How To Build an Outdoor Kitchen With Metal Studs-9 Best Tips

How To Build An Outdoor Kitchen With Metal Studs?

If you have a new open kitchen, you will feel unprecedented freedom. You have at least once in your life seen various cooking shows or visited people who grilled meat in their yards. You probably never had the idea of building such a cozy corner in your own yard. The idea of your own outdoor kitchen with metal studs is very tempting. We will tell you how to build an outdoor kitchen with metal studs.

At first, it seems that this work is incredibly difficult and you are unlikely to be able to do it yourself. In fact, the complexity of building your own open kitchen is deceptive. You can really do everything yourself, all you need is the right set of tools and the willingness to devote a lot of time and effort to it.

In our article, we will discuss in detail how to build your own open kitchen with your own hands and at the same time avoid catastrophic mistakes.

Metal Framing for Outdoor Kitchens

How To Build An Outdoor Kitchen With Metal Studs

Constructing an outdoor kitchen using a metal frame, often referred to as a metal stud, and cement board is a widely favored choice.


Metal outdoor kitchen frame kits offer several key benefits that make them an attractive option for building projects.

  • Firstly, these kits typically consist of metal frames and cement boards, making them lighter than many other materials. This lighter weight is particularly advantageous when installing an outdoor kitchen on an existing deck or patio, as it often eliminates the need for additional structural reinforcements.
  • Furthermore, using metal studs can maximize the interior space of the kitchen island. This extra space not only makes it easier to access built-in BBQ grills and appliances for maintenance but also provides additional storage options.
  • Another significant advantage of metal stud framing is its robust structural integrity. This ensures that countertops and cooking appliances are well-supported, providing peace of mind that your BBQ grill island is both stable and durable.


There are several disadvantages to consider when using metal outdoor kitchen frame kits, especially related to climate and construction complexities.

  • Firstly, metal frames combined with cement boards can be highly susceptible to environmental conditions. In regions with freeze/thaw cycles, high humidity, or salty coastal air, these materials can face significant stress and potential degradation over time.
  • Additionally, constructing an outdoor kitchen with metal studs involves a multi-step finishing process, which can be more labor-intensive and time-consuming compared to other methods. This complexity might extend the duration of the project and increase its overall difficulty.
  • Regarding the finishes, metal frame outdoor kitchens are typically designed to accommodate only lightweight and thin-set stone veneers. If you prefer a more substantial, rustic look using heavier and thicker veneer materials, metal studs may not be the best choice. These heavier veneers can pose structural challenges that metal frames are not engineered to support, potentially limiting design options for those desiring a more robust aesthetic.

DIY Or Pay A Professional?

When deciding whether to build an outdoor kitchen yourself or hire a professional, there are several factors to consider. While a DIY approach might seem cost-effective initially, it can be less efficient and more prone to errors than a professional installation. Mistakes made during DIY construction can lead to increased maintenance costs and premature replacements, potentially negating any initial savings.

Professionals bring expertise and precision to the project, ensuring a high-quality outdoor kitchen that’s built to last without requiring you to be hands-on.

Why Use Metal Studs To Build Your Kitchen?

Metal studs offer several advantages for building an outdoor kitchen. They are sturdy, reliable, and resist weather-related wear and tear better than many materials. Unlike wooden beams, which can deteriorate if not properly weather-sealed, metal studs are inherently rust-resistant and less likely to corrode, even when exposed to harsh outdoor elements.

Cost-effectiveness is another significant benefit. Metal studs are generally less expensive than other materials that offer similar durability and strength. Given their robust nature, commonly used in wall construction, metal studs are more than capable of supporting the structural demands of an outdoor kitchen, making them an excellent choice for framing.

How To Build An Outdoor Kitchen With Metal Studs

Think About Buying One Of Them

how to build an outdoor kitchen with metal studs

In fact, there is no special difficulty in building your own kitchen, there are things in your yard that will be much more difficult according to the project. But you will need a lot of time, financial investment, and effort. You will have to work hard to finally be able to enjoy cooking delicious food in your own kitchen in the open air.

So decide for yourself whether you have enough time, money, and energy to get started on your own. The modern market provides a huge number of options for ready-made outdoor kitchen, but if you take it up yourself, you can create a unique and convenient platform for cooking.

Make the Barbeque Island Plans

how to build an outdoor kitchen with metal studs

This is a very important step that you should not miss. Before you start building an open kitchen, you need a clear plan for it. First, you need to make sure to write down the exact dimensions of everything you want to see in your kitchen. These can be:

  • Boxes
  • Sink
  • Fridge
  • Kitchen cabinet
  • Plate etc.

You should imagine the final result before the construction process itself. The easiest way to do this is to get acquainted with the catalogs provided by various equipment suppliers. You can even download bbq island plans pdf from many sites. They usually contain a large selection of sizes for any equipment.

Do not hesitate to ask for advice from the masters. You can ask someone to evaluate your plan. This is very important and will save you from problems in the future. A fresh look at your plan may notice the mistakes you made, and it is important to correct them before you start the construction process.

If you use the services of a contractor for the construction process, it will tell you how to improve your drawing and what changes to make to it.

Choose The Right Tools

how to build an outdoor kitchen with metal studs

Do not rush to get down to business until you are sure that you have all the necessary tools available. If you choose to work with steel studs, it means that some of the tools on the list will be very specific. If you don’t have them in stock, don’t panic. There are special stores where you can rent these tools. Here is a complete list of what you will need during construction:

  • Clamps
  • Laser Level
  • Chalk box
  • Fasteners
  • Screw gun
  • Hammer drill
  • Level
  • Metal cut-on saw

How Many Metal Studs For Outdoor Kitchen Do You Need

barbeque island plans

Now that we have prepared the necessary drawing and purchased all the tools we need, we need to decide on the number of metal studs that we will need to build your open kitchen. Contractors recommend using one metal stud per twelve inches, especially when you are putting up walls. Don’t forget that you will need steel plates. They are used for the lower and upper parts in the kitchen design.

Draw Lines With Chalk

barbeque island plans

Chalk is useful to us in order to choose where each item of furniture you plan will go or a metal hairpin. If you are going to build on the floor, you can chalk out the area you are using. Markup is very important, and you will appreciate its usefulness when you start working on it. It is much more convenient and there is a higher chance that you will do everything correctly.

Screw-In the Tracks

bbq island plans pdf

If you look in any guide to building an outdoor kitchen metal frame, you will notice that everyone recommends starting by screwing down the bottom tracks. Follow exactly the chalk lines that you drew to mark the future kitchen, and place the lower tracks. You need them in order to maintain the weight of the project during the entire construction process.

Next, turn on the drill and drill holes: one in the metal stud, the other in the track. Fix this hole with a screw as tightly as possible. If you have a concrete surface at your disposal, then you will make your work easier if you use a regular puncher. It will save you a lot of time.

When you put the track, make sure that all the long lines and corners are exactly aligned with the markup. If necessary, correct any errors. Align the side flange to allow the overlap to easily fall into place. This is very important for the correct overlap of all corners. If you use longer tracks, you should block them at least six inches.

When everything is installed, secure the resulting structure with a concrete screw to press it more firmly to the floor. So you will definitely get a reliable design and cannot worry about its strength.

Plumb the First Track

metal studs for outdoor kitchen

The upper and lower tracks are the most important part of the entire structure of outdoor kitchen steel framing. They must be vertical, so you cannot do without a laser level. If you use it, place the laser level in the lower middle of the track.

Many contractors recommend using the laser level in all similar procedures, its use is quite simple and it effectively shows itself in construction. The Plumb line works on a similar principle.

Trim the Steel Studs

metal studs for outdoor kitchen

We continue to build the open kitchen of our dreams and the next step is to adjust all the metal studs. How do I do this? Take one flange of a metal stud and bend it up, cut it off at the bend with special scissors.

If your kitchen project will include plumbing or electronics, cut off all the metal studs on one side. Remember that safety is an important thing in this class, so do not forget to wear protective gloves to protect your hands from injury.

If you need to cut several pieces at the same time, then a miter saw with a metal cutting blade is perfect for this task. There is another available option that will make it easier for you to cut off the metal studs. To start, score them with a knife on the front and back sides. Then send it back and forth until the metal stud snaps.

To Attach Metal Studs To The Tracks

outdoor kitchen metal frame

Use the C-clip pliers to attach the metal studs to the tracks. Use medium speed to insert the number eight pallet head screw in the middle. The screw should not measure less than half an inch. But even here, a small problem may stand in our way. You should use a clutch installation that can guide the screw to where it should be, but not with enough force to clean the hole, otherwise, you risk getting a weak connection to the structure.

Make Some Metal Headers

outdoor kitchen metal frame

If you plan to install equipment or furniture of a non-standard shape, this step is necessary. Cut the path a couple of inches more than the width of the hole you made. It is important that the length of each flange does not exceed one inch. When you have complied with all the sizes, fold the fabric ninety degrees and down by means of pliers. Perfect for those that are made of sheet metal, they are also called fixing.

Pour Concrete

how to build a bbq island with steel studs

Carefully consider what kind of kitchen you want to get at the end of the work and whether you should strengthen it properly. To do this, you will use concrete. It needs to be poured into the outer kitchen steel frame. So you will be one hundred percent sure that the kitchen will serve you for many years and will not be destroyed. If you don’t want to fill it, you can use concrete panels. If you do not have a lot of financial resources, you can buy wooden panels. This option is less stable, but it is economical.

Pull the Electrical Cables

how to build a bbq island with steel studs

Whether you decide to do this right now or put it off for later, you will still need to run several electrical cables through your structure. To do this, you should carefully look at the drawing that you prepared before the construction work began.

The plastic sleeve that fits into each knockout can be very useful because it will save the cable from rubbing against the sharp edges of the metal. We recommend using plastic ties that are screwed to metal studs to get the best result.

Wood Blocking

how to build a bbq island with steel studs

If there are any spaces that are not closed yet, you can close them using wooden blocks. Perhaps some of the walls will remain uncovered, or you just want everything to look new. In any case, whatever you decide, wooden locks will do this task best.

Add Counters and Veneers

outdoor kitchen steel framing

So we got to the actual last step of our guide to building an open kitchen with metal studs, and this step will be adding countertops and veneer. Many people choose granite counters, as they have amazing strength.

In the end, you can use any veneer you like: tile, stone, plaster, or combine several options. Remember the main rule: use only strong materials, as your kitchen is constantly outdoors under the influence of various weather conditions.

Take Сare Of Your New Outdoor Kitchen

outdoor kitchen steel framing

After that, you can install all the hardware you want. Ready, you can enjoy your brand new outdoor kitchen. But this is not the end of your work. You will need to take preventive measures to make the kitchen happy for a long time. For example, if you used wood for construction, you should cover it with high-quality wood paint, so that the material will serve you for a long time.

You have plenty of options for your outdoor kitchen: you can place a grill, a roaster, assemble a wood-burning pizza oven, a smokehouse, and much more. It all depends on the place you marked and your imagination. If you have children, you can place some playsets nearby so that they can have something to do while you cook a delicious meal.

Are you wondering how much electricity does a pellet grill use?

How To Build A BBQ Island With Steel Studs

metal studs for outdoor kitchen

After all, learning how to build a street kitchen with metal studs is not as difficult as it seems at first glance. However, this takes a large amount of your time, and here, too, much depends on your initial idea.

For this reason, many people prefer not to engage in the construction process themselves and hire a contractor or buy a ready-made street kitchen. But this option will not be able to compare with deep pride in their work, because the kitchen, built with their own hands, brings more satisfaction.
Also, you can be interested in colored porch lights near your future kitchen. You can read about these accessories in our new article.


What Metal Studs to Use for an Outdoor Kitchen?

For outdoor kitchens, it’s best to use galvanized steel studs. These are specifically treated to resist corrosion and rust, which makes them ideal for outdoor environments where they will be exposed to various weather conditions. Galvanized steel is also strong and durable, providing a solid framework that can support the weight of countertops, appliances, and other kitchen elements.

Can Metal Studs Be Used Outdoors?

Yes, metal studs can be used outdoors, particularly if they are made of galvanized steel. This type of metal stud is designed to withstand moisture and temperature fluctuations, making them suitable for outdoor structures like kitchens. It’s important to ensure that any additional metal components are also suitable for outdoor use to prevent rust and degradation.

Can Cabinets Be Hung on Metal Studs?

Absolutely, cabinets can be hung on metal studs. When hanging cabinets on metal studs, it’s crucial to use the correct type of fasteners, such as toggle bolts or specifically designed screws for metal studs (like fine-threaded drywall screws for metal). This ensures a secure and stable installation, capable of supporting the weight of the cabinets and their contents.

What Is the Cheapest Way to Build an Outdoor Kitchen?

The cheapest way to build an outdoor kitchen involves a few strategies:
DIY Construction: Taking on the project yourself can save on labor costs. Utilize your skills and follow detailed plans to reduce expenses.
Simple Design: Opt for a basic layout that requires fewer materials and less intricate construction work.
Recycled or Reclaimed Materials: Using reclaimed wood, bricks, or stones can reduce costs significantly. Look for sales or discounts on outdoor kitchen components like grills and countertops.
Prefab Kits: Consider purchasing a prefab outdoor kitchen kit, which often costs less than custom-built versions. These kits typically come with everything needed and can be assembled with basic tools.
Each approach has its trade-offs in terms of time, effort, and long-term durability, so consider what best meets your needs and abilities.

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