. Housefulofhandmade.com

Attach the castors to the bottom of the island. Then attach the counter top. My counter top was wood surrounded by stainless steel so I was able to attach it with wood screws through the top of the island frame. If you do not have a counter top, a plywood top that can be tiled would also be amazing for an outdoor kitchen area.

This easy to build outdoor kitchen island is perfect for create an outdoor kitchen next to your barbecue. The free build plans are on Housefulofhandmade.com

Now all that is left is to add some bins to hold all your outdoor kitchen gear. I am planning on storing paper plates, cups and napkins in one of the larger bins, while the other will be perfect for holding my outdoor table cloths and placemats. Utensils and barbecue tools will be perfect in the top bins. And in the winter, we can carefully store the bins in the storage area of our garage so they are ready for us when the snow melts.

Create a beautiful outdoor kitchen with these easy build plans. A portable kitchen island is the perfect place for cooking outdoors next to your barbecue. Housefulofhandmade.com

And now out to get in a bit more building before the perfect fall weather is gone!

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Rob

Monday 26th of October 2020

What are the dimensions of the shelf spaces and cooler section?

Kati

Tuesday 27th of October 2020

The shelf spaces are 18" wide and 23" deep. The cooler area is 26 1/2" wide and 23" deep.

Mary Beth Cahalen

Sunday 14th of July 2019

Where did you find the stainless steel top?

Kati

Monday 15th of July 2019

It was a table top from a local retailer who has scratch & dent items sometimes. There was not bottom to the table so it was a good deal ;)

Pergola Design in Arizona

Tuesday 30th of January 2018

Such a cool idea! I have been helping someone put together an outdoor kitchen under a pergola just like this, going to recommend your storage+island combo!

Kati

Monday 5th of February 2018

Thanks! The storage/island is my favorite. Can't wait for the snow to melt so we can enjoy it again.

Nicole Q-Schmitz

Thursday 19th of October 2017

I LOVE this outdoor island! I had plans to build something similar this summer, but just never got around to it - definitely copying this next summer :)

Kati

Thursday 26th of October 2017

You should definitely get around to it next year! It's awesome. I love being able to actually cook and prepare food outside instead of constantly going back into the kitchen.

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