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donna : just some things to think about. side burner,(dont like micros for heating side dishes) wash basian hot and cold,(some nice instant hot water devices out there) plenty of counter top,small refer, blues box(music), some form of shelter, fixed or temp, table and chairs for at least 6 to 8, soft night lights,amerique and fe some distance apart so quests think your working hard lol, electric fence to keep yourself save. the hardest part will be the lay out on the deck. the best ideas will come after you have finished the project. hope i didnt throw any wrenches in your ideas. paul outdoor fire place?
Hi Donna, I'm brand new to the Forum, and will be ordering a CS this week (still trying to decide which one is best sized and function).

I built an outdoor kitchen last year and love it. Spaerib's suggestions are all good. I would add a couple other thoughts.

Lighting is really important. For some reason I always end up finishing up something in the dark! We're in So. California, so outdoor parties go late here. I have rope lighting hidden around my kitchen area: Grill, double-side burners (big flame), storage, fridge, and sink. Also lit around the seating areas and lit umbrellas.

I also built a mammoth fireplace with raised hearth so that people can sit and have the fire at the right height. Makes a terrific glowy light for the evening. Lights up most of the yard. I used a stainless steel (outdoor) drop in unit and then designed around it with travertine base and 'lime-coat,' 'venetian plaster' top. Well worth the time and money to put one in. We've really enjoyed it a lot.

Adequate 'flat space' for people to congregate, sit, walk around, put drinks and appetizers on countertops (my cook area has extra wide top so there's room for my cooking, plus space for guests to lean, etc.)

And MOST important, that I wouldn't have thought about, but I had a barbecuer/designer advise me, is to situate your kitchen so that your back is not to your guests. Situate it like you would a 'bar' inside your house and you can keep up conversations and entertaining while you work. What a difference that makes. No, you aren't showing off all the pretty knobs and the burst of flame from the grill, but it really makes entertaining easier. I set mine out from the side fence about six feet so that I could walk back there to 'battle station.' It's in an 'L' configuration with the sink at the end of the 'L.' Makes for a large countertop area at the corner for people to hang out, too. I may drill that and put in a shade umbrella there this year.

Lots more I could share, but unsure how much space I ought to be taking on the Forum site.

I'm really looking forward to getting my CS. Unfortunately, I already have the kitchen installed, and I can't figure space enough to build it in. It will have to sit at the side. My original notion was to try to rig it into the side of the fireplace which I thought would be way cool, but I think I'll settle for free-standing.

Looking forward to meeting you all in the Forums.

...Oh, and (sorry this is an afterthought)...I built the two units (cook area and fireplace) out of the 'steel' 2x4's, mounted concrete board onto that, left spaces for each of the appliances (grill, burners, frigde, sink, storage lockers), and then stuccoed the bottom portion, painted to match the house, and then plywood on top and then travertine tiles for the countertop. Same sort of scenario for the fireplace, except plywood for some of the top curves, 'hips', etc. and then the finishes on top of that. Hope this all helps.

One thing that a designer might not think about is some non stainable/easy cleanable surface under and around the cookers.

All of us that keep them on patios have to think about that-or the spouse has us sleeping out with our cookers. Roll Eyes

You might also want to have a stack on your FEC,like Smokin' uses, to keep smoke above your guests.
Last edited by tom
For an ooutdoor kitchen I would go with a nice stainless gas grill cooktop integrated into the outdoor counter. When grilling and smoking you will need some sort of ventilation. It could be as fancy as a range hood, or a remote mounted fan.
Lighting would be up on my list also. Need to see what you're cooking.

Wow! What great suggestions! Thousand Oakie, thanks for your long description; it's not too long, you've included great information in it.I had not even thought about lighting. I am meeting with the contractor in an hour and thanks to you folks, I am going to have a much more complete list in hand.

Keep the suggestions coming -- we can all learn from this.

This forum is the best!
Hi Donna,

For cabinet, sink base, grill base I can only recommend stainless and the best place for that is Lasertron Direct for standard sizes bases or cabinets, they also do custom and are great people to deal with. Checkout the Link and go to the Outdoor Photo Gallery for some great ideas.

For the grill, DCS (Dynamic Cooking Systems) is probably the finest built in grill, but can also get with a cart if you desire mobility (I got the cart for mine, but the grill unit can be built in later). Lasertron can build a base to accept it in your layout. If your grill/smoke area is under a roof, I would highly recommed a range hood at least 700 CFM or greater, as the smoke will foul any ceiling material quickly (experienced).

ULine, Monogram (GE), Franklin Chef, and others have Outdoor rated refrigerators. I have both the Monogram and the Franklin Chef and they are great. The Monogram is all stainless and the Franklin Chef is stainless with dual thermo glass doors and two individually controled side-by-side lighted compartments (much cheaper than the Monogram too, check them out at

What's better than granite for the counters, but stainless would work great there too.

Don't forget a point-of-use water heater for hot water in the sink.

Post the pics when you get it done, would love to see it.
Last edited by Former Member
I agree with Magic Dragon on the DCS grills. They are sweet!

They use heavy guage S/S. Their rotis. have lights for night time viewing. They have ceramic rod inserts that distribute the heat more evenly. Best of all they are made in the U.S. of A. just like your great product!

The 36" model has some features that make it worth the extra price over the 30" model. The rotis. is heavier duty, the racks are 2- way heavy duty cast iron instead of the heavy duty wire racks.
Now, this could start a l e n g t h y discussion, but everybody seems to have their own personal likes and dislikes about grills.

I agree that the DCS is well-built, made in U.S., good product, BUT (and here's where it all starts) my personal preference is a LUXOR grill. It is all infrared ceramic, high output burners with terrific control. Nearly immediately hot, and WAY hot if you want steaks like 'I' on the outside mooing on the inside. Also sturdy, all stainless, US made, etc.

Just something to look into and a 'heads-up' so to speak. (I'd always had a TEC before with same burner set up, which I was crazy about, too, but LUXOR is better built, better warranty, etc...and not a wallet-breaker, though unfortunately, far from cheap)

For what it's worth.

Hi Donna,
Lots of good suggestions so will just give a little run down on my outdoor kitchen. I have the Amerique ( love it ) I have a SS bbq from Sams, it has a rotis. and now that I have the Amerique thats about all I use it for. Maybe a steak now and then on the infra red burner. Fridge is a summit 3 drawer model SP6DSSTB-OS. Works great can keep meat away from drinks and condiments. GE 12" trash compactor. A 28" X 17" single bowl SS sink. Perfect size to lay the Amerique grates flat for an overnight soak. DCS 27" warming drawer model WD27SSOD, I use this all the time. DCS side burner, and my cabinets are from warever. These are made from marine grade polymer. Lots of lights, some on a dimmer to set the mood. Also have a fireplace like Thousand Oakie. SS insert finished with bluestone. Added a 42" flat panal tv which is great for game day, or just an evening of relaxing on the patio or in the pool. The only thing still on the wish list is a wood fired pizza oven. Good luck with your kitchen, they are definitely worth the money.


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