Equipping an Outdoor Kitchen Featured image

There are some essentials for an outdoor kitchen that are must-have items if you’re looking to have a complete barbecue with an outdoor kitchen setup. With a little bit of strategic design, you can create the ultimate all-in-one solution to creating grilled foods outdoors that every grill master dreams of having. Here are the best tips that will make this concept more effective and beneficial for any outdoor kitchen.

Appliances and accessories for outdoor kitchens

Among the top list of items that are always a good idea for using outdoors are the ones that are the most convenient. The function of each of these can improve how you cook outdoors with less hassle of going into your indoor kitchen continually. In terms of presentation, you’ll have a better-designed outdoor kitchen that’s professional looking based on all of your outdoor cooking needs.

Charcoal or gas grill

Charcoal or gas grill for outdoor kitchen

No matter which type of grill you choose, this should be the centerpiece of any outdoor kitchen setup. This is why it needs to be placed typically at the center of your backyard kitchen so you have a central location to work from. Everything else is placed to either side for convenience including a sink, fridge, or supplies as you need them. One thing to remember about charcoal or gas grills is to provide adequate ventilation for smoke or fumes.

Carefully place a grill so that you have vented smoke going away from you and your guests. if you need to install an overhead vent fan, this will draw smoke and gas fumes upward rather than onto guests or yourself.

Smoker

Smoker for outdoor kitchen

While this is an essential item for BBQ fans, smokers tend to be an accessory that needs to have the best ventilation possible. You’ll want to place this off to the side of your kitchen set up so it doesn’t bring smoke into your cooking area. There are many types of smokers your can purchase, yet the ideal ones are always simple barrel or drum smokers. These give you a lot of room for smoking select meat and food items and great air control.

On top of that, a barrel smoker is also a great way to recycle since many drum smokers are converted drums that have been specially cleaned and repurposed for BBQ smoking.

Pizza oven

Pizza oven for outdoor kitchen

The holy grail of any kitchen grill setup will include a pizza oven that completes the ultimate outdoor cooking triangle. Pizza ovens not only cook pizza but a variety of foods that work excellent for bread, Dutch oven dishes, and assorted goodies that a grill isn’t typically handling. You’ve heard the old expression that a good hearth is the heart of a home, well- this is what they were talking about.

A pizza oven also works similar to a ceramic room heater and is great for gathering around on cool nights. Plus, the iconic glow from wood-fired pizza ovens is just as attractive as a fire pit.

Sink

Sink for outdoor kitchen

Adding a fully-functioning sink to your outdoor kitchen not only gives you immediate access to hot or cold water, but works as an excellent prep area for veggies, meats, and seafood. For some items, you simply need to rinse them off while preparing them before they’re cooked or grilled. This will require hooking up some additional pipes to your indoor water source, but the extra work is worth it.

Keeping your hands clean or rinsing off smaller mixing bowls or pans will essentially keep your outdoor cooking duties easier and faster by adding a sink.

Mini fridge

Mini fridge for outdoor kitchen

Some items do need to keep cool before they’re used and this tends to be food that might spoil if you don’t keep it in a fridge. Mini fridges are great for condiments, cold drinks, and anything that you want close to your work triangle. If you use this fridge for making cold cocktails or drinks you can locate this where a serving table is set up, or close to your grill area. It just makes sense to have cold drinks handy when working over a hot grill too.

You may also want to have a separate mini fridge behind you for storing essential items like chilled white wine or cold beverages if you want to include a mini bar station.

Lighting

Lighting in outdoor kitchen

Lighting is not only giving you better control of seeing what you’re doing in an outdoor kitchen but can be highly decorative additionally. Using LED lighting is now completely adjustable so you can illuminate your work area and a patio area inside and outside your cooking zone. Many of these LED light controls are now easy to connect to any smartphone device, so you can control how much light you’ll need when it starts to get dark. This article includes several decor ideas, many of which implement ideas for how to use lighting in backyard spaces.

You can also connect portable speakers to some types of LED lights that synchronize to music, helping to create a party-like atmosphere for anyone you invite to your backyard grill.

Storage

Storage area for outdoor kitchen

Just like any kitchen, you want to have shelves and storage so you can keep everything you need within arm’s reach. This should include smaller cabinets for all of your essential cooking utensils and supplies. There are many different cabinet designs that you can choose for kitchens, so look for materials that are better suited for use outdoors. These should include stainless steel or wood materials that resist the weather.

Of course, you want to have a good outdoor kitchen roof to cover these storage shelves for shade from the sun so they’ll last even longer.

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