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A Guide to Outdoor Kitchen Must-haves!

Fall is approaching, and the weather is cooling down. A full-sized kitchen can complete your outdoor living space and give your family a place to relax year-round!

An outdoor kitchen can offer “a breath of fresh air” from your normal indoor cooking routine. Whether you need ideas for your current kitchen or are unsure where to start, here are our outdoor kitchen “must-haves.”

Custom Outdoor Grill

Grilling outside is a great way to spice up your cooking routine no matter what season it is. The grill is iconic and may even be the most important thing your outdoor kitchen can offer.

In the Lone Star State, a barbecue grill is practically a Texan's version of a cherished truck—sentimental value and all! Just like trucks, grills come with a variety of fuel options, each serving its unique purpose. Now, we're not suggesting you roll up with a diesel grill (yikes!), but fear not! You can rev up your outdoor kitchen with a choice of propane, charcoal, gas, or even a hybrid grill. Here are some grill options:

  • Built-in grill

  • Cart/portable grill

  • Side burner

  • Smoke

Custom Outdoor Oven & Warming Drawers

An outdoor oven can serve as a highlight under your patio lights. Most people already have an oven in their indoor kitchen. Still, having an oven outside means cooking where the action is without going back inside.

You can also get a wood-fueled oven for a unique spin on your current cooking. A brick-encased pizza oven can be a fantastic way to get restaurant-quality pizza in your backyard.

If you don’t know what a warming drawer is, it’s the classier version of the lamps that restaurants keep food hot under.

Benefits of warming drawers:

  • Takes up less countertop space because the food can be stored out of the way.

  • Ensures your food is kept warmer for longer.

  • Keeps food secure so heat is less likely to escape.

  • Keep flies and mosquitoes away from your food.


You can never have too much cabinet space – the more storage, the better. Especially in an outdoor kitchen, having a home for your kitchen utensils, glasses, koozies, and wood fuel is essential. The number of cabinets will depend on the space you can access, but you can choose between countertop cabinets, overhead cabinets, or both.


A cold drink is a must after a day trip out on the lake or an afternoon spent poolside with friends. The last thing you need is a trail of water through the house leading to your refrigerator. An outdoor fridge is the answer to storing all your favorite beverages where you want them. As a bonus, outdoor fridges are convenient to grab any chilled ingredients and sides you may need while cooking outdoors!

Outdoor kitchen fridges can be smaller than their indoor counterparts and can fit snugly next to your cabinets. But, if you need the storage space, you can put a full-size refrigerator under the patio. There are also specialized mini fridges for wine and soft drinks.

Built-in Sink

Keeping your hands clean is essential if you are preparing food outdoors. The sink in your outdoor kitchen will be there when you need to rinse off dishes, utensils, fruits, or vegetables instead of making a trip inside. Thankfully, installing a countertop sink somewhere off the side of your main cooking area is simple.

You can’t go wrong with stainless steel for your outdoor sink because it’s easy to clean, weather- and rust-resistant, and can handle potential dents from cookware. If you wash your pans outside, you should get a pull-out sprayer for your faucet.

Outdoor Lights and Fans

Sunlight and oxygen are essential to life, like lights and fans are essential to a kitchen. Having lights and fans in your outdoor kitchen makes cooking better than campfire cooking because you can see and you don’t sweat. Fans are great for keeping your eyes smoke-free while you grill, cooling you down, and keeping bugs off your food.

Experts recommend that you maintain the same lighting standards in your outdoor kitchen that you would have for an indoor kitchen because cooking can be dangerous if you can’t see. Installing some simple recessed lights can tie your entire outdoor space together. If you want to accessorize, add some accent, cabinet, and underfoot lighting.

Turn Key Does it All.

Looking for a custom-built outdoor kitchen that has everything your inner chef needs? Turn Key Pools & Patios will work with you on all design aspects and help you choose the best outdoor kitchen necessities.

Apply today and get started on your new custom outdoor kitchen! We offer low-interest rates and quick approvals. Visit

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