How to Adapt a Microwave to Fit Your Outdoor Kitchen

outdoor patio with kitchen, grill, and seating area
  • 0.5-1
  • Beginner
  • 35-50
What You'll Need
GFCI outlet
Waterproof box
Plastic cover
What You'll Need
GFCI outlet
Waterproof box
Plastic cover

One handy addition to your outdoor kitchen is a microwave oven. It will let you cook things quickly and neatly, and also heat up leftovers. Given the limited room in an outdoor kitchen, fitting a microwave oven into the space and keeping it out of the weather can be a challenge. Those aren’t the only factors you need to consider with a microwave in your outdoor kitchen, however.

Step 1 - Fit

There are different sizes of microwave ovens, and a small one can easily squeeze into a small area of the countertop of your outdoor kitchen. If counter space is at a premium, you can put other kitchen appliances on top of the microwave oven. Go for the smallest possible microwave you can find. Modern ovens should still be powerful enough to handle all your needs.

Step 2 - Weatherproof

microwave oven

At the end of the outdoor kitchen season you should always move your microwave to a dry, indoor place. Never leave it outside all winter. Clean it thoroughly each spring before you put it back outside.

To keep it safe from the elements while it’s outside, ensure it’s protected from rain and wind by a wall, making certain the rear of the oven is covered. The plug area also needs to be carefully protected from water. To see this happens, the plug should be in a waterproof box. The outlet should be a GFCI type.

These are ideal for outdoor locations where wetness and dampness can be a problem as it will shut down in the event of a problem and will prevent possible electric shocks when you use the appliance.

Step 3 - Use

You’ll make as much use of your microwave outside as you would in the kitchen. This means that sometimes it will have extensive use and at other times just sit there. As an additional way to protect the microwave from possible water or sun damage, when it’s not in use you should keep a fitted plastic cover over it. As it’s fitted it won’t blow off and it will keep the water away.

Step 4 - Clean

wiping out a microwave oven

You should keep your microwave cleaned after every use. Use soap and water and be sure to wipe up all the dirt and debris. This will keep pests and ants clear of the microwave. Remember to clean the inside of the microwave oven, too. Small bits of food can find their way in there and attract insects. Dispose of all the debris in a garbage can.

Step 5 - Power

Make sure that you have ample power in your outdoor kitchen to run your microwave oven along with other appliances. When you’re entertaining, the last thing you want is to blow a breaker. Calculate the amount of power you outdoor kitchen is going to drawn, totaling up the amperage of all your appliances. Make sure you use a circuit that is large enough. Remember to check your GFCI outlet every year.