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Outdoor Kitchen Checklist : Choosing Appliances for your Outdoor Kitchen

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Alfresco Grill Island

This is a guide we have assembled to assist you in putting together the perfect Outdoor Kitchen Package. 

Budget and Available space are the two most important considerations. The possibilities are endless. You can literally create a complete catering ready, commercial quality outdoor cooking space! We always say, the appliances are the most important decision. You are putting a lot of money in a countertop and structure that you want to be sure you are choosing the best quality items. We get dozens of calls per week where a grill has to be replaced due to lack of parts to be able to fix it. Keep in mind that there are NO standard sizes. Not all 30" grills will have the same cut-out or spec (Unless you want to upgrade your current grill in the same brand). 

1. First, Determine how much space you have to work with. You do not want to over crowd your appliances and you also will need some couter-space for placing plates and platters . Once you have determined how much space you have to work with you will need to keep in mind that at minimum you need 4 - 6 inches of space between each component. 

2. Second, make your "Dream List" of all the appliances and components you would like to have. 

GRILL

  • How large of a grill do you need? 30" - 32" Grills are great for a family of 4 and an occasional outdoor BBQ Gathering. 42" Grills and larger are great for larger families and those who frequently entertain outdoors. You definitely want to chose a quality grill as it is the centerpiece of your outdoor kitchen.
  • Ceramic Kamado Grills such as The Big Green Egg, are also widely popular in addition to a gas grill. It will give you a gas alternative appliance. The kamados are great because their heat retention is incredible as well as their versatility. They are a smoker, a grill and an oven. 

OUTDOOR COOKING APPLIANCES

  • Side Burners are a great option for those who want to heat of some beans, make pasta or do anything you can do on your indoor stove. These can be available in either single or double (depending on the brand offering).
  • If you have large pots or like to fry, consider adding a Power Burner. You can use small sauce pots or large pots on these. They have a wider range of temperatures allowing for the versatility of cooking options they provide.
  • Searing station is great for those who love the "Steakhouse" quality food. It is also great for those who choose a smaller grill and do not want to lose any "open flame" grilling space.

APPLIANCE ACCOUTREMENTS 

  • These components consist of Warming Drawers, Griddles and Pizza Ovens. Warming Drawers are great for keeping freshly grilled food warm as well as any buns for your meats. Keep in mind you will need electricity to power these units. Outdoor griddles are becoming all the rage. They are so much more than just used as a hibachi. Think breakfast outdoors. Pancakes and bacon or even grilled cheeses for lunch. The griddle has so many yummy possibilities. 

STORAGE COMPONENTS

  • Storage Components consist of Sinks, Doors, Drawers, Combo units (which are simply a combination of drawers and a door), Pantries, Trash Drawers and more. 
  • Combo units are great space savers. They are very popular under grills. As you will have the convenience of drawers without having to find space for them.
  • If you choose a sink, do you have accessible plumbing? This may be a large additional expense.

REFRIGERATION - These consist of Cocktail Stations, Refrigerators, Ice Makers, Keggerators, Wine Coolers, Ice Bins, Cooler Drawers and more. You can go crazy in this category of products due the the amazing options available. Some Refrigerators have a freezer option so if you plan ice cream for desert, it will be conveniently at your finger tips. The kegerator is great for those who have outdoor football barbecue get togethers. Many of our outdoor kitchens will include a standard refrigerator as many folks want to have the convince of keeping beverages cold.

3. Third, once you have your dream list, com up with a budget of what you would have to spend. This will help narrow down brand and appliance choices. 

You want to put a sufficient budget aside for your appliances and components. If these means omitting a rock finish vs a stucco finish, we would rather see that extra money go towards a well established US Brand.

Your imported grills will sometimes be the cheapest (not always) ... but they may not always be the best. Remember when you are building appliances you want to do this once. Be sure you have a brand that has the ability to manufacture replacement parts in the US. We have seen over and over with every import delays in major operating parts because they are waiting for a container overseas. We are talking months and months and months. This includes, but is not limited to Blaze, Summerset, Bull, Vintage Grills, Kitchenaid and more. You are always welcome to reach out to us and ask our advice.

We may be able to put together a package manufactured by longstanding world class US manufacturers (Artisan, Alfresco, Lynx, Sedona, Twin Eagles) that will satisfy your budget.

4. Price out the components on your dream list as well as the "cut-outs" or specs (width) because you will have to be sure that the items you choose will fit in the space you have.

5. In our opinion, the three items that should be on your final list are : The Grill and doors or combo for under the grill, a side burner,  either a outdoor refrigerator or ice bin and some counter space . 

Think of what you will be going inside the house for. The whole point of the outdoor kitchen is to be able to stay outdoors with your family and guests as much as possible. 

6. Vent, Vent, Vent - We cannot stress this enough! You MUST vent every outdoor kitchen that has a gas appliance. You will have to add a stainless vent low and near the grill! We cannot stress the danger of not properly venting your unit. This type of venting is on the actual structure. This differs from a Vent Hood. Vent Hoods are typically required when there is 6 feet or less from the top of the grill hood. You will need to verify with your local city or county codes.

7. Please try not to use combustible materials (Wood, Fiberglass, etc) These units REQUIRE an insulated sleeve. This will add an additional expense! 

We have curated some appliance packages that are our top sellers in the outdoor kitchens we build in the Dade, Broward and Palm Beach Counties. We have been building outdoor kitchens for over 20 years and have an abundance of experience and knowledge of the best brand in the marketplace.

Contact us to put together a package that will suit your budget and your needs. 

Do you know we offer a design service based upon the appliance package you purchase, the style structure you are building (straight, L shaped or U) and the dimensions you provide?

Print out the Outdoor Kitchen Appliance and Storage Wishlist. Write down what you would like, the price and the specs. Alfresco has created a design solutions worksheet. This will allow you to sketch your ideas.


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