Landscape: Hardscape

Outdoor-Rated Appliances And Why you Need Them.

Entertaining outdoors at home is more fun and exciting than ever. And thankfully it’s not all about pools anymore! Outdoor living has become an all year activity.

Today’s back yard experience centers more around food and drink. And homeowners love kitchens.  As a result, pizza ovens, elegant BBQ’s and patio heaters are now the dream features for the average back yard. Even wine and tiki bars are coming back!

Outdoor rated appliances
Outdoor rated refrigerator

Patio cooking for family and friends has become a central event for many homeowners. And of course, good cooks demand every convenience. Disposals, dishwashers, refrigerators, ice machines, coffee makers and microwaves are needed. And since the entertaining and cooking tasks have moved outdoors. The need for outdoor-rated appliances has become important.  

Harsher conditions

The outdoor environment is much harsher than indoors.  And any appliances placed permanently outside are going to have to endure some bad weather. Everything from widely changing temperatures, fluctuating humidity, fog, sun, dust and wind will all attack any equipment outside. And insects and animals will certainly find your outdoor kitchen appliances to be a cozy place to raise a family.  This is why every patio kitchen needs outdoor-rated appliances.

Tougher specifications

Outdoor-rated appliances have been specially designed for outdoor use and are tougher and more durable than indoor units. They are more corrosion resistant and have protected wiring and plumbing. The exteriors are sealed to keep out gnawing rodents and nesting insects. And outdoor rated equipment also has better insulation and moisture protection. Especially for the electronics. They are essentially “hardened” to the outdoor environment.

Every manufacturer has different specifications. Meaning some are tougher than others. So be sure to check them carefully before buying.

Prices

All this “hardening” comes at a cost. As a result, prices for outdoor-rated appliances are a bit higher than their indoor counterparts. Fortunately, they also appear to come with better warranties. Some are even advertised with limited lifetime guarantees. Despite the slightly higher costs, preventing a rat from living in your pizza oven or chewing up your refrigerator is affordable peace of mind.

Availability

Outdoor rated appliances
Outdoor rated dishwasher

Specialty outdoor-rated appliances are available over the web from BBQ Guys and can be shipped to you in just a few days.  Some of the appliances currently available with “outdoor” ratings include:

  • Cooktop burners
  • Ventilation hoods
  • Dishwashers
  • Refrigerators
  • Freezers
  • Ice makers
  • Warming drawers
  • Pizza ovens
  • Sinks and bar faucets
  • Wine coolers
  • Televisions (SunBrite and Sealoc make products in 4k up to 75 inches. 

Check out BBQ Guys Outdoor Kitchens at BBQGuys.com!

I could not locate true “outdoor-rated” small appliances like microwaves or coffee makers. But many were available in a “marine” grade. The drawback to marine grade appliances is they have different dimensions and voltages making them less suitable for home use.  The point is basically moot anyway. The portability of small appliances like coffee makers, toasters, blenders etc. makes them easier to move indoors when not in use. And their low cost makes them less painful to replace if you don’t.

Summary

If you want your outdoor kitchen equipment to last longer than a week or two, you need outdoor-rated appliances. Normal appliances will not survive long outdoors, and doing so will void the manufacturer warranty.  If you are putting together a quality outdoor kitchen, don’t make the mistake of using the wrong kind of appliances.

Be sure to read my article on “outdoor kitchen mistakes to avoid.”

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