5 Essentials for the Perfect Outdoor Kitchen

Do you love being in the outdoors, especially your backyard? If your answer is yes, why don’t you have an outdoor kitchen yet? These kitchens provide a way to expand your living space into your backyard and allow you to eat and entertain outdoors only steps away from your home.

The best outdoor living spaces and kitchens are all just as functional as their indoor kitchen counterparts. So, what exactly do you need to create the perfect outdoor kitchen? Keep reading to find out.

5 Essentials for the Perfect Outdoor Kitchen - BBQ Island

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1. BBQ Island

kitchen island, or BBQ island, paired with a gas barbecue or gas grill will give you the ultimate barbecue experience in your own backyard. The larger the BBQ island, the more options you’ll have than with smaller units. BBQ islands will give you more surface and counter space and offer room to hold sinks or trash receptacles.

An outdoor grilling island or BBQ island is also an excellent way to build your own custom cooking area without the expense of special-order appliances, DIY Network suggests. To build a grilling island, you simply need a few tools including a tape measure, framing square, table and circular saws, the materials or wood to build the island, and some safety gear.

5 Essentials for the Perfect Outdoor Kitchen - Outdoor Sink

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2. Outdoor Sink

There’s not much that differentiates a kitchen sink you use outdoors from an indoor kitchen sink. However, as Mitch Slater, president of Danver, a manufacturer of outdoor cabinetry explained to House Logic, “higher quality products will perform better and for longer than less expensive ones.” As sinks increase in size and thickness, so do the prices for these sinks. Outdoor sinks with higher quality steel will also be more pricey.

While the cost for outdoor sinks range from $100 to $500 and up, according to House Logic, the price of the hardware usually isn’t the largest factor of the overall cost. The cost to run the plumbing is generally the most pricey part. Depending on the sink, you will need to run hot and cold, or just cold water lines from your home. The water lines will also have to be thoroughly insulated in order to prevent freezing.

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Lastly, the drainage for the outdoor sink must be routed to the municipal wastewater system, House Logic says. The price for this will vary with the distance from the house, access to the sewer system, and where you live. However, with the expense comes a much-needed feature of a kitchen, and one that can last for many years.

5 Essentials for the Perfect Outdoor Kitchen - Gas Barbecue

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3. Gas Barbecue

Of course, another essential is a gas barbecue grill. When choosing a gas grill, you’ll need to first determine your grill style. For instance, do you like to leave your meat to cook and wait elsewhere until it’s done? Or, do you like to cook things quickly over the grill? Also, think about the flame. You can cook directly over the flame or indirectly. This is a consideration that will also determine the gas barbecue you decide to buy.

According to BBQ Guys, here are a few things to think about when buying a gas grill:

  1. The BBQ grill manufacturer warranty.
  2. The burner size—is it proportional to the grill?
  3. The flame taming devices—do they cover the entire burner?
  4. Cooking grid materials.
  5. The grill’s construction.
  6. Temperature.
  7. Grill reviews.

5 Essentials for the Perfect Outdoor Kitchen - Add a Fridge

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4. Fridge

Outdoor ice makers, wine fridges, and beverage centres are all nice additions to have in your kitchen. However, the main essential for keeping things cold is an outdoor fridge. When choosing a fridge for your kitchen, opt for an under-counter beverage fridge that is approved for exterior use.

Your fridge will be one of the hardest working outdoor appliances in your outdoor kitchen. Refrigerators already work hard in your home, and they’ll need to work even harder outside to operate safely. Because of this, it’s imperative that you choose a fridge that’s specifically designed for outdoor use. According to House Logic, outdoor fridges can cost between $550 to $1,800 and up and will last about five to 10 years in your backyard kitchen.

5 Essentials for the Perfect Outdoor Kitchen - Outdoor Kitchen Lighting

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5. Lighting

A major key to having a perfect kitchen is including the right outdoor lighting. This is one essential you won’t want to forget, especially if you’re looking forward to evenings and late nights spent enjoying your outdoor setup.

When it comes to the kinds of lighting you should use outside, Lee Anne White, the author of Outdoor Living Idea Book, recommends subtle light instead of bold light. In fact, White suggests only using light as bright as necessary for specific areas. To accomplish the best outdoor lighting the most effectively, employ several types of lighting.

For example, downlights hung from or walls can give your outdoor space soft, general lighting, while task lighting should be installed near the grill and other areas to make food prep easier, White told Timber Home Living. Also, make sure to include lighting for pathways and steps for safety purposes. Lastly, you can bring in accent lighting, which can be used to highlight unique or special features of your outdoor kitchen and add some extra ambience.


Get ready for outdoor living by stopping by a Kitchen & Bath Classics showroom to get more backyard kitchen ideas and for all the essentials you need to make your patio kitchen perfect!

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