Essentials for your Outdoor Kitchen

Essentials For Your Outdoor Kitchen

Thinking of adding an outdoor kitchen to your home? Maybe you want to level up your dining experience? Or perhaps, you’re looking to entertain your friends and family and limit the amount of time you go back and forth? Whatever the reason, you need a properly equipped outdoor kitchen to make your garden versatile.

It takes thoughtful planning, budgeting, selection, and careful placement to enhance your outdoor living space. Luckily, this post will outline the essential appliances and compartments you need for your outdoor kitchen.

Cabinets and Countertops

The foundation of any kitchen is its cabinets and countertops. For counters, we recommend using hard natural stone or non-pourus man-made counters. If you wanted to use a softer stone, such as marble, the counters would be much more susceptible to damage from the elements like wind and rain.

For cabinets a simple interior cabinet just won’t do. the outdoors will quickly eat through the wood and leave you with a whole new remodel to do. We use WeatherStrong Outdoor Cabinetry from Ideal Cabinetry for our outdoor kitchens and it has yet to steer us wrong.

Built-In Grill

A grill is the focal point of your outdoor kitchen. They come in a range of shapes and sizes to suit your budget and style. Grills are built into your cabinets to increase efficiency and create that luxurious feel. 

Choose a grill based on your cooking preferences. Depending on how much or little you cook, you can choose from an electric outdoor grill, infrared, or propane. If you don’t have an open air kitchen, consider adding a grill hood for ventilation.

Side Burner & Griddle

Invest in a cooktop to easily accommodate cooking with pots and pans. You can quickly heat up side dishes or boil hot water on a side burner. However, more modern kitchens see a cooktop accompanied by a griddle. They’re perfect for serving up breakfast foods and hot sandwiches. 

With a cooktop and griddle, you can put your cooking skills to the test. They let even the most inexperienced chefs try creative recipes that are not traditionally cooked outside.


There’s no need to run in and out of the house to grab the ingredients you need. Instead, add a refrigerator to your outdoor kitchen for easy access during cooking and entertaining. An outdoor refrigerator will keep perishables fresh until it’s time to cook.

Food isn’t the only thing you need to keep chilled. A wine cooler can keep cans and bottles cool during hotter temperatures. Look for a wine cooler with separate zones that can store red and white wine in the same place.

Dishwasher & Sink

Once all the cooking and eating is complete, you’ll need somewhere for all those dirty dishes to go. It’s up to you whether you add a dishwasher or sink to your outdoor kitchen. A sink can be added to the island countertop for a designated clean-up station. It also encourages cleaning on the go. Whereas an outdoor dishwasher is a convenient appliance that stores outdoor dishes, glassware, and cooking tools. 

Also, consider adding a pull-out trash cabinet next to your sink or dishwasher. That way, you can easily dispose of waste while keeping your kitchen looking clean.


What good is it to have an outdoor kitchen without a dining table for your guests? You could add a designated seating area nearby. Most dining areas mimic the indoor dining experience to keep guests away from the grill. However, you could bring the area closer to keep the cook involved in the festivities while they work. 

You should also think about ways to keep your guests comfortable as they dine. Maybe you want to invest in small heaters or a fire pit to stay cozy after the sun has set. Or you could add a roof to shade yourself from the weather and protect your appliances from the elements.


Although most of your cooking will be done during the day, you’ll still need good lighting. For example, your party could go on past dark, and you still need to keep the drinks flowing. Or maybe your guests fancy a midnight snack. Installing proper lighting improves safety on dark nights and overcast days. 

You can install under-counter lights, pathway lights, LED candles, and more to illuminate your garden kitchen. Ideally, the right fixtures should highlight countertops, grills, and cookers. As well as create the right atmosphere for your back garden.

Bottom Line

Before you begin buying grills and wine coolers, think about how you want to use your outdoor kitchen. Do you have room for a dishwasher? Or is a sink more convenient for the space? Is it really worth adding a refrigerator if your indoor kitchen opens up to the garden? These questions will help you whittle down a project that fits your wants and needs with what is practical in your space.

Let Us Help You With Your Outdoor Kitchen

Here at McManus Kitchen and Bath, we strive to help our customers make the best choices when it comes to remodeling their homes. Our goal is to help you make your dream kitchen come to life. 

There are a range of essential appliances for your outdoor kitchen and a wide selection of materials for your cabinets and countertops. If you’re not sure of the best option for your outdoor kitchen, let us help you make the right decision. Schedule a consult with us today!

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McManus Kitchen and Bath is a design and build company specializing in kitchen and bath remodels.