Whether you live in a condo or a single-family home in the suburbs, your indoor kitchen may not be spacious enough to hold your family and guests when you host events. 

To recreate those fond memories of a large group gathering tougher for Thanksgiving dinner, you may need to find another option. An outdoor kitchen could be the perfect fit!

If you’re considering having an outdoor kitchen installed in your yard or on your deck, the Nuenza interior designers have prepared a list of outdoor kitchen essentials to consider for your design layout.

outdoor kitchen on balcony in city

Outdoor Space

Keep in mind the purpose of outdoor kitchens: providing you flexibility to expand your usable space, something you’ll need when cooking and catering for many people. 

To do this well, choosing an appropriate location and layout of your grill and outdoor kitchen essentials is necessary. For example, if the kitchen is placed closer to the house, it will be easier to use the home’s utilities while benefiting from a wind barrier and overhang. However, setting up the outdoor kitchen close to the house can limit its design and size. 

Luckily, there are outdoor kitchen designs that create an entirely separate space from the home that can even include a bathroom and storage closet in addition to protection from the elements. You can also add appliances, sufficient counter space, and outdoor kitchen essentials much more easily to create a fully functioning kitchen.


The grill is often the star of every outdoor kitchen, making it a big decision that will influence the taste of the food and how easily you can cook with it. From burgers to rotisserie chicken to grilled vegetables, the culinary possibilities are endless! 

A standalone grill or one that is surrounded by counter space and outdoor kitchen essentials will always be the main attraction. Whether you’re new to outdoor cooking or can’t decide which type of grill to get, here are pros and cons for gas and charcoal grills:

Gas Grill

People love gas grills because:

  • Push-Button startup is fast and easy
  • Heat-up is quick
  • Cleaning is simple
  • You have more control over temperatures compared to charcoal grills
  • They are powered by a propane tank or a gas line, making them versatile

A gas grill is great for occasions where time is limited. However, gas grills aren’t always the perfect solution, and they do have some downsides:

  • Assembly can be tricky
  • Set-up to a gas line can be complicated (and expensive)
  • Users must always check the gas line or tank for leaks
  • The grill must be set up a minimum of 10 feet away from the home

person adding glaze to meat on grill

Charcoal Grill

Other people claim that a charcoal grill is better because:

  • They’re simple to use, making them perfect for first-time users
  • There are higher temperature settings compared to gas grills
  • Charcoal adds a smoky flavour you can’t get anywhere else
  • They’re more affordable compared to gas grills

With all of those good points, members of Team Charcoal can sometimes overlook the cons, which include the following:

  • The grill must be started up manually
  • Heat-up time is long, as much as 15-20 minutes
  • Fuel can be expensive, since the charcoal must be replaced after about three sessions
  • Cleaning can be a pain, as the ash must be emptied before the grill can be cleaned
  • They’re not environmentally friendly

Every outdoor kitchen owner must carefully consider their lifestyle and how tech-savvy they are when choosing the right grill. Feel free to speak with our interior designers for more information!

Outdoor Pizza Oven

A grill is often the heart of the outdoor kitchen, but not always. Some families can’t get enough pizza, so having a pizza oven right in their backyard is a no-brainer for them! If you spend a lot of money on pizza delivery, a pizza oven might be a great idea! 

Wood-burning pizza ovens are versatile. You can use them to smoke, bake, and roast other types of food, such as seafood, meats, and desserts. Also, having fresh pizza moments after it’s emerged from the oven can impress guests, and even make them jealous! But much like grills, there is the debate of whether a wood-burning oven or a gas oven is better. 

Wood-burning has a lot more work involved, such as building a fire, and with some models, having to wait about 90 minutes for it to heat up. The structure of a wood-burning model is also much larger than a gas-burning one. 

On the other hand, a gas model takes around 20 minutes to heat up with just the flip of a switch, and then cooking the pizza itself takes under 10 minutes. As for maintenance, the chimney of the wood-burning oven would need periodic cleaning to remove buildup, but a gas-burning model is low-maintenance. 

Sometimes the best idea is to have a mobile outdoor pizza oven, one that has wheels, and that can be integrated more easily into an outdoor design. Ask our interior designers for their best recommendations for your own layout.

outdoor pizza oven

Outdoor Fridge & Wine Refrigerator/Wine Cooler

No matter the occasion, when you’re busy cooking in your outdoor kitchen, you’re in a time crunch. Your ingredients must be nearby and kept cool for long periods. Complement your dream kitchen with an outdoor refrigerator, one of the key outdoor kitchen must-haves. It’s the place to store vegetables, your desserts made with secret recipes, and beverages for those scorching summer days. 

If you and your partner love wine and even collect it, a wine fridge or cooler is an outdoor kitchen essential for you! Wine is a fragile substance, so you want a special and convenient storage location. Having a wine cooler outside means fewer trips indoors that can result in broken glass.

With these essentials, you’re on your way to having a fabulous outdoor space!

Optimize Your Outdoor Cooking Experience with Nuenza

Our experts can help you narrow down the outdoor kitchen essentials that you need, from ambient lighting to electrical outlets to an ice maker to cooking utensils. 

Your outdoor kitchen space is your personalized oasis, and we’re going to make it beautiful and functional for years to come. Contact us today for more ideas and inquire about our Heston BBQs!