outdoor kitchen

After a long winter inside there’s nothing I want to do more than get outside and stay there. This only poses a problem when it comes time to eat, because when the sun is shining, there’s grass to stretch out on, and there’s only a few hours of daylight left, no one wants to go inside to cook.

Thankfully, this is an easy problem to solve. Over the past few years more and more people are maximizing their summer time by building an outdoor kitchen in their yards, and it’s one of the best things you can do in your backyard this summer.

Outdoor kitchens let you enjoy a fully stocked kitchen outside that has everything you need to go beyond simple hot dogs and hamburgers. There’s a lot of different components to choose from, but once you’ve set it up it will be smooth BBQing in your outdoor kitchen this year.

Where will you place your outdoor kitchen?

For a lot of people, an outdoor kitchen is placed near the house or on the deck. If you have an outdoor swimming pool or you’d like to build one this year, you may want to place your outdoor kitchen near the pool. Wherever you place it, as long as it’s well stocked with cabinets, BBQ, and appliances, there will be no reason to ever go in the house.

Do you need shelter for your outdoor kitchen?

outdoor gazeboIn Canada outdoor kitchens need a bit of shelter from the elements, so if you’re going to put it on the deck or porch, you’ll already be protected. If you’d like it in the middle of your yard you may want to consider building it underneath a sun shelter or gazebo. That way, if it starts raining, you’ll still be able to keep cooking.

Start with what appliances you’ll need

bar fridge Depending on how often you plan on using your outdoor kitchen, you’ll probably want to add in an appliance or two. Most outdoor kitchens have bar-sized refrigerator that’s perfect for storing frozen meat or drinks, and will look seamless if you install it beside a stainless steel cabinet or in a built-in if you’ve added a kitchen island outdoors.

If you’re having friends over a lot this summer or plan on hosting a party or two, you can also add in a wine cooler to store your wine at the optimal temperature. That keeps your favourite bottles nearby so you can easily pop the cork on another without having to go inside.

Choose your BBQ

broil chef bbq

While an indoor kitchen revolves around the range, an outdoor kitchen wouldn’t be complete without a BBQ. The Broil Chef 32” gas grill will sit on an outdoor kitchen island and has a stainless steel grate that will conduct heat evenly and a propane grill with 540 square inches of cooking surface so you can grill up to 24 burger patties at one time.

If you’d like a stand alone BBQ, you can choose one like the Napoleon Prestige 29,000 BTU Fullsize Natual Gas BBQ gives you grilling space for a family of six and can even rotisserie a chicken.

A Bartender station is a must-have

bartender stationA Bartender station brings the convenience of the indoors straight out into your backyard. With the Broil Chef single-sink Bartender station you get a cold-water faucet and sink so you can mix drinks or add water without having to go inside, and it has a large ice bin, four smaller bins to store a buffet of condiments, and a bottle opener to open up your drinks.

Outdoor kitchens need storage

outdoor kitchens storageAn outdoor kitchen wouldn’t be a complete kitchen without storage, so adding in a Broil Chef double drawer unit means you’ll be able to store all of your favourite grilling essentials. It has two 14” drawers that have commercial glade glides so you can open them full length.

Having two or three of these drawer units would keep everything you need for cooking outside close at hand.

Add a paper towel holder

outdoor kitchens paper towel holderIt’s the little things that make an outdoor kitchen feel like your indoor kitchen, and adding a paper towel holder from Broilchef to your outdoor kitchen island will give you a place to keep your paper towel handy.

Enjoy eating in the great outdoors with patio furniture

outdoor kitchens patio furnitureOnce you’ve built your outdoor kitchen you’ll want to decide on where you’ll sit and enjoy what you’ve cooked, and that means choosing patio furniture.

This is one of the most fun parts of building your outdoor kitchen, because it means you can choose an outdoor couch, table and chairs, or both. The best way to decide is to think of your yard in terms of sections, with the table and chairs placed by the outdoor kitchen and your cozy seating area placed slightly away.

For the dining area, you can’t go wrong with a patio set like the  Vanessa Traditional 5-piece dining set. It’s made from durable wicker and has a rustic style that would fit in perfectly in any backyard. If you’d like to add a lounge chair so you and your friends can feel like you’re curling up on a couch, the Emmett Contemporary Deep Seating Patio Lounge is a great choice.

Don’t forget about the Umbrella either! To protect from rain you may want to add a few umbrellas to your yard: one freestanding like the full size Island Umbrella and another to go over your patio set like the Corliving Square Patio Umbrella.

Outdoor kitchens are cozy when you add lighting

outdoor lightingThe final step in building an outdoor kitchen is lighting, and I love all of the lighting choices for the outdoors. Choose the Allsop Bubble Glass Solar Lantern for a low glow or choose a set of ZoomBuilt Solar Retractable light that rises at dusk and retreats during the day.

There’s no question Canada has had a long winter this year, and that means this is the best year to spend every moment outside while enjoying the summer sun. You can do that with an outdoor kitchen, and once you’re set up you may never want to cook indoors again.

You can find a full range of cabinets and accessories for outdoor kitchens, BBQs for grilling, and patio furniture on Best Buy right now.


Shelly Wutke
Editor TV & Home Theatre
I'm a Vancouver freelancer and tech enthusiast. When I'm not writing you'll find me on my farm with my alpacas, chickens, and honeybees. Visit my website Survivemag