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Outdoor Kitchen Island Build Plans

Create a large outdoor kitchen island on wheels with these build plans.

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.

The large table top gives you a big area for food prep and serving. Plus there is an overhang for bar stools to allow for additional outdoor seating to transform your patio into the perfect gathering space.

This portable kitchen island will turn your lonely barbecue into a functional outdoor kitchen. And you can do it all on a budget!

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Cedar slat DIY outdoor kitchen island with on wheels next to a BBQ grill under a pergola.

Creating an Outdoor Kitchen Area

It is easy to transform a patio area into an outdoor kitchen. All it takes is a place to prep and cook your food with some weathertight storage.

To cook food outside, a BBQ or grill is the easiest option. And to transform your lone BBQ grill into a kitchen, all you need is the perfect DIY kitchen island!

Then to really make the ultimate backyard kitchen area, add a DIY pergola with a DIY pergola roof. Now you can enjoy your outdoor space year round.

Counter height seating area on the back of an outdoor table with turquoise metal stools.

Functional Kitchen Island Design

This kitchen island is portable so it can be moved around depending on your needs.

On the front of the island are shelves to hold water-tight plastic bins and lids. This will keep things clean and dry when not in use.

Between the shelves is an open 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).

White painted pergola with rolling kitchen island filled with storage bins.

The large (38″ x 72″) countertop is the perfect place for both prepping and serving food.

And there is an overhang on the back for counter height seating. It is great for added seating or a perfect place for the kids to help with the cooking.

Seating at an outdoor kitchen with bar stools and a grill.

Budget Countertops for Outdoor Kitchens

Outdoor kitchens do require a more sturdy countertop than indoor kitchens. Excess water from the weather can wear away low cost kitchen countertops.

But you can still have an amazing outdoor kitchen island without the high price tag. While granite and quartz are great outdoor countertops, they are expensive.

Instead use one of these budget friendly outdoor countertop ideas:

Storage shelves with water-tight bins in a budget outdoor kitchen.

I purchased a large stainless steel table top from a scratch and dent furniture store. It did not have legs, just the table top. The stainless steel is bent around a piece of wood which protects it from the weather.

It has held up well to the outdoors, but the shiny surface reflects the sun back at you while cooking and can get hot in the summer months.

I would not recommend it for an outdoor kitchen that is not covered from the sun.

Patio with DIY outdoor kitchen island and grill area.

Next up, build an outdoor dining table and benches or kid’s picnic table to add seating in your new outdoor kitchen area!

How to Build a Portable Outdoor Kitchen Island

Tools & Materials

Recommended Tools:

  • Miter saw
  • Kreg jig
  • Drill
  • Finish nailer
  • Tape measure
  • Sander

Supplies:

Overall Dimensions

The final kitchen island is 34″ tall x 69 1/2″ wide and 35″ deep without the countertop. I recommend using a 1″ thick x 38″ x 72″ countertop.

Cut List

Cut out the pieces according to the detailed cut list in the woodworking plans.

Buy Now Button for the PDF woodworking plans for the outdoor kitchen island.

STEP 1- Build the Base

Drill pocket holes set for 1 1/2″ thick material according the 3D renderings in the printable plans.

Build the base of the island by attaching two of the island frame boards between the island frame sides. Secure with 2 1/2″ screws and wood glue.

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

Repeat for the top

STEP 2- Build the sides & center posts

Drill pocket holes set for 1 1/2″ thick material in the shelf side boards.

Build the sides and center posts of the outdoor kitchen island by securing the smaller pieces between the bigger pieces with 2 1/2″ pocket hole screws 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

STEP 3- Attach sides & center posts

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 with 2 1/2″ screws and glue.

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

STEP 4- Attach shelf supports

Drill pocket holes set for 1 1/2″ thick material in both ends of the shelf support pieces.

Attach the shelf supports between the vertical frames. Secure with 2 1/2″ pocket hole screws and wood glue.

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

STEP 5- Finish building the frame

Attach two vertical frame boards to the end of each of the island frame sides according to the diagram in the plans.

These boards support the overhang of the kitchen island and create the seating area.

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

Secure the island top to the outdoor kitchen island with pocket holes previously drilled and 2 1/2″ pocket hole screws.

Make sure to line up all the boards the same as you did when attaching them to the base to keep the island frame square.

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

STEP 6- Add slats and finish

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

Space them evenly along the area.

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.

Attach the cedar panels first to the back of the kitchen island. Notch out the bottom panel so it fits over the 2x4s on the sides. Secure the cedar with 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.

Last, 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. If you have a heavy countertop, it might be a good idea to add an additional caster in the middle.

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.

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

Don’t forget to grab the printable PDF plans here!

You did it!

Now all that is left is to add some bins to hold all your outdoor kitchen gear.

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 larger bins will be perfect for storing paper plates, cups, napkins, outdoor table cloths and placemats in the lower bins. Utensils and barbecue tools will be perfect in the top bins.

Happy Building!

-Kati with picture of blog author Kati

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

Justin

Friday 25th of August 2023

It seems like the center would start to sag over time if any sort of solid top is used. Has anyone that has built this seen an issue from this? Seem like turning the frame on boards on edge would give more strength for a solid top.

Ayy

Sunday 28th of March 2021

Hi, this is so beautiful! I love this.

Wondering how much in total did you spend for this project excluding the table top?

Kati

Monday 19th of April 2021

I did not keep great records of it, but just a quick glance at the supplies I would guess less than $100.

Twanna Peach

Thursday 28th of January 2021

Man, I like that idea

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 ;)

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