It is estimated that 80% of homeowners and 70% of households own at least one grill or smoker. Gas is still the most popular choice when buying a new grill (63%), followed by charcoal (49%). 
Most of these grills sit on a cart. They can be wheeled around the corner of the house so they’re less of an eyesore or tied down, so they don’t blow away. Either way, cart models aren’t a focal point, and aside from a small shelf and a light, they don’t add much to the cooking experience.
In the 1990s, outdoor kitchens hit the scene, and now, an estimated 10% of grills are part of an outdoor kitchen setup, and this trend is growing.
What does an outdoor kitchen entail?
The kitchen implies water, but with Colorado’s free thaw cycles, water isn’t very realistic or cost-effective. Thus, the term “built-in grill” is more applicable.
An “outdoor kitchen” can include a variety of amenities like a refrigerator, side burner, ice bin, television, trash bin (bears love these), speakers (neighbors love these), faucet/sink, seating, and more. They can get elaborate and often involve many trades. The size of the kitchen and amenities usually dictate the cost.
Outdoor Kitchens Include
The commonality with most outdoor kitchens is that they sit within a countertop, have storage for grill-related items, won’t blow off your deck/patio, and are aesthetically appealing – so they can be a focal point. Seating is standard, too, especially for those who entertain.
Are “outdoor kitchens” worth the expense and the hype?
The answer is a resounding yes for those who make grilling/smoking a regular part of their lives.
Think of it this way: you have a cooktop; how effective would it be if that was about everything in your kitchen? Minimal storage, a small chunk of a countertop next to it, maybe a light, and that’s about it. We know one thing: momma wouldn’t be very happy.
We at Stewart Remodel Design Build have been building outdoor kitchens for nearly two decades and are working on a more affordable “plug and play” outdoor kitchen to be released this spring.
 State of the Barbecue Industry, March 25, 2022, Hearth Patio & Barbecue Association