7 Best Outdoor Kitchen Appliances You Need [Buying Guide]

by Bill Welles

An outdoor kitchen should serve as a functional and stylish culinary space that friends and family can enjoy day or night. Whether you’re the self-proclaimed barbecue master or the resident taste-tester, outdoor kitchen appliances provide a level of versatility that cannot be matched by a traditional indoor kitchen.

While a barbecue grill is the gold standard when it comes to outdoor cooking, there are so many more appliances available that will allow you to experiment with different ingredients and cooking techniques. If you need a secondary refrigeration unit to store cool beverages on a sunny afternoon in Bountiful, we also carry a wide selection of outdoor refrigeration appliances.

If you’re hoping to amplify your backyard eating and entertainment zone but aren’t sure where to begin, consider whether you need new equipment for daily meal prep or occasional gatherings. Are there any areas of your indoor kitchen you’ve been wanting to expand or upgrade? Ask yourself these questions while you explore our latest blog. Our team at Duerden’s Appliance & Mattress came up with a helpful buying guide with our list of the seven best outdoor kitchen appliances.

grill with chicken and veggie kebobs

1. Outdoor Refrigerator

Instead of keeping a cooler filled with ice, you can quickly grab a cold drink thanks to an outdoor refrigerator. While an outdoor fridge was once an added convenience, it has turned into a necessity in any outdoor kitchen arrangement. Beyond beverages, an outdoor fridge will come in handy if you need to chill leftovers, store meats or condiments, and keep ready-to-cook items at a healthy temperature.

Instead of running back into the house every time you need a refrigerated item for your meal, you can keep everything you need on hand with the addition of a secondary outdoor refrigerator from Sub-Zero. These Panel Ready Outdoor Refrigerator Drawers (ID-24RO) feature easy-to-use controls with touchscreen technology to precisely regulate temperatures and provide advanced cooling settings.

It's an under-counter unit that can fit under almost any cooking space, and this Energy Star certified model includes an advanced air seal around all four sides of the door to prevents leaks while conserving energy.

Additional features include:

  • LED lighting
  • Open and close soft-close drawers
  • Low-temperature/high-humidity crisper and deli drawers
  • Accepts custom panels and accessories to match other Sub-Zero, Wolf, and Cove products

fridge drawers with cheese, olives, and figs

2. Outdoor Ice Maker

Refrigerator drawers are a valuable outdoor kitchen appliance, and thankfully, you can put an end to lugging around heavy bags of ice from the grocery store when you can make quality ice at home.

An ice maker is the perfect accessory item for an outdoor kitchen. Whether you’re serving soft drinks or your signature cocktails with a little umbrella, you’ll always have access to clear, great-tasting ice.

The U-Line Outdoor Nugget Ice Maker (UONB115-SS01B) makes nugget- or pellet-style ice with unsurpassed performance. With one of the highest ice production levels in the industry, this model delivers up to 90 pounds of ice per day and a storage capacity of 30 pounds of ice.

Additional features include:

  • Indicator alert when product needs cleaning
  • Stainless steel cabinet and full-wrap door
  • Digital touchpad control
  • Bright white LED lighting
  • Reversible door
  • Built-in or freestanding installation

3. BBQ Grill

As we mentioned, no outdoor kitchen is complete without a grill. Barbecue grills will vary in terms of fuel type, accessories, cooking features, and installation types, but whether you’re a fan of gas or charcoal, the grill will handle most of your cooking needs.

If you’re an experienced grill technician, you may prefer a product with digital temperature controls, individual side burners, temperature probes, and so on, but all these convenient features make the cooking process that much easier for beginner cooks, as well.

Size and installation are other important aspects to consider. If you’re frequently cooking for a house full of guests, you might want to invest in a large 48-inch grill that can contain an endless supply of burgers and chops. Consider which product will blend with your current kitchen layout. Built-in grills are installed into the outdoor cabinetry, whereas freestanding grills are mounted on wheels for effortless mobility.

The Napoleon Prestige PRO 500 Series Freestanding Grill (PRO500RSIBNSS-2) with side infrared burners is a professional style grill, built with high-quality, high-performance features that make grilling easy and impressive. Stainless steel is used for tube burners, sear plates, and the iconic WAVE cooking grids to achieve those distinctive grill marks. Spacious shelves, soft-close doors, and the NIGHT LIGHT control knobs featuring SafetyGlow turns knobs red when gas is on, so you know which burners are lit if you’re grilling after dark.

Napoleon BBQ Grill

4. Smoker

If you’re a major foodie or just someone that enjoys smoking meats, consider a wood pellet grill or a smoker for slow cooking. Smokers can be standalone appliances, or they can be built into a countertop with traditional grilling capabilities. A built-in model will allow for more working space to prepare any cuisine you want to smoke, while a freestanding smoker fits easily in your backyard and can be wheeled around to make space for other appliances.

The Broil King Baron Pellet Freestanding Smoker and Grill (493051) features 445 square inches of primary cooking space with high-quality cast-iron cooking grids. Smoking, searing, or roasting is made easy with WiFi- and Bluetooth-enabled digital controllers and one-touch temperature settings. This innovative product comes fully equipped with two electronic meat probes, a sturdy auger with a heavy-duty motor, an 18-pound capacity pellet hopper, removable and hidden grease trays, and easy-clean burn pots. 

5. Pizza Oven

If you’re craving a slice of Sicily here in Utah, you can easily make artisan pizza at home with the help of a built-in pizza oven. Imagine a world where you can gather in your backyard to bake and assemble your own pizzas. Your outdoor kitchen will quickly turn into a culinary destination with friends and family lining up for a second slice. Not only will a pizza oven take your backyard barbecue to the next level, but it is also great for preparing bread, cookies, and entrees like salmon or steak.

Outdoor hearth ovens like the Monogram Stainless Steel Smart Hearth Oven (ZEP30SKSS) are handcrafted to capture the performance of a wood-fired brick oven and perfectly prepare Neapolitan-style pizzas. Electric heating zones combine the crisping performance of traditional coal- and wood-burning hearth ovens with the precision and ease of a luxury appliance, the LCD controls provide an easy selection of preset cooking options, and an integrated oven ventilation system allows for simple installation with no additional ductwork required.

Homemade pizza with hearth oven in the background

6. Warming Drawer

We talked about keeping items cool while cooking outdoors, but what do you do if you need to keep a dish warm? When you need to serve multiple courses at once, a built-in warming drawer makes life in the kitchen a whole lot easier.

You can keep already prepared foods warm as you continue to cook the rest of the meal, and they will keep hot foods at a safe temperature without drying out or overcooking your dish. Warming drawers are frequently included in a traditional household range, but they make an equally great addition to an outdoor cooking space and provide a stylish touch that will simplify your cooking process and ability to host.

The Coyote Outdoor Living Warming Drawer (CWD) makes sure any dinner party remains outdoors. If guests are on their way but you’re not quite ready to serve, this 30-inch warming drawer features up to 140 degrees of heating capability, 304-grade stainless steel installation, hidden controls, full-extension roller drawers for a smooth operation, and boasts an outdoor-rated ETL safety certification, providing form and function to every meal.

7. Beverage Center

When the adults need to step outside to unwind, an outdoor beverage center stores all the essential date-night beverages. If you want to enjoy a nice glass of wine by the fireplace, the Liebherr Stainless Steel Under-Counter Beverage Center (RU 510) stores a variety of drinks to perfection, while keeping them close at hand in any outdoor kitchen, bar, or entertainment area.

This indoor/outdoor beverage center offers amazing capacity and superior storage, while the sleek and sophisticated design blends beautifully with any outdoor décor. Noise is kept to a minimum with virtually silent, speed-controlled compressors and a low-noise cooling circuit, the intuitive navigation of the electronic control system enables tailored storage options and a legible temperature display, and the energy-efficient LED ceiling light emits virtually no heat and provides a pleasing ambient light inside the appliance.

modern kitchen with built-in beverage center

Bonus: Kitchen Sink

Having an area to properly clean up after mealtime messes is a necessity in any kitchen space, but it’s even more important in an outdoor kitchen. The Alfresco Main Sink System (AGBC-30) provides a convenient space to wash your hands, clean the dishes, rinse veggies, and store certain outdoor cookware. It might seem like a small detail, but it can make all the difference in establishing an outdoor kitchen that feels both comfortable and complete.

The Great Outdoors

The best outdoor kitchen appliances make for the best outdoor cooking experience. With the right accessories and design style in mind, your outdoor kitchen might just become your main culinary sanctuary. Remember, your appliance choice is important, but how you organize each appliance is also crucial to the success of your kitchen layout.

For an outdoor kitchen space that is specifically designed for you and your cooking needs, feel free to shop our entire catalog of outdoor kitchen appliances online, give us a call at 801-295-9414, or visit us in-person at our Duerden’s Appliance & Mattress retail location. Stop by today!