By Stephani L. Miller. Outdoor kitchens have become increasingly popular with homeowners, and manufacturers are responding by creating a wide variety of appliances especially for the outdoor kitchen. Incorporating more than the old standard of backyard barbecues, today's outdoor kitchens feature indoor-quality appliances such as refrigerators, convection ovens, rotisseries, chilled wine racks, and gas, charcoal, and electric grills. Special features range from wood-chip trays for smoking to wok attachments for stir-frying to convenient grill-side burners for cooking side dishes to accompany grilled main courses.

Today's outdoor kitchen appliances allow everything from roasting to baking, boiling to broiling, smoking to chilling, and the old favorite--grilling. The majority of outdoor appliances are designed in stainless steel, giving a sleek, professional appearance to open-air kitchens. Homeowners can choose portable systems or built-ins with customized or standard features.

Several appliance manufacturers have made it possible to accommodate the demand for professional-grade kitchen appliances for outdoor living.

KitchenAid's stainless steel outdoor refrigerator provides ample chilling space. Courtesy KitchenAid TEC has added the convenience of electric power to its line of infrared cooking systems with the Cherokee Electric Infra-red Grill. This system incorporates TEC's glass-top infrared emitter, which allows food to be cooked with radiant energy instead of heated air, and it features a compact and portable size and heavy-duty stainless steel construction. With accessories such as a roll-away cart, a deep-fryer and steamer, and a stainless frying griddle, TEC's Electric Cherokee offers a range of cooking options. KitchenAid's new 48-inch Architect series outdoor dual fuel range provides both gas and electric cooking options in one system with eight gas burners and two 24-inch electric convection ovens. Each heating source can be set at different temperatures and methods for simultaneous cooking. The side-by-side ovens feature convection, bake, broil, and roast options. The system also provides a roasting rack and bread-raising and keep-warm features for those who like to cook outdoors as much as possible. KitchenAid also offers outdoor refrigerators and ice-makers in the Architect series to complete the open-air kitchen. The company's slide-in stainless steel refrigerator with all-stainless interior can be installed singly, stacked, or side-by-side and provides chilling space for up to 12 wine bottles. KitchenAid's outdoor icemaker is constructed of corrosion-resistant, weather-proof stainless steel and can be disassembled for cleaning. The icemaker is capable of producing up to 50 pounds of ice in a 24-hour period and has a 28-pound capacity.

DACOR's Indoor/Outdoor Warming Oven warms up to four dinner plates, or towels for the pool. Courtesy DACOR DACOR's 24-inch Integrated Indoor/Outdoor Warming Oven (IOWO24) can be installed into DACOR's recently released 52-inch freestanding grill cart and can be incorporated into any indoor or outdoor application. The IOWO24 will warm up to four dinner plates and features a four-hour timer that shuts off heat automatically. The timer can also be bypassed for longer heating periods. Temperature settings range from 100 to 200 degrees Fahrenheit, and the system features concealed controls and full drawer extension. Homeowners want to make the most of their home spaces and they want to add value to their property. Appliance manufacturers are providing ways to accomplish these goals with built-in or portable grills and ovens, sleek preparation surfaces, convenient chilling and warming compartments, and even dishwashers.