Essential Outdoor Kitchen Designs

  • Wide shot of a small outdoor kitchen setup
  • These clients weren't sure at first what to do with this stone flooring outside their back access. They gave us a call to see if we had some ideas. Luckily, our outdoor kitchen designers carry a wealth of experience working with small and empty spaces. "When the clients told us that they didn't have natural gas connections, I think they were pretty worried I would say, 'Oops, no outdoor kitchen!" explains outdoor kitchen supervisor Erin Hopson. "Luckily, we live in a world where propane gas is totally a thing. The relief in their voices! And as it turns out, they have easy access to propane refills just up the road! That one was a real win-win."

    This left Erin and her design team with an uncovered space to work with, as building out an overhang wasn't going to fit their budget. Undeterred, they set to work helping the clients build a beautiful, functional outdoor kitchen that offered outstanding versatility while making great use of the confined space. "For the planning phase, one of the concerns that kept coming up was the kids," Erin told us. "Pretty understandable. Kids love opening doors, especially when the handles are so low!" Though the clients were fine policing the area in front of the grill, this limitation meant exclusively handle-free components — an interesting curveball in the design.

  • An Affordable Gas Grill That Performs

    When it came to the grill, the clients wanted two things: an economic choice, and fewer flare-ups. "This KitchenAid Grill with Rear Burner was really my first choice," Erin explains. "Their Even-Heat System reduces all those pesky flare-ups. It even consistently heats across the entire grill surface!" With enough room to grill 24 burgers over 4 main burners, and a rear burner perfectly equipped for roasting chicken, the homeowners were ecstatic.

    Shop Built-In Gas Grills

  • Get a Handle on Gas Access

    Who really enjoys fighting their gas connections? Nobody. With KitchenAid Double Access Doors underneath the grill, switching out that empty propane tank (or making any adjustments to the natural gas fittings) is just as easy as ever. With non-slip knurled handles that feel great to hold, you'll almost want to find an excuse to pop these doors open — even if the cold, crisp beers are stored behind a completely different door.

    Shop BBQ & Outdoor Kitchen Access Doors

  • Power Burners Widen Versatility

    Few things ring more versatility out of condensed spaces like a power burner. Erin suggested the Blaze Professional High Performance Power Burner to her clients based on their 'a little bit of everything' approach to cooking. “If you can put it in a pot or saucepan, chances are this burner can manage it! Melting butter and simmering sauces on low power? Done. Cranking it up to boil a pot of shrimp or stir fry over the wok ring? No sweat!”

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  • Compact Refrigerators Store the Sweet Treats

    When the clients wanted a place to keep drinks and condiments cold, Erin had just the answer. "We settled on the Blaze Compact Refrigerator. They have younger children around, and wanted something tougher to break into. That recessed handle hit the mark, while still letting the owners have plenty of room for their needs.” With three shelves, a drawer, and room for 13 beverage cans in the door plus condiments, we don’t doubt that.

    Shop Outdoor Compact Refrigerators

  • (Trash) Bin There, Done That

    With what the clients were saving everywhere else, Erin suggested they invest in the quality of life of a rollout trash bin. They eventually settled on the BBQGuys Aspen Series Roll-Out Trash Bin. Its silky smooth, commercial-grade ball bearings helped clinch the deal. "That was a great use of leftover space and a bit of breathing room," Erin notes. "Plus, that sleek receded handle kept the kids away from the excitement of that trash can!"

    Shop Outdoor Kitchen Trash and Recycling Bins

  • Countertops, Marbled to Perfection

    Most outdoor kitchens are covered, but this one wouldn't have the luxury. This meant Erin needed to consider two things the clients hadn't: weather and sunlight. "When it's time to sit down with a home-cooked meal, the last thing you probably want is a blinding glare. Unfortunately, not all counters are created equal... Maybe one day!" Erin recommended quartzite — a popular, durable choice resembling marble that can hold up nicely.

    Learn About Countertops for Your Outdoor Kitchen

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