Whether it’s a small patio or large deck, having an outdoor entertaining space can easily translate into a spring and summer full of fun. All you need is some warm weather and a group of family and friends and you’ve got a recipe for success. If you really want to take your outdoor gatherings up a notch, adding a few helpful outdoor appliances is the way to go.
Here are our 5 must-haves for outfitting your outdoor space:
1. Outdoor Beverage Refrigerator
When you’re lounging in the sun, staying hydrated is important. Whether your party drink of choice is water or beer, you probably want it to be cold rather than warm. Consider the benefits of having a beverage refrigerator in your outdoor space.
A beverage refrigerator allows you to serve guests an array of beverages, all chilled to your desired temperature. When looking for a beverage refrigerator to use outside, be sure that it is approved for outdoor use. If it’s intended for indoor use only, the unit will likely never reach temperatures low enough to chill your drinks and its lifespan will be significantly shortened. Many outdoor-approved beverage refrigerators are fully wrapped in durable stainless steel.
2. Outdoor Kegerator
Tired of making that inevitable beer run every time you throw a party? If you and your friends love to drink beer when together, a kegerator would be the perfect addition to your outdoor space. A kegerator eliminates the need to leave, and even if you’re already accustomed to buying kegs rather than cans, a kegerator removes all of the hassles of hand pumps and trash cans filled with ice.
An outdoor kegerator is designed to keep your beer fresher and colder for longer, regardless of weather conditions. Outdoor-approved kegerators are typically fully wrapped and insulated in a durable material, such as stainless steel.
Also, look for models with a cooled tower. In between uses, beer will be left sitting in the beer line within the tower. If this area isn’t also kept cool, your first pour will be a hot, foamy one.
3. Outdoor Ice Maker
If making margaritas or other blended drinks is more your thing, then having ice on demand is a must. Bagged ice is a hassle to obtain and melts quickly, making a mess. Traipsing in and out of your house to retrieve ice from inside can also be quite the hassle and create quite a mess.
Outdoor ice makers produce ice automatically, so you and your guests have plenty of fresh ice to go around. From frozen Piña Coladas to lemonade, ice is an essential drink component you don’t want to be caught without.
If you’re partial to a particular type of ice, you’ll want to look for an outdoor ice maker that accommodates that. The most prevalent ice types available in an outdoor unit are clear cubed ice and clear crescent shaped ice.
4. Outdoor Grills
No party is complete without food. Outdoor grilling is more than a summer party staple; it’s one of America’s traditional pastimes. Burgers, hot dogs, steaks, and BBQ – all quintessential summer foods – are best when cooked over a fire. Think of the last outdoor gathering you attended that didn’t involve some form or fashion of grilled food. It’s tough to do, isn’t it?
Whether it’s a small charcoal or a top-of-the-line gas, your outdoor space needs a grill. Small charcoal grills are perfect for that small patio area or for on-the-go use. You’ll be able to grill at home, while camping, or at tailgates. Gas grills with all the bells and whistles may not have the same versatility, but they do offer unparalleled grilling capabilities.
Gas grills like those offered by Napoleon, have a multitude of add-ons and included accessories. Your inner chef will be more than content with all of the side burners, rotisseries, cutting boards, and many other helpful additions available for attachment to your grill. You can choose between stand-alone models with mobility casters or built-in models, perfect for that custom kitchen feel.
5. Fire Pit or Patio Heater
Parties typically come to an end when the sun starts its descent and temperatures begin to drop. With a strategically placed patio heater or fire pit in your outdoor space, that doesn’t have to be the case for your party.
Fire pits offer warmth and ambiance to your gathering. They are also a fantastic central focal point, bringing people together. Fire pits range from small to large and their designs range from rugged and rustic to rather luxurious and ornate. You’re sure to find one that both fits comfortably and stylistically complements your space. There are even models that help you rep your alma mater.
Patio heaters are more utilitarian and, rather than being a focal point, are meant to serve a purpose without getting in the way. They are designed to look and function similarly to a large lamp, giving off heat rather than light. The amount of warmth offered by a patio heater is very impressive. You and your guests will be kept comfortable no matter how chilly the weather gets.
Whether you’re custom building an entire outdoor kitchen or just looking to spruce up your patio, consider the benefit of adding 1 or all 5 of these must-haves to your outdoor space. No ounce of warm weather will go to waste, and you’ll be deemed entertainer extraordinaire.
There are some hazards to making your outdoor entertaining area this convenient, fun, and accommodating, though: You will have a very, very, very hard time getting guests to leave, and your indoor kitchen may begin to feel neglected.
Consider yourself warned.