Items to Have in Your Outdoor Kitchen

7 Items to Have in Your Outdoor Kitchen

An outdoor kitchen is a practical way to increase the livable space in your home and make entertaining outdoors easier.  Here are some benefits of an outdoor kitchen.

Below we’ll explore seven items to include in your outdoor kitchen and how they can help transform your home exterior. 

Read on to learn more about these features and how to choose them for your outdoor kitchen. 

What Makes a Great Outdoor Kitchen?

There are several features you can include in a great outdoor kitchen to maximize the space that you have and add amenities that will make your time on the patio more entertaining. 

Here are seven of the items you should include in an outdoor kitchen: 

  • Pizza oven
  • Outdoor bar
  • Lounge area
  • Smoker
  • Awning
  • Wine cooler, ice bins, and ice troughs

Whether it’s a feature to make hosting guests easier or a cooking appliance you can only enjoy outdoors, the items above will help make your outdoor kitchen feel like a finished space. 

7 Items to Have In Your Outdoor Kitchen

1. Pizza Oven

There are many advantages to including a pizza oven in your outdoor kitchen. The taste of pizza grilled outdoors is different from pizza that is cooked in an indoor oven.

Here are some of the other advantages of getting a pizza oven for your outdoor kitchen

  • Great for parties: People of all ages and walks of life love a good pizza, and a pizza party is a fun way to bring people together.
  • Keeps heat out of the kitchen: If you live in a warm climate, a pizza oven outdoors allows you to keep unnecessary heat from building up in your house.
  • Diversity food offerings: If you’re not a barbeque person or you are tired of the same old cookouts, installing an outdoor oven in your kitchen gives you more cooking options.  

Along with baking pizzas, pizza ovens can be used to grill seafood, roast vegetables, and even bake bread. A pizza oven is one of the most versatile tools in your outdoor kitchen. 

2. Outdoor Dining Room

Including an outdoor dining room as part of your outdoor kitchen offers atmospheric lighting and dining in all seasons. 

If you’re low on space for indoor dining, spreading out to the patio can allow you to host larger numbers of people. This makes an outdoor living room perfect for entertaining.

Here are some tips for outfitting an outdoor dining room for your outdoor kitchen: 

  • Invest in non-breakable dishes and glassware. Glass or porcelain dishes can break easily outdoors, especially if there is drinking involved. 
  • Don’t forget about lighting. If you want to serve food outdoors, you’ll need to have enough lighting that people can see to eat after dark. String lighting is a good choice.
  • Decorate the space with runners and cushions. Along with making the space more cozy, outdoor fabrics can help bring the design of the outdoor dining space together. 

An outdoor dining area can make cooking outdoors more fun and give your guests a place to lounge while you’re at it. 

3. Outdoor Bar

Outdoor bars are great for entertaining adults and children since mocktails are just as fun and easy to mix up at the outdoor bar as an alcoholic drink. 

This station of your outdoor kitchen is perfect for serving refreshments for pool parties or backyard cookouts. 

Here are a few features you might want to consider including in an outdoor bar

  • Bar stools/bartop
  • Outdoor television
  • Tiki umbrella
  • Bar cart
  • Storage

Depending on the size of your patio, your outdoor bar can be as small and simple as a bar cart on wheels, or it can take up a sizable portion of your outdoor kitchen space. It’s all up to you. 

4. Lounge Area

Other than an outdoor dining area, another good feature to include in an outdoor kitchen is a lounge area. 

This area adds livable space to your backyard and helps keep household members and guests comfortable while cooking outdoors. 

Here are some tips for designing a lounge for your outdoor kitchen: 

  • Keep the climate in mind. Install fans or heaters as necessary to help keep people comfortable.
  • Establish focal points. A firepit or a coffee table can serve as a hub for your other lounge furniture.
  • Use greenery for a sophisticated look. Small citrus trees and other patio container plants can help make your outdoor lounge area look finished and inviting. 

If your outdoor kitchen is large enough, an attached lounge space is a practical way to ensure that the space remains in use throughout the year. 

5. Smoker

Along with a pizza oven, another cooking tool you might consider investing in for an outdoor kitchen is a smoker

This appliance is great to pair with an outdoor grill, and can be used to preserve foods as well as cook them. 

Here are some of the advantages of including a smoker in your outdoor kitchen

  • Easy to use: Smokers have a short learning curve and can be operated by even novice cooks without trouble.
  • Juicier barbeque than on a grill: Smoking meat creates a protective seal that locks in moisture and flavor, leading to more tender cuts of meat.
  • Can feed a large crowd: Smokers can cook a large cut of meat like a turkey or beef brisket easily, allowing you to prepare food for a big group of people during holidays.
  • Can be used to smoke a wide variety of foods: Many different kinds of food from pasta and seafood to meats and poultry can be smoked. 

While getting a good smoker can be a costly investment, it’s well worth the value you’ll get out of it in home cooked meals on the back porch. 

6. Awning

No matter what kind of climate you live in, having an awning for your outdoor kitchen can make it much more comfortable to use in all types of weather. 

Awnings can provide shade during the peak of the summer as well as protection from rain and snow. 

Here are a few alternatives to an awning that you can also use for cover in an outdoor kitchen: 

  • Gazebos: A gazebo is a covered wooden structure that can provide a seating area as well as protection against the elements.
  • Sunrooms: Insulated sunrooms can be either totally or partially enclosed, providing protection against insects as well as hot and cold weather.
  • Pergolas: If you want some covering for your outdoor kitchen but don’t want it fully shaded, a pergola can provide partial shading instead.

Providing some kind of overhang or covering for your outdoor kitchen is a key part of keeping it functional no matter what the weather is like. 

7. Wine Cooler, Ice Bins, and Troughs

Do you plan on entertaining in your outdoor kitchen? You’ll need somewhere convenient to keep drinks cold for you and your guests. 

Wine coolers, ice bins, and built-in ice troughs for your dining table can help keep drinks chilled for hours while you host guests in your backyard. 

Interested in an Outdoor Kitchen in the San Antonio Metro Area?

If you’re interested in adding an outdoor kitchen to your home in the San Antonio metro area, consider the features in the guide above. 

By adding these seven items to your outdoor kitchen design, you can put together a functional and beautiful space that you’ll enjoy for years to come.