13 Outdoor Kitchen Essentials to Use All Summer Long

Outfit your outdoor space to entertain through the summer and beyond.

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Weber Spirit II E-210 2-Burner Liquid Propane Grill
Amazon

Whether you're throwing backyard shindigs, grilling a feast for the family, or enjoying cocktails on the patio, a few necessities (and luxuries) will make your slice of the outdoors a summer haven. For those who love firing up the grill, outdoor cooking upgrades like a wood-fired pizza oven or a smoking system offer more reasons to cook outside. Patio furniture is a must. Additions like insulated drink coolers, outdoor bar carts, unbreakable glasses, and solar-powered umbrellas can also streamline al fresco gatherings. Read on for more of our favorite outdoor kitchen essentials for everything from grilling to chilling.

Our Top Picks

Spark Grill Essentials Package

spark grill essentials package
Courtesy of Spark

For a charcoal-fired option that's top of the line in looks and performance, invest in the Spark Grill Essentials Package. Flip burgers in style with your choice of a black, navy, or sage green kettle, made from double-walled porcelain enamel. With a turn dial for easy temperature adjustment and temperature probes connected to the kettle for accurate reads, you can cook anything from pulled pork low and slow at 250 degrees Fahrenheit to Neapolitan-style pizzas at its max temperature of 900 degrees Fahrenheit. Not to mention, compact and compostable charcoal bricks made with a natural wood blend spare you from cleaning up ash.

Weber Spirit II E-210

weber spirit ii e 210
Courtesy of Amazon

Also available at Home Depot and Best Buy.

Not all propane grills are built alike, but the Weber Spirit II E-210 scores top marks for its durable, reliable construction. Its porcelain-coated cast-iron grates and enameled lid retain heat and are easy to clean. With a small footprint, it won't dominate an outdoor space. With a fold-down side table and open cart design, however, it still provides enough space for the usual tasks. Other features include a built-in lid thermometer, fuel gauge, and stainless steel heat deflector.

Camp Chef Woodwind Pellet Grill and Smoker

camp chef woodwind pellet grill and smoker
Courtesy of Camp Chef

Dabble in smoking, or go all in, with this grill from Camp Chef. The souped-up Woodwind Pellet Grill and Smoker offers WiFi remote-controlled temperature and smoke precision that can be a total game changer. Double-stacked cooking racks offer plenty of room for everything from smoking whole briskets to chickens to vegetables simultaneously. The handy visual wood pellet display lets you know when you're running low, but just in case, WiFi controls keep you updated on temperature settings and more via a visual display or your phone. Plus, with an option to add a flat top grill for any last-minute food prep needs, the Woodwind is easy to clean.

Ooni Karu 12 Multi-Fuel Pizza Oven

ooni karu 12 multi fuel pizza oven
Courtesy of Amazon

Also available at Williams Sonoma and REI.

The Ooni Karu 12 Multi-Fuel Pizza Oven offers the best of all worlds with the option to use firewood, charcoal, or gas (though gas is an add-on) to fire up pizza and more. Its engineering is solid with a ceramic fiber core and stainless steel body. Speedy from beginning to end, this model heats up to 950 degrees Fahrenheit in just 15 minutes (the perfect amount of time to roll out a bunch of pizza dough) thanks to its excellent insulation. As it cooks in about 60 seconds, stand by with your pizza slicer. While some trial and error may be necessary to figure out how to cook that pizza fully without burning parts of it to a crisp, the results are worthwhile.

Camp Chef Highline 6-Burner Portable Propane Gas Grill

camp chef highline 6 burner portable propane gas grill
Courtesy of Camp Chef

If you don't want to limit grilling to your backyard, this portable propane grill from Camp Chef boasts all of the bells and whistles with the bonuses of being easy to transport and clean. This model neatly folds into a flat panel, so it's just as easy to head out to the beach, the park, the campsite, or even a friend's backyard for extra reinforcement. It comes loaded with six adjustable burners and two additional folding shelves for easy prep and use.

Made In Blue Carbon Steel Grill Pan

made in blue carbon steel grill pan
Courtesy of Made In

Whether you're building an outdoor kitchen from scratch or upgrading your grilling area, consider adding this Made In grill pan to your collection. Made in France from blue carbon steel, which is both live-fire safe and incredibly heat conductive, the 62 holes intentionally spaced and punched into the bottom allow for direct flame contact without the worry of food falling through the grill grates. The perforations, alongside the steel, make this pan lighter than a cast iron skillet for easier movement.

RovR Products RollR 80 Cooler

rovr products rollr 80 cooler
Courtesy of Amazon

Also available at REI.

Outfit the porch, patio, or campsite with the ultimate portable cooler for easy entertaining all summer long. With an insulated foam core that keeps contents cool for up to 10 days, as well as extra attachments to load on gear or even attach the unit to a bike, this wheeled cooler can take you from beach picnic to backyard. A separate internal compartment is dedicated to keeping dry foods dry. Not to mention, campers will appreciate this cooler's bear-resistant double padlock.

Barware Authority Unbreakable Glass

barware authority unbreakable glass
Courtesy of Amazon

The only thing better than a chilled glass of rosé is an unbreakable wine glass that's ready for a refill. Made from durable, BPA-free Tritan plastic, these glasses are designed to be used around the pool and loaded into the dishwasher. And with a feel that's remarkably like real glass, these vessels may end up in your kitchen all year.

Boska Ultimate Cheese Board

boska ultimate cheese board
Courtesy of Williams Sonoma

Host all summer long with the Ultimate Cheese Board from Boska, a Netherlands-based company that specializes in cheese-making tools. This gorgeous oak serving board has a hidden compartment for cheese knives, and it comes with five full-size and five mini stainless steel knives. Whether you're serving semi-firm crumbles, soft and gooey triple crémes, or hard Cheddar, you'll find the right knife here.

West Elm Playa Outdoor Furniture

west elm playa outdoor furniture
Courtesy of West Elm

When it comes to summer lounging, comfortable but durable patio furniture makes all the difference. Sun and rain will make new pieces look old quickly, but weather-resistant fabrics in neutral colors will stand up to summer storms for years to come. West Elm's sleek, Scandinavian-inspired Playa line features ​​solid eucalyptus and mahogany wood frames and all-weather polyester cushions with zip-off covers. With a sectional, armchairs, and table available, this patio set would make a seamless entry into entertaining.

Jaxx Ponce Outdoor Bean Bag Chair

jaxx ponce outdoor bean bag chair
Courtesy of Amazon

Also available at Brookstone and Wayfair.

Get ready for serious downtime by sinking into this squishy but sturdy bean bag chair. The Jaxx Ponce Outdoor Bean Bag Chair is a plush patio dream, from daytime relaxation to cocktail hour. This isn't the classic bean bag chair you slumped into as a kid. Covered in fade- and weather-resistant fabric and filled with polystyrene beads, this chair supports your spine and molds to your body for the utmost comfort. And at 15 pounds, it's lightweight enough to tote inside after the summer.

Calhoun 7-Piece Dining Set

calhoun 7 piece dining set
Courtesy of Front Gate

If you have the space, why not lean into an outdoor-ready dining table and chair set? When you have furniture in place, parties are easier to plan. This set from Calhoun includes a table with a sophisticated teak top and powder-coated aluminum base and six chairs made of the same materials. The furniture feels lightweight but substantial, and removable upholstered cushions provide the comfort and ease you want when chatting over dessert late into the night.

Hampton Bay 11-Foot Solar LED Offset Outdoor Patio Umbrella

hampton bay 11 foot solar led offset outdoor patio umbrella
Courtesy of Home Depot

While the sun can be a bummer for patio furniture, those pesky rays give you a great reason to invest in a patio umbrella. Better yet, go with a solar-powered patio umbrella that serves the dual functions of protecting from the sun during the day and providing light at night. This 11-foot umbrella from Hampton Bay is lined with 40 little LED lights, which charge all day via a solar panel at the top of the umbrella.

Conclusion

Stocking your outdoor space with a few new essentials – from a pizza oven to patio furniture to a grill pan – can make entertaining simpler, more comfortable, and more pleasant overall.

Our Expertise

Alissa Fitzgerald is a chef, recipe developer, and food writer with over 15 years of experience in the food industry, including live-fire cooking and entertaining. She used her insights, expertise, and market research to curate this list.

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