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Outdoor Kitchen Storage: Cabinet Guide & 4 Excellent Ideas

By Jayme Muller

September 7, 2022

When you think about designing your outdoor kitchen… You’re probably focused on the coolest appliances… Fun accessories… And making sure there’s enough room for everyone at your cookouts!

While these are important considerations…

It’ll defeat the purpose of having an outdoor kitchen if you don’t have enough storage

After all… One of the main reasons to buy an outdoor kitchen is to have everything in one place while you cook outside!

If you’re reading this article… You’re probably curious about what the best outdoor kitchen storage options are… And how to make the most of your space.

l shaped outdoor kitchen with storage drawers and two kamado cookers

But before you get all the tips and tricks to maximizing your storage… Let’s learn about some of the storage options for your outdoor kitchen space.

You might not need all of these options in your island (although it may be tempting)… 

But this guide will help you figure out the best ones for your outdoor kitchen needs!

Quick Links:

Types of Outdoor Kitchen Storage

The first step of any decision process is to learn about your options!

Starting off with one of the most common storage options… Let’s talk about drawers.

Cabinet Drawers

rta outdoor kitchen cabinet drawers

Outdoor kitchen drawers are just like the kitchen drawers inside your house. They’re very straightforward.

Depending on how much space you need… You can get a set of double drawers to stack on top of each other… Or even triple drawers!

They’re the perfect outdoor kitchen cabinet storage for your summer kitchen’s cooking utensils and grill accessories.

Access Doors

access doors built into outdoor kitchen bar

Access doors are another popular addition to outdoor grill islands… And it’s easy to see why!

You can open these doors to get to the cavity inside of your outdoor kitchen island.

However… These doors aren’t actually for storage.

While you can put your liquid propane tank inside for your gas grill… They’re really more for checking on your utility lines inside your island!

Why is that important? 

You’ll need a way to get to your utility lines to service them… Especially in the case of an emergency.

An access door can also allow you to see parts of your built-in grill that would be hidden otherwise.

Whether you need to replace certain parts or diagnose an issue with your grill… It’s a useful feature.

Dry Storage Pantry

A dry storage pantry looks a lot like an access door from the outside. But on the inside… It has outdoor kitchen shelves and pull-out bins that can slide out for easy access.

You’ll find room for all kinds of different accessories… But the best feature is that it keeps water out.

These outdoor kitchen dry storage cabinets are sealed… And completely enclosed.

Some ideas of things you could store in a dry pantry are dry fuels (like charcoal for your kamado cooker or pellets for a pellet grill)… or any normal pantry items that don’t need refrigeration!

If you aren’t going to get separate drawers… An outdoor kitchen pantry cabinet is also a good spot to store your utensils and other grilling accessories for your outside kitchen.

dry pantry being used in outdoor kitchen

Warming Drawer

woman opening warming drawer in outdoor kitchen

You probably won’t be storing goods in your warming drawer long-term… But it is a fantastic food-storage option during a party!

When you’re cooking a lot of different foods at once… It can be hard to finish them all at the same time.

That’s where a warming drawer comes in. Instead of letting your food get cold on the countertop… You can put it in the warming drawer!

This option requires electricity… So you’ll want to make sure that you set that up before you purchase your outdoor grill station.

Trash Cans and Recycling Bin Drawers

No one wants to eat right next to an open trash can. They attract flies and bees… Smell gross… And they can be a pain to drag to the party!

Fortunately… You have another option.

There is an outdoor kitchen storage drawer… Made for your trash can and recycling bin!

You can get a trash drawer on its own… Or you can get one that holds both trash and recycling.

This keeps them sealed away from guests… Pesky bugs… And any sneaky raccoons that might want to eat the leftovers from your party!

Paper Towel Holder Drawer

Paper towels are a staple when you’re cooking… So you want somewhere near-by to put them!

A paper towel holder drawer is the perfect way to make them easy to get to. It has interior storage space to hold paper towels… Ready to go at a moment’s notice.

Spice Rack

spice rack open in rta outdoor kitchen

The spice rack is a thin storage compartment that rolls out of your island… To hold rows of spices!

It is tiny, so it can fit even in a small outdoor kitchen… Without taking up too much room.

Now you’ve heard about all of the main types of storage…

How can you decide which ones are best for your needs?

We have a few tips for you!

Want to bring your idea to life?

Use our free 3D design tool to bring the outdoor kitchen of your dreams to reality in just a few minutes.

Which Outdoor Kitchen Storage Options Are Best for You?

Now that you know more about your choices… You may have a pretty good idea of which you’d like in your own outdoor kitchen with storage.

Before you come to any final decisions… We asked Steve Knight, the VP of Commercial Sales at Coyote Outdoor Living, for some advice on how to decide.

After all… You don’t want to buy more than you need… But you also don’t want to run out of storage!

Knight has seven years of experience with outdoor kitchen products, including storage opportunities… So he has all kinds of tips and tricks for selecting the best outdoor cooking storage solutions for your wants and needs.

He makes the decision simple… Knight just suggests that you ask yourself a few easy questions!

1. What Do You Plan to Store Outside?

“Look at what you want to store in your outdoor kitchen cabinets… And that starts the process,” Knight said.

For example… Do you plan on storing party items like paper towels, plates, cups, and silverware?

If so… Maybe you should consider getting drawers and a paper towel holder.

“A big consideration is ‘what prevents me from having to run back in the house?’” Knight advises.

This is where you might start considering options like a spice rack.

While it may seem like an extravagant addition… Do you really want to have to run back inside to grab your favorite spices every time you cook?

The second thing to ask yourself is how you plan to use your outdoor kitchen.

gentleman opening up a storage drawer in his rta outdoor kitchen

2. How Will You Use Your Outdoor Kitchen?

The second question Knight posits is… “How do you plan on using your outdoor kitchen?”

You’ll want to think about all the ways you’ll be using your outdoor kitchen… And how that might affect your storage needs.

Let’s start with hosting.

How Many People Are You Feeding?

tamara at rta outdoor kitchen with family

Almost everyone who uses an outdoor kitchen cooks for other people.

And let’s face it. When you’re cooking for more people… You need more stuff.

For example…

If you’re just cooking for your spouse… Or even a friend or two… You might not need something like a warming drawer.

On the other hand… If you’re hosting tons of people… Something like that could be very useful!

Another option is to simply upgrade the size of your storage solutions while you’re planning out your outdoor kitchen! Maybe you’ll want larger versions of one or two types of storage.

Our next example of outdoor kitchen uses is how you cook.

How Will You Choose to Cook?

coyote power burner with wok accessory

Knight has a great question for any future outdoor kitchen owner… “What are some of the accessories that you’ll want to store outside?”

For example… If you buy a power burner… Will you also want a wok?

And if you want an outdoor pizza oven someday… But you have a smaller counter space… Are you going to buy a portable pizza oven?

These are ideas of items that could all be stored inside of your island!

There really are so many fun options for an outdoor cook… It’s hard to immediately imagine everything that you’ll be doing with your outdoor kitchen over the next few decades.

But that’s a good reason to plan ahead as much as possible so you don’t run out of space later.

Speaking of running out of room… It would be terrible if the storage cabinets you bought weren’t the right size for what you want to store!

That’s why the next question to ask yourself is about the size of your items.

3. How Big Are the Items You’re Wanting to Store?

straight outdoor kitchen island with combo storage on deck

So you’re at the point where you know what you want to store… And probably have an idea of how you want to store them.

But a huge part of picking your storage options is making sure they’re the right size!

Let’s say you choose to store a portable outdoor pizza oven inside of your island… Can you easily get it in and out through your access doors?

Fortunately… Many storage solutions come in a variety of sizes that can suit your individual needs.

For example… Coyote Outdoor Living has several different size options in their access doors.

On top of that… These rectangular access doors can either be put in vertically or horizontally!

Now you have an idea of what you probably need for your outdoor kitchen… But you don’t want all of your island space to go to storage!

Let’s learn some tips and tricks on how to set up your space efficiently… So you have more room for other things like an outdoor kitchen refrigerator or outdoor kitchen sink!

Tips For Making the Most of Your Storage Space

You want to get just the right amount of outdoor kitchen storage… Without going overboard.

This part of the guide will walk you through a few outdoor kitchen organization tips… To help you make sure that you have all the storage you need… Without giving up space for other features!

Our first tip… Don’t be afraid to put doors on the back or sides of your island!

1. You Can Put Doors on Any Side of your Outdoor Kitchen Island

man drilling outdoor acess door frame into outdoor kitchen

Especially when your island is small… It can be difficult to make room for all the storage you need.

Knight is very familiar with this problem.

He has a smaller outdoor kitchen island in his own backyard. It has a pellet grill and power burner… Then a drawer underneath his pellet grill that keeps the fuel safe and dry.

“With that configuration, I have no room for an access door,” he shared.

To fix this problem, Knight put an access door on the back of his island!

“Don’t just think your storage doors have to be on the front of your island. Don’t feel limited,” Knight said.

After all… Your outdoor kitchen design plans should make your space feel beautiful and functional without wasting space!

2. Use Combo Drawers

l shaped outdoor kitchen with combo storage and refrigerator

It’s always a good idea to buy drawers, access doors, and more… But they can take up a lot of space.

How can you get all of the benefits of each… Without buying a bunch of separate doors?

There’s a simple answer: outdoor kitchen combo storage drawers.

“They can give you room for something else on your island,” Knight said.

An example is the access doors with warming drawers combo.

3. Choose the Necessities First

Our third tip is to decide which storage options are most important… So you don’t run out of room for your must-haves!

“If you choose a small island… Your space for outdoor kitchen appliances, including your storage, will be limited,” Knight says.

To maneuver this… You should pick the storage options you need the most first.

For instance… You might find double-access doors the most useful… Even if they aren’t as exciting as a warming drawer or paper towel holder.

After you’ve established the necessities… Then you can use any remaining space to get options that aren’t quite as important!

But no matter which options you choose… One factor that is crucial is the quality.

decide which storage options are most important… So you don’t run out of room for your must-haves!

“If you choose a small island… Your space for outdoor kitchen appliances, including your storage, will be limited,” Knight says.

To maneuver this… You should pick the storage options you need the most first.

For instance… You might find double-access doors the most useful… Even if they aren’t as exciting as a warming drawer or paper towel holder.

After you’ve established the necessities… Then you can use any remaining space to get options that aren’t quite as important!

But no matter which options you choose… One factor that is crucial is the quality.

Want to bring your idea to life?

Use our free 3D design tool to bring the outdoor kitchen of your dreams to reality in just a few minutes.

What Quality of Storage Doors Should You Be Looking For?

man removing protective sticker from storage doors

The quality of your outdoor kitchen is very important… And your storage is no different.

Your outdoor kitchen can last for decades if the outdoor kitchen materials are good enough… So don’t get stuck replacing your storage doors prematurely!

The best way to do this?

High-quality materials that can endure the elements… No matter the climate.

You’ll want to look for 304 stainless steel. This will prevent rust and corrosion.

Not only will it look great… 304 stainless steel will last for decades.

On top of choosing good materials… A lifetime warranty is vital.

If you have to replace your storage options without a warranty… You might find that they’ve been discontinued.

If you can’t find another brand that just happens to have the same size door… You may even have to reshape that hole to fit something new. Yikes.

It really is better to just make sure it’s high quality the first time. It’ll save you a lot of trouble.

Outdoor Kitchen Storage Ideas

At this point, we’re all on the same page… Storage is a necessity for any functional outdoor kitchen. And now you know how to get exactly what you need to make your space as useful as possible.

But you don’t want to just hear us prattle on about it… So here are a few examples that illustrate the point.

Let’s review some outdoor kitchen ideas to incorporate outdoor storage into your BBQ island!

L-Shaped Outdoor Grill Kitchen with Storage on One Side

l shaped outdoor kitchen with asado attachment refrigerator and umbrella stand

This kitchen has two of the essentials… A double access door and two drawers.

…And they also had the room to put in a pull-out trash bin!

There are several really smart choices here.

In this L-shaped outdoor kitchen example… You can see that all the storage is on one linear island.

Doing this can help keep things organized!

Another smart choice? You can also see that they chose to put their trash can right beside their open outdoor countertop. This will be useful when they cook!

Planning out your configuration based on accessibility is a great way to think about which option should go where.

L-Shaped Outdoor Patio Kitchen Storage

l shaped outdoor grill island with fire pit on a patio

This L-shaped kitchen is a little different than the last one…

Instead of being contained in one island… The storage doors are on both islands!

This means that more of the beautiful finish can be seen between them.

This family has multiple access doors… And a pull-out trash can underneath their open countertop.

Either way is a great option… It just depends on what will be better for you while you cook.

L-Shaped Outdoor Kitchen Grill Storage with Combination Drawers

tamara day l shaped outdoor ktichen with refreshment center power burner and combo storage

This beautiful modern outdoor kitchen takes every opportunity for storage they can!

…And that includes maximizing the space under the grill with a combo drawer.

Not only do they have an access door… But they also have a storage drawer and a warming drawer all in one.

You can also see a pull-out trash can underneath the open countertop.

This outdoor kitchen has all the storage it could possibly need!

Linear Outdoor Kitchen and Storage

stacked stone terra linear grill island next to pool with pizza own and refrigerator

This stone outdoor kitchen shows that there’s more to storage than just doors… They also have a cut-out to store logs for their outdoor pizza oven!

On top of that… They have combination storage underneath their grill and a second access door underneath the side burner.

Now that you’ve seen four different examples… You can see that there’s no “right way” to do storage for outdoor kitchens.

So what kinds of storage will you choose?

You don’t have to do it alone… Our team of designers is here to help you create the perfect outdoor kitchen to suit your needs!

The Best Solution for Outdoor Kitchen Storage

linear outdoor kitchen with side burner refrigerator and pizza oven

If you’re looking for a beautiful outdoor kitchen… With all the storage you could want…

You’re in the right place.

RTA specializes in making custom-made outdoor kitchensAnd built to last a lifetime. Just the way you want them.

To make your backyard BBQ dreams come to life… We’ve partnered with Coyote Outdoor Living for all of your appliances… Including storage!

Their products are built to last a lifetime… Just like our islands… So it’s a perfect match.

On top of the fantastic quality… They also offer a lifetime warranty on their storage doors (and of course their Coyote BBQ grills).

We can’t help but mention the beautiful beveled edge on their storage doors. This is uncommon… And it makes them stand out aesthetically as well.

So aside from the great quality, lifetime warranty, and the beautiful look… How does this work for you?

Well… It means that you’ll get to design your very own custom outdoor kitchen with any storage option you want!

Coyote has one of the biggest varieties of options of any retailer out there.

“We’re Coyote Outdoor, not Coyote Grills,” Knight said. “We want to have great options for accessories, appliances, doors, drawers, and more that would allow people to have a one-stop-shop.”

You can start on your very own outdoor kitchen with our easy-to-use, free design tool.

You’ll be able to choose your own layout, configuration, finish, countertops, and appliances.

In a matter of minutes… You’ll get a free 3D rendering of your custom outdoor kitchen!

Our Design Team will also give you tailored support to help you create the outdoor kitchen of your dreams… And you’ll have a full blueprint of your future grill island in no time!

Every island is made to order… So your outdoor kitchen can be customized to fit your every want and need… Including your storage!

Need Help With Your Plans?

Talk to one of our expert designers and they will guide you from planning to installation. Schedule a call today.

Q&A

You can store virtually anything you need in your outdoor kitchen!

You’ll find great storage options for pots and pans… cooking accessories like grill baskets, spatulas, and skewers… fuel for your appliances… And so much more!

Make sure you cover your outdoor kitchen. An outdoor kitchen cover is always a great choice. In addition, a roof or canopy will protect your outdoor kitchen from the elements and allow you to cook no matter the weather.

In terms of materials… You’ll want 304 stainless steel outdoor kitchen cabinet doors, access drawers, and other storage solutions. This will protect them from rust and corrosion.

stainless steel outdoor kitchen cabinet doors, access drawers, and other storage solutions. This will protect them from rust and corrosion.

First of all, an outdoor kitchen can take up a lot of backyard space. Second, like with any outdoor furniture… You’ll want to invest in some sort of weatherproofing. Third, security can be an issue. Anything not secured within your outdoor kitchen storage is subject to theft.

The best way to organize your outdoor kitchen storage depends on what makes sense to you! However, a few suggestions are to have a trash can near your prep space and cooking utensils near your grill.

You can use nearly any type of outdoor kitchen containers in your outdoor kitchen! For instance… You can buy resin bins and drawers or a dry pantry (which includes pull-out bins and shelves for outdoor kitchens)… Or use any type of bin or canister, such as metal outdoor kitchen racks, as DIY outdoor kitchen storage containers.

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