Make Grilling a Breeze With the Best Outdoor BBQ Grill Prep Tables/Carts
The information below outlines features imperative to quality and functional prep carts. Additionally, it details the importance of prep carts and the different types available for various purposes.
Why Do You Need Outdoor BBQ Grill Prep Tables/Carts?
When it comes to backyard grilling, preparation is everything. Hosts need to prepare well to ensure that things run smoothly. Food should be prepared fresh but come out quickly and ready for consumption. The right tools help to streamline the process, improve outcomes, and ensure guests do not wait forever for their burgers.
Furniture comes in handy when grilling– especially prep tables and carts. These carts or tables are a space solution. Here is why you need them:
A good prep cart or table has storage space. Simple perp cart designs have open shelves where users can store ingredients, cutlery, pots, pans, and even ingredients. Some have closed cupboards for better security.
In addition, some prep carts have special extensions that allow for holding paper towels and dishcloths. With storage, users can avoid going back into the house for items, thus improving the process.
Slicing and preparing
All functional prep tables have a top, hard surface ideal for meal preparation, including cutting, stuffing and slicing. Some prep tables even have ‘wings’ that serve as extra prepping space.
The wings fold out, making it easier to put the cart nearer the grill. This way, users can easily cut or prepare the meat and then move it to the grill. A good preparation surface should be firm, resistant, and non-toxic.
Users can also make prep tables a common serving space. For those low on surfaces but have many dishes to serve, the flat tops of prep tables come in handy. Users can put out food and snacks for guests to serve conveniently.
Additionally, the bottom shelves can hold bottles of wine and other drinks. Good prep tables have wheels, making them portable and ideal for serving needs.
Prep tables are standard among professional chefs and busy restaurants because they streamline the process and make the grilling stations less messy.
Different types of Outdoor BBQ Grill Prep Tables/Carts
Simple shelved table
This design is the simplest and often very popular. It looks like a standard kitchen table with one or two open shelves underneath. This table can come with attached wheels or with standard table legs. The shelves can be solid or meshed. This prep table style can also be HDPE, metal, or wood.
Cabinet prep cart
The cabinet prep cart is a cart or table with attached cupboards at the bottom. There are multiple variations of this prep table. Some have enclosed cupboards for the entire length of the table, while others have cabinets and shelves on each side.
Depending on the aesthetic appeal and need, these carts can be metal, HDPE, or wood. In addition, most of the carts have wheels to make them portable. Cabinet prep carts are more functional on wheels to transport food and drinks.
Folding grill stand
The folding grill stand is a foldable prep table. This type of prep table is ideal for people with limited storage space. It unfolds when used and is often the one with foldable ‘wings’ to provide more prep space.
For practicality, these types of prep carts are made from metal. Additionally, they often have wheels. Folding grill stands do not have any enclosed cupboards. But some come with detachable shelf pieces which users can install after unfolding the table.
Considerations For Buying an Outdoor BBQ Grill Prep Table/Cart
Size is an important consideration that, in turn, relies on multiple factors. Picking the right-sized prep cart or table determines if it will be functional. To do this, consider the available outdoor space, how you need to use it, and how much food you need to prepare.
Measure the space near the grill or serving area in your outdoor setup. Ensure the cart will fit in the area while leaving space for movement. In addition, consider how you are going to use the cart. You would benefit from a bigger prep surface if you need more prep space, have a small grill, or have a few surfaces in your outdoor setup.
Do you need storage space? Storage space often comes in handy because it limits movement in and out of the house for ingredients. However, if you have other storage spaces on outdoor tables and chairs, you could skip the storage on the prep cart.
But if you choose a prep cart with storage space, consider your outdoor area. An open-shelf prep cart will look better if you have a small space. It serves the purpose while letting the space look just as big. However, note that you must keep the shelves neat when hosting. If you have more space, then closed cabinets will work well.
Wood is beautiful, classic, and aesthetically appealing. However, affordable woods do not guarantee longevity. With time, the prep cart will suffer from the effects of the weather. In some instances, wood surfaces ‘absorb’ intense flavors like onion and then transfer them to other foods.
High-density polyethylene is an excellent alternative to wood. It offers the same aesthetic appeal while promising durability under harsh weather conditions. HDPE is impenetrable, making it easy to clean. Plus, you won’t worry about absorbed flavors.
Metal, specifically stainless steel, is popular for prep carts. The steel surfaces are easy to clean, and the study material makes them long-lasting. In addition, some metal prep tables are foldable, making them ideal for space-saving when storing. However, stainless steel can sustain signs of corrosion with exposure to moisture and salts.
The material often determines longevity. The prep cart’s longevity relies on the make of the material. Some are a fusion of two or more materials. Therefore, you should first focus on the longevity of the worktop.
The worktop will likely be the first place wear will show with long-term use. Painted surfaces will crack, peel, or chip under consistent exposure to moisture.
Wood surfaces can retain scratch and cut marks. Some even lose their protective coating, leading to flavor and moisture absorption. Moisture can, in turn, trigger cracking and mold growth.
Stainless steel surfaces offer excellent heat, pressure, and cutting resistance. However, salts and moisture exposure could trigger corrosion. Additionally, they absorb heat easily, which could mean burns if they are too close to the grill.
HDPE surfaces offer the best odds. They are impenetrable, making them resistant to moisture, so no cracking or rusting. Additionally, they can withstand pressure and consistent sun exposure.
Ease of movement
Prep carts come with wheels or regular table legs. While the choice between the two seems obvious, getting a prep cart with no wheels may be practical, depending on your outdoor landscape.
Wheels may be a disadvantage if the landscape is grass-focused, with very little solid ground. They can get stuck in the grass and mud easily. Not only will you struggle to clean them, but severe cases could make the wheels useless.
If you have a lot of grass, consider a wheel-free prep table. Just ensure it is lightweight so you can move it around easily.
On the other hand, wheels should be the priority if you have many patio or deck surfaces. It will make movements easier, allowing you to prep and serve using the table. Just ensure that the wheels glide smoothly. Wheels are also ideal for heavy and large prep tables for ease of movement.
Different prep carts come with varied price tags. The price may increase with durability, storage space, wheels, and material. Wood is often more expensive, but foldable metal prep carts can be costlier for convenience.
HDPE is affordable, but you will have to pay standard prices for products made even from recycled plastic.
The Best BBQ Prep Tables/Carts
Versatility: The Keter Unity XL
This large patio cart impresses with features such as lockable storage, a sleek look, and wheels to make it portable. The cart is made of durable resin, making it effortlessly resistant to outdoor conditions.
The resin has a wood-like texture that greatly improves visuals. The top is stainless steel, ideal for food preparation and easy cleaning. The combination of these materials makes the cart easy to maintain, saving users time and money.
As for the structure, the cart has a paper towel holder and comes with two wheels for mobility. The underside has lots of storage space and 4 hooks on the upper side to hold more. It also comes with a spice rack.
Cuisinart CPT-194 Outdoor Stainless Steel Grill Prep Table
This stainless-steel prep cart is ideal for space savers who need the convenience of a grilling station. The prep space measures 36″ x 22″, giving users plenty of room for preparation and serving. This work surface is durable stainless steel, which can withstand outdoor weather conditions.
The cart has four wheels, making it easily portable on patio and deck surfaces. The wheels can also lock to keep it in place. Thus the cart can be a serving station too.
On the side, users will find a handy paper towel holder. Additionally, it has a generous storage shelf on the bottom.
Most Portable: GCI Outdoor Slim-Fold Cook Station
Campers and people with limited storage space will love this portable fold grilling station. Its foldability is the best feature, allowing users to store it when it is not in use. Additionally, users can travel with it to make outdoor cooking easier.
The grill table is made from powder-coated steel. This material is highly resistant to outdoor conditions. Specifically, the power coating protects against water damage, limiting the risk of corrosion. The frame is also sturdy, resisting gusts of wind.
The table folds into an aluminum countertop, storage rack, and four plastic fold-out side tables. This is more than enough space to prepare and serve meals.
Most Features: Everdure Mobile Prep Cart
For users looking for something more sophisticated, the Everdure Mobile Prep Cart exceeds expectations. It is an impressive piece built for outdoor resistance and grilling convenience.
The surface top is made from food-grade acacia wood. It offers fantastic visuals on top of being effortlessly functional. The wood inlays are removable, allowing users to serve food straight from the grill without needing to plate. In addition, it has in-built plastic containers.
The cart has seven of these containers, a side pull-out bin for organic waste, lockable shelves, interior hooks, and a paper towel holder. It is the epitome of organized outdoor cooking. And best of all, it comes with lockable wheels.
Most Applications: TORVA Pizza Oven Cart
Users should also benefit from this stylish and resistant outdoor prep cart. It is an all-weather cart with a stainless-steel countertop. The top is easy to clean, resistant to discoloration, and can withstand outdoor conditions well.
The rest of the cart is durable HDPE, which impressively withstands rain, sun, and wind. Users eliminate the risk of mold, rotting, chipping, and cracking with this table. The table has a sturdy bottom shelf for ample storage. The table also comes with two wheels for portability. The combination of table legs and wheels makes it a good serving station.
Final Thoughts On Outdoor Prep Tables/Carts
An outdoor grilling prep cart or table is a great investment. As more people prepare to host friends and family for the holidays, this furniture item should prove useful in organized cooking.
Users should look for portability, plenty of storage space, and added features like the paper towel holder when purchasing outdoor prep carts/tables. However, the overall material should be the primary priority.
A combination of stainless steel with HDPE proves to be the best choice. The stainless-steel surface acts as the ideal material for food preparation. It is strong, does not retain flavor, and can withstand knife use. But users should be careful to clean it well to prevent corrosion.
The rest of the cart should be HDPE. It is a solid and durable plastic that can withstand the elements well. Users expect no rusting, rotting, or water damage from this material. Additionally, it comes in multiple colors and textures to match any theme.
We are a leading producer of brandable HDPE furniture, welcoming wholesalers and furniture store owners to partner with us for good quality HDPE outdoor furniture. We only use high-quality recycled HDPE guaranteeing long-lasting use with a smaller carbon footprint.
Reach out today to learn more about grill prep carts and tables. We promise quick responses and great prices.