Outdoor Kitchen Designs Beyond the Essentials

  • Wide shot of a small outdoor kitchen setup
  • Most outdoor kitchen owners who consult us are building covered outdoor spaces. We say "most" because, in this particular case, the destination was a recently expanded pool house. After a few too many hours hosting from a single kamado on the back patio, the clients were ready to commit to the outdoor entertaining lifestyle — starting with building a kitchen around the prized smoker. "They were already clients of ours, a nice sweet couple with, oh, 15 years together?" recalls Erin Hopson, outdoor living design manager and former customer sales captain. "They've come to us for years with the odd large purchase. Where do you think they found that Kamado Joe?"

    It doesn't surprise us that Erin took a personal curiosity in this one, having been with BBQGuys™ for over 8 years in customer support positions — though she's just one tenured, dedicated BBQGuy in our ranks. "Sometimes, it's pretty interesting to build an outdoor kitchen around a single component they already have. But what a great starting point — a kamado? There's so much you can do around that. Turns out, these two wanted parties... so that's what we gave them!" With her expertise in outdoor kitchen design, Erin helped the clients build out an outdoor entertaining space fit for all the backyard beers and burgers they could handle.

  • Ventilate: Don’t Choke on Smoke

    "Since this outdoor kitchen would be built into an entirely enclosed room, the challenge here was needing that extra oomph in the ventilation," Erin tells us. That led to the Trade-Wind Vent Insert which she recommended for this kitchen along with a pair of Trade-Wind CFM In-Line Blower "Not only does that mean much better air quality for the occupants, but less grease settling on the appliances. Less to clean! Everyone likes that."

    Shop Outdoor Vent Hoods: Grill & Range Hoods

  • Kamado Bravado

    Already fans of kamado-style smoking, the clients wanted to give their beloved Kamado Joe Classic II Ceramic Grill a more permanent home. Luckily, kamados are a painless addition to just about any outdoor kitchen. "Oh, that took no effort at all," Erin chuckles. "Plus, Kamado Joe makes a great charcoal grill. Heck, I'd have suggested it myself — I find clients really love the Divide and Conquer dual-zone accessories and that finger-close lid."

    Shop Kamado Grills & Smokers

  • Getting Straight to Gas Grilling

    “When they told me their kamado would be doing all the heavy lifting, I didn't see a point in upselling the clients a grill that they'd probably barely use," Erin revealed. "But from my experience, clients often grow tired of the same fuel type faster than they'd think. The budget had some wiggle room for an Economy grill, so I suggested thinking past stoking charcoal. They liked the consistent heat of the KitchenAid Built-In Gas Grill."

    Shop Built-In Gas Grills

  • Never Tap Out with a Kegerator

    "Every so often, you never really know your client until they start talking about kegerators. This was one of those cases," Erin laughs. When the owners asked for an appliance capable of tapping at least 2 brews, she had a few ideas. "Then they wanted space for bottles and cans — a lot of them. When I learned the kegs were lower on the totem pole, I suggested the U-Line 24-Inch Kegerator. It holds 2 kegs or a practical boatload of bottles and cans."

    Shop Outdoor Kegerators

  • Beverage Centers Find Your Inner Chill

    To fill the chill bill, the clients showed interest in refrigeration for virgin drinks. Erin says: "Besides the kegerator situation, the clients needed room for sodas, bottled waters, juices, and so on. Treats for the kids, you know? Well, that's perfect for a little something like the U-Line 24-Inch Beverage Center. Plus, it matched up with the kegerator. Everybody wins." This amount of refrigeration proved perfect to meet their kitchen needs.

    Shop Outdoor Compact Refrigerators

  • Simple and Sleek Storage

    After 2 cooking stations and 2 refrigeration units, the kitchen still had room left over for 2 storage compartments. The clients chose the BBQGuys Signature Series 30-Inch Double Doors for their gas connections; for overflow BBQ supplies, they opted for the BBQGuys Signature Series 20-Inch Double Drawers. "We definitely went over all the options," Erin explains, "but the promotion on our private label storage made that their best value."

    Shop Outdoor Kitchen Cabinets & Storage

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