Outdoor Kitchens: The Ultimate Guide

Essentials for the ultimate outdoor kitchen: grills, outdoor refrigerators, outdoor cabinets, stone countertops, bar sinks, beverage coolers, and more.

-Is there anything better than an alfresco feast? How about preparing it in your own outdoor kitchen? I'm Lacey Howard. An outdoor kitchen is a tasty addition to any deck or patio. Here are a few essentials you'll want to include. -The grill is the cornerstone of any outdoor kitchen. Some grilling gurus prefer charcoal grill but a high-quality gas grill will give you flavor too. Whatever heat source you select, choose a grill that's large enough to cook a meal for your entire family and a few guests, and be sure you can control how much of the grill is active at any time. -For an indoor look, surround your grill with cabinetry or build it in and finish it off with concrete, stone, or brick. -Always place your grill in an open, well-ventilated area. An exhaust hood may be required if your grill is located near your home. -But don't stop there. Add other appliances such as burners for sassy side dishes. -A warming drawer for holding food until the entire meal is ready, a smoker unit to prepare slow-roasted meats, and a rotisserie for large roast and whole birds. Chill beverages, meats, and perishables in a refrigerator or a refrigerated drawer. Be sure to buy a refrigerator that is UL-approved for outdoor use. Outdoor refrigerators have different insulation and cooling technology than the indoor models. -Remember, give yourself plenty of space to prepare meals and more storage is always a good thing. -For cabinetry, choose durable materials like teak or stainless steel. You want a countertop surface that can handle hot food and sharp knives, so go with natural stone, metal, teak, concrete, or outdoor tile. Seal the surface to protect it from whether and cooking spills. -A sink is great for preparing ingredients, cleaning up messes, and filling up drinks. -A basic stainless steel bar sink is all you need to meet your outdoor water needs. Ice cold beverages are vital for outdoor entertaining. Keep your guests happy with a bar cart or a dedicated drink serving station. -And don't forget to include places to serve and enjoy all the goodies you've prepared. -For example, this peninsula can also work as a serving buffet and a snack bar and, of course, nothing beats a classic patio or a picnic table. -So there you have it---- all the bells and whistles of an indoor kitchen plus cool breezes and a great view.