Going out for drinks is one thing… But what if we told you there was a way to bring that authentic bar experience to your very own backyard?
What is it?
A kegerator for outdoor kitchens.
That’s right… When you include a kegerator in your outdoor kitchen design, you can enjoy ice cold draft beverages whenever you want, right from the comfort of your own patio.
And the best part? You don’t even have to worry about picking up empty cans and bottles when the party’s over.
Sounds pretty incredible, right?
If your interest is piqued, stay tuned for some kegerator brands.
But first, let’s discuss what this unique appliance is, and how to make sure you’re getting the perfect kegerator for outdoor kitchen.
What is a Kegerator for Outdoor Kitchen, Exactly?
Of course, we all know what a refrigerator is…
And a keg is a small, pressurized barrel with a valve used for storing and dispensing beverages.
Simply put, a kegerator is a refrigerator specially designed to store and keep kegs cool.
Kegerators use one or more taps to dispense beverages… They’re commonly known as beer dispensers, though they can be used for plenty of other drinks (wine and cold brew coffee, for instance).
These appliances are most commonly used in commercial bars and restaurants… But there are some options intended for residential use.
A kegerator for an outdoor kitchen is one such example of this… These are designed to fit under the countertop of a BBQ island, with the tap sitting on top of the counter for easy serving.
Having an outdoor kitchen with beer tap would certainly elevate your BBQ parties…
So if you’re interested in including a kegerator in your outdoor living space… You’ll want to make sure it’s suited to your wants and needs, and will hold up.
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Important Considerations for your Outdoor Kegerator
As with any outdoor appliance, you’ll want to be confident that the kegerator you buy is a worthwhile investment.
To choose the perfect one… There are a few considerations to keep in mind.
Will Your Kegerator be Freestanding or Built in?
You can either choose to build a kegerator into an outdoor kitchen, or have a freestanding setup.
This configuration has a number of benefits… For starters, your kegerator will be protected from the hot sun, so it won’t have to overwork itself to maintain a cool internal temperature.
As well as this, having a kegerator built into a kitchen island alongside other appliances will create a cohesive spot for an outdoor bar setup. This would certainly make hosting more enjoyable!
The only catch here is… You’ll want to ensure that your patio has proper drainage to keep standing water away from your kegerator, since it runs on electricity (this would obviously be a safety concern)!
If you already have an outdoor kitchen, or simply want a kegerator that you can easily move around… There are also freestanding outdoor kegerators. These typically stand on casters or leveling legs, and the dispenser will stick directly out of the top.
Either way… You’ll want to make sure the kegerator you choose is built to work outdoors.
Make Sure Your Kegerator is Rated for Outdoor Use
Ensuring your kegerator is rated for outdoor use is vital!
As with outdoor refrigerators… A kegerator outdoors will have a few major differences from an indoor one. You definitely cannot use an indoor kegerator outside!
Let’s see how an outdoor rated kegerator differs.
Outdoor Kegerator Temperature Regulation
You’ll want to enjoy cool drinks at the peak of summer… And when it gets cold, the last thing you’d want is for your kegerator to freeze over.
To allow for this, an outdoor kegerator will need to function properly in fluctuating temperature conditions.
To combat temperature variation, outdoor kegerators are built with heavy duty compressors.
As well as this, they will have better insulation to allow for internal temperature regulation, no matter how hot or cold it gets.
Indoor kegerators, on the other hand, are not built to withstand significant environmental changes… If used outdoors, they’d quickly overwork themselves.
Kegerator for Outdoor Kitchen Electrical Components
The wiring and electric components on an outdoor kegerator should also be designed to hold up to the elements.
This is particularly important since water exposure and flooding is much more of a risk outdoors!
We all know that when water and electricity mix… It doesn’t end well.
To reduce the risk of electrocution, outdoor kegerator wires have extra insulation.
As well as this, the wires tend to be built a bit higher on the kegerator, to better keep them away from standing water.
Outdoor Kegerator Ventilation
Ventilation is another important consideration for your outdoor kegerator.
If a kegerator has vents on the back or side… Building a kegerator into an outdoor kitchen would inhibit airflow, and cause the appliance to malfunction.
This obviously wouldn’t be ideal… Which is why most kegerators for outdoor kitchens have front vents.
Of course, with a freestanding kegerator… This isn’t really a concern. As long as the vents aren’t snug against a wall, functionality won’t be affected.
The Best Material for your Outdoor Kegerator
Last but not least… High quality outdoor kegerators should be built with materials that’ll withstand the elements.
The best outdoor kegerators will be made with full 304 stainless steel construction. This will hold rust and corrosion at bay, and keep your kegerator working (and looking) great!
If an outdoor kegerator isn’t made with 304 stainless steel… It may not hold up as long as you’d like, so it’s important to confirm materials used!
Alright, now that we’ve covered some key considerations for ensuring your kegerator is outdoor rated… Let’s talk about how large it should be.
Kegerators come in a few standard sizes.
There are sixth, quarter, and half barrel kegs… And sixth, quarter, and half barrel kegerators to hold them!
Sixth barrels are the smallest… These have a 5.16 gallon capacity, and can hold up to 56, 12 ounce servings.
Quarter barrels are next in line, with a 7.75 gallon capacity (which equates to 82, 12 ounce servings).
Half barrels are the largest, at 15.5 gallons. They can hold a whopping 165, 12 ounce servings!
Now, you can use smaller kegs in larger kegerators (for instance, you could use a sixth quarter keg in a quarter barrel kegerator)… So you’ll really only be limited if you choose a kegerator that’s too small.
Really, the size of kegerator you choose depends on a few factors… Such as how many people you’re planning to host at a time, how much space you have in your outdoor kitchen layout, and how big your budget is.
But if you do opt for a kegerator that can hold multiple kegs… Another consideration is how many taps you’ll need.
How Many Taps Do You Need?
A large, half barrel kegerator has the capacity to hold multiple sixth barrel kegs… Which means you won’t be limited to serving just one brew!
Well, if you have multiple taps, that is.
If you’re a big fan of one type of draft beer and that type only… A single tap kegerator will allow you to serve just one beverage at a time.
But if you want to serve multiple beverages, you should consider a dual tap kegerator!
Generally, outdoor kegerators tap out at two taps (though you may find a few triple tap options, they’re not as common)… But even a double tap kegerator will boost versatility.
Again, the amount of taps on your kegerator comes down to your personal wants and needs.
Now, how much will an outdoor kegerator cost?
How Much Does an Outdoor Kegerator Cost?
Before we get to the different brands… Let’s talk about how much you can expect to spend on an outdoor kegerator.
There are a number of factors that influence total cost…
First, let’s see how utilities may impact pricing.
Kegerators Need Electricity
We touched on this earlier… But kegerators need electricity to function. This means you’ll need access to electricity in your backyard!
Now, if you already have outdoor utility lines installed, or if you’ll simply be plugging a freestanding kegerator into an existing outdoor outlet… You’re good to go!
But if not, you’ll need to have an electrician run lines to power your outdoor kitchen kegerator.
This process won’t be too involved… It shouldn’t take longer than a few hours. But you will have to spend a bit more to make your kegerator for outdoor kitchen functional.
On average, electricians cost $50-$100 per hour (before factoring in materials)... So make sure this expense isn’t omitted from your budget!
Outdoor Kegerator Class
Lastly, depending on how much money you want to splurge on the kegerator itself… There are a few different classes you can choose from.
These classes include economy, premium, and luxury kegerators.
Economy kegerators are the least expensive option… But these don’t tend to be the best for outdoor use, so we generally wouldn’t recommend looking for a kegerator in this category.
On the other hand, premium kegerators are typically made with higher quality materials, come in a variety of sizes, and are more than sufficient at serving their intended purpose. These tend to cost anywhere from $2,000.00 to $5,000.00.
Luxury kegerators are much the same… But these will have more special features and unique add-ons. If you’re a keg enthusiast with a bigger budget (over $5,000.00)… You really can’t go wrong with a luxury kegerator!
That being said, the average homeowner is looking for a high quality, cost effective solution, which a premium kegerator would certainly provide.
Alright… With all of these considerations in mind, it’s time to take a look at some specific kegerator for outdoor kitchen brands!
The perfect outdoor bar
Outdoor Kitchen Kegerator Brands
If you’re in the market for an outdoor kegerator… Let’s take a look at some popular options!
Kegco Outdoor Kegerator
Temperature Range: 32 – 59 degrees
Warranty: 5 years for compressor and 1 year for all other components
First on our list is Kegco’s 24” outdoor kegerator.
This kegerator is large enough to hold a half barrel keg (or multiple smaller kegs).
There are a few options for customization, here…
It can either have a right or left hinge… And it can have up to three taps!
With a front vent design, the Kegco kegerator can be used as a freestanding appliance, or safely built into a summer kitchen.
A powerful compressor keeps internal temperatures between 32 and 59 degrees, and even cooling throughout will prevent foamy drinks.
Other special features include an interior light, a digital temperature display, a locking door, and wire shelves for converting the kegerator into an outdoor refrigerator.
As well as this, a CO2 tank is included (which you’ll need to dispense beverages)!
This kegerator is made with full stainless steel construction for the interior and exterior… But the grade used isn’t specified. If it’s not 304… It may be susceptible to rust and corrosion. It’s worth checking on this with Kegco!
There’s a five year warranty on the compressor, and a one year warranty on all other components.
Currently, you can get a single tap Kegco outdoor kegerator for $2,299.00.
Summerset Outdoor Dual Tap Beer Dispenser
Temperature Range: 32 -50 degrees
Warranty: 3 years for construction materials and compressor, and 1 year for electrical components
Let’s talk about Summerset’s 25” outdoor rated single tap kegerator.
With a spacious interior capacity, this kegerator can hold up to a half barrel keg!
Plus, you’ll have the option to include either a single or double tap.
As with the other kegerators on our list… Summerset’s features front vents and leveling legs for either under-counter or freestanding use.
A forced cooling system keeps temperatures between 32 and 50 degrees Fahrenheit… Which you can easily adjust via a digital thermostat.
While there’s a safety lock included… It doesn’t appear that this kegerator has any interior lighting.
Concerning materials, the exterior is full 304 stainless steel construction, and the interior is made of hammered aluminum.
A three year warranty covers the construction materials and compressor, and all electrical components are covered for one year.
Currently, you can get a single tap Summerset kegerator for $3,360.00.
DCS Outdoor Rated Dual Tap Kegerator
Temperature Range: 34 – 46 degrees
Warranty: 5 years for refrigeration system and all other components are 2 years
Truth be told, most high quality outdoor kegerators fall firmly in the luxury class.
So, the latter half of our list will be a review of luxury kegerators!
We’ll start our discussion of deluxe kegerators with the DCS 24” dual tap kegerator.
This kegerator can have either a left or right hinge, and up to two taps.
The interior is large enough to hold a half barrel keg, or multiple quarter or sixth barrels.
As with the other options we discussed… DCS’s kegerator features digital temperature control, front venting, a safety lock, a heavy duty forced air compressor (for temperatures between 34 – 46 degrees).
It appears that the plastic interior is lit by two LED white lights.
Also included is a CO2 tank, as well as a CO2 regulator.
What sets this kegerator apart from the others we’ve discussed is a special active fault system alarm. If the door is left open or the temperature goes outside of the normal range, it will conveniently alert you!
As for the build… The exterior is an unknown grade of stainless steel. It’s worthwhile to check with DCS if it’s 304 stainless!
The refrigeration system will be covered by a five year warranty, while all other components are backed for two years.
Price wise, the dual tap kegerator goes for $5,199.00.
Perlick C-Series Two Tap Outdoor Kegerator
Temperature Range: 33 – 48 degrees
Warranty: Kegerator covered for 6 years
The next luxury kegerator on our list is Perlick’s C-Series outdoor beverage dispenser.
This option has the most room for customization yet! You can choose between a left or right hinge, one or two taps, a door with or without a lock, as well as a wood panel or stainless steel door finish!
This 24” kegerator is a bit smaller… It can hold one quarter or two sixth barrels.
Again, a front ventilation system means you can either build the Perlick kegerator into an outdoor kitchen, or have it as a freestanding appliance.
The heavy duty forced air compressor keeps the interior between 33 and 48 degrees Fahrenheit. As with all the other kegerators on our list, there’s a digital thermometer if you need to adjust the temperature.
Similar to the DCS kegerator, this option also has a convenient door alarm system to alert you of abnormal temperature fluctuation.
The interior and exterior components are stainless steel… But again, the grade is not specified.
However, Perlick does offer the most robust warranty. This kegerator is covered for six years!
As for price, you can purchase a two tap kegerator with a panel ready wood finish for $5,280.00
Fire Magic Outdoor Rated Kegerator
Temperature Range: Not clear
Warranty: 3 year warranty
Fire Magic also offers a luxury outdoor rated kegerator.
Their 24” dual tap kegerator can hold a half, quarter, or multiple sixth barrel beer kegs.
Two removable shelves are included if you’re using smaller barrels, or for conversion to an outdoor refrigerator.
As with the other luxury options, this undercounter kegerator includes front vents, digital temperature controls, an audio alarm system, and a safety lock.
A CO2 tank and regulator are also included!
Unfortunately, there’s not much more information available on this kegerator. We can’t say for sure what the interior looks like, and its temperature range isn’t clear.
It appears to be made with full stainless steel… But as with many of the other options, there are no further details on the grade used.
Fire Magic offers a three year warranty on most of their outdoor kitchen accessories, and we’re assuming that the kegerator would fall in this category.
At the time of writing, this kegerator costs $6,257.00
Hestan Outdoor Kitchen Draft Beer Dispenser
Temperature Range: Not clear
Warranty: 3 year warranty
Last but not least… Hestan’s 24” single or double tap beer dispenser.
This outdoor kitchen keg cooler can hold one quarter barrel, or two sixth barrels.
A forced air compressor coupled with heavy duty insulation ensures temperatures stay between 33 and 42 degrees Fahrenheit… And temperature can be toggled with a digital control pad.
Adjustable legs and a front vent make this kegerator easy to build in (or it can be used as a freestanding appliance).
While there is a safety lock, this kegerator is lacking a door alarm.
Hestan claims that the stainless steel construction on this outdoor rated kegerator will provide long lasting durability… But they neglect to state the grade used. If you’re interested in this kegerator, you should check on this!
That being said, there’s only a two year warranty covering this kegerator… Which you can purchase for $6,729.00 (for a single tap dispenser).
Well, that wraps up our list of outdoor kegerators!
Hopefully we’ve given you some ideas to mull over.
But if you need an additional nudge… Let’s see if there’s a kegerator that stands out as an overall best recommendation.
The Final Verdict
Of the kegerators we discussed… Pretty much all of them are on an even playing field.
Of course, you get a few more bells and whistles with some of the luxury offerings… But you’ll also have to pay thousands of dollars more for these!
If you do have the budget to splurge on a luxury kegerator… The Perlick option stands out.
Though it is a bit smaller… You get all the great features of the other kegerators, the most options for customization, and the longest warranty!
But if you’re looking for something a bit less expensive… The Summerset kegerator pulls slightly ahead of the other premium option.
There’s really no major differences between this kegerator and the others… But it’s the only one that we can say for sure is made with 304 stainless steel!
Really, depending on how much you’re willing to spend (and what special features you’re looking for)… Any of these kegerators may fit your needs!
But before you start shopping… Let us suggest a solution for getting the most from your outdoor kegerator.
Get the Full Bar Experience with an Outdoor Kitchen
So you’re getting a new kegerator… Now you just need the perfect kitchen island to pair it with.
Well, we have a solution for you!
An RTA outdoor kitchen would be a super simple, convenient way to get the full bar experience in your backyard… All in one spot.
With RTA… You’ll be able to take charge of your outdoor kitchen with our free and easy to use online design tool.
You can tailor everything to fit your specific wants and needs, from finish, to layout and dimensions… It’s all up to you!
As well as your brand new under-counter kegerator… You can include an outdoor kitchen bar with seating, and any other appliances (like an ice maker, a Coyote gas grill, Alfa pizza oven, or whatever else your heart desires…) to give your outdoor space full functionality.
And once your kitchen is planned out… We’ll ship it directly to you, ready to assemble. This means it’ll come 95% complete, and all you’ll have to do is set it up, slide in your appliances, and enjoy the new addition to your backyard design!
We won’t hold you up.. You’ll be able to use your outdoor kitchen beer tap in no time!
If you’re interested and want to learn more, you can check out our Learning Hub!
And when you’re ready to take the next step, we’ll be here to help.
Need Help With Your Plans?
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If a kegerator is rated for outdoor use, you can use it outside.
Outdoor rated kegerators are built to properly function in a wide range of temperatures, have insulated wiring to protect electric components from the elements, and are typically built with higher quality materials to better hold up to the elements.
If you’re a big beer or draft beverage enthusiast with a larger budget, a kegerator may be worth splurging on!
With a kegerator in your outdoor kitchen, you can have your very own bar in your backyard.
Outdoor rated kegerators should function in a variety of temperature conditions… Though in the colder winter months, you should consider investing in an appliance cover to protect it from harsh weather, and extend its longevity.