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Outdoor Cooking Equipment Buying Guide

Outdoor Cooking Equipment Buying Guide

Few things taste as good as a rack of smoked BBQ ribs. Except maybe a buttery ear of corn on the cob, which would go even better with some french fries, grilled vegetables, and an ice cold beer.

If you would like to make delicious food this summer, then check out our commercial outdoor cooking equipment buying guide where we'll help you find what you need to start making all of these summertime staples!

Shop All Outdoor Equipment

The Backyard Pro Line

Featuring a full line of outdoor grills and patio stoves, Backyard Pro's products let you take your culinary expertise out of the kitchen and into one of the very best venues for enjoying a great meal - the outdoors.

Fry turkey at a tailgate with our patio stoves and fryer / steamer kits, or be the grill-master at the company picnic with a reliable 30" or 60" charcoal grill. Backyard Pro even offers a smoker grill with independent charcoal and gas sections, a side burner, and smoker box. So you can throw on a few burgers and use the gas side for fast turnaround, or use the charcoal side to craft a perfect, smoky, savory steak.

Compare the full Backyard Pro line below to find the right grill or stove for your needs!

Outdoor Deep Fryers

Crown Verity single tank portable outdoor fryer

Production: When buying an outdoor fryer, this is your biggest consideration. Many of our fryers list approximately how many people they can feed each hour. Buy something that meets your current needs but gives you a little bit of room to grow if you're planning on frying for larger events in the future.

Number of Fry Tanks / Fry Baskets: Multiple tanks prevent cross-contamination (so that the shrimp isn't sharing oil with the french fries). Multiple baskets let you do smaller batches of the same or similar items in the same tank.

Fuel: Propane.

Other Features:

  • Some fryers come with a side grill, which lets you do grilled entrees and sides on one unit.

Patio Stoves

Backyard Pro Single Burner Outdoor Patio Stove / Range

Uses: Patio stoves are used mostly for cooking with a stock pot or large, heavy cast iron cookware. Fry chicken, fish, or even a whole turkey. Steam vegetables and seafood. Boil water or make large batches of stew. These are also very popular for brewing beer. This is a good piece of equipment that can handle a variety of jobs.

Production: Low volume. Good for small gatherings such as company / church picnics or tailgating events.

Burner: Buying a model with a larger burner will let you hold larger cookware. The higher the BTU rating, the faster the stove will reach temperature.

Height and Stability: These start at less than 10" high and can be over 20" high. A taller model will make it easier to lift heavy stockpots, but this added height also makes it easier to knock over accidentally. Square stoves are also generally more stable than round ones.

If you are loading very heavy stockpots and/or are concerned about foot traffic near the stove, a shorter, square model is the safest option.

Fuel: Propane.

Other Features:

  • A hose guard is a great safety feature, preventing damage to the hose at the connection point.

  • Wind reduces your burner's effectiveness since you're cooking with an exposed, open flame; a wind guard will help to minimize its effect.

  • We sell kits that have everything you need to steam and fry foods outdoors, in one convenient bundle!

Outdoor Grills

stainless steel mobile grill with dual wind guards and undershelf

Portable Outdoor Grills vs. Built-In Grills

Having a portable grill is a great investment for businesses that only grill during certain seasons of the year. Portable grills are equipped with casters, which make them much easier to haul around. In fact, many of our grills have removable legs that make them easy to store. Some of them even come with slide action grates that can be adjusted to different heights for optimal control over cooking temperatures.

If you are looking for an easy-to-transport grill, you can check out our towable grills. These grills are attached to trailers that you can hook up to your vehicle and pull behind you, making them some of the best outdoor grills for caterers or tailgating events.

If you are looking for a more permanent solution to your grilling needs, you may want to invest in a built-in grill on your deck or patio, especially if you plan to use the area all year long. Built-in grills often boast higher power capabilities, making grilling for many customers at once an easy feat.

Our built-in outdoor grills come in a variety of durable constructions, like stainless steel, that allow them to withstand the elements. Plus, with natural gas and liquid propane options, restaurateurs can customize their units to best fit their needs. If you're looking for an upgrade, consider purchasing a rotisserie attachment or smoker box to expand your menu offerings.

Grill Fuel Type

The next step in figuring out what type of outdoor grill you'd like to purchase is determining what fuel connections you have, or will need to get. We offer both portable and built-in grills that are powered through propane or natural gas. Some of our portable grills can also be powered with charcoal or wood chips.

stainless steel outdoor grill with double hoods and 8 dials

Gas Grills

Gas grills are powered by liquid propane tanks, but can oftentimes be converted to run on natural gas. They tend to be the most popular of the grill types among amateur and professional chefs due to their convenience; however, there are some disadvantages to consider when choosing a gas grill.

  • Gas grills offer quick start up times, typically reaching the optimal cooking temperature in just 10-15 minutes.
  • They also evenly distribute heat across the grilling surface.
  • They often have temperature control knobs so you can regulate heat more precisely, allowing you to create different heat zones for searing, cooking, or warming.
  • Their fuel tank can be easily refilled.
  • Gas grills require little cleanup after cooking.
  • Due to the absence of coals, gas grills lack the smoke flavor that many crave for their grilled foods.
  • Gas grills tend to require regular maintenance of their mechanisms, including valves, burners, and vents.
stainless steel charcoal grill on wheels with side handles

Charcoal Grills

Charcoal grills use wood chips or charcoal to cook your food. They are often chosen for the distinct flavor they provide, but also come with some disadvantages.

  • Charcoal grills can reach temperatures of up to 700 degrees Fahrenheit, which is perfect for steaks and large cuts of meat.
  • Charcoal grills also provide that smoky, rich flavor that is often associated with outdoor cooking. Customers will often seek out this unique smoky flavor.
  • Charcoal grills take a longer time to heat up with 20-30 minutes of prep time.
  • They do not feature any control knobs so the temperature cannot be precisely regulated.
  • Cleaning a charcoal grill of the ash and remaining coals can be a time consuming and dirty job.


Consider how frequently you plan to use the grill. Below are types of grills based on their production level and some general guidelines to keep in mind as you search for the unit you'll want in your establishment.

Low Production Grill

  • 1 - 5 burners
  • 45,000 - 180,000 BTU
  • 19" - 74" cooking surface width
  • Charcoal, liquid propane, natural gas
  • Tailgating events, company or church picnics, small catered events

Medium Production Grill

  • 2 - 8 burners
  • 49,000 - 180,000 BTU
  • 54" - 76" cooking surface width
  • Charcoal, liquid propane, natural gas
  • Small to mid-size catered events, rentals, concessions

High Production Grill

  • 6 - 10 burners
  • 99,000 - 160,000  BTU
  • 56" - 81" cooking surface width
  • Charcoal, liquid propane, natural gas
  • BBQ competitions, fairs, large catered events, rentals, large tailgating events

Essential Outdoor Grill Accessories

Now that you've chosen a grill for your establishment, it's time to consider the special features and accessories that you can add to your unit. We offer
grilling accessories
like side burners, dome lids, and even marinade injectors to infuse awesome flavor into your meat.

Grill thermometer with color-coded zones

Grill Thermometers: Thermometers are important for determining whether or not your meat has reached a safe temperature for consumption. Many grill thermometers mount right inside your grill so that you can monitor temperatures at a quick glance. You can find more information in our thermometer buying guide.

Grill side shelf

Grill Side Shelves: Side shelves allow you to keep your spices, utensils, and other ingredients close by as you grill. It also offers extra space for plating, ensuring the ultimate fresh-off-the-grill presentation.

Backyard Pro grill cover

Grill Covers: Grill covers help protect your grill from snow, sleet, hail, rain, and other inclement weather conditions. They help keep your grill looking like new year round.

Dome lid with handle and dial thermometer

Dome Lids: Roll dome lids protect your grill when the grill is not in use. The dome design also offers more even cooking while still creating the beautiful sear marks that customers love.

Grill splash guard on grill

Grill Splash Guards: Splash guards are designed to help protect your surroundings from sizzling hot splatters. The 3 wall design allows the chef to still have complete visibility of the products while keeping furniture and guests safeguarded from the splashes.

Grill side burner

Grill Side Burners: Adding a side burner to your grill is perfect for sauteing or keeping sauces hot to increase your efficiency. You can even move items that are finished cooking over to the side to keep warm.

Grilling skewer

Grilling Skewers: Cut up tender steak, chicken, and vegetables and slide them onto the skewer for a summertime favorite. Perfectly roasted kabobs are sure to be a crowd pleaser at your next outdoor event.

Cajun Injector deluxe marinade injector

Marinade Injectors: Inject marinades into your meats to enhance their tenderness and juiciness. Simply inject and cook for great results! As the meat absorbs the moisture, the meat obtains a flavor boost, add seasoning to every bite.

Wooden basting brush with long handle and hanging hole and cord

Basting Brushes: Basting brushes spread liquid marinades over top of meat to provide a delicious final product. Most basting brushes feature very long handles to protect the operator from the hot grill.

Outdoor Smokers and Smokehouses

R & V Works CES4 Cajun Express Smoker

Smoker Grill or Smoker:

  • Smoker grills: You can grill meats and/or smoke them. Great if you will spend most of your time grilling, but want to do some smoking on the side, too.

  • Smoker / smokehouse: If you'll be doing a lot of smoking, this is the unit to use - these give you a little more control over your finished product because they're designed specifically for smoking, and in larger units you can hang sausages, fish, and other meats on hooks.


A smoker grill or small smoker cabinet will work for most users who want to make some occasional smoked meats.

If you are a commercial operation that plans on having smoked products as a big part of your menu, you'll want to look at bigger units and/or multiple units for different types of smoked items (you don't want to smoke fish at the same humidity / temperature as beef or pork, for example).

Since you need to prepare the meat well in advance, know how many people you are feeding, what you're feeding them, and compare against the capacity of our smokers - that will help gauge the size / number of units you need.

Fuel: Propane, electric, or charcoal.

Other Features:

  • An express smoker is a good option if you need a fast turn-around; it can do a 5 lb. rack of ribs in 1 hour instead of 7.

Backyard Pro Stoves and Grills Comparison

Patio Stoves

Height # of Burners (Total Burner BTU) Cook Surface Material Features
Adjustable; 13” – 25” 2 (110,000) 12" x 25” Steel
  • Side shelves for added prep area

9 3/4” 1 (210,000) 17” diameter Steel
  • Hose guard protects gas line

  • Wind guard

13” 1 (185,000) 14” diameter Steel
  • Wind guard

13” 1 (55,000) 16” x 16” Steel

  • Square top for stability
13” 1 (55,000) 16” x 16” Steel

  • Square top for stability
21” 1 (55,000) 14" diameter Steel
  • Wind guard

13" (stove) 1 (55,000) 16” x 16” Steel stove / aluminum fry pot

  • Square top for stability
  • Comes with accessories for turkey frying

13" (stove) 1 (55,000) 16” x 16” Steel stove / aluminum fry pot

  • Square top for stability
  • Comes with accessories for turkey frying and for steaming

13" (stove) 1 (55,000) 16” x 16” Stainless steel

  • Square top for stability
  • Comes with accessories for turkey frying and for steaming

Grills and Smoker Grills

Item Cook Surface Material Fuel Type Features
60” x 24” Steel Charcoal

  • Removable legs
60” x 24” Stainless Steel Charcoal

  • Removable legs
30” x 24” Steel Charcoal

  • Removable legs
30” x 24” Stainless Steel Charcoal

  • Removable legs

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