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If anybody went into a populated room (a party, for example), and asked those who like grilling to raise their hands, at least half of the gathering would do so. Popular though it is, however, not so much attention is placed on a piece of furniture that would make your BBQing endeavors far easier: the prep table. Now, that’s easy to grasp, but in this case, you also need your choice to be made for outdoor duty. We’re here to help you fix that: in this piece, we’ll articulate what you should look for as you shop for the prep table that will accompany you when delighting friends and family, and we will also cover some great choices for you to pick from. These are the best outdoor glider for BBQing and Grilling!
Grilling and BBQing: Outdoor Cooking Needs a Prep Table Too
You may not be aware of this, but prep tables are such a key part of food preparation, they can be found in most—if not all—of your favorite restaurants and similar businesses. When you go get yourself a sub, it is a prep table where your ‘sandwich artist’ stores the fillings and condiments on offer and pulls them to add them upon you request. It’s also the surface where your order is fulfilled before your eyes. Pizza making has its own type of prep table, tailored to specific requirements, such as a larger work surface to fit the dough.
For your specific purpose (i.e. grilling outside), the specs will vary from those used in commercial settings, and that’s exactly what we will be discussing below.
What A BBQ Prep Table Should Have
The following list is not absolute law; it’s just things that, according to many enthusiasts, make a prep table adequate for your grilling pursuits.
Grilling is different from most other forms of cooking in that it happens in the open. What this means for your prep table, is constant exposure to sunlight, wind, moisture, and (depending where you place the table) possibly even rain. How to be sure the table we choose is resilient enough? Simple: the materials it is made of. Common choices for outdoor tables are plastic, and stainless steel, although some may incorporate specially treated wood such as teak or acacia.
Many enthusiasts place particular emphasis on the top of the table, which is where the cutting and seasoning will happen; the most popular choice is stainless steel, in no small part due to it being naturally resistant to mold and other sorts of bacterial manifestations (which might help explain why restaurants favor it so heavily). Although it certainly seems sensible to go with the veterans’ advice, we feel there is no reason why a work top made in a different material couldn’t be just as adequate if it is sanitized frequently enough.
Nobody likes running to and from the kitchen to fetch implements, containers, dishes, and the like. A table can accommodate your most favored accessories in a variety of ways: shelves, drawers, cabinets and so on. Of special importance are hooks, on which you can hang your grilling tools. Bonus: a holder for your paper towel roll.
Another feature that is not really necessary, but you might find useful, is lockable storage. Certain cabinets will allow you to place a padlock, which may give you peace of mind if there are children you’d like to keep away from your charcoal stock, or any cleaning products you might want to keep in there.
By which we mean, adequate feet. Adequate for what? Stability first, and mobility as a bonus. If your table will be standing on grass, you can be certain the ground will be uneven, and you probably don’t want to fiddle with a folded piece of cardboard down under so that the surface won’t move to and fro while you’re trying to work with your knife. Adjustable legs will allow you to set the altitude individually so your table will be steady no matter where you put it.
It’s not set in stone, but the time might come when you want to move your table from its original location: maybe you need the space for a larger gathering, or the grill was relocated and the table must go along. Whatever the case, a prep table for BBQing will normally be of medium bulk, and therefore not too hard to carry to a different spot—although you might have to empty it first. A model with wheels can simply be rolled over to its new place, and you probably won’t have to remove its contents.
Other Notable Features
The following items are not so critical to the prepping part of your grilling, but they can be nice to have, for different reasons.
There’s no reason why you can’t clean tools and dishes in the kitchen but, for those of us who like tidying up as they go, a sink right on the table could be a nice thing to have, and it’s not impossible.
Who wouldn’t rather to keep the party going after dark? With this feature, you won’t have to stop just because the sun went down.
There will be some trade-offs involved (for example, your work surface won’t be as large), but a foldable table is ideal for those who like grilling on-the-go, such as while camping or at tailgate parties.
Want to save yourself a trip when you’re in the mood for a tasty beverage? Then a table with this feature will have you all set.
Reviews for the Best Outdoor Glider for BBQing and Grilling
Before we zero in on the one that stands out, we will be covering a few good choices to cater to a variety of tastes.
Cuisinart CPT-200 Outdoor BBQ Prep Cart.
It may seem like a bare bones design, but it still packs a good level of functionality. The surface is stainless steel, and it measures 36″ x 18″, which provides ample space for you to maneuver when doing your preparations, and the shelf underneath is of adjustable height, allowing you to set it where you need it depending on what you will be putting in there. Two of the legs end in wheels, so you can grip it by the handle and easily cart it where you want it, and it also offers plenty of locations for additional items: trash bag holder, hooks for your tools, paper towel holder, and even a bottle opener so you can pop your beverages without moving from your busy area.
Outsunny Portable Folding Camping Sink.
Although this one is intended for outdoors escapades, it can still make a good BBQ prep table. In line with its focus on portability, it is quite easy to transport, as it can be folded much like a picnic table can. The faucet can be attached or removed between uses, and it can be connected to a regular hose for immediate running water.
The table features a ruler along one of the edges (for those who would like to measure their fish and game), two bowls for cleaning, and one compartment for placing the trash bag. The space occupied by the bowls can be easily reclaimed for other tasks—such as food prepping—by placing special lids on top.
Everdure Mobile Prep Kitchen.
This one is nearly ten times as expensive as most other tables we’ve covered, but there’s no denying it’s worth the asking price for those that can go for it. The surface is food-grade acacia wood, optimal for chopping ingredients, and it comes with all sorts of useful features: dishwasher-safe containers right at the top for you to store chopped ingredients, paper towel holder and hooks for your tools on the cabinet doors, removable wood inlays that can be used for serving, knife block and even a double bin on the side which you can use to quickly and safely sweep food debris off your work surface. It’s not hard on the eyes, either, and it is widely considered to be right at home in more luxurious settings. It’s an all-purpose kitchen station (with wheels), which shall more than adequately serve those who can afford it. Compatible outdoor cover available separately.
The Best One: Keter Unity XL
On this, the verdict is nearly unanimous among dedicated enthusiasts—and it is certainly hard to contest, as, for a price that doesn’t go much higher than the average for its category, you get just about the right kind of features; that which is missing isn’t really a deal breaker.
Let’s start with the surface: measuring 20.5″ x 52.7″, it’s stainless steel, which makes it both sturdy and spacious. The perks are plentiful, including a cabinet with a 78gal capacity (and it is also lockable), 4 S-hooks for your tools, paper towel opener, and even a bottle opener within easy reach. Its legs make it essentially all-terrain: two of them feature wheels so you can roll the table wherever you need it, while the two others come with adjustable feet so that, no matter where it stands, it will stand steadily. What’s more, you can get it on its own, or bundle it up with either a deck box (if you want 150gal of additional storage) or a cool bar (complete with a compartment to ice your bottles in, and a little table for your glasses).
If you like the features but find the table a little too bulky, you can get a smaller version with many of the same perks (S-hooks, paper towel holder, spice rack, wheel/adjustable feet), the loss being mainly in terms of work surface size and storage capacity.
In Summary: The Best Outdoor Glider for BBQing and Grilling
There is no hard and fast rule when it comes to a prep table for grilling; circumstances and purposes are bound to vary—for example, if you enjoy the outdoors and would like to easily bring your table along, or in case you prefer to be fancy and can go all-out when spending. The table that comes out on top, however, is definitely a well-rounded choice that will adequately serve both the beginner and the veteran. Now, it’s grilling time!