Outdoor Kitchen Design

When you have decided that you want an outdoor kitchen, there are several different things that you can do. One thing that you can do is buy an outdoor kitchen that is already made. This makes it simple but in doing it this way, you cannot customize your outdoor kitchen exactly the way that you want it.

If you decide that you want to have it customized, you have a few different options in the designing. First, you can do it yourself. No one knows better than you what you want out of your outdoor kitchen. The only thing with designing it yourself is that you will need to do a lot of research. You will need to know all about hiring contractors. You will need someone who works in construction to build the unit for you. Then you will need to hire a plumber to install the sink and the drain.

Next, you will need to know where to find a good electrician. He will need to install the lighting, the outlets for the refrigerator, and the extra outlets on the unit for plugging in small appliances such as a blender, a toaster, or an electric can opener.

This electrician will need to hook the electricity in the unit from your electricity. It is good to ask, not just the electrician but all of the people that you are hiring to do this job, if they have ever done jobs like yours before. It is a good idea to get someone with experience. The last person that you will need to hire is someone to run the gas line from your house out to your outdoor kitchen.

Most people can’t figure out the design process on their own, and they may need a professional designer. A professional designer will know where to put everything in the unit. He will be able to tell you what extras are available and if it is feasible for your particular outdoor kitchen. You can tell your designer exactly how you want to use your kitchen and exactly what you want out of it. With the information that you give your designer, he can give you the best ideas possible.

You cannot get all of that out of a standard kitchen. Another very important thing that your designer can do for you is make sure that all of your permits are in order and all of the zoning procedures have been taken. Without these permits, the workmen that you hired will not work.

If you do not check into the zoning laws, you could end up getting a large fine for that as well. Your outdoor kitchen designer will know all about these things. His services will cost you money, but he will also save you money in the long run.

Another way to design your kitchen is on an outdoor kitchen website. You can go through the step by step process of doing basically what you would have hired the designer for but you cannot ask the website questions. The website cannot hire the workmen for you.

The website cannot measure different appliances for you. The website also will not go down to city hall and get your permits for you. It will give you a basic lay out and the company will send you what you designed. If you have experience in building or even in home repairs this seat could be good for you. It is just not as good as hiring the designer.

Another way to design your kitchen is to buy a do-it-yourself video. These are sold at a few different places. You can purchase them at hardware stores, video stores, online, or in the hardware department of your local department store. These video will give you step by step instructions on how to design your own outdoor kitchen. With the website however, you will choose your appliances and the company who offers the do-it-yourself does not. You will need to go to store and purchase all of the appliances for your kitchen. You will need to measure the space in the unit to try to find appliances to fit. This is where many people make their mistakes. This is not the best way for a person to build an outdoor kitchen if they do not have any construction experience.

The last resource for designing your outdoor kitchen is a book. All the books will do is basically give you a few ideas here and there about how to design your unit. It may give you a couple of ideas but not like you could get with a person, a website, or even the video. The do-it-yourself book, like the video, can be purchased online, in hardware stores, or in a department store. This is not a recommended way of designing and having your outdoor kitchen built. This can be used as more of a guide for someone who has already designed a unit or helped to design a unit. These books can give you some points and tips.

The way that you go about designing your outdoor kitchen could be the difference between having a wonderful, well built, efficient unit or a unit that does not work as well as fines for not having the proper permits.

Planning your Outdoor Kitchen:

Consider

Consider installing an outdoor kitchen if:

  • You grill often (or in large amounts) and are looking for ways to streamline the process.
  • You frequently have guests to a cookout, and everyone ends up huddled around you on the patio, socializing while they watch you cook.
  • You have a little-used deck or patio that you would like to incorporate into daily life.
  • You would like to move past burgers and steaks and cook more elaborate dishes using the grill.
  • Cooking in the summertime heats up your house so much that the air conditioning cannot keep up.

Determine:

When you are ready to take the plunge, ask yourself these questions to help you determine what you are looking for in an outdoor kitchen:

  • What kind of cooking will I do outdoors? How often?
  • What kind of entertaining do I do? Large groups or small? Will we eat outdoors or bring the food back inside?
  • What furniture do I/will I have for the space?
  • What times of the year will I be able to use the space?
  • Will I need to be able to move the kitchen components, or can they be permanently installed?

Use these as thinking points when you are deciding what will go in your outdoor kitchen.

Designing the Kitchen:

The kitchen can be as simple or as elaborate as you want (and can afford). Start with the centerpiece of it all: the grill.

If you want an outdoor kitchen that can be rearranged, moved around and taken with you to a future new home, choose a grill with wheels. These are most common and come in a wide variety of sizes, features and prices.

If you plan to make the kitchen a permanent part of your patio or deck, select a built-in grill that will drop into a space on a cabinet with countertops or another base unit that is built on site. The base unit also can provide storage and work space, just like your indoor kitchen cabinets. If there is a chance that you might move to a different house, think carefully about spending money on features you cannot take with you.

After you have chosen a grill, think about the other basic components of your kitchen:

Grill accessories include a griddle, baskets for grilling fish and vegetables, different levels of cooking space for varying heat requirements, a reliable meat thermometer, and tongs that will not pierce the meat when you turn it over.

Side burners are included in most better grills sold today. A camping stove could serve in a pinch.

Work space should be adjacent to the grill and burners. Make sure you can sanitize it for food preparation.

Lighting comes in all varieties. Direct light is best for the work area, and clip-on lights are available that shine directly onto the grill so you can check the progress of the meat. Softer light sets a nicer mood for the eating area, and candles are almost always appropriate for an evening meal.

Patio heaters are a must if you plan to use the space during the chilly months.

Insect control is another requirement in most places if you are going to serve meals outdoors.

After you have the basics, add some (or all) of the extras:

An exhaust hood to keep smoke out of the eyes of diners.

Electrical outlets for using small appliances, stereos and more. (Outdoor outlets should be of the GFCI type. Make sure your electrical wiring meets local code.)

A refrigerator for keeping food cold until it is time to cook.

A sink, either fed with a hose or connected to the house's water supply. (Unless you plan to wash dishes outside, you need only a cold water connection.)

Warming drawers so nothing arrives at the table cold.

An ice machine so no one has to drag around a heavy cooler.

Wine storage so you will not have to go back inside unless you forget the corkscrew.

A wood-burning oven for roasting meats and vegetables and making authentic pizzas.

Choosing Materials:

Covers are available to keep most grills safe from the elements, and any other parts of your outdoor kitchen should be made of materials that are weatherproof. Some good examples are teak, stainless steel, slate, stone, tile and stucco.

Provide a cover for the cook and the cooking area so a little rainfall will not ruin the meal. But be sure to leave enough ventilation so smoke from the grill can blow away. If your grill is in an enclosed area, consider adding an exhaust hood.

Be sure that the area directly underneath the grill can withstand high heat and any sparks or embers that might fall, and that it can support the weight of the equipment that rests on it. Most patios should work fine, but decks might need additional structural support.

Using Space Wisely

As with an indoor kitchen, proper design of the space will make cooking more comfortable and convenient. You do not have to adopt the traditional "work triangle" design, but think carefully about the way you and your guests use the outdoor space. Be sure to consider the location of other outdoor features, such as pools, playgrounds, gardens and trees.

There should be plenty of space for people to watch you as you cook, and there should be room for foot traffic to flow around the food preparation area. Leave an area for people to sit and socialize without being involved with the cooking, and make sure children will not be playing near the grill.

Follow these guidelines for an efficient design:

  • Put 36" of work space on either side of the grill and burners.
  • Keep 18"-24" of open space on either side of the sink.
  • Allow 36"-42" between the edge of the dining table and whatever is around it so people can walk behind the chairs. Place the table well away from any stairs.
  • If you are including an eating counter, allow 24" of width per stool and 15" of leg room.

Outdoor Kitchen Cabinets:

If you are thinking about having an outdoor kitchen installed in your back yard something that you should really consider having outdoor kitchen cabinets installed as well. An outdoor kitchen is costly in itself, however, adding kitchen cabinets will not be as costly as you may think. They not only look nice but they are also a very convenient part of the kitchen.

One reason for having kitchen cabinets installed outside is for convenience. People install outdoor kitchens in their back yards to make their outdoor kitchen look more like their indoor one. They do everything that they can to make their outdoor kitchen just as convenient as their indoor kitchen. By installing outdoor kitchen cabinets as well, you will have the convenience of your indoor kitchen. Because of the kitchen cabinets, you could be saving yourself numerous trips back and forth to the house. You can keep an outside set of dishes in your outside kitchen. Most people will purchase a set of dishes strictly to be used outside. This kitchen dish set will usually have some sort of an outside pattern on it such as flowers or fish.

It is possible for an outdoor kitchen to be made out of wood. There is a special type of wood that is used in outdoor kitchens. It is called WearEver. This is a durable wood. It is designed to weather rain, snow, wind. It cannot be ruined from rot. It cannot crack. Also, it cannot fade. The UV rays from the sun can sometimes cause the color to fade.

These outdoor kitchen cabinets are weather proof. You can also have drawers made to go with your kitchen cabinets. Most people need a place in their outdoor kitchen for utensils. Why spend thousands of dollars on a kitchen so that you can keep everything at your reach if you are not going to have drawers installed for utensils. The best bet for anyone who installs an outdoor kitchen is to go all the way. If you are going to have a Wok installed, you should have a drawer made for the chop sticks.

Another material that people use for their outdoor kitchen cabinets is stainless steel. This is a very weather proof material as well. It does not rust or get discolored. If it rains, most of the stainless steel drawers have a small gutter on them to be sure that water does not well up and pour into the drawer. If you are using stainless steel cabinets, you should not make the frame of your kitchen stainless steel. You should stick with stainless steel for the whole project.

In the past few years stainless steel has become a very overly used material. People are buying stainless steel refrigerators for inside their houses so why not purchase stainless steel kitchen cabinets in your outside kitchen. This is another stainless steel appliance that you can purchase to match your outdoor kitchen. This will match the rest of the layout and is also popular.

If you are looking to just add counter tops and lower cabinets to your outdoor kitchen area that is possible as well. The counter top can be made out of many different materials. There is granite, marble, wood, and butcher block. Any of these counter tops are fashionable and will also match with whichever type of cabinet you choose.

There are many places that you can go for your outdoor kitchen cabinets. The first thing that you need to do is decide what type of material you will be using. If you are going with wood, you will have to find a place where WearEva is sold.

Usually the best place to find it and find exactly what you are looking for is to just use their store or website. If you have the specs for the kitchen then you will be able to look at the WearEve website and find exactly what you are looking for. If you are looking for stainless steel, it will be easier. Stainless steel can be found almost anywhere. As long as you have the specs, you can have your counter top and cabinets built

Outdoor Kitchen Islands:

When a home owner has some extra money, or if they just refinanced their home, one thing that they will consider is remodeling. This will make their home look better and it will also raise the value of their home. Kitchen and bathroom remodeling jobs were the most popular. Recently, a new area for remodeling has become more and more popular. It is back yard remodeling. One main thing involved with back yard remodeling is having an outdoor kitchen island.

An outdoor kitchen island is more than just your typical grill. It can be a gourmet kitchen that is outside your home. There are so many different options for your outdoor kitchen island, if you have the money the possibilities are endless. Other than the amazing design and the sleek look of outdoor islands, they also offer convenience. With your simple grill, it is necessary to run in and out of the house with supplies. If you are cooking side dishes, if may be necessary for you to cook it in the house. That is no longer a problem if you have an outdoor kitchen island.

There are a few different ways that you can go with your island. The option that you choose usually depends on your budget. If you have a very large budget, customizing your island is the way to go. When you customize your own island, the whole thing will be created to fit your needs. You can build the island to match the colors of your home. You can use the same color bricks that you have on your patio. You can match the trim of the island to the color of your home. You can also choose the shape and size of your island as well. The more appliances and accessories that you wish to add, the larger you will need to build your island. The appliances that you can put in your outdoor island are limitless. You can put just about anything in your outdoor kitchen that you can inside the house. Your grill will be the heart of you outdoor island. After that, you build around it. Some people choose to have burners next to their grill. This is a good idea if you want to cook pasta or macaroni. Another cooking source that you can add is a small wood burning oven. In this oven, you can cook bread, dinner rolls, pizza, and even pies. Some people will even choose to add a Wok to their kitchen. The more cooking sources you add to your island, the larger your menu can be when entertaining. Having a refrigerator is a must in a custom designed island. This will stop the endless trips into the house for drinks and condiments. Everything will always be right there. Some custom islands will even have sinks installed. If hot water is hooked up along with the cold, running in the house with dirty dishes will be a thing of the past. They can be washed right outside. The seating area on an outdoor kitchen can be an extended counter top. Setting up a few bar stools will give your guests an area to watch you cook and to eat. If you are known to entertain several people, it is a good idea to purchase a separate patio set. You can get an umbrella for it so that your guests can stay out of the hot sun while they are eating. There have been a few of the most photographed, upscale designs that have actually had an auto-rise, 36 inch plasma television built into it. The things that you can do with a custom built outdoor kitchen are endless.

The semi-custom design allows you to choose from a variety of configurations and exterior finishes. When the customer has the cut out dimensions for the grill and other appliances, the island is manufactured off site In about three weeks your island will be delivered for installation of your grill. This choice of outdoor kitchen island is becoming more and more popular.

The most popular island is the prefab island. This is an island that can go with you when you move. This island is very heavy but it is possible to move it. Although you are limited in your island design when you go with the prefab, there are very exciting styles available. You are not just looking at plain wood anymore. You can choose from stucco, faux stone, and faux marble finishes. You can choose from several different counter tops. The shapes of the islands vary from oval, square, rectangle, and even an L-shape. You can find prefab islands with different styles of shelving and cabinet placement. By going with the prefab island, you are saving yourself from needing the building permits necessary for the custom islands.

A freestanding cart is also available. This type of island is for someone who likes to move the cooking area around whether it is by the pool one day or by the picnic table another day. The freestanding cart has your drawers for storage, counter top prep area, and if you want, an umbrella to give the chef some shade. Some of the more expensive models have a refrigerator in the base of the cart.

However you choose to design your island, or if you buy it already designed, it is a convenient, stylish addition to your yard. Your guests will always be impressed.

Outdoor Kitchen Accessories:

When you finally decide to build the outdoor kitchen that you have always dreamed of, there are many things to do. Hire the necessary people to build the kitchen, prepare the ground for the kitchen, obtain the necessary permits for building the outdoor kitchen, and then, the best part, designing the outdoor kitchen.

When you are designing your custom outdoor kitchen, the best thing to do is hire an architect. An architect will be able to plan out where all of your accessories will go, using proper measurements. He will be able to make everything fit just right, in the most efficient manner. The ideas will be all yours, but the measurements and placements of all of the accessories will be the job of the architect.

The variety of accessories available for your outdoor kitchen are endless. There are so many things that you can add to your outdoor kitchen that you could make it more convenient than the kitchen inside your house. Once you have built the original frame for your outdoor kitchen, you can begin choosing the accessories.

One type is a propane grill. This is the type of grill with the propane tank on the side of it to give it fuel. Another type is a charcoal grill. This is more old fashioned and is not used quite as much anymore.

The charcoal grill makes the food taste a little different, and this is why some people use them. The last type of grill is a gas grill. This grill is more difficult to install. With this one, you will need to run a gas line from the house, out to the kitchen. It may be expensive to install, but it is the most efficient.

Once you have your grill chosen, you need to decide if you would like any other additional cooking sources. One source that you can choose is an electric range. It usually consists of two burners. This is good for boiling lobster, or cooking pasta. It saves you the trip of running in and out of the house. If you are cooking inside and outside, something is liable to get burned. Another cooking source that has become very popular is the wood burning stove.

The wood burning stove is usually located at the bottom of the outdoor kitchen. The wood burning stove allows you to bake bread outside, dinner rolls, even an apple pie. With the wood burning stove you can even make dessert outside.

Now that you have chosen your cooking source, it is time to decide on a refrigerator. The refrigerators come in a few different sizes. The largest has four shelves and also a shelf on the door. The smallest have no shelves on the door and three shelves. The size of your refrigerator will depend on what you will want to put in it. If you purchase the large refrigerator, you can keep your condiments in the door. On the shelves, you can keep beverages, fruit, butter, even the meats and other foods that you will be preparing. Once you have your refrigerator chosen, you can move on.

Deciding on the sink is a simple decision. If you want your outdoor kitchen to be just as efficient as your kitchen in the house, the sink is advised. You can choose for your sink to have both hot and cold running water, or just cold. If you choose just the cold, you will not be able to do dishes outside.

Deciding on your counter top will basically depend on how many people you plan on entertaining. If you are looking at just a few, a small counter top will be fine. If you are known for having big affairs, you may want to extend your counter top to make seating room for extra people. By extending the counter top, you can add seating space for up to six more people by just adding bar stools.

If you need even more room, you can purchase a patio set. In doing this, you will have a seating area with an umbrella for your guests who want to stay out of the sun.

After designing the counter top, you need to decide where you will want your electric outlets and how many you would like. You need to think of what you may want to plug into your outdoor kitchen. You could need a plug for a blender, a toaster, an electric can opener, and even an egg beater. Having more outlets than necessary is a good idea.

The next accessory that you need to decide on is lighting. There are a couple different ways to light the area. You can first have a light installed in the roof of the kitchen. There will be lights placed on the bottom of the roof for the chef as well as on the sides of the roof for the guests. If lights aren’t that important to you, you can just purchase the clip on lights and plug them into the outlets on the kitchen. You can clip them all around the kitchen.

There are a couple luxury items that have been seen in top of the line outdoor kitchens. One is a telephone.When you are running the water line, the gas line, and the electric, you can also run a phone line. This way, you can install a phone in your outdoor kitchen. The other luxury item is very rarely seen, but it is an option.A self-rise 36-inch plasma television.

You can have this built right into the counter top as long as you have it built big enough. They will cut a hole in the counter to install the television. They will make the counter that was cut into a door that you can open when you want to watch television. It will have an electric self-rise feature. You just push the button and up comes your television. This is expensive but it is also great.

All of these accessory choices make your custom outdoor kitchen built just for you. With the help of your architect, you can build the outdoor kitchen of your dreams.

Outdoor Kitchen Sets:

Some people may ask, “why should I spend so much money on an outdoor kitchen when I have one inside my home?. One answer to that question among many, is convince. If your family is the type who spends most of their time outside, then this is the thing for you. Do you love hamburgers and hot dogs on the grill? How about barbecued steak tips? With an outdoor kitchen, you can cook any meal outside.

With a grill, you can cook your meats outside. Usually you have to go back inside to cool the vegetable and the side dish. Between bringing the food outside to your family and bringing beverages and condiments, you will find yourself running in and out of the house several times. After everyone has finished eating, you must clean the grill outside and clean up inside from the cooking that you did in there. Between the running back and forth, inside and outside, you barley have time to enjoy your meal. The outdoor kitchen could be exactly what you need. The outdoor kitchen is just like the kitchen in your home. If you have the outdoor kitchen, you will no longer need to cook in two different places again.

The outdoor kitchens have several designs to choose from. You can choose a traditional kitchen set up. You ban also purchase or design a bar-style kitchen or an island-style design. Your outdoor kitchen can be mounted to be permanently stationary position. The kitchen can also be on casters if you wanted to roll it, for example, in and out of your garage or shed. Normally, if an outdoor kitchen owner plans to keep the unit outside all year they will purchase the stationary model. Purchasing the mobile model is useful only if you plan to move it regularly.

You can choose to have a roof on your outdoor kitchen if you want to cook in the rain. Your outdoor kitchen will have cabinets. These cabinets are made out of WearEver wood. This is a wood that can withstand the rain and other elements. It is a wood that does not rot or warp. You can keep dishes in your outdoor cabinet so that you are not running plates and bowls in and out of the house. Your outdoor kitchen will also come drawers. You can use these drawers for utensils so that you won’t find yourself running back in the house to get an extra fork. The outdoor kitchen is designed to give you all of the comforts of the kitchen in your home. Some of the top of the line outdoor kitchens will even come with a built in fireplace to sit by on a cold night.

The first part of making dinner is preparation. It is not sanitary to cut up raw vegetables and marinate meat on an old picnic table. Without the outdoor kitchen, you will end up missing the party because you will be inside preparing dinner. With the outdoor kitchen, you will be able to prepare your meal on it’s counter top. Some kitchens even have extra space for seating. You will have room to put three or four bar stools, and you have a seating area. Most outdoor kitchens will come with a built-in refrigerator. This is extremely convenient.

If you are having a cookout with friends and family, you do not want to be running in and out of the house refilling guest’s drinks. Coolers work well but only for a short period time. On a hot, humid, summer day, the heat will melt the ice and cause your beverages to get warm. With a refrigerator outside, your beverages will always stay cold Wouldn’t it be nice to have your ketchup, mustard, and relish already outside with you? There is no running in and out because you forgot things.

Thanks to your outdoor refrigerator, this will no longer be a problem. Most of the outdoor kitchens on the market have two different cooking appliances. First, you have your gas grill. This is the grill that you will cook your hamburgers on, as well as your hot dogs, chicken and steak. Corn on the cob is another dish that will be cooked on the gas grill. With the help of aluminum foil, you can cook roasted potatoes on the gas grill. Your outdoor kitchen will also have a small wood-burning oven.

This oven can be used for breads and dinner rolls. Believe it or not, you can cook a pizza in your wood-burning oven. Also, pies can be cooked in this stove. You will not even need to go inside for dessert. Another way to cook on your outdoor kitchen is on the burners. On these burners you can cook pasta, make a soup, or even macaroni and cheese for the kids. These burners work just like the burners in your “indoor” kitchen. After you have finished cooking and eating, it is time to clean up. Having a sink in your outdoor kitchen comes in very handy. After doing everything outside, who wants to lug the dishes and all of the pots and pans inside? With the outdoor kitchen, clean up can be done outside as well.

Overall, the outdoor kitchen is perfect for all phases of outdoor cooking. From preparation to cleanup, your outdoor kitchen can help you do it all.

Building an Outside Fire Pit:

The first step in building an outside fire pit is determining a safe location. You'll want to build your fire pit at least 20 feet away from any structure, and not under tree branches or power lines. Although it might sound prudent to build a fire pit on a concrete patio space, drainage during the downtime can be problematic. Instead, select a location on relatively flat ground with no flammable materials stored nearby.

Once a proper location has been found, you'll need to dig a small hole into the ground, approximately two feet deep. A post hole digger or auger should make this step much easier. Once filled with gravel or stones, this hole should provide drainage when the fire pit is not in use. Without proper drainage, an enclosed fire pit could become nothing more than a bird feeder after a rain event.

Any number of masonry blocks or stones can be used to create an outside fire pit, but many experts suggest using materials that are easily stacked without mortar or cement. The heat of a fire can seriously damage average mortars and glues, so the idea is to build up a three or four walled structure using the staggered row method, but allowing the weight of the blocks or stones themselves to support the structure.

Cinder or cement blocks can be used to construct temporary outside fire pits, but they can become brittle after multiple exposures to the heat of a fire. The idea is to build up the structure to at least a height of three feet in order to discourage animals and small children from running directly into the fire.

A four-wall fire pit would be ideal for a bonfire or grill, but a three-wall pit would provide a source of heat for guests seated near the open end. A three-wall outside fire pit would also be easier to access when adding more wood. Either way, a metal grate can be placed on top of the fire pit in order to grill food.

Building a more permanent outside fire pit would entail purchasing special fire-resistant bricks for an inner wall and additional masonry blocks and mortar to create a thick outer wall. Plans for such outside fire pits can be found online or in home improvement reference books.

Outside Fire Pits:

An outdoor fire pit is an excellent way to spice up your backyard or patio. Its always fun to sit around a roaring fire with friends and family. Some are permanent structures, some are temporary, some are portable and some fire pits are even made to be cooked on so that you can enjoy a fire and enjoy delicious grilled food. There are many options for fire pits so look around before buying one or building one to be sure you are getting a fire pit that will suit your needs. They vary a lot in size and styles so do your homework before buying!

Here is some information about different types of outdoor fire pits that are available or can be built. There is also some information on specific fire pits available on the market:

  • Wood Burning Grill or Fire Pit Grill - A wood burning grill is a fire pit which is specifically designed for fire pit cooking. It comes with a grill grate which fits on your firepit above your firewood embers. Some even have available rotisseries so that you can slowly cook large roasts over your real hardwood fire!
  • Portable fire pit - There are several makers of portable outdoor fire pits. These are generally large metal (some are ceramic) bowls with legs and a mesh lid. Some have wheels on two legs for easy portability. Some also come with a grill grate that can be placed on top so that your fire pit will double as a barbeque! Still others can hold a rotisserie device for roasting meats.
  • Fire pit table - Many fire pits are built into an outdoor table or have a table-like rim around the fire pit. This is handy both for holding food that you are grilling on the grill but also for resting your beverage or plate while you relax around the fire.
  • Cast iron fire pit - Many portable outdoor fire pits are made from cast iron which is heavy and strong. It is a good relatively inexpensive material for your fire pit that will last a long time. However, cast iron has a slightly lower melting point than copper, so it may not last as long as the best copper fire pits.
  • Copper fire pit - A copper fire pit is a fancy option for an outdoor fire pit. Copper has a very high melting point, making it very durable and long lasting. The pretty color of the metal also makes these very attractive fire pits. They tend to be more expensive than a cast iron fire pit but probably make up for it in longevity. They come in many sizes and styles.
  • Outdoor Fireplace - An upright outdoor fireplace, either portable or a build-in outdoor stone fireplace as pictured here, can enhance any patio or deck. The general design is similar to a typical indoor fireplace. There are both gas and firewood burning fireplaces.
  • Chiminea fire pit - A chiminea fire pit is an enclosed outdoor fire pit which is generally taller than it is wide. They usually have a tall chimney-like top to them. Again, they vary in styles and materials like other types of outdoor fire pits. Some are made of various metals but you can also find terra cotta chimineas as well.
  • Sojoe fire pit - This is a specific brand of outdoor fire pit which is very popular. The Sojoe is a portable fire pit which has a deep basin made of a very thick cold-rolled steel shell. Because it is so thick, these fire pits last a long time. They also look great and have various models with designs on the sides including choices of star & moon, wildlife, willow crane and Kokopelli. The Sojoe fire pit comes with a removable grill for grilling food, a mesh lid, poker and cover. You can even buy an optional motorized rotisserie which attaches to the Sojoe so you can roast large cuts of meat! Not a cheap fire pit, but worth the extra tariff because of all these features.
  • Gas fire pit - If you want the warmth and some of the ambiance of an outdoor fire pit, without the hassles of firewood, lighting the fire and cleaning up the ash, then maybe a gas fire pit is for you! They run off of either a liquid propane tank or a natural gas line.
  • Campfire or simple stone fire pit - This is a cheap fire pit! A simple outdoor fire pit can be made simply by building a fire in a depression in the ground as long as you are on non-flammable dirt, soil or gravel. A ring of stones can be used to set the fire pit apart and prevent burning logs from rolling out. With a grill grate and a little creativity with stones for support, you can even turn this simple fire pit into a grill for cooking! A fire pit ring can also refer to a type of portable fire pit you can take anywhere.
  • Temporary brick fire pit - You can build your own outdoor fire pit with supplies that are readily accessible at any home supply store. Bricks or cinderblocks can be used to build a fire pit and you can even throw a grill on top to cook on it! This is a cheap fire pit option and can be built almost anywhere.
  • Permanent brick or stone fire pit - With a little more planning and elbow grease you "do-it-yourselfers" can build (or have built) a stone or brick permanent outdoor fire pit. Obviously, this requires the space to build the permanent structure, but once it's there, you have years of fire pit fun ahead of you! If you plan it carefully, you can fit a grill grate on top as well for outdoor grilling over your wood fire.

Outdoor Grills:

  • Charcoal Grill - This is the classic outdoor grill and barbecue! The trusty old charcoal grill is versatile and cooks great food. Charcoal is a great fuel for producing long-lasting, smokey heat to cook all your grilled foods. A bit more messy and time consuming than gas grills but dedicated users feel the flavor is worth it. Check out my new favorite charcoal grill & smoker, the Big Green Egg!
  • Gas Grill - A gas grill, usually fueled by a propane tank, is fast, clean and easy. It cooks great grilled food and with the addition of a smoker box to hold some mesquite, hickory or other smoking woods you can even get some of those great smoke flavors. Many gas grills now come standard with a rotisserie attachment!
  • Natural Gas Grill - These outdoor grills plug right into your natural gas line so that you don't ever have to go buy more propane. No more worrying about running out of fuel in the middle of your dinner party! Besides, natural gas burns cleaner than propane and is better for the environment. There are specific barbecues made to work with natural gas or you can convert a propane grill.
  • Fire pit grill - Don't forget fire pits! This is the Fire Pit and Grilling Guru's website after all. A fire pit with a grill allows you to have a blazing firewood fire and cook on it as well! Cooking on real firewood is great, natural and fun. Learn all about types of fire pits and about fire pit cooking.
  • Smoker Grill - A smoker grill makes it easier to slowly smoke foods at low heat using aromatic smoking woods for intense flavor and tender meat. While you don't have to have a dedicated smoker to do this, it can help make it easier.
  • Terra Cotta or Ceramic Grill - You see a lot of ceramic terra cotta grills in other countries. They are generally inexpensive and pretty portable. They are great for a small, fast-grilling option but have some disadvantages too.
  • Electric Grill - If you are tired of the hassle of charcoal, wood or propane tanks, one alternative for an outdoor grill is an electric model. Learn about the advantages and disadvantages of these grills here.
  • Barbecue Rotisserie - A barbecue with a rotisserie built in can greatly expand your grill cooking repertoire. Cook large roasts that are succulent, tender and juicy, never dry and leather-like.
  • Portable Grill - Your big outdoor grill at home may not be that easy to transport. The solution? A smaller portable grill that you can take on camping trips, to the beach, park, lakeside, or summer country cabin! There are several options available, in charcoal, gas and electric models. Also check out information on Weber portable grills and portable Char-Broil grills. They have several types!
  • Built in Grill - A great option for those with a big back yard with a deck or pool-side structure. Have a permanent built in outdoor grill installed! These are available in both propane gas and natural gas models. Lynx grills all come in built-in versions which can be customized to build your outdoor kitchen.

Information on a specific outdoor grill:

  • Weber Grill - The Weber grill is one of the most familiar and ubiquitous barbecues in the world. The classic Webber kettle grill is familiar from a mile away. Well Weber grills are also well built and perfect for grilling finger-likin' good barbecue meals! There are several models available. Learn more about the Weber gas grill, Weber charcoal grill and Weber portable grill lines.
  • Char-Broil Grills - Char-Broil is another company making great barbecues in a variety of styles with several models available. They have different styling and features than Weber grills. Learn more about the charcoal and smoker Char Broil grill line and the gas CharBroil grill line.
  • The Big Green Egg Smoker Grill - This is my new favorite charcoal grill and smoker! This ceramic grill retains heat and has superior precise control of your heat throughout the range of cooking temperatures, from slow-cooked smoking to high-heat searing, and it retains moisture so you food stays juicy and delicious! Do not miss checking out the Big Green Egg!
  • Lynx Grills - Lynx may not be as familiar a name as Weber, but make no mistake about it, these are the Mercedes-Benz of gas and natural gas grills! Sleek styling, superior craftsmanship and customizable features galore, these are the grills for those looking for the top of the line and money is no object.
  • Viking Grills - Viking is one of the biggest name in cookwear, making some of the best stoves and ovens which are used by professional kitchens around the world. But did you know they also make top-of-the-line gas and natural gas grills?

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