Outdoor Kitchen & BBQ Essentials

The design of outdoor kitchens can be one of the trickiest elements of a backyard or outdoor living space. Outdoor kitchens not only have to be functional, but they need to be cosmetically appealing and fit well into the design of your outdoor living space. They require the additional planning of infrastructure such as hot and cold water, power and drainage for the kitchen sink. It is very important when designing an outdoor kitchen to not only consider the finishes, (countertops, cabinet styles, flooring), but also the location as it needs to serve the outdoor dining and lounging areas as well and have a good flow path to the main kitchen in the home. Functionally, an outdoor kitchen shares many of the same design components that an indoor kitchen does. One must consider the proximity of the refrigerator and sink to the main cooking bbq, as well as lighting, storage and power connection points. Special consideration must also be given to the roof system depending on whether the kitchen is being designed to be exposed to the elements or protected from them. A good design build company will ensure you will receive a quality design and enjoyment from your outdoor living space.

2.Propane or Natural Gas BBQ
Weber. Nobody knows how to pronounce the name, but this only adds revere to the brand. A propane or natural gas bbq is a mandatory component of outdoor kitchen areas. If you have natural gas, you should consider purchasing a natural gas bbq for your outside bbq area. This way, you will always have fuel for your bbq and won’t need to lug propane tanks to and from the fill up centre. One bbq brand that our clients have had success with is Weber. One bbq that caught our interest is the Weber Genesis II E-335. It comes equipped with a sear station, side burner and a 10-year warranty. The Genesis II also has a warming rack, tool hooks, stainless flavorizer bars, and is iGrill 3 ready. The iGrill 3 is an app-connected thermometer that mounts directly into your Genesis II gas grill. It allows you to use your smart phone to monitor the doneness of whatever you’re cooking on the grill. The app will notify you via your smart phone as soon as the food has reached the optimal temperature.

*As with all manufactured products, it is hard to know if the quality of a brand will continue after it has been bought out by another company.

Weber.com/ca Digital image. Genesis II E-335 Gas Grill(Natural Gas), 03 December 2020,

3.Outdoor Countertops
An outdoor kitchen and bbq area is not complete without countertops. Quartzite is the most commonly used countertop material for outside kitchens. There are a huge number of color choices in quartzite and many different manufacturers who produce it. This material mirrors the natural look of granite but does not require the maintenance that granite demands. Stainless steel another option. A third option that has gained some popularity in recent years is poured concrete. Poured concrete provides a different look, but is not as durable as quartzite. – talk about DIY version. Mention design build company. Your design build company will help you choose the countertop that best suits your location and the design of your cabinetry. Custom cabinetry is designed by the design build company and is designed around your outdoor kitchen.

Indooroutdoorguy.ca Digital image. Built in countertop, 03 December 2020,

4.Outdoor Cabinetry.
Cabinetry in your outdoor kitchen is an absolute must.Cabinetry allows you to store your bbq utensils near your bbq – where they belong. You may also store outdoor plates, glasses and cutlery in the cabinets. A built-in garbage container may be hidden behind a cabinet door to ensure your prepping and entertaining area is neat and tidy. Additional bbq accessories may be tucked away in a cabinet such as skewers, a rotisseries, grill baskets, seasoned wood planks and steak seasoning spices.

There are generally three options when selecting outdoor cabinetry. First, and typically a do it yourself option, is a pre-built, modular component cabinetry set. The major disadvantage to this is that you generally cannot choose your countertop color or cabinetry finish style and you are locked into whatever options the manufacturer gives you. Also, your countertop will not be continuous but will have breaks where each component joins. You may purchase these at local big box building stores such as Lowes. You buy the pre-built modular components and then bolt them together. If you only want to have a bbq, sink and refrigerator in your outdoor kitchen, the modular component route may be your best bet as you can simply buy only what you need.


The next two options allow for much greater customization of finishes and styles. The design build company works with you to design the layout of the stainless steel cabinets and then has them fabricated to suit your needs. They also work with you to select the appliances that will fit in with the cabinetry and to select the countertop style and color.

The third option is similar to the second option, but uses a stainless steel frame with stainless steel drawer and door fronts. The frame is covered with hardifibre cement board, and there are drawer and door units that fit into holes in the frame and the cement board. A natural stone veneer or tile finish is then placed on top of the hardiboard to fill in the spaces between the door and drawer units and appliances. Your design build company will work with you to tie everything together and make sure that the door and drawer units and appliances all fit in to the finished cabinetry.

Indooroutdoorguy.ca Digital image. Outdoor cabinetry. Digital image. 03 December 2020,

5.Outdoor Refrigerator
The benefits of an outdoor refrigerator in your cooking and entertaining area outside are endless. Your marinating steaks and thawing kabobs will be nice and close to your bbq, which means fewer trips to and from your house collecting food for the grill. Drinks can be kept in the outside refrigerator so when you offer a guest a refreshment, you don’t need to run inside the house to check your inventory. All you need to do is open your outdoor refrigerator door, look inside and rhyme off the choices. The outdoor refrigerator, below, has a stainless steel door that locks so you can be certain that a hungry raccoon or a bold neighbor cannot help themselves to your goods. This refrigerator comes with an automatic defrost system for carefree maintenance, three adjustable glass shelves and LED lighting. The refrigerator is front-venting so it may be used in a built in cabinet system or free-standing elsewhere. It is 100% CFC free and has a scalloped bottom for holding wine and champagne bottles to toast the end of the Covid-10 era.

Bbqguys.com Digital image. Summit 24” 4.6 Cu. Ft. Outdoor Rated Compact Refrigerator. 03 December 2020,

6.Outdoor Sink
The pièce de résistance of any exterior kitchen is the outdoor sink. Having the ability to rinse food and dishes right next to your bbq is spectacular. At this point in time, having an outdoor sink to wash your hands in and reduce the number of germs – and people – who enter your home is priceless. When installing an outdoor sink, you must give consideration for the sink drainage. Where does the water drain to? Some minor or moderate plumbing may be required to install your outdoor sink. The Sonoma Series 21” drop in sink, below, is a great choice. It comes with a built-in soap dispenser, which is becoming more and more standard on outdoor sinks these days. It has a large drain that fits most garbage disposal units and contains a catch basket to prevent food from getting into your plumbing. We especially like that it comes with a cover so that whenever you need to use it, it is just as you left it.

Bbqguys.com Digital image. SBbq Guys Sonoma Series 21” Outdoor Rated Drop In Sink. 03 December 2020,

7. Outdoor Heater
Unless the cold never bothered you anyway, a patio heater may be just the thing for chilly evenings. Outdoor heaters come in electric, natural gas, and propane powered options. Electric outdoor heaters are great for covered areas such as cabanas and gazebos where wiring can be both hidden and kept safe from the elements. If you power a patio heater with propane, you will have to continually refill a propane tank that you lug to and from the filling station. However, a natural gas heater can be connected directly to your natural gas line. It will never need refilling and will take the nip out of the air on those chilly days. Outdoor heaters come in two main styles: the pedestal style that sits on top of the ground or on a table, or the style of heater that is mounted above your head on the wall or ceiling. Although a natural gas heater will likely initially cost more to install, it will be cheaper to operate in the long run than both the electric and propane heaters. Natural gas generally produces more heat than electric heaters produce. Elsa wouldn’t need a heater, but Ana would adore one!

  • Amazon.ca. Digital image. AZ Patio Heater with Table, 03 December 2020,

  • IndoorOutdoorGuy.ca Digital image. Ceiling Mounted Natural Gas Heater, 03 December 2020,

8.Wood Pellet SmokerImagine if all the highschool “smoke areas” were filled with the aroma of wood pellet smokers instead of teenagers smoking things they shouldn’t. Wood pellet smokers have a beautiful aroma and are perfect for the smoked meat connoisseur. They add something very special to anyone’s outdoor kitchen and bbq area. Does anything taste as heavenly as slow smoked back ribs or fresh beef brisket? Other things that are delicious when smoked include: turkey, chicken, prime rib, lobster tails, macaroni and cheese and corn on the cob. The only concern, depending on how you see it, is that your neighbor’s food won’t taste as good as yours smells.

Pitboss-grills.ca Digital image. Pit Boss 3-Series Wood Pellet Vertical Smoker, 03 December 2020,

9.Pizza Oven
If you’ve always wanted the taste of wood fired pizza fresh from the oven, an outdoor pizza oven is must-have component for your outdoor kitchen and bbq area. This stainless steel oven has a maximum temperature of 900°F! It’s fueled with wood pellets which come in many different flavours. Wow your family and friends with fresh, gourmet pizza you bake outside in your oven. Is your mouth watering yet?

Wayfair.com Digital image. Fremont wood fired pizza oven, 03 December 2020,

10.BBQ Rotisserie.
When you think of meals to cook on your bbq are the only things that come to mind burgers, hotdogs and steak? Your bbq was designed to cook so much more than you likely realize. All you need is the right tools and accessories to unlock your bbq’s potential. If you do not own a bbq rotisserie, buy one. Now. Not only will a rotisserie help you bbq the most delicious roasted chicken you’ve ever made, but you can roast all sorts of food on a rotisserie. Shrimp, ribs, prime rib, pork roast, cobs of corn, peppers and even a Thanksgiving or Christmas turkey can be perfectly cooked on a rotisserie. A rotisserie may do for you what the Instant Pot has done for thousands of college students. Unlock its power today.

Homedepot.ca Digital image. Electric Rotisserie for Genesis II 2 and 3 Burner Gas Grill, 03 December 2020,