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The Best Outdoor BBQ Kitchens, Refrigerators & Icemakers

June 5th, 2013 | 2 min. read

By William Hanley

In today’s homes, the backyard has become an extension of the living room for family fun and entertaining. To this end, many homeowners are building outdoor kitchens. Outdoor kitchens enable you to cook while enjoying your company without the hassle of running back and forth inside to your kitchen.

outdoor backyard bbq kitchen


In planning your outdoor kitchen, you should start with your cooking unit, basically your grill. Grills in permanent outdoor kitchens are called built-in grills, meaning they are built into the masonry or other suitable material(basically they are grills without the cart). While built-in grills are stainless steel to withstand the elements, a grill cover will help to protect your grill when not in use. Built-in grills can range in size from 26 inches to 56 inches wide and can be fueled by liquid propane, natural gas or even wood.

The larger grills have more options such as sear centers for quickly searing the outside of meats quickly under high heat. They also have integrated rotisseries and smoker boxes to add smoky flavor to whatever you are cooking. Lines of built-in outdoor grills are carried by Alfresco, Lynx, Napoleon, Kalamazoo, Viking and Wolf. For the differences between all the grills, read The Most Powerful BBQ Grills.

You can also buy the whole island from Weber for less less money than the professional grills with custom masonary.

weber summit grill center social area stainless

The Weber Grill Center with Social Area

Side Burners

After determining the size of your grill, there are other cooking accessory options. The first cooking accessory is side burners. Options for side burners include a single burner unit with a high BTU burner to be used for wok cooking and/or large lobster pots or double burners with lower BTU burners to be used to prepare side dishes. I like the side burners so you can cook your meats and your corn at the same time without going back and forth into your kitchen.

It is indispensable to have access doors under your grill to for your fuel source. This is also a great place for storage. Storage drawers are a good option for cooking utensils and other cooking supplies. Warming drawers, to keep food warm when cooking for large groups of people, are another convenient feature.

lynx outdoor bbq kitchen grill center

This Lynx outdoor kitchen includes a built-in grill with all the accessories including; storage drawers, side burner, warming drawer, outdoor sink and refrigerator


Refrigeration is the next important element. These units can consist of separate beverage and food refrigerators or one refrigerator for storing both food and beverages. Outdoor refrigerators must be weatherproofed against the elements and be UL (Underwriters Laboratories) approved to operate safely in wet conditions. Outdoor refrigerators are available in 15 inch or 24 inch wide units. There is also the option of refrigerator drawers with widths from 15 inches to 24 inches wide. Ice makers are an excellent addition to the refrigeration unit. Ice makers are 15 inches wide and will require drainage (and should be stored inside for the winter. Outdoor refrigeration units are carried by Liebherr, Lynx, Marvel, Perlick, Sub-Zero, U-line and Viking.

Another popular addition to your outdoor kitchen is a bar area with sink and faucet as well as glassware and cocktail storage areas. These units can be built-in or freestanding. Outdoor Trash Centers and paper towel holders complete your outdoor kitchen. Add a patio warmer and you’ll never want to cook inside again.

To make your outdoor kitchen truly unique, nothing beats a pizza oven. The Artisan Fire Pizza Oven by Kalamazoo will have you serving your guests Neapolitan style pizza in less than three minutes. This is an awesome unit.

As you can see, by adding an outdoor kitchen, there are endless possibilities. You can buy almost any accessory that was once reserved for your kitchen, so your backyard will be your favorite part of your home

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Additional Resources

Download the Yale BBQ Grill Guide for the latest features, specs and the BTU outputs of every popular grill. Over 30,000 people have read a Yale guide.

Shaban Banushi

William Hanley is an appliance sales consultant at Yale Appliance + Lighting. Before joining Yale, William worked for twenty years in jewelry sales and is a lifelong Patriots and RedSox fan.

Read more about William here.

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William Hanley

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BBQ Grills