25 Outdoor Bar Carts and Cook Stations We Love for Summer Entertaining
Roll out all the stops at your next alfresco event with these outdoor bar carts, coolers, kitchen cabinets and cook stations.
Gear up for alfresco entertaining this summer with some new outdoor furniture that works overtime to bring form and function to your deck, patio or garden. We’ve shared the best outdoor lounge sets and dining tables, but now we’re dialing in on the fun with furniture designed to prepare and serve some of life’s simplest pleasures: burgers, beers and cocktails.
Read on to get the inside scoop on the best outdoor bar carts, outdoor coolers, outdoor grill stations and outdoor kitchen cabinets on the market right now, then shop our picks in the links below.
Chef-Worthy Outdoor Kitchen
A stainless refrigerator, smart pizza oven and gas grill are all part of this lanai’s well-equipped outdoor kitchen, where you can whip up your favorite chef-worthy meals at your home bistro. Beautiful blue cabinets add personality to this bright and inviting party and relaxation space.
Best Outdoor Bar Carts
Outdoor bar carts and stationary outdoor bars provide storage for the makings of your go-to cocktails and practical tools necessary to whip up orders in a pinch. And, let's face it, they offer ample decorating opportunities for you, too.
Rolling bar carts come equipped with two or four wheels and move from one end of your garden to the other with ease and, most importantly, without spilling any spirited sips during the commute. Mobile bar carts are lightweight and forged from woven materials for stress-free setup; some even feature modular trays that lift from the bar frame and serve as cocktail platters for events.
A stationary outdoor bar will stand the test of time, forged from weather-resistant materials such as acacia wood, metal or concrete. This outdoor bar style is a solid investment for avid alfresco entertainers that could use some extra space to store boozy fixings during outdoor get-togethers. These bar carts come in various silhouettes, but a U-shaped or horseshoe design with hidden interior shelving is our favorite because the out-of-sight storage allows you to hide the mess from guests.
Best Outdoor Coolers
Make big-batch cocktails over at your new outdoor bar and serve-up bottled beer, canned soda and refrigerated snacks from a rolling (or freestanding) cooler. These heavy-duty coolers are typically steel-forged, weather-proof and come with unique features like built-in bottle cap removers, towel handles, storage shelves, security locks and wheel brakes. In other words: Rolling coolers are a far cry from the Styrofoam chest your parents lugged to the beach.
Treat yourself to a rolling cooler that suits your entertaining needs and exterior design style. Rolling metal coolers with a capacity of 80+ quarts make entertaining large groups a breeze, while lightweight wicker or wood-framed coolers with less storage cater to intimate gatherings with ease.
Best Outdoor Kitchen Cabinets
Okay, we’re not going to parse words here: outdoor kitchen cabinets are a splurge. Still, if your family enjoys grilling out, hosting by a pool or sharing countless meals outdoors during the summer months, outdoor kitchen cabinets are worth every penny. These investment pieces are made to store outdoor cookware, serveware and tools and often feature a cut-out to house an outdoor refrigerator or dishwasher.
There are singular outdoor kitchen cabinets that serve as a freestanding feature for your patio or deck. Another option worth considering? A modular outdoor kitchen cabinet system. These tailored-to-you outdoor cabinets allow you to pick and choose individual cupboards and customize a layout for your outdoor space.
Outdoor kitchen cabinets withstand the elements with typically a metal or acacia wood base; Cabinet counters are weather-resistant stone, concrete or stainless steel.
Best Outdoor Grill Carts
Yes, many grills are equipped with built-in side shelves to rest plates and platters. However, the cardinal rule of grilling states that one can never have too much extra space for plating and serving. And two mini shelves don't quite fit the bill.
Enter: Outdoor grill carts. Like bar carts, grill carts offer storage for all the bells and whistles necessary to prepare and serve classic barbecue staples. Grill carts may feature cabinet doors for out-of-sight storage or open-air tiers to keep serving gear, dishtowels and condiments within reach. Oh, and a word to the wise—the best grill carts come with easy-to-wipe stainless steel countertops because, let's face it, flipping burgers and slinging hot dogs is one messy business.