I have now been reviewing barbecue products for over a decade. I started my YouTube channel back in January 2017 and have uploaded over 90 videos from how to build a Weber Kettle Barbecue to how to cook the perfect brisket. The one thing I have not done is design and build the perfect Outdoor BBQ Kitchen. So starting today I am going to start a Blog/Video series on just how to do it.
After reading thousands of posts and articles on what makes an Outdoor BBQ Kitchen great I found that the location of this kitchen is critical to success. Now realize an outdoor kitchen does not mean it is attached to your house. It could be part of an RV or pad for an RV. Next to a cabin or outdoor shelter or just sitting out in the middle of nowhere. The only way that you can power a kitchen like this is to be Off the Grid.
So if you are off the grid then you need to get power from alternative sources. The good news there are a handful of companies that are now addressing this need by making Solar Generators.
So what is a Solar Generator? In almost all cases it is a battery, a battery charger, and an inverter. The battery is to hold power for later use, the charger is to recharge the battery and the inverter is to convert battery energy into 120 volts, AC power so you can run standard home appliances. Part of the charger can use solar panels so the battery can be charged directly from the sun.
So how much Power do we need?
That all depends on how many devices you want to run. Let’s start off with the primary component of the kitchen and that is the grill.
Most wood and charcoal grill do not use electricity but that is starting to change with a newer charcoal grill like the Masterbuilt Gravity series. Also, there are now temperature controllers for even the Weber Kettle and they all require power. The most popular grill in the market are pellet grills and they all require power to run. Actually for the first 5 to 10 minutes of turning the pellet grill on requires a lot of power so the pellets can ignite. That is typically 300 to 500 watts. After that, the power requirements drops to 30 watts or less power than a standard lightbulb.
So what do most people do when they are grilling? They usually drinking something like a beer, a soda, or like me a margarita. The last time I checked all these drinks need to be cold and nobody likes sticking their hand into an ice cooler. You need a refrigerator and a good one. Depending on the size the power requirement will be 100 to 250 watts.
Now if you are a beer drinker this might not be high on your list but if you like margaritas or slushes a blender is a must Power required is 250 up to 1,000 watts while running.
People are always buying ice and they now have countertop ice makers that can make ice in 6 minutes. Why would you ever want to buy another bag of ice? The power requirement for an ice maker is 100 to 200 watts.
When it gets dark and the party is still going on you are going to need lights. The best for a patio/kitchen area are LED string lights. Two 48ft strands with 30 bulbs would use 60 to 100 watts.
The Math and the Solution
So let’s add all the numbers. To have plenty of margins let’s act like everything is running at the same time. Never going to happen in real life but you will be guaranteed the system will always work.
|The Refrigerator||250 watts|
|Ice Maker||200 watts|
|LED Lights||100 watts|
If we can supply 2,050 watts of continuous power then we can power this kitchen without issue. So what are the solar generators that can meet that requirement?
Jackery Explorer 2000 – This unit can supply 2,200 watts of continuous power for up to 45 minutes and surge power of up to 4,400 watts. Can accept up to 800 watts of solar panels and can fully recharge the unit in 3 to 3.5 hours.
Bluetti AC200P – This unit can supply 2,000 watts of continuous power for up to an hour and surge power of up to 4,800 watts. Can accept up to 700 watts of solar panels and can fully recharge the unit in 3 to 3.5 hours.
Monstar M2000 – This unit can supply 2,000 watts of continuous power for up to an hour and can store 2220 watts of power. Can accept up to 200 watts of solar panels.
So which one is better? That has more to do with personal preference than actual usage. Both units will easily power the outdoor BBQ kitchen and I would be happy with either one.