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Outdoor Kitchen on a Deck? Easy 5 Part How-To

By Daniel Cdebaca

May 31, 2023

If you’re reading this, you are: 

  1. Researching an outdoor kitchen project
  2. And want to put it on a deck

That’s great! You’re well on your way to making your vision happen.

Just imagine how amazing your future outdoor kitchen on a deck will look!

Grilling, listening to your favorite music, chatting with family and friends, enjoying the weather… It’s the height of outdoor entertaining.

But let’s not get carried away…

We’re far from done on the research portion!

You’re here to learn how to make this happen, not daydream about how awesome the result will be. (and I promise you, it will be awesome!)

While the ultimate purpose of this article is to teach you how to build an outdoor kitchen on a deck in one day… There are many other considerations before you reach this step.

Let’s talk about that.

Quick Links:

Can you Build an Outdoor Kitchen on a Deck?

It may seem like a silly question since this article is all about building an outdoor kitchen on a deck… But there are no such thing as silly questions.

There’s a reason why “Can I Build an Outdoor Kitchen on my Deck?” is a suggested search on google.

And the answer?


…Depending on the option you choose.

We do have a preferred option we will discuss later. But first, let’s understand all the considerations involved. There’s a lot to know about installing an outdoor kitchen on a deck.

What are the best materials for an outdoor kitchen on a deck?

Depending on the outdoor kitchen solution you choose, material for decks don’t matter so much.

The main concern people have is combustibility. Wood decks are clearly made from a combustible material – wood.

For that reason, many people shy away from building an outdoor kitchen on wood deck. Instead, they opt for a composite material (Trex as an example). However, when exposed to high heat… Composite decks can still melt and catch fire too.

So what do you do about this?

The best option is to ensure your outdoor kitchen materials are non-combustible. This will provide you the most peace of mind when installing an outdoor kitchen on your deck.

Putting a Built-in grill island on your deck?

There are two other main considerations for building your bbq island on a deck. Weight and utilities.

Let's start with weight.

You are probably wondering “How much weight can my deck handle?” It simply won’t be possible to install an outdoor kitchen on a deck that can’t handle the weight of it. Whether you’ve built your deck already or not… Talk to your builder about the load rating of your deck.

This point is especially important if you are considering building a traditional masonry outdoor kitchen. The materials used are extremely heavy and can be problematic if your deck isn’t strong enough.

If you have an existing deck, you may have to add more support beams to handle the extra burden of your backyard kitchen. And if you’re planning a deck, your builder may have to add more support beams than initially intended.

Or if you don’t want to add more support to your deck… You may have to reconsider the size and type of outdoor kitchen you desire.

Either way, this is a crucial area to pay attention to.

Next are utilities.

When planning an outdoor kitchen, you have to consider which utilities you will need. This can sometimes be complicated when building on your deck.

Depending on your setup, you may be limited in your ability to run electricity, water, or gas. You may have to reconsider the sink or refrigerator you originally planned for.

If you don’t have a deck yet, this process will be easier. You’ll be able to plan ahead and know how to run your utility lines in.

The type of outdoor kitchen solution you decide on also plays a factor. Depending on what you choose, it may be extremely difficult… Or even impossible to run utility lines on the deck.

Now that we’ve outlined all our considerations… It is finally time to discuss solutions for building an outdoor kitchen deck.

Have your own Outdoor Kitchen Ideas?

Use our 3D design tool for free and bring your outdoor kitchen idea to life.

What Outdoor Kitchen Solution is Best for a Deck?

So you have read all the considerations. But how do you build an outdoor kitchen on a deck?

Lucky for you, there are many more outdoor bar area and kitchen solutions than in the past!

There are both DIY and non-DIY solutions you can add to your deck location.

For now, let’s give you a brief overview. 

Work with a Contractor

You may decide on the contractor option. You can hire a contractor to build a built-in grill on your deck from scratch.

While this may sound great, there are a few caveats.

Most often an outdoor kitchen contractor will build a traditional masonry outdoor kitchen. This, in particular, comes with its own set of challenges.

As mentioned before, weight is a concern.

Your decking simply may be unable to handle the weight of a stone masonry kitchen. These materials can also lead to accidents when transporting them, due to sheer burden. This can severely damage your deck… Or worse, someone could get injured on the job.

Masonry is also quite messy. There’s a lot of cutting, dust, etc. involved that isn’t just bothersome… It can ruin the finish of your decking if not protected.

As you’re aware, decks provide limited working space. Materials have to be moved up stairs, around railings, etc… In some cases, it may not be possible to build a kitchen island according to the traditional method.

Looking to longevity of your outdoor kitchen… At some point you may have to replace a section of your deck. With masonry, it’s highly unlikely you’ll be able to move your deck outdoor kitchen to a different location. You’ll most likely have to demolish it, which would be an absolute shame!

Further, most contractors are not deeply knowledgeable about outdoor kitchens. This can end up costing you a lot of money. Scratch-built kitchens also take a long time and can disrupt your backyard and home for months.

I don’t know about you, but having your home and outdoor space disturbed for months doesn’t sound too appealing. Especially on your deck. All that disturbance hits a little too close to home, if you know what I mean.

Let’s look to the next option for an outdoor kitchen on deck.

Prefabricated Outdoor Kitchen

You could add a ready-to-finish or prefab outdoor kitchen to your outdoor living space. This style of kitchen island is pre-built, which does have a convenience factor.

The problem with that?

Oftentimes prefab outdoor kitchens are poor quality. If you want your built-in grill on a deck to last for years to come, this may not be your best bet.

They are also limited in design. So depending on your deck setup, you may not be able to order the outdoor kitchen you want… Or you may not be able to order one that works for your outdoor space at all.

Sounds like a lot of compromise to me.

Like masonry, prefabricated outdoor kitchens are difficult to maneuver in a small space. Depending on your deck, it may not be possible to install properly.

Furthermore, prefab outdoor kitchens often require heavy machinery, like cranes, to install. You may have to uninstall railings… Or even reconfigure your deck in order to place the deck kitchen properly. Using heavy machinery is also intrusive and inconvenient.

Weight is also a downside here. Depending on the materials used, weight can be troublesome. So be careful with weight and ensure your deck can handle it!

Finally, you’ll also have to consider ease of installing utility lines. Both masonry and prefab outdoor kitchens can prove a challenge in this way. Especially when installing an outdoor kitchen on the deck.

Often, these methods use a frame or cabinet system that shuts off easy access. This means it’s incredibly difficult to run utility lines to the kitchen on your deck.

That’s no fun.

So, what do we recommend for decks?

Design an outdoor kitchen that is deck ready

Use our 3D design tool for free and create the perfect outdoor kitchen for your deck.

Ready-to-Assemble Outdoor Kitchen Cabinets

We personally feel ready-to-assemble outdoor kitchen kits are the best option available on the market currently.


It’s the best of both worlds. It’s customizable, made with high quality material, and quick to install.

Plus, you can install on a trex or wood deck with no safety concerns. Our grill islands are made from non-combustible materials.

So, how does it work?

Ready-to-assemble outdoor kitchens are exactly as they sound. The outdoor kitchen is manufactured as panels with countertops and packed for shipping. These panels and countertops are then delivered to your home. The RTA system also comes with premium built-in grills and appliances from Coyote Outdoor Living.

Then, all you have to do is assemble! This process usually only takes a couple hours. And just like that, your outdoor kitchen is ready to use.

Ultimately, I stress you do your research! Only you know what kitchen design is best for your backyard and your deck.

That said, I want to discuss the benefits of the RTA system in more detail.

I think you’ll like what you see!

Benefits of RTA Outdoor Kitchen Design

There are a ton of benefits to the RTA system. Especially when planning an outdoor kitchen for your deck.

Let’s discuss.

Customizable to Your Needs

Our pre-designed option improves on the traditional prefab system. You get convenience coupled with higher quality and flexibility.

What if you want a fully custom outdoor kitchen?

Not a problem.

Due to the nature of our product, our kitchens are highly customizable. Whatever outdoor kitchen ideas and designs you have… Be sure we can make it happen.

We provide two main options for your outdoor kitchen design. We offer pre-designed and custom outdoor kitchens.

Pre-Designed Outdoor Kitchens

Our pre-designed solution is excellent for people who want a high-quality outdoor kitchen but aren’t interested in a fully custom design.

Over the years, we’ve sifted through a lot of outdoor kitchen design ideas. Experience has shown us time and time again certain designs are more popular than others.

Enter the pre-designed RTA outdoor kitchen. We created a collection of tried and true outdoor kitchen designs that are sure to please.

Custom Outdoor Grilling Station for your Deck

You want a bar seating area for your friends and family? You want a gas or propane grill AND a charcoal grill? What about a refrigerator or pizza oven?

You got it. No custom outdoor kitchen ideas are too outlandish for us.

We have a team of outdoor kitchen design experts that will work tirelessly to make sure your needs are met.

We know how frustrating design can be, especially when placing an outdoor kitchen on a deck. That’s why we’ve created this system. It’s painless and you make no compromises.

Even better, we have a free online design tool. This is an excellent way to play around and see how your kitchen ideas would look without any commitment.

It only takes a few clicks. When you’re done, our staff will send you a free quote for the design! Plus, it’s fun to play around with various outdoor kitchen ideas. You can try that here.

Next, let’s talk quality.

Highest Quality Material for Outdoor Kitchen Islands

Outdoor kitchens are a big investment. The last thing you want is to spend a bunch of time and money… Only to have your outdoor kitchen break down in a couple years.

That’s frustrating.

We avoid this problem by using the highest quality materials possible. Our concrete surrounds are covered by a limited lifetime warranty. That’s how confident we are in our product!

And as I mentioned before… We use non-combustible materials. So you don’t have to worry about installing our kitchens on your deck.

The RTA outdoor kitchen is designed to withstand the elements. Whether you live on the coast or in a northern climate, our kitchens stand the test of time.

We can prove it too.

Can you tell the difference between these two pictures? 

Me neither.

These pictures were taken three years apart. This particular homeowners outdoor kitchen on a patio is located in Michigan. As you know, they have harsh winters!

The quality doesn’t stop at our surrounds, either.

Best-in-Class Appliances


We’ve partnered with Coyote Outdoor Living for their incredible stainless steel outdoor kitchen appliances.

Coyote has wide variety of appliances, ranging from gas grills, to charcoal grills, to sinks, to refrigerators, to doors, to drawers, to power burners, and more. Their entire line comes standard in 304 stainless steel.

Coyote’s grills also employ cutting edge technology that makes outdoor cooking an incredible experience.

Getting back to quality, it’s the stainless steel that effectively makes Coyote’s appliances weather-proof. Rain, hail, ice, or snow… It won’t harm that stainless steel one bit.

Just imagine all the moments you will make with your guests!

And there’s one more main benefit to the RTA system…


easy design, easy installation

Use our 3D design tool for free and bring your outdoor kitchen idea to life.

We Make it Easy to Create an Outdoor Kitchen On Your Deck

Like I mentioned earlier, traditionally an outdoor kitchen takes a long time to build. Your backyard space can be disturbed for months depending on the route you choose.

Unlike masonry or prefab, our assembly process is easy.

Our outdoor kitchen kits arrive to you in pieces. This makes it easy to carry the panels up the stairs or in tight areas. It’s even possible to install on a roof deck this way. No need for heavy machinery either.

The RTA outdoor kitchen makes it easy to install utilities as well. They don’t have an outdoor kitchen frame, which makes planning and running utility lines a breeze. Even when installing on a deck.

Not to mention, the lack of frame makes our solution more lightweight. Therefore, an RTA outdoor kitchen is more suitable for a deck.

Best of all, assembly doesn’t disturb your backyard.

Non-Invasive Installation with RTA

Traditional methods are extremely invasive of your backyard living space. It’s loud, it’s messy, it requires heavy machinery… And it can take months to complete the project.

Who wants their backyard disturbed for months… And not even have an outdoor kitchen to show for it at the end of the summer?

I sure don’t.

That’s where we come in.

From start to finish, you can be enjoying your outdoor kitchen in as little as 2-4 weeks. (more for custom)

Installation only takes a few hours with minimal disruption of your backyard space. And for those that are handy, this is a completely DIY system.

How satisfying is it to have your outdoor kitchen ready to use in a few hours? It’s a dream!

You know summer goes by way too fast. You don’t have to miss out on a single day with RTA.

And while we have many customers who’ve installed our product on decks… We want to highlight one customer in particular.

You maybe even have heard of him!

Watch Charlie Moore DIY an Outdoor Kitchen for His Deck

Charlie Moore, also known as the Mad Fisherman, is a well-known personality on NBC, NESN, and ESPN.

If you’re familiar, you probably know him for his fun loving, larger-than-life personality! That’s why when he decided to get an outdoor kitchen… Charlie needed a solution that would match his style.

He needed a high-quality, functional kitchen that grills the day’s catch with ease al fresco. And the cooking area had to fit on a deck.

Through working with RTA, Charlie was able to design an outdoor kitchen to his exact specifications. And you’ll see in the video just how much he loves this kitchen!

Let’s walk through it.

First Charlie demonstrates how to use the design tool. A few minutes later, you have your design ready to send off to one of our experts.

Then, he runs through the assembly process which is lightning-fast. Even for an outdoor kitchen on a composite deck! Panels are lightweight and easy to carry up the steps.

Charlie also takes time to highlight the stellar quality of Coyote appliances. You can see he opted for a 42″ grill and the Asado smoker for the best of both worlds.

Point is, Charlie was able to order the outdoor kitchen of his dreams. It was easy, it was fast, it was perfect. He didn’t have to sacrifice on any part.

No compromises.

Now that you’ve seen what the fuss all about with RTA… You may be wondering how to add a DIY kitchen to your outdoor space.

Well, let’s get started!

Get Started with An outdoor Kitchen Island for Your Deck

We pride ourselves on being the frustration-free solution, so believe me when I say this is easy!

Let's break it down:

  1.  View our quick ship options or start designing a custom kitchen.
  2. Decide on the best design for you. Our experts will help guide you to outdoor kitchen perfection.
  3. We get to work on your kitchen.
  4. Your kitchen is packed and delivered to you ready to assemble.
  5. By the end of the afternoon, you’re ready to grill a meal!
  6. Host On!

And that’s it. Yes, my friends, it really is that simple!

A process that would ordinarily take months or even years… Is condensed down into a few weeks. And you hardly have to lift a finger.

Now that’s what I call no frustration.

Well, what are you waiting for?

Get started!

We can’t wait to help you host the moments that matter.

Need help designing for your deck?

Talk to one of our outdoor kitchen design experts for step-by-step guidance on bringing your project to life.

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