Creating the perfect outdoor kitchen involves choosing the right appliances to suit an individual’s cooking and entertaining preferences, and to optimize the use of their budget. Here are 14 must-have appliances for outdoor kitchens in the State College, PA area.
Here are the appliances that will make an outdoor kitchen just as functional and homey as any indoor kitchen:
Depending on a client’s cooking preferences, you will want to install at least one of these appliances in an outdoor kitchen.
A built-in gas or charcoal grill
A Kamado grill, which is a freestanding or built-in ceramic grill/smoker/oven
A built-in smoker
A gas or electric cooktop
A pizza oven, which can be portable or built-in and wood- or gas-fueled
A gas or electric oven
A gas or electric griddle
Refrigeration allows a homeowner to have everything they may need to craft a gourmet meal, right at their fingertips.
A compact refrigerator
A compact freezer
A kegerator or wine cooler
A beverage cooler and ice maker
Sinks and Dishwashers
Being able to clean dishes and cookware without making multiple trips to the house is a great convenience.
A large kitchen sink
A small bar sink
To achieve the best results, opt for stainless steel appliances, not only for their looks but for their weather-resistance, too. Investing in appliance covers is recommended to protect idle outdoor appliances from windblown debris and other environmental damage that might mar the finish.
Beyond appliances, consider the elements of workspace and comfort. These are important additional features that complete the picture of an outdoor kitchen.
Design an outdoor kitchen for adequate workspace with optimized workflow. It’s better to invest in a slightly larger workspace - and have room for an additional base cabinet or two - than to bump elbows and not have space to work.
Countertops: Aim to have 3 separate counters, each 2-4 feet long. This accommodates all 3 cooking phases: preparation, cooking, and clean-up.
Storage: At a minimum, there should be enough cabinet and drawer space for cookware and dishes. You will likely not need to consider storage for food mixers and other small kitchen appliances, unless they will be used outdoors often. If the kitchen is propane-fueled, create storage for a propane tank(s). A trash cabinet is a nice feature to include, as it keeps smells contained and discourages annoying insects.
Don’t underestimate the power of comfort in and around an outdoor kitchen. People naturally gravitate toward comfort and away from discomfort. While the following are not appliances, they’re must-haves for ensuring a positive experience.
Shade: A pergola or solid roof overhead will shield the cook and guests from the sun. Consider a solid roof large enough to cover both the outdoor kitchen and dining area to keep the party outdoors regardless of the weather.
Overhead fan and vent: Ventilation is much appreciated on hot summer days and can blow grill smoke away from the outdoor kitchen and dining areas. In a solid-roof outdoor kitchen, a vent will manage cooking grease and smells from accumulating.
Photo credit Unilock