8 Essential Must-Haves in an Outdoor Kitchen

Written by admin@omgkitchens / Kraftmaid
February 14, 2023 / 6 Minute Read

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What’s your idea of an ideal summer afternoon?

If you’re like most of us, you probably love a cookout. The smell of food is great, the weather’s fantastic, and it’s hard not to have a good time- unless you’re the flustered host running between your kitchen and backyard. And don’t even get us started on the post-party cleanup.

Your solution? An outdoor kitchen!

Outdoor cooking is something folks have been doing for decades- and the first step would be to set up a functional outdoor kitchen. These spaces help you slow down and spend more time with loved ones by placing everything you need close at hand.

8 Things That Make for the Perfect Outdoor Kitchen

Now, you’re probably asking yourself- “wait, what do I even put in an outdoor kitchen?” Don’t worry, we’ve got answers for you. Here are eight outdoor kitchen accessories that can make every cookout a hoot!

1. Stylish Storage Cabinets

You’ll likely use a ton of utensils for your outdoor cookouts- spatulas, thermometers, meat probes, grid grippers, and so on. But without proper storage, you will have to keep them inside (and clutter your kitchen) or leave them out in the open.

That’s why you need sturdy outdoor storage cabinets. They offer a safe, sealed space to keep your utensils, grilling fuel, and other items clean and organized.

However, you can’t just use any cabinetry outside. In case you’re looking for a few outdoor kitchen storage options, get in touch with OMG Kitchens. We have flawless designs built with KraftMaid kitchen cabinets to fit multiple aesthetics.

2. Built-In Grill

When it comes to outdoor kitchen essentials, one item you cannot do without is a built-in grill. While free-standing grills work fine, they’re usually smaller and more susceptible to weather- meaning they are easily tipped over. Many models do not last more than a few years at best- and then you’ll have to spend more money to replace them.

A built-in grill might cost more upfront, but it’s a permanent fixture in your outdoor entertainment space. They’re also sturdy and equipped with a ton of special features, so it’s a win-win!

3. Mini Fridge

Cooking up a storm on a hot summer’s day can leave you feeling pretty thirsty, and you’d want some refreshing beverages to beat the heat. Instead of running back to your indoor fridge, why not get a mini refrigerator for your patio? Besides keeping your drinks chilled, an outdoor refrigerator can also store sides, vegetables, and desserts to keep them fresh until you need them.

4. Sink Area/Counter Space

As with your indoor kitchen, you’ll require a work area to prep your dishes and organize all the delicious food you’re about to serve.

A workable countertop is essential to any kitchen. The last thing you’d want is to run out of workspace when prepping a big meal.

There are plenty of countertop materials for you to choose from. Be sure to consider your needs and vibe before deciding on a material. And in case you don’t know where to start, talk to the experts at OMG Kitchens!

In this regard, you may find it easier to have a working outdoor sink installed on your countertop. It’s incredibly convenient to wash and clean up when you have a source of running water nearby.

5. Seating Area

Whether you want a traditional dining setup or something more casual, it’s crucial to ensure your outdoor kitchen can accommodate everyone and allow for an enjoyable dining experience.

If you’re planning to host large parties, opt for comfortable, lightweight patio furniture that can be moved from place to place. We’re talking chairs with wheels and benches with removable cushions.

Remember to add some lighting as well, especially for those late-night soirees. While torches and candles are great, a few strings of overhead fairy lights can set the mood for your parties.

6. Weather Protectors

At the end of the day, an outdoor kitchen is still far more prone to weather damage than almost everything else in your home. To ensure it remains in good condition long term, consider protecting it from the elements with some kind of cover or shelter. Not only does this keep the elements at bay, but it can also add a touch of style to the entire space.

Not sure what type of shelter to invest in? Well, it depends. While pergolas are almost always preferred due to their aesthetic appeal, you could also invest in half-walls, curtains, or anything else that fits your vibe (and your pocket too). Just make sure you’re using sturdy, waterproof materials for the best results.

7. Trash Can

Anyone who’s ever hosted a barbecue will tell you that trash can accumulate outdoors. And it’s not just from the guests at your property.

Sure, the juicy steaks won’t generate any waste. But the sides are a whole different story. Vegetable peels, wrappers, and paper can easily pile up on your counters and compromise your kitchen’s hygiene.

Let’s face it: you don’t want to walk back to the trashcan in your kitchen every time you need to dispose of something, especially when you have people around. Investing in a pretty stainless-steel trash bin can save you all the legwork. Your guests will also have someplace to throw away used plates and cutlery.

8. Bar Appliances

Want to enjoy a cold one without having to step foot indoors? Install these handy bar accessories to store your drinks before you hand them out.

  • Ice makers: For the guests who like their drinks on the rocks, an ice maker can ensure you never run out again!
  • Wine coolers: A step up from a mini fridge, a wine cooler can keep bottles from your favorite vineyard chilled to a specific temperature.
  • Kegerators: If craft beer speaks to your soul, you need a kegerator to keep your brews on draft.

The Bottom Line

Ready to accessorize your brand-new outdoor kitchen? Hopefully, this post can serve as a jumping-off point for your design. Include these elements, and you’ll have no trouble creating a comfortable, convenient, and stylish space that’s fit for all sorts of gatherings!

Outfit your outdoor kitchen with bespoke storage systems brought to you by KraftMaid Cabinets and OMG Kitchen & Bath. Leverage the power of incredible design and layout options to give your home a unique modern touch. For more information, reach out to us today!

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