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What To Install In Your Outdoor Kitchen

Modern outdoor kitchen designs are amazingly sophisticated and beautiful. Companies like Kalamazoo Outdoor Gourmet produce weatherproof cabinets, warming boxes, refrigerators, in a wide variety of finishes, even wood. Furniture manufacturers produce chairs and tables as beautiful and comfortable as anything indoors. Here is a list of some things you might want to consider when designing your outdoor kitchen.

I am not a fan of built-in grills

An outdoor kitchen with a built-in grill and smoker looks really spiffy, but think carefully before you commit to a drop-in grill head without wheels.

Let’s say you buy a built-in gas grill that is, 28″ wide by 20″ deep. Then, after a few years it gets rusty and you need to replace it. Or you don’t like the sear burner and you want one more powerful. Or you decide you want a charcoal grill. Or a new grill comes out that has thermostat control that talks to your iPhone and lets you monitor the cook from in front of the TV. Or you want a bigger grill so you can host the office party and cook a suckling pig.

But you are stuck with a 28 x 20″ hole in you counter so whatever you buy must fit the hole. You probably won’t find something that fits precisely. These things aren’t standard sizes like indoor ovens. And if you pull the old built-in unit out, your newlywed nephew can’t take it and use it on the balcony of his condo because it has no wheels.

And if you love it and you get transferred to the next state, you can’t easily take it with you. Or if you need to do some repair work and you have to get around the back side, disconnecting it and removing it can be a pain.

So think carefully. A standalone grill on wheels may not look as cool, but it may give you more flexibility.


  • Gas grills
  • Charcoal grills
  • Pellet grills
  • Ceramic grills
  • Electric grills
  • Teppanyaki grills (flat plate cookers)
  • Griddle units
  • Sear zone grills
  • Infrared grills
  • Indirect flame grills (crossray)
  • Smokers
  • Pizza ovens
  • Insulated jackets (required when cabinet is flammable)
  • Side burners
  • Single built-in
  • Double built-in
  • Single drop-in
  • Double drop-in
  • Power burners
  • Sear zones

Sinks & ice chests

  • Small sinks
  • Large sinks
  • Bar sinks
  • Ice chest & sink combo
  • Beverage centers
  • Built-in vs. Drop-in
  • Under mount vs. Over mount
  • Freestanding
  • Wash basins
  • Farmhouse sinks
  • Drop-in ice chests
  • Built-in ice chests
  • Tilt-out ice chests
  • Pull out ice drawer
  • Pull out cooler drawer
  • Insulated ice drawers
  • Cocktail centers
  • Condiment centers
  • Blender stations
  • Drop-in blenders

Sink faucets

  • Standard single use faucet
  • Dual use faucet
  • Pull out faucet
  • Pot filler tower
  • Pot filler wall mount
  • Spray faucet
  • Bar faucet

Doors, drawers & combos

  • Single doors (left and right hand)
  • Double doors
  • Horizontal doors
  • Vertical doors
  • Door drawer combos
  • Utility cabinets
  • Pantries
  • Spice racks
  • Pot racks
  • Single drawers
  • Double drawers
  • Triple drawers
  • Combo drawers with paper towel holders
  • Paper towel holders
  • Cutting boards (pull-out and drop-in)
  • Knife drawer
  • Warming drawers
  • Warming drawer combo units
  • Trash drawer
  • Trash tilt out
  • Trash chutes
  • Propane tank drawer
  • Large storage drawers
  • Access cabinets
  • Upper storage cabinets
  • Enclosed cabinets
  • Dual trash center
  • Recycle center
  • Insulated drawers


  • Refrigerators
  • Refreshment centers
  • Freezers
  • Ice makers
  • Fridge & ice maker combos
  • Beer dispensers
  • Wine coolers
  • Refrigerators with glass doors
  • Dual zone refrigerators
  • Drawer refrigerators (single, double, triple)
  • Under grill refrigerators
  • Countertop refrigerators


  • Fans
  • Vent hoods
  • Roof mounted blowers vs. In-hood vs. Inline motors
  • Duct covers
  • Vent panels
  • Food warmers & storage
  • Stainless steel servers
  • Stainless steel food trays
  • Stainless steel catering trays
  • Sterno units
  • Built-in food warmers
  • Cold storage
  • Bar caddy warmer
  • Deep fat fryer
  • Steamer/cooker
  • Hot dog cooker
  • Warming drawer
  • Pizza Ovens & Gas Ovens
  • Gas ovens
  • Tabletop gas ovens
  • Wood fired pizza ovens
  • Gas fired pizza ovens
  • Electric pizza ovens
  • Brick pizza ovens
  • Pizza oven kits
  • Commercial pizza ovens
  • BBQ islands
  • Prefab BBQ islands
  • Custom BBQ islands
  • Modular BBQ islands
  • Stainless steel BBQ islands
  • BBQ island kits


  • BBQ tools
  • Bottle openers & catch
  • Fire features
  • Fire glass
  • Fountains
  • Low voltage lighting
  • Misters
  • Outdoor rugs
  • Outdoor TVs
  • Patio furniture
  • Patio heaters (hanging, standing)
  • Saunas
  • Hot tubs
  • Umbrellas

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Published On: 11/6/2017 Last Modified: 3/10/2021

  • Meathead - Founder and publisher of, Meathead is known as the site's Hedonism Evangelist and BBQ Whisperer. He is also the author of the New York Times Best Seller "Meathead, The Science of Great Barbecue and Grilling", named one of the "100 Best Cookbooks of All Time" by Southern Living.

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Surely you know somebody who loves outdoor cooking who deserves a gift for the holidays, birthday, anniversary, or just for being wonderful. There he is, right in the mirror! Here are our selections of best ideas, all Platinum or Gold Medalists, listed by price.

Click here to see our list of Gold Medal Gifts

Fireboard: The Ultimate Top Of The Line BBQ Thermometer

Fireboard Labs Product Photo Shoot. Kansas City Commercial Portrait and Wedding Photographers ©Kevin Ashley Photography

With the ability to monitor up to six temperatures simultaneously with either Bluetooth or Wifi on your mobile phone, tablet, or computer, Fireboard is the best digital thermometer we’ve tested.
Click here to read our detailed review

The Undisputed Champion!

Thermapen One Instant Read Thermometer

ThermoWorks’ Thermapen ONE provides an accurate reading in one second or less. The ONE also includes features that are common on high-end instruments: automatic backlight, rotating display, and water resistant seals. Don’t accept cheap substitutes.
Click here to read our comprehensive Platinum Medal review

The Pit Barrel Cooker May Be Too Easy

The PBC has a rabid cult following for good reason. It is absolutely positively without a doubt the best bargain on a smoker in the world. Period. This baby will cook circles around the cheap offset sideways barrel smokers because temperature control is so much easier.

Click here to read our detailed review and the raves from people who own them

Blackstone Rangetop Combo: Griddle And Deep Fryer In One

The flat top does the burgers and the fryer does the fries. Use the griddle for bacon, eggs, grilled cheese, and so much more. And why deep fry indoors when you can avoid the smell and mess by doing it outside!

Click here to read our detailed review and to order

Finally, A Great Portable Pellet Smoker

Green Mountain’s portable Davy Crockett Pellet Smoker is one mean tailgating and picnic machine. But it’s also gaining popularity with people who want to add a small, set it and forget it pellet smoker to their backyard arsenal. And with their WiFi capabilities you can control and monitor Davy Crocket from your smart phone or laptop.

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Bring The Heat With Broil King Signet’s Dual Tube Burners

3 burner gas grill

The Broil King Signet 320 is a modestly priced, 3-burner gas grill that packs a lot of value and power under the hood. Broil King’s proprietary, dual-tube burners get hot fast and are able to achieve high, searing temps that rival most comparatively priced gas grills. The quality cast aluminum housing carries a Limited Lifetime Warranty.

Click here to read our complete review