Now that the outdoor entertaining season has begun, are you dreaming about the ultimate outdoor kitchen? One where you’ve got everything you need at hand and you don’t have to go running back inside every two minutes? An entertaining space where you can set up a fancy cocktail bar and beverage center? Most of all, a grilling station that’ll make you look like you’ve got barbecue skills like Bobby Flay? We’ve got a few ideas to help you outfit your outdoor kitchen whether you’ve got a limitless budget and two acres or just a small hibachi on the veranda.
Photo by: Kalamazoo Outdoor Gourmet
Kalamazoo Outdoor Gourmet
Let’s start with the grill (if the stove is the heart of the kitchen, then the grill can be the heart of the patio). If you’re shopping for a new grill, there are so many options it can be mind-blowing. First you have to decide on your fuel – charcoal or gas? If you can’t decide, go for a duel-fuel hybrid model. Then your budget will narrow down the number of choices. At the high-end, Kalamazoo’s Hybrid Fire Grilling System starts around $11,000 and includes a myriad of bells and whistles. Some models are even tri-fuel, so you can cook with wood too. If your budget is more modest, both Char-Broil and Sears carry duel-fuel grills starting at around $229.
Photo by: Matthew Gilson for Kalamazoo
Matthew Gilson for Kalamazoo
If you’re an urban griller who cooks out on a balcony or you like to take your grilling to the park or the game, there are some great smaller and portable grills that can help you whip up a feast.
With folding side shelves and a cabinet just under two-feet wide, Char-Broil’s RED Urban Infrared Grill fits neatly on a small patio or balcony. Despite its name, it isn’t a true infrared burner, but rather relies on propane and radiant heat for its cooking power. Nevertheless, it’s under-$300 price tag makes it a good option.
A little over two-feet tall and weighing in at a mere 35 pounds, Weber’s portable Q-series grills start around $170. These sturdy little grills have a handy push-button ignition and a cooking surface starting at around 1-1/2 square feet, enough room to cook plenty of burgers or brats at the beach.
Photo by: Weber Grills
Outdoor pizza ovens are all the rage. If you can afford the top of the line, go for a wood-fired Chicago Brick Oven. Their low-dome, high-heat design cooks pizza the way it’s meant to be cooked. You can buy the dome then have it encased in stone or brick so it becomes a permanent fixture in your backyard.
Photo by: Trevor Boyle Studio
Trevor Boyle Studio
If a built-in model isn’t your thing, Kalamazoo has stainless-steel gas models that don’t require much assembly, and retail for around $6,000.
If that’s still too much, opt for the KettlePizza Basic Pizza Oven Kit. The kit fits onto a standard charcoal kettle grill turning it into a pizza oven, it goes for around $140. Still out of your budget? Just get a plain $20 pizza stone and put it on your grill and close the top.
Cabinets and Bars
Photo by: Danver
Are you looking to build an entire outdoor kitchen? Stainless-steel cabinets are the most popular due to their durability and ability to withstand a variety of climates. Plus, they’ll likely match your grill. Outdoor cabinets are now being manufactured in a waterproof, marine-grade polymer. The plastic-like material is very low-maintenance and comes in a variety of colors. If you want to go with wood cabinetry, try teak, bamboo or cypress.