What Should I Put In My Outdoor Kitchen?

What Should I Put In My Outdoor Kitchen?

When it comes to cooking, you can prepare virtually any meal or snack outdoors that you can prepare inside your home’s kitchen. Outdoor cooking is an essential element of entertaining outdoors, and it’s something most folks have been doing for decades.

Whether you’re creating or enhancing your outdoor space, one idea you might have in mind is to create an outdoor kitchen. In essence, you’d like a permanent outdoor space where you can both cook and entertain simultaneously.

Of course, the one stumbling block many people have is: what exactly do I need to put in my outdoor kitchen? Don’t worry! This article will give you all the inspiration you need to turn your outdoor kitchen from a concept into a reality!

Check out these outdoor kitchen must-haves.

Built-In Grill

There’s no denying that you’ve got a vast array of choices when it comes to equipping your new outdoor kitchen. But when it comes to outdoor kitchen essentials, one item you really need is a built-in grill.

Sure, there are other grill variants that you could purchase for your outdoor kitchen. So why does it make sense to invest in a built-in grill?

Well, the first reason is that they slide into the work surface area. It makes excellent use of space in your outdoor kitchen. Also, now you don’t have to worry about having a grill that looks like an afterthought. As this will most likely be the centerpiece of your outdoor kitchen space, you’ll want it to look spectacular. Built-in grills might be more expensive, but they also tend to last much longer, particularly if you are a year-round griller – something that’s definitely a possibility in our gorgeous Lowcountry climate.

If you’re unsure which one is right for you, you’ll want to take some time to look at all that Bull has to offer. It’s an industry-leading brand that has an excellent range of built-in grills. You’re bound to find one that you’ll fall in love with. You’ll want to use it regularly, whether you’re having company or just grilling up something delicious for a quick and easy weeknight meal.

Side Burner

When it comes to must-have yet versatile outdoor cooking accessories, something that should be on your wishlist is a side burner. They are essential if you plan on cooking a broad range of meals (let’s face it: who doesn’t?).

Side burners add to the convenience of an outdoor kitchen and make your life easier when you’ve got lots of tasty things that need to cook simultaneously.

When you’ve got a side burner or two fitted, you no longer need to run back and forth to your indoor kitchen! You can use your side burners for anything from cooking lobsters through to heating some sides such as baked beans.

Outdoor Pizza Oven

If you’ve got the space and you’re wondering what goes in an outdoor kitchen other than grills and side burners, another essential for any family is an outdoor pizza oven.

You might think that the primary purpose of having an outdoor kitchen is to facilitate cooking mouthwatering steaks and delicious sides. But, you’ll likely find that there are times when you’d prefer to broaden your horizons when it comes to outdoor cooking.

Believe it or not, pizza ovens are growing in popularity and fast becoming one of the must-have outdoor kitchen essentials. You’ve no doubt crafted some homemade pizzas in your time. But, have you ever done so outdoors?

Now you can with an outdoor pizza oven! Pizza isn’t your thing? That’s okay, outdoor pizza ovens can also be used for casseroles, vegetables, cookies and other desserts. So many options!

Access Doors

When designing your dream outdoor kitchen, something you will need regardless of your chosen accessories is storage space. While some people might find it easier to have storage that’s open and easy to access, there will always be items that you wish to protect from the elements. If you want enclosed storage in your outdoor kitchen, it’s a good idea to invest in some access doors. You can specify them in any style and have them constructed from materials such as wood or metal.

Stainless steel access doors are a popular style example for many modern homes. And if you’ve got a more rustic-looking abode, access doors made from wood could be a better match for your home’s design.

An advantage of having access doors for your outdoor storage locations is that you can keep cooking utensils, condiments, and other items safe and secure outside. Even if you get torrential rain some days, the contents will be safe and dry behind your access doors!

Trash Bin

One thing that anyone who’s ever hosted a barbecue at their home will tell you is that trash will soon accumulate outdoors! You might think that the source of that trash is from the people attending your barbecue.

While that might be true in many cases, the chef will undoubtedly be someone that generates some trash when they’re cooking! You might think that cooking some juicy steaks isn’t going to create any waste. But, what about other items such as your sides?

Many people find they end up chopping up vegetables to put on their grills such as peppers, onions, mushrooms, and so forth. When you’re preparing those vegetables outdoors, you’ll need somewhere for that food waste to go.

Let’s face it, walking back and forth to your kitchen to get rid of any trash or waste isn’t very convenient, especially when you’re cooking and mingling with your guests! That’s why one of the best outdoor kitchen essentials you could get is a trash bin.

Outdoor Refrigerator

When you’re cooking up a storm on a hot summer’s day, you’ll want some refreshing beverages that you and your family and friends can consume.

Did you know that you can get an outdoor refrigerator to complement your dream outdoor kitchen?

Besides keeping drinks chilled, another advantage is that you can store things like sides, vegetables and desserts, keeping them fresh until you need them.

Sink Work Area/Counter Space

Last but not least, you will want to design a sink work area or some counter space into your dream outdoor kitchen. As with your indoor kitchen, you need a work area to prepare your dishes and organize all of the delicious food you’re about to serve.

One of the most important constituents of any kitchen is workable counter space. You need sufficient room to prepare food before cooking and space to work. Scrimping on the counter space could give you a lot of angst in the future. When it comes to counter space you can never really have too much. One way to give yourself more space to work is to include a separate island in your outdoor kitchen.

When it comes to selecting your countertops you have a many different choices. Ceramic tile is a cost effective option for anyone on a budget but a countertop made out of granite or soapstone will look beautiful and hold up to damage better.

Countertop Options (ordered from least expensive to most expensive)

  • Ceramic Tile 
  • Stainless Steel
  • Wood
  • Concrete
  • Granite
  • Soapstone

The higher the price of a countertop, the more likely it is to stand up to the wear and tear that comes along with the elements. If your outdoor kitchen is uncovered it’s best to go with a material that will stand up better to all kinds of weather.

You may also find it easier to have a working outdoor sink to help with washing and preparing food. It’s also an easier place for handwashing while cooking. And if you are storing your cooking utensils outside, then it’s super convenient to wash them and put them right back where they go.

Lighting

There’s a fine line when it comes to outdoor kitchen lighting. You want to be able to see what you’re cooking, but you don’t want so much light that your guests lose the feeling of being outside. The two important ideas to remember when it comes to lighting for your outdoor kitchen are incorporating task lighting (so you can see what you are cooking) and also ambient lighting to create the right atmosphere. Lighting isn’t something to be overlooked.

There’s a fine line when it comes to outdoor kitchen lighting

Fireplace

If you’re going to be outside in the kitchen during cooler times of the year, having a fire source is a superb way of keeping your guests comfy and toasty.

You can build a big hearth, which exudes style and class, or your guests can gather around the soothing, flickering flames of a fire pit.

On the other side of the spectrum a portable air cooler will be a plus in balmy and sometimes sweltering weather. Your outdoor space can also be cooled with an outdoor fan.

You can build a big hearth

Ventilation and Insulation

An immensely important part of any outdoor kitchen is added ventilation and insulation. Many people discount this small element but it could be the difference between a working outdoor kitchen and one that goes down in flames.

Your grill should have a vent located in front of it or behind it to let out excess gas and prevent build up. If your outdoor kitchen is located under a closed roof of some sort then you should definitely have a ventilation hood over it to take care of the smoke from the flames.

Insulation is just as critical, especially if there are combustible components such as wood in or around your outdoor kitchen.

Your grill should have a vent located in front of it or behind it

Flat Top Griddle

Delicious bacon, juicy hamburgers, crispy vegetables, and sizzling fajitas. Great for breakfast foods and hibachi style dishes. More and more people are using their outdoor kitchens to cook and enjoy breakfasts. The summer temperatures are cooler and the humidity is lower….time to slow down and enjoy a gorgeous outdoor brunch. A flat top griddle is the perfect complementary outdoor kitchen appliance if you foresee this in your future.

The summer temperatures are cooler and the humidity is lower

Wine Cooler

Wine can be a fragile thing. Wine coolers keep your exquisite vintages in perfect condition all within easy reach. Never have to worry about running inside for another bottle.

Wine coolers keep your exquisite vintages in perfect condition

Dishwasher

Necessary? Maybe not. But helpful? Yes! You don’t have to worry about washing everything by hand or toting all those dirty dishes back inside to be done later. It keeps your BBQ nights nuisance free.

Ice Maker

Ever been outdoors with a drink and wanted ice but didn’t want to go inside. Never worry about going out for bags of ice. On hot summer evenings everyone will be thankful for the ice maker.

Never worry about going out for bags of ice.

At Summer Breeze, we can create the usable space that you’ve been wishing for as part of your outdoor kitchen. Take a look at our portfolio to see examples of what we’ve done for our past clients. Whether you are creating a whole new space or just trying to update your already existing space, let our team help you design the perfect outdoor kitchen for you. We will work with you to install the pieces that you want, so that all of these “essentials” work together. Your dream outdoor kitchen will function perfectly for all of your entertaining needs….and even your weeknight dinners. Give us a call today!

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