Outdoor Kitchen Island: Portable vs Permanent

Outdoor kitchen
  • 2-300 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 0-15,000

An outdoor kitchen island provides a fun and convenient way to prepare food for family and friends on sunny afternoons or evenings when the weather is nice. Planning and purchasing an outdoor kitchen island usually gives you a couple of choices: a portable outdoor kitchen island or a permanent outdoor kitchen island. While both types of installations will allow you to prepare food outdoors, there are advantages and disadvantages to both types.

Portable Outdoor Kitchen Islands

outdoor kitchen and dining set

If you're looking for a relatively inexpensive way to create an outdoor cooking environment for your home, you'll probably want to consider a portable outdoor kitchen island. Using a portable kitchen island will almost always be a lot cheaper than installing a more permanent type of outdoor kitchen island. In fact, you can create a portable cooking area by simply purchasing a gas grill that has wheels and allows for easy storage in the garage or under the patio.

Of course, you can add almost any type of other piece of kitchen equipment to your portable kitchen island as well. You can purchase portable coolers or outdoor kitchen carts that include space for a microwave and even have the appropriate types of electrical plug-ins. A portable kitchen island not only offers the advantage of being less expensive, it allows you to take the entire kitchen with you should you choose to move to a new home or location.

While portable kitchen islands are certainly more affordable than permanent solutions, they will not add any value at all to your home or property. Furthermore, you will need to haul your portable kitchen island out of storage in order to use it. After you've finished preparing meals, you will also need to put the outdoor kitchen equipment back into the garage or storage.

Permanent Outdoor Kitchen Islands

large outdoor kitchen space

With a permanent outdoor kitchen island, you can create a cooking environment that provides as little or as much cooking space and flexibility as you need. In fact, you can even create an outdoor kitchen island that is as functional as your home's indoor kitchen. You can install gas ranges and grills, refrigerators and freezers and even sinks and cabinets.

A well-thought-out permanent outdoor kitchen island may add value to your home. When it is time to sell your home, the outdoor kitchen island may serve to attract many potential buyers as this is an option that is still not commonplace in most homes. While you may not be able to recoup the entire investment of your permanent outdoor kitchen island, you can reasonably expect to recover some of the investment at the time of your home's sale.

While a permanent outdoor kitchen island offers a lot of flexibility and may increase the value of your home, there are considerable upfront costs associated with constructing a permanent outdoor kitchen environment. You will need to invest in countertops and seating that will add to the cost of your outdoor kitchen island as well as install a covering and run electricity to the island.

Also, you'll need to consider that your permanent outdoor kitchen island will need maintenance from time to time because of wear and tear that may be caused by occasional inclement weather.