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Outdoor Kitchen Cart: Detailed Shopper’s Guide, Important Considerations, and 5 Top Brands for 2024

By James King

January 5, 2024

You love to cook outdoors… But your freestanding grill is no longer cutting it.

You wish you had an easy, all in one outdoor kitchen solution…

But you’re hesitant to take the plunge and build an outdoor kitchen.

We get it. Adding an outdoor kitchen island is no small commitment!

You may start searching for easier workarounds to make your outdoor living room more functional.

Perhaps you’ve stumbled upon outdoor kitchen carts…. This would be an incredibly simple solution for your cooking station!

But are they really worth it?

outdoor kitchen cart featured image

Before making any decisions, let’s do a deep dive into outdoor kitchen carts.

We’ll highlight some brands (and suggest an alternative that’s just as convenient).

But first… Let’s make sure we’re all on the same page. 

Quick Links:

What is an Outdoor Kitchen Cart?

kitchen aid stainless steel 8 burner grill

There are many different ways to interpret cart.

There are utility carts…

Bar carts…

Serving carts…

But what is an outdoor kitchen cart?

Like any cart… An outdoor kitchen cart has wheels.

They tend to be either portable modular units that can be placed together to form a makeshift outdoor BBQ station… Or full outdoor kitchen islands on casters.

They’re not affixed to a patio or deck, and can be moved around with little effort.

You can mix and match modular kitchen cart brands…

But many brands actually sell full, portable kitchen islands or modular kits (so you can get your grill, storage cabinets, and other kitchen appliance carts all in one place).

We’ll discuss the different brands shortly,  but first… 

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Who is an Outdoor Kitchen Cart For?

pro elite bbq grill island lifestyle
Pro Elite BBQ Grill Island

Before committing to portable outdoor kitchen carts… Let’s talk about who they’re suited to.

Outdoor kitchen rolling islands tend to be less expensive alternatives for permanent grill stations… As they are generally a short term solution meant to last (at most) a few years.

If you live in an apartment building or are only planning to be in your current home for a few more years, but still want the convenience of an outdoor BBQ station… Outdoor kitchen carts may be a great choice! 

Since they’re portable, modular, and often lightweight… They should be easy to dismantle and transport (or store when not in use). 

Plus… You likely won’t want to invest in a permanent outdoor kitchen if you’re not absolutely positive that you’ll be living in the same place for years to come. This makes sense! It’s not necessarily worth it to spend the money on something that you’ll just have to leave behind in a few years. 

Though it will be a bigger commitment… If you are looking for something that will last a lifetime, you should invest in a permanent kitchen island with built in appliances.

True, it’ll cost more up front. But you also won’t have to spend more to replace your entire outdoor kitchen setup in just a few years!

If this sounds more like what you’re looking for, you can jump to the end of the article for a fantastic, long term outdoor kitchen island solution.

But if you’re simply looking for a less expensive option to get a few years of use out of, outdoor kitchen carts may meet your needs.

And even if they’re not meant to last long term, you’ll still want rolling outdoor kitchen carts that’ll hold up!

Outdoor Kitchen Cart Quality

Before purchasing outdoor kitchen carts, let’s talk about important material considerations.

Frame Material

sheets of stainless steel used to build an outdoor kitchen

Since outdoor kitchen carts are impermanent… Chances are they won’t be made with heavy duty, durable materials like concrete or stone masonry.

But even so, outdoor kitchen carts should still hold up decently well!

Most outdoor rolling kitchen carts are made with stainless steel.

This makes sense! It’s a lightweight material that can be great for outdoor use.

We like to see 304 stainless steel… It’s highly durable, and not susceptible to rust or corrosion.

So when searching for outdoor kitchen carts… Keep this in mind! If an island is made with an unknown grade of stainless steel (or a different material altogether)… It may not hold up to the elements.

Appliance Quality

It’s also important to consider appliance quality.

At the least… Your portable outdoor kitchen will have a grill (though there are also outdoor kitchen carts with sinks, side burners, or other accessories, as well).

As with the frame, the most durable outdoor kitchen accessories will be made with full 304 stainless steel construction.

If not 304… Stainless steel runs the risk of quickly rusting or corroding, especially in colder, wet, or humid climates… That’s the last thing you’d want!

Appliance quality is also often indicated by overall price.

Looking at outdoor grills specifically… There are three distinct classes.

Economy grills are the least expensive. They’re often freestanding starter options, and can cost anywhere between $500 – $1,500. Due to the lower price, the materials aren’t often the best quality.

Typically, economy grills are made with 430 stainless steel. While this is decent at holding up to rust and corrosion, it’s no match for 304! 

Premium grills are better quality. They’re made with 304 stainless steel, meant to last a lifetime, and are often intended to be built into a permanent outdoor kitchen structure. These cost anywhere between $1,500 and $3,000.

At $3,000 or up… Luxury grills are the most expensive. Like premium grills, they’re meant to be built into an outdoor kitchen, and are made with great materials that will last a lifetime. Really, the only difference is that they’ll come with more innovative and sleek features.

Why are we bringing this up?

Well, many kitchen island carts tend to come with grills and at least one other appliance… But the total pricing is still relatively low.

To give you an idea… The average cost of a permanent outdoor kitchen is typically around $13,000… While even the most versatile portable outdoor kitchen islands won’t often exceed $5,000.

Bear in mind… This total price includes a grill, the island itself, and oftentimes other appliances!

How is the price so low, then?

Well… It sounds like most portable kitchen island carts will have economy appliances (which means quality will be questionable).

Thankfully, there’s a great way to gauge how long your outdoor appliances will last.

Warranty

Before buying modular outdoor kitchen carts or a portable grill island… Take a look at the warranty.

Even if you’re not planning on using your rolling kitchen long term… Chances are you don’t want your island or appliances to rust out in the first year!

Longer warranties indicate better quality… And can give you peace of mind that your kitchen will hold up at least as long as you plan on using it.

With all of this in mind, let’s move on to some outdoor kitchen cart brands.

Kitchen Cart Outdoor Brands

If you’re still keen on a rolling cart outdoor kitchen… It’s time to take a look at the different options available.

KitchenAid 5-Burner Island Gas Grill

5 burner island gas grill with rear burner
Product Highlights

Price: $2,999.99

Material: 304 Stainless Steel

Warranty: 10 years for burners and 1 year for cooking grates and “other”.

First up… KitchenAid’s modular island.

This is shipped as two modules, which are attached to form the linear kitchen island.

When put together… It stands on two straight wheels, one swivel wheel, and one locking swivel wheel.

This kitchen cart has a stone finish… Which appears to be manufactured stone paneling attached to the grill island itself.

We’re not sure exactly what the stone panels are made of… So it’s unclear how they’ll hold up.

It’s also unclear what material is underneath the stone paneling… It’s worth checking these details with KitchenAid.

The other frame components are 304 stainless steel, which is great!

There’s really no counter space on this island, though it does include two small drop leaves.

For appliances, this portable island features a gas grill, a searing side burner, and two regular side burners for increased cooking versatility.

The gas grill also has a rear burner for rotisserie.

The appliances are made with full 304 stainless steel construction, though the aluminum hood caps and cooking grids are simply wrapped in 304 stainless steel (so you’ll need to be wary of corrosion, here).

For storage, the island features access doors below the grill, and drawers below the side burners.

Regarding warranty… The grill burners are covered for 10 years, while the cooking grates are covered for one.

There’s another, “other warranty,” for one year. Presumably, this covers every other component.

Concerning price… The MSRP is $2,999.99.

Pro Elite 78” 4-Piece 5-Burner Liquid Propane BBQ Grill Island

pro elite bbq grill island
Product Highlights

Price: $4,220.94

Material: 304 Stainless Steel

Warranty: 1 year limited warranty on grill island.

Next on our list is the Prokan Pro Elite 4-Piece BBQ Grill Island.

As you can infer… This BBQ island comes in four pieces: the gas grill head, a refrigerator, storage cabinets, and the island bench on caster wheels.

To assemble, the grill head is dropped into the frame, and the refrigerator and storage cabinets slide in.

Like KitchenAid’s offering… Prokan’s island also has a stone finish.

Again, the ledge stacked stone finish appears to be manufactured stone panels attached to the frame… And materials for both are unclear. Though Prokan claims the island is “weather, stain, and rust resistant,” it’s still worth confirming materials used!

This island has a sintered stone countertop, which Prokan says will resist scratching, heat, and stains due to its non-porous nature.

As for other materials… The grill is made primarily with an unknown grade of stainless steel. 

On the other hand, it appears that the refrigerator and outdoor kitchen storage cart are made with 304 stainless steel. 

For the components that are definitely 304 stainless steel… There’s no need to worry about rusting! Though for peace of mind, you should confirm the grade used for the grill. 

There’s a one year limited warranty on this grill island.

As for price, it currently costs $4,220.94.

A More permanent solution

Want an outdoor kitchen that is built to last? Get started by using our free 3D design tool to get started.

Thor Outdoor Kitchen Suite

thor outdoor kitchen cart
Product Highlights

Price: $7,733.00

Material: 304 Stainless Steel

Warranty: 4 years for grill burner parts, and 2 year parts warranty. 

Let’s see what Thor has in stock…

The Thor grill package is a modular outdoor kitchen suite.

It includes a grill cart, a sink cart, a refrigerator cabinet, a corner cabinet, and even a pizza oven!

All of these carts are individual modules with two locking swivel caster wheels, so you can arrange them however you’d like.

Every module is fully constructed with a stainless steel frame… But what’s the grade?

As far as we can tell… Everything’s made with full 304 stainless steel. That’s fantastic!

The only problem here is that it will be difficult to use the kitchen on hot summer days. When the sun is shining, it will be highly reflective (and the outdoor kitchen cart with stainless steel top will be hot to the touch).

Though you could always place your carts under an outdoor roof… It’s not necessarily something we’d recommend for an impermanent outdoor kitchen.

Now, let’s take a closer look at each stainless steel outdoor kitchen cart.

Starting with the star of the show… The grill.

It sits on an outdoor kitchen cart with storage, with two drawers and a cabinet (for BBQ tools).

Next, the wood burning pizza oven cart includes a ceramic pizza stone and flue damper for temperature control, and it sits on a cart with an extra large storage cabinet (with a towel bar or utility hook attachment).

For running water outdoors… This island also includes an outdoor kitchen cart with sink. This cart includes a drain hose and water pipe.

You can have a water line run to your sink module… Though It’s not necessarily worth the extra time and money for an impermanent kitchen cart. 

As with the other modules, it sits on a cart with additional storage space (and also includes an exterior spice rack and bottle opener).

For an outdoor kitchen cart with fridge… Thor’s refrigerator cabinet houses two large, slide out compartments. 

Lastly, Thor offers a corner cabinet module for creating an L-shaped portable outdoor kitchen.

Again, this outdoor kitchen stainless steel cart has storage (as well as a bit of counter space).

And that’s it!

Thor’s outdoor kitchen suite is covered by a two year parts warranty, with a four year parts warranty on the grill burners.

Price wise… It’s currently $7,733.00. 

Tytus 4-Burner Propane Gas Grill Island

tytus onyx black 4 burner grill island
Product Highlights

Price: $2,299.00

Material: 304 Stainless Steel

Warranty: 2 years for grill island and 10 years for grates, lid and burners.

Unlike Thor’s outdoor kitchen island carts… The Tytus grill island is a smaller option.

Composed of three modular outdoor kitchen carts with wheels… It includes a four burner propane gas grill, a sear burner, and an ice bucket.

Once the kitchen arrives… Tytus claims that it should take only five minutes to fully assemble. If needed, it can be disassembled just as quickly.

There are three finish options for this outdoor kitchen island with wheels: onyx black, charcoal grey (for an additional $200) and ash stacked stone (for an additional $400).

The charcoal grey and ash stacked stone have full 304 stainless steel construction for the exterior frame (the ash stacked stone option also features manufactured stone paneling, of which the material is unknown… Check with Tytus for these details)!

On the other hand, the onyx black island has a powder coated steel exterior finish. This will hold up outdoors, to a degree. If the powder coating is chipped… It will ultimately invite rust and corrosion to the outdoor kitchen rolling carts.

No matter the finish… The appliances are the same.

The four burner gas grill and side burner carts are full 304 stainless steel. No concerns here!

The gas grill sits on a cart with double doors. 

And the double walled ice bucket cart is good for keeping up to 28 canned drinks cool.

Both the side burner and ice bucket outdoor stainless steel kitchen carts have additional, fully enclosed storage space. 

This island is covered by a limited two year warranty (though the grates, lid, and burners are covered by a limited 10 year warranty).

Their most expensive island is $2,399.00.

Mont Alpi 93” 8-Burner Propane BBQ Island

Product Highlights

Price: $2,299.00

Material: 304 Stainless Steel

Warranty: 2 years for grill island and 10 years for grates, lid and burners.

Lastly… Let’s talk about the Mont Alpi 93” 8-burner propane BBQ Island.

This grill island features a six burner gas grill, a side burner, and an outdoor kitchen prep cart.

There’s very little assembly required for this outdoor kitchen cart on wheels… And it includes locking caster wheels to easily maneuver and set in place.

As for material… The entire island is made with black, marine grade 304 stainless steel, and the countertops are made with composite granite. Looking good!

The full 304 stainless steel grill is quite large, and sits on a cart with slide out drawers. 

As for the other carts… On one side of the grill is an adjustable height side burner. On the other is an outdoor kitchen cart with storage and a countertop for food prep.

And that’s all there is for these outdoor kitchen carts on wheels! There aren’t many appliances, but it will work if you’re looking for a portable small outdoor kitchen.

With the most robust warranty yet… This portable grill island has limited lifetime coverage.

And concerning price… It’s currently $4,700.00 (this price includes a cutting board, a rotisserie, and other cooking accessories).

 

Alright… That concludes our review of outdoor kitchen cart brands.

But, which of these options is the best short term outdoor kitchen solution?

The Best Outdoor Kitchen Cart Brand

mont alpi deluxe island 400

When it comes to the best outdoor kitchen cart… There’s really no “one size fits all” answer.

Of course… The frame quality, appliance quality, and warranty should give you an idea of which outdoor kitchen carts are better than others!

If we were to only take these factors into account… Mont Alpi’s portable BBQ island would undoubtedly be the best.

But perhaps the best portable outdoor cooking station for you is the one with the most versatility… In that case, the Thor outdoor kitchen suite would be a better choice!

The point is… The best outdoor kitchen cart really depends on what you’re looking for, and how you’re planning to use it.

That being said… We want to reiterate that any of these options most likely won’t make great long term solutions.

Aside from Mont Alpi’s kitchen island… The warranties are largely unimpressive.

But across the board… There’s little room for customization with a rolling outdoor kitchen island. With primarily stainless steel finishes… It may be hard to find one that matches your desired home decor aesthetics!

Plus, this lack of customization extends to appliances. Most of the time, you’ll be limited to a grill, side burner, and fridge… Whereas you can include anything you want with a permanent island (such as a flat top grill, kegerator, ice maker… The list goes on and on)!

Despite these limitations, if you want an easy, portable solution that will last you a few years (at most)… Any of the brands above may suit your needs! Of the options above, Mont Alpi’s island would certainly be the least risky, with the most robust warranty. 

But before you hit checkout on any of these islands…

Let’s talk about a final option for your outdoor kitchen.

A More Permanent Kitchen Island

linear outdoor kitchen with power burner and coyote asado smoker

If you’re looking for an easy, convenient outdoor kitchen solution… We can hardly blame you!

Outdoor kitchen carts would certainly be a simple way to expand your outdoor cooking.

But what if we told you there’s another (more permanent) option that’s just as convenient… That you won’t have to worry about replacing in a few years’ time?

Let’s talk about what an RTA outdoor kitchen has to offer!

Our outdoor kitchens are shipped directly to you… And come ready to assemble.

Once the kitchen arrives, simply construct the island, place the countertops, and slide in your appliances… And that’s it! Within just a few hours, you’ll be able to start cooking.

And the best part is… Once your kitchen is set up, it will last a lifetime! Our BBQ island panels are made with high performance concrete rated for 100 years, and backed by a lifetime warranty.

With a concrete outdoor kitchen, there’s no need to worry about your island being exposed to the elements. With no threat of rust, corrosion, or otherwise… It’s a worry free solution!

But not only is an RTA kitchen super convenient and long lasting… They’re also easily customizable!

Our free online design tool will allow you to easily choose your desired layout and finish… You’ll have the option to add a bar for an outdoor table top (to bring your dining room outdoors), and you can add as much counter space as you’d like!

As well as this… You can pick from your choice of Coyote’s premium, high quality 304 stainless steel appliances (this includes built in grills, side burners, outdoor refrigerators, sinks, and more)!

An RTA kitchen gives you a perfect balance of convenience and quality… So why settle for less?

If you’re intrigued… You can learn more by visiting our Learning Hub and to help you start planning your project.

And once you’re ready… We’ll be happy to help you achieve the perfect outdoor kitchen!

Need Help With Your Plans?

Talk to one of our expert designers and they will guide you from planning to installation. Schedule a call today.

FAQ

Outdoor kitchen carts are an easy, impermanent way to increase outdoor cooking versatility.

As well as grill carts, there are portable sink carts, side burners, and other outdoor appliances.

Of course… Outdoor kitchen carts are not a permanent fixture. If you want a grill station that will last a lifetime, you should invest in a permanent outdoor kitchen!

Modular outdoor kitchen cart islands vary in size, shape, finish, and appliances included… So the price range depends on the specifications you’re looking for.

In most cases, even the largest modular outdoor kitchen cart islands don’t exceed $5,000.00.

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