20 Must-Haves for Your Outdoor Kitchen

20 Must-Haves for Your Outdoor Kitchen

It takes careful, strategic budgeting, planning, selection, and placement of amenities to create or enhance and outdoor living space if you want to bring an entertainment oasis to reality. The addition of outdoor kitchens are growing heavily in popularity, and these additions are able to add value to your property—but it is also a significant investment on the part of the homeowner, so it is important to do it right.

Below, we will delve into what it takes to bring a simple barbeque island to an impressively functioning outdoor kitchen—a kitchen that is very similar to that of your kitchen indoor, eliminating the need to go back into the house and keeping the party outside where it belongs—on the patio or deck, in the backyard, or on the rooftop.

Here are 20 different must-haves that you need for your outdoor kitchen.

#1: Cabinets

Cabinetry, which can be considered the foundation of your outdoor kitchen, is available in wood, stainless steel, polymers, and high-density polyethylene (DHPE). Stainless steel tends to be overlooked as a recyclable and sustainable material that’s compatible with numerous appliances and also resistant to fungus and bacteria. Stainless steel is incredibly durable as well. These cabinets come in an assortment of finishes such a wood grain finish or a powder coating finish of a specific color. The powder coating finish offers a protective coating for the stainless steel from stains, spills, chips, and finger prints while also protecting it against environmental conditions and corrosion.

#2: Trash Pull-Out Cabinet

To ensure that unsightly trash isn’t visible to guests, a trash pull-out cabinet is just what you need. However, don’t forget to empty it each night to avoid issues with animals.

#3: Floating Shelves

If you place your outdoor kitchen against a wall, you may want to consider installing floating shelves on the wall as a decorative element or for additional storage.

#4: BBQ and Outdoor Grill Hood

In the event that your outdoor kitchen is not built in open air, you need to seriously consider ventilating it with an outdoor grill hood. This can be perfect if you decide to have your outdoor living space as part of a transitional Florida/California room or lanais.

#5: Smokers

If you want to ensure that your food has that authentic BBQ taste, then you may want to opt for a smoker to be installed that will complement your grill. A smoker will utilize indirect heat when cooking, helping to lock in that perfect smoky flavor in your meat, vegetables, etc.

#6: Grills

There are several different types of grills that can be added to your outdoor kitchen to complement your individual cooking preferences depending on how much food you like to cook at a time or how much time you want to have to spend cooking the food. The grills that you have to choose from include propane, infrared, and electric.

#7: Pizza Oven

Offering an extra cooking option, pizza ovens are becoming far more in demand than ever before. Pizza ovens give you the opportunity to taste homemade pizza like you’ve never tasted before.  

#8: Side Burner

A side burner can accommodate anything that you typically use a stovetop for, such as a lobster pot and sides like sauerkraut or baked beans.

#9: Griddle

A griddle makes it easy to use your grill to serve breakfast. You can get creative with your recipes using a griddle on your grill, allowing you to easily elevate your skills.

#10: Sink

By opting to add a sink into your outdoor kitchen area, it will make preparation easier and encourage cleaning on-the-go. It will also eliminate the amount of trips that you need to make inside the house, especially during prep time.

#11: Countertops

You will want to carefully consider the material that you use for your countertops, such as the prep area. You will want to consider the layout of the outdoor kitchen, including the island, if you decide to have one, for non-cooking appliances like the sink.

#12: Storage

If you opt for an island, it is a good idea to add built-in storage on the back side of it with cabinets.

#13: Seating

While the tradition is to ensure that you have guest seating near the outdoor kitchen so that you maintain a social circle while working, most outdoor entertainment spaces and living areas have low-key seating areas away from the kitchen area that mimic an indoor living space.

#14: Outdoor Refrigerator

To ensure that you aren’t running in and out of your house, you should install an outdoor refrigerator in the kitchen area so that beverages, food and other ingredients can be kept safe and chilled until needed.

#15: Ice Maker/Storage

Opt for an ice maker—or an ice storage chest—to keep beverages chill outdoors.

#16: Wine Cooler

A wine cooler is the perfect addition to the end of the outdoor kitchen cabinet run so that guests can self-service themselves—plus, it looks good!

#17: Kegerator

If you enjoy beer, a kegerator can ensure that beer is kept fresh, cold, and ready to serve at all times.

#18: Glassware Storage

If you are going to be serving beverages from your outdoor kitchen, then it goes without saying that you need a nice storage area for your glassware and stemware.

#19: Rooftop/Pergola

To avoid the weather causing problems for you while you’re cooking and entertaining, you should add some type of rooftop or pergola. This ensures that your investment is protected while also ensuring that your guests are comfortable.

#20: Fire Appliance

Once the sun goes down, particularly when the temperatures start cooling off, you want to keep the party going, but sometimes it is just too cool. To ensure that your party doesn’t come to a halt, make sure that you have a small heater, heat stack, or fire pit to keep everyone warm.

For more information about designing your outdoor kitchen, contact us at Southern Hearth & Grills.