Low-Cost Outdoor Kitchen Alternatives
Get 11 ideas for putting together your own backyard cooking center without the cost of constructing an outdoor kitchen
Skip the expense of building out an outdoor kitchen by creating a grill station with these wallet-friendly items, from just $8.
Charcoal grills are making a comeback. Now you can get the classic kettle with major upgrades: Weber's Performer with gas ignition is set in a heavy-duty steel cart with a weatherproof work surface and tilt-out bin for charcoal—and has a spring-green enamel finish.
About $330; Crate & Barrel
Made from hardwood scraps, all-natural, chemical-free Cowboy Charcoal lights quicker, burns hotter, and leaves behind less ash than traditional briquets.
About $8 for an 8.8-pound bag; Ace Hardware
Add storage and prep space with a rolling stainless-steel-topped cart like the Polaris Kitchen Cart. Prolong the life of the rubberwood base with a preservative (such as TWP 100) to protect it from water and UV rays before taking it outside.
About $150; KMart
Smoke meat, fish, or even cheese at low temperatures in Meco's generously sized water smoker. Green or wet wood chunks set to burn atop the coals infuse the food with distinctive flavor.
About $130; Cooking.com
Mild or sharp cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese, cut into 4-oz. chunks
Fresh herbs, such as sage or tarragon, blanched and dried flat
Red pepper flakes
1. Wrap each cheese chunk in foil, shiny side out, leaving top open.
2. Press herbs into top of cheese, and sprinkle with a few red pepper flakes.
3. Get smoker going very low and slow. Add wood (try mesquite or hickory) to low-burning coals. Fill water pan.
4. Set foil-wrapped cheese on cooking grid; cover. Smoke for 30 to 60 minutes, checking often to ensure it doesn't melt.
5. Remove from smoker. Cool, unwrap, and serve.
No need for an outdoor fridge when you can keep drinks cool for hours in this insulated steel beverage tub. Use the bottom tray to keep glassware and bottle openers handy, or use the stand separately and load up both trays with plates, napkins, utensils, and BBQ condiments.
Tub, about $70, stand, about $100; Plow & Hearth
Escape the sun's rays beneath this roomy 9-foot round umbrella. Acrylic canvas
with built-in UV protection will keep the stripes vibrant for seasons to come.
Umbrella, about $80, base, about $40; Lowe's