12 Must-Have Outdoor Kitchen Appliances for the Perfect Summer Cookout

Written By Kenneth Wilson  |  0 Comments

Looking to throw an epic outdoor party that will make all your neighbors green with envy?

You can whip up delicious food and drinks with the right kitchen appliances! But let's face it. Nobody wants to be stuck indoors cooking while the party rages outside. That's where outdoor kitchen appliances come in. The possibilities are endless, from BBQ equipment to built-in grills, Outdoor refrigerators to pizza ovens.

Whether you're a seasoned grill master or a newbie just dipping your toes into the outdoor cooking world, investing in top-notch appliances is essential. Let's get cooking!

1. Outdoor Pizza Oven

Chips and dip are great, but let's face it – they're not exactly gourmet. So, consider an outdoor pizza oven to step up your outdoor cooking game and impress your guests with something more sophisticated.

You can now have your very own pizza oven right in your backyard! No more soggy delivery pies or burnt crusts from your indoor oven. With a gas pizza oven, you can create delicious, wood-fired pizzas (up to 16 inches) that will make your guests feel like they're dining in a fancy Italian restaurant.

What to look out for:

  • The size and the capacity of the pizza oven. Choose an oven that can accommodate the number of people you plan on cooking for. 
  • The type of fuel you want to use. Pick between wood-fired, gas, or even electric ovens.
  • Look for ovens made from high-quality materials (such as stainless steel or cast iron) that can withstand outdoor weather conditions.

Our top picks:

2. Outdoor Freezer

No more having to run back and forth from your indoor fridge to your outdoor cooking space! A frost-free outdoor freezer will keep your ingredients chilled while preventing them from melting in the hot sun.

With adjustable shelves for versatile beverage storage, you can keep your drinks and ingredients close at hand while you cook up a storm. 

It can be used in both built-in and freestanding kitchen layouts. Some have a reversible door, chrome handle, and factory-installed lock for added security. Plus, with its frost-free thermostat features, you won't have to worry about defrosting the unit every few weeks or constantly adjusting the temperature!

What to look out for:

  • Look for freezers made from stainless steel, which are weather-resistant and can handle temperature fluctuations.
  • Look for Energy Star-certified models, as they use less energy and can help you save money on your electricity bill.
  • Look for models that have adjustable temperature settings and a built-in thermometer.

Our top picks:

3. Built-in Gas Grill

Not only does a built-in gas grill seamlessly blend into your outdoor kitchen design, but it also makes cooking a breeze. No more struggling to light charcoal or waiting for the flames to die. With a built-in gas grill, you can fire up the burners with a button and start cooking your favorite dishes quickly!

You'll also have plenty of space to cook for even large outdoor gatherings, giving you enough grill space to feed everyone!

What to look out for:

  • Look for models with high-quality burners made from materials like stainless steel or brass and with high BTU outputs for powerful heat and quick cooking.
  • Look for models with heat deflectors or flame tamers to help distribute heat evenly across the cooking area.

Our top picks:

4. Charcoal grill

A built-in charcoal grill offers a sleek and stylish look and delivers that unbeatable taste only charcoal can provide. Most are designed with a built-in thermometer and adjustable charcoal tray, so you have complete control over the temperature to cook your food perfectly.

So if you're not a big fan of the ordinary gas-grilled fare, choose a built-in charcoal grill and treat your guests to the unbeatable taste of smoky, charcoal-grilled food. Trust us; it's downright delicious!

What to look out for:

  • Look for models with ash removal systems or trays that make cleaning after cooking easier.
  • Choose charcoal grills with additional features or accessories: warming racks, side tables, or rotisserie attachments.

Our top picks:

5. Outdoor Kitchen Sink

A stainless steel sink is a perfect addition to your backyard cooking area, providing convenience and cleanliness.

Aside from washing dishes and scrubbing up after messy meal prep, it also adds a touch of style with its sleek finish. Running back and forth between their indoor kitchen and outdoor cooking space is tiring. That's where an outdoor kitchen sink comes in to save the day (and your feet)!

What to look out for:

  • Look for sinks made from stainless steel, copper, or stone.
  • Consider the location of your sink and the availability of water and drainage.
  • Look for models with built-in accessories like cutting boards, soap dispensers, and towel holders.

Our top picks:

6. Kegerator

Say hello to the ultimate outdoor party accessory: an outdoor kegerator.

This must-have appliance is perfect for anyone who loves to entertain large crowds! With a kegerator, you can keep cold beer on tap, eliminating the need for constantly refilling coolers or running to the fridge. Plus, it adds a touch of class to your outdoor kitchen setup.

With enough room to hold a full-sized keg, you can rest assured that you'll never run out of cold beer with friends and loved ones during your next big event.

What to look out for:

  • Look for a kegerator with a digital thermostat or temperature gauge. This allows you to monitor and adjust the temperature as needed.
  • Make sure you choose a kegerator that has a compatible CO2 tank size and that the tank is easily accessible for beer refills.

Our top picks:

7. Outdoor cooktop

An outdoor cooktop is a convenient appliance that allows you to boil, sauté, and fry up a storm right next to your grill– meaning you’ll never have to leave the outdoor party!

With a double burner model, you can cook up a storm and impress your guests with your culinary skills. Plus, it's perfect for preparing delicious outdoor favorites like burgers, hot dogs, and even s'mores.

What to look out for:

  • Consider the number of burners or cooking zones, as this will affect the amount of food you can cook at once.
  • Stainless steel cooktops are the most durable and resistant to rust, but they can be more expensive than other materials, such as cast iron and aluminum.

Our top picks:

8. Refrigerator

Believe it or not, a refrigerator is one of the best outdoor kitchen appliances you can have. It's a game-changer.

With an outdoor fridge, you can keep all your drinks cold and within arm's reach. Plus, you can store all your food outside, too! That means less running back and forth to the kitchen inside and more time spent enjoying the great outdoors.

What to look out for:

  • Ensure that the hoses are made of PVC, so they last outdoors.
  • Look for one built to withstand the elements, has plenty of space, and maybe even has a built-in ice maker.

Our top picks:

9. Outdoor ice maker

An outdoor ice maker is an essential appliance that churns out enough ice to keep the drinks flowing all day.

Some models can produce regular and crushed ice, so you can satisfy even the pickiest cocktail enthusiasts. And with its speedy production, you won't have to worry about your guests' drinks going warm before the next round. Keep your drinks icy cold and your guests happy with an outdoor ice maker!

What to look out for:

  • Choose a model that can produce enough ice to meet your needs. Most ice makers have a capacity of between 25 and 80 pounds of ice per day.
  • Consider the type of ice you prefer (cubes, nuggets, or crescent-shaped) and choose a model that produces the desired shape.

Our top picks:

10. Outdoor warming drawer

An outdoor warming drawer will keep your cooked food warm and ready to serve so that you can impress your guests with perfectly timed dishes. No more stressing about timing everything perfectly or serving lukewarm food sitting out too long!

But that's not all – it is also great for keeping baked goods warm and fresh and can even warm up plates and dishes to help elevate your presentation game. Remember the pesky bugs and critters that can ruin uncovered food. With a warming drawer, your food stays protected and tasty.

What to look out for:

  • Look for models with an Energy Star rating.
  • Look for models that offer a range of temperatures (from low to high) to keep different types of food at their optimal temperature.
  • Some warming drawer models have convenient features, such as automatic shutoff and timers.

Our top picks:

11. BBQ equipment

Adding BBQ equipment to your outdoor kitchen appliances is not only a good idea, but it's also a must-have for any serious outdoor cooking enthusiast.

BBQ equipment can take your outdoor cooking game to the next level, allowing you to prepare delicious and succulent steaks, burgers, and other meats to impress your guests. These appliances can help make outdoor cooking and entertaining experiences more convenient, enjoyable, and memorable.

What to look out for:

  • Choose stainless steel BBQ equipment due to its durability and resistance to the elements.
  • Look for grills with a large cooking surface of high-quality materials such as cast iron or stainless steel.
  • Choose products with a warranty to protect your investment (for at least a few years and include coverage for parts and labor).

Our top picks:

12. Blender

A blender can be a game-changer for creating icy cocktails that help beat the heat and refresh your guests during summer. You can make your favorite frozen cocktails, smoothies, and other icy drinks without running back and forth to the kitchen!

It also allows you to experiment with different drink recipes and create customized cocktails for your guests. From fruity margaritas to icy piña coladas, the possibilities are endless.

What to look out for:

  • Look for a blender with stainless steel blades, as they are more durable and efficient than plastic blades.
  • For outdoor use, it's best to look for a minimum of 600 watts blender to ensure it can handle ice and frozen fruits.

Our top picks:

Final Thoughts

Choosing the right outdoor kitchen appliances is crucial in creating a functional and enjoyable outdoor cooking space. (Related article: Expand Your Outdoor Cooking Space With Outdoor Grill Cabinets)

And with so many choices in the market today, the process can be somewhat overwhelming. When shopping for appliances, a good rule of thumb is to consider the types of foods you enjoy cooking, the available space, your budget, and the number of people you plan to serve.

Additionally, it's essential to consider the availability of utility access for plumbing, electrical, and gas connections, as this can impact which appliances are suitable for your setup. With these factors in mind, you'll be well on your way to creating the perfect outdoor kitchen that meets all your cooking and entertaining needs! (Related article: Outdoor Kitchen Cost & Consumer Guide)

About the Author

I can build it, and I can help you get the patio enclosure you want! I got my start in the Florida patio industry back in the 70s as a young general laborer looking for something to make a few bucks. At the time I never thought it would end up as my career. Over the years I grew beyond the laborer position, becoming a foreman, superintendent, and then into executive management for some of the largest patio contractors, and material vendors. Now into retirement and slightly bored, I offer consulting services to new and existing contractors, and publish this website to help the people who love their patio's and screen enclosures the most - YOU!

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