In the outdoor kitchen, just like the indoor kitchen, you need to build in more storage than you think you will need. Everyone needs more and it really is very nice to be able to leave your outdoor cooking tools outside the home rather than running them back and forth all the time.
The fundamental products for outdoor storage are:
- Open storage under a grill to gain access to the gas line. There are times we will put a large drawer a
“Masonry Drawer” under the grill but there should be open access close to the grill and the gas line shut off needs to be very accessible at that location. This advice is based upon our observation that most people with a warming drawer use it for storage.
- Open access under any sink or immediately next to any sink. This is very important so that you can easily access the plumbing when it comes time to winterize the outdoor kitchen.
- Trash cabinets are a must outdoors. Unless you already have a solution for trash outside you need this. Cooking, indoors and out, creates alot of garbage and outdoor kitchens are entertainment areas so you’re going to find that people hang there for some time and you’ll need somewhere to store that unsightly garbage. FIRESIDE TIP: Don’t leave trash out overnight, ever if you can. This will considerably cut down on your bugs or varmints from discovering your outdoor kitchen. Ronda Outdoors makes an insulated cabinet that is really nice for bug control but clean up at the end of the day.
- Drawers to store your tools, napkins, lighters, bottle openers, etc.
- The sink should be large enough to clean cooking tools which are usually much larger than indoor cooking tools. We found Ronda Outdoors has a round outdoor rated SS sink that works really well. Twin Eagles and Delta Heat also have very nice sink options with hot/cold faucets as well as soap dispensers.
- In line gas timer. This is the $80.00 part that can save your life. It is basically an egg timer that controls a
simple on/off valve for your in bound gas line. Turn it on for 3 hours and you can cook the whole time. Forget the grill is on and go inside to eat dinner and when the timer reaches 3 hours the whole gas line shuts off. Remember no one leaves a line on intentionally and no one thinks ahead of time that a young child will go outside and start turning knobs. The only really safe gas line around children is one that is turned off while adults are not immediately present. Best $79.00 you can spend.
When you shop for the above products as usual you’re going to find that there is a huge disparity in pricing. You’ll find that one line starts around $220.00 retail for the simplest single door and goes up to around $850.00 for the most complex cabinet insert with drawers and door. On the other hand you’ll find others that are about 50% more than that price range and look really similar. This is alot like the conversation we had on outdoor refrigeration. In this case you are buying quality not design or appearance out of the box, they look really similar when brand new. The higher dollar pieces are going to look like that next year and the year after that and even 10+ years later. Outdoor kitchens are not a good place to try to save a bundle. The product that is in the lower price point has to use inferior metals or they simply cannot make a profit. We all know, and none of us like, that these products are sold so that people can make a profit. What you have to think about is the “chain of sales” that has occurred before you get the product at your home. Stainless Steel as a raw material is very expensive and then you have to pay for the manufacturing equipment and the shipping and the packaging, not to mention the employees, rent, etc. It was sold by a manufacturer to a distributor, the distributor sold it to a retailer, the retailer sold it to you. If the product has been sold three times and sells for $180.00 it was likely made for about $35.00 so ask yourself do I
really believe that a $35.00 Stainless Steel product is going to hold up? The only way to get a product to you for a price that low is to use inferior (cheaper) raw materials because the process of making the product is the same. The labor is higher in America but not that much higher and the cost to ship from China to the US is a big expense. Once the product lands in the US it has the exact same shipping costs and handling costs as US made product so the big differences are down to materials. After all that is said the one thing you can really rely upon is that in the US we have very strict guidelines on what materials are called (graded). In the US you cannot use a cheap SS and call it 304. In some other countries the standards are not as high and you can name a metal anything you want. Once a company purchases that product they are going to use the name that they were sold. So if I’m in China and I use an inferior metal but name it a 304SS Single Door, that is the name you are going to purchase and you have no way of knowing it is the same grade of steel you would get in the US except to logically look at the price discrepancy. We have had a lot of calls about repairing or replacing these products especially along the coast line. But remember if you have a salt water pool you have brought the ocean to your back yard and part of that is the need to use higher end metals around that pool area to guard from corrosion from salt spray in the air.
Names you can trust in this business. This would be the same advice I gave on the best rules for choosing a grill (if it came from a company that started inside the home then moved into the outdoor market, don’t buy it). R H Peterson is the parent company for AOG and Firemagic; Twin Eagles is the parent company for Delta Heat; they are one of the finest US Made products you can purchase and the warranty support is incredible. Ronda Outdoors is not as well known, an Italian company and they make some of the most functional and beautiful storage solutions on the market. If you are simply not going to spend that kind of money the option for you would be Summerset. They are the best of the lower price point. They will stand behind the product and offer a very broad product line. There is no question that the product is not on the same playing field with Firemagic, Twin Eagles or Ronda but it’s not bad either. The metals are holding up in our experience and the the price point is very good. The differences are that where the higher end product will have a double
wall on a door so it doesn’t wobble or flex the Summerset is a single wall. For some this is a big deal and makes the feel of the product very different. If you don’t mind then they are a great option for you.
At the beginning of this page we said “outdoor kitchens are the place to try and save a bundle”. The logic behind that statement make some assumptions. We assume that you are going to avoid wood at all costs when you build this kitchen. That means that you have built from masonry, metal,PVC, HDPE, etc. None of the products that you should be building an outdoor kitchen from can be altered later without considerable expense. So unless you are likely to replace grills, doors, and drawers with exactly the same model (that didn’t hold up the first time) you’re going to have to alter your kitchen to replace the cheap stuff later or go with a smaller replacement and have metal flanges made so that it fits. In others words if you aren’t going to buy the good stuff prepare to buy the cheap stuff again & again.
Outdoor Kitchen Components (storage)
Please note that Fireside Outdoor Kitchens sells anywhere in the continental USA. Please reach out to us for additional information or to purchase your Outdoor Kitchen, BBQ Island, appliances, accessories, etc. firstname.lastname@example.org