OUTDOOR KITCHEN BLOG

How to Host the Best Super Bowl Party At Your Outdoor Grilling Station

The Super Bowl is known for four things – the game itself, the commercials, the halftime show, and the viewing parties. Your outdoor grilling station is the perfect place to host a Super Bowl party since it allows you to cook and socialize at the same time. Throwing a great Super Bowl party will take some planning, so it’s best to start in advance. Once you know how many people will be attending, you can begin the rest of the preparations, from the decor to the food.

Make Your Outdoor Grilling Station Into Party Central

Before you can host a Super Bowl party at your outdoor grilling station, you first need to decorate the area and plan the menu. You also might want to come up with a few games, just in case people linger after the Super Bowl ends – or in case some of your guests decide they no longer want to watch the big game. The space should be decorated with tasteful football-themed items. Rather than place banners over everything, consider making a centerpiece out of glass jars (fill them with tiny plastic footballs, helmets, and things with the NFL logo on them, or use real footballs – clean ones, of course. You could also serve a football cake at the end of the party. This could literally be a regular sheet cake with a field painted onto it and some goal posts stuck in either end. The trick is to make your decorations tasteful, yet slightly cheesy without veering into the tacky category. Too many decorations might overwhelm your outdoor grilling station. And don’t forget to pull your big screen television outdoors so that guests can watch the game. If you have the space, a wall mounted outdoor TV is a great addition, and you can find weatherproof enclosures for them, too!

Turn Your Patio Kitchen Sink Into A Bar

One of the best things about a custom outdoor grilling station is the fact that the sink can easily be turned into a bar if you don’t have one. Some come with additional basins that hold drink garnishes and ice, and you can even choose one that has built-in hoses and nozzles – great for dispensing soda water or even beer from a keg. With one of these patio kitchen sinks, you won’t have to run inside when guests are thirsty or rely on a cooler to keep beverages cold. If you’re looking for a way to make your party drinks even more fun, you can come up with themed cocktails based on the teams that will be playing. Other suggestions include using swizzle sticks with footballs on them and serving the drinks with NFL logoed napkins. Stock your outdoor grilling station sink area with plenty of glasses for various kinds of drinks and keep a few bottles of wine on hand. This way you’re completed prepared for every beverage request. You might even want to designate a friend to be the bartender that night or even hire someone. Otherwise, you’ll be the person running from the grill to the bar every time someone needs a refill.

Cook Everything In and Around Your Built In Barbecue

Having a built in barbecue means that you can cook while surrounded by your guests. You won’t be stuck in the kitchen while your guests are milling around the dining and family rooms. Since everyone will be in the same place, this leaves you with plenty of opportunities to socialize. No one will feel left out. Some suggestions of things to cook on your outdoor grilling station include gourmet hamburgers, ribs, or chicken wings – complete with a custom-made barbecue sauce. If you really want to make the party fun and adhere to the theme, you could use your outdoor barbecue to make meals based on the team’s home base. Find out what some of the specialty dishes are from those cities and create entire menus around them. If you’re going with the duel menu idea, you can use plastic document stands to hold the menus. Simply print out the options on a piece of paper – don’t forget the team logos – and place them in the holders. Then display the menus on the patio kitchen countertops and on your tables where your guests can clearly see them.

Serve Dinner From Your Outdoor Countertops

When all of the food is ready, move it from your outdoor grilling station onto serving platters. Arrange the platters buffet style on your outdoor countertops so that your guests can serve themselves. This is the easiest way to do things, as it allows your guests to come back for seconds if they want, or even snack throughout the game. Speaking of snacks, make sure to have plenty of appetizers on hand. They can be everything from the standard chips and dip, which are universal classics, to things like shrimp cocktail, stuffed artichokes, and mini sandwiches. There are many options to choose from, most of which you can make at your outdoor grilling station. Also, dessert was already mentioned – the cake – but you have other options here as well. If your patio kitchen includes a freezer, then feel free to stock up on several different flavors of ice cream and toppings. Your guests can make their own sundaes. This is an appropriate dessert, because… SuperBowl Sunday. (Bad pun.)

Conclusion

There are so many things that you can do with an outdoor grilling station. Hosting a Super Bowl party is just one of them. Keeping the party outdoors as much as possible had two advantages: the guests all remain in the same space, so they socialize amongst each other, and the mess is limited to the backyard. You won’t have to worry about finding empty cups and dirty plates in every room of your home.

Are you ready to create your own customized backyard kitchen? If so, call us or fill out the form below. Our professional designers can help you come up with the best way to utilize your space and turn it into the backyard of your dreams.

Patio Kitchen Decor: Going Beyond The Basics

Once construction on your patio kitchen has been completed, it’s time to decorate. There are several different ways to do so, but the best include a mix of both useful and decorative elements. These add to the character of your outdoor kitchen and make it a place that is not only functional but one that also represents your personality. These decorative elements don’t need to be large (although the first example here shows a different example), but they do need to explain who you are and what you plan to do with your patio kitchen.

Decorate Your Outdoor Kitchen Countertops

Decorating your outdoor kitchen countertops is fun. Since they are one of the most useful parts of your patio kitchen, you need to find the right balance between decorative elements and open space. You can add some plant life to your countertops. Yes, it’s already outdoors, but why not add to the decor by placing some potted plants or flowers near the sink or the cooking station?

It’s even better if these plants are ones that you can use for cooking. A small herb garden might be just what you need. These tend to not take up too much space, as long as you frequently use the herbs that you grow. Some ideas of herbs to plant on your countertop garden include chives, sage, cilantro, parsley, rosemary, oregano, and basil. These are very universally used, not to mention easy to grow. It will be nice to simply reach over and pick what you need as you cook. Your guests will be impressed – doubly so if your herb garden is set into a nice, double height metal rack consisting of embossed pots. Of course, if you don’t feel like growing your own plants, read on to find out about barbecue seasoning racks.

BBQ Island Ideas For Items That Are Both Useful And Decorative

Other things that you’ll need include a place to store your barbecue aprons, mitts, grill scraper, grate tool, flipper, tongs, and possible plates and silverware. What most people don’t know is that some grill manufacturers also have soft close, sealed drawers that can safely store all your tools and kitchenware.

In Conclusion

If you’re ready to start planning your ideal patio kitchen, then contact the pros at Grillnetics. We have two easy contact options – by phone, and by filling out the form below. Our professional designers will work with you to ensure that your patio kitchen has every necessary element and is laid out in an attractive and usable way. Once the plans are set, and your barbecue island appliances are ready, our knowledgeable builders will get to work. Before you know it, you’ll have the outdoor kitchen of your dreams.

In addition to expert advice on which grill to select for you usage and location, selecting the proper finishes, our services also include a CAD drawing and 3 dimensional rendering of your kitchen. This will help you understand exactly what the space will look like once it’s finished, so you can start gathering everything that you need to decorate it once it’s finished.

How to Host a Wine Tasting in Your DIY Outdoor Kitchen

A wine tasting is a good way to welcome guests to your new DIY outdoor kitchen. Think of it as being an inaugural party for your patio kitchen and its built-in barbecue. Your guests can spend practically the entire party outdoors, where they can eat, taste the wine, and socialize. Although hosting a wine tasting sounds like quite a bit of work, it isn’t. We’ll talk you through the steps here.

Choose a Theme for Your DIY Outdoor Kitchen Wine Tasting Event
Wine tasting themes aren’t the usual kind that most people consider when they’re planning a party. After all, you aren’t going to have a kid’s dinosaur-themed wine tasting! Instead, these themes involve the types of wine that you’re going to serve in your DIY outdoor kitchen. There are two main wine tasting themes to choose from – varietals and horizontals. The former involves tasting a dozen or so wines from one region. Obviously, you can choose any region that you like, from California’s wine country to northern Italy or Argentina. Once you’ve narrowed down the region, you have your choice of wines. A horizontal theme requires that you obtain several wines from the same winemaker or type, just in different years. If you already have a wine cellar stocked with interesting varietals from the same collection, then this is an easy choice to make.

Set Up Your DIY Outdoor Kitchen for Your Wine Tasting
After you’ve chosen the theme for your DIY outdoor kitchen wine tasting party, you next need to assemble everything else. You’ll need a place for your guests to sit, as well as a place to display the wine glasses. This is where outdoor kitchen countertops come in handy. If you have them, then you can arrange the wine bottles and other items on them until the tasting starts. Other things that you need include some sort of palate cleansers, as well as glasses of water. Although you’ll have other foods available, bland ones tend to make the best palate cleansers. Consider using small chunks of bread or crackers. They can be arranged on the countertop near your wine pouring station.

When it comes to purchasing the wine for the party (or fetching it from your wine cellar, if you already own it) the general rule is everyone gets a two-ounce serving of the same wine. Since the average wine bottle holds 24 ounces, you’ll be able to serve 12 guests from it – including yourself. Most tastings have between five and ten different types of wine, although this is entirely up to you. You can have your guests taste as many wines as you want. However, you will need one wine glass per guest for each different type of wine, so keep that in mind when you’re purchasing your bottles.

Make the Food with Your Built in Barbecue
Obviously, since your guests will be drinking quite a bit of wine in your DIY outdoor kitchen, you’ll need to serve them food. Cheese and crackers – especially if you can get cheese made in the same region as your wine – is a nice hors d’oeuvre. Also, consider serving cheese puffs and bruschetta. Crystal bowls of mixed nuts, cheese straws, and stuffed mushrooms make nice appetizers, too. You might also want to serve an entire meal, so consider making some salmon on your built-in barbecue and serving it with rice made on a stove top in your DIY outdoor kitchen. Dessert can be a berry tart, although cheesecake will work nicely as well. Plus, something chocolate. Chocolate mousse pairs well with many different types of wine. You’ll never have to go inside, which means that you won’t miss out on any guest interactions while cooking. There are other possible menu options to choose from as well since you can experiment a little and see which foods go well with the tannins in the wine.

Hold the Party in Your Patio Kitchen
Setting up for the party is the fun part. Obviously, your patio kitchen will be the main spot, as it will have a place for you to arrange the wine bottles, set up the tasting glasses, and even cook the foods that you’ll serve. Your DIY outdoor kitchen most likely has a set of patio tables nearby, which you’ll need to cover with a nice tablecloth. Consider using empty wine bottles or themed art from your chosen wine region for the centerpieces. You’ll have to decide whether to hide the wine bottles that you’ll be tasting or to display the labels for your guests to see. The first idea is fun, as it gives your guests a chance to guess what they’re drinking. Each place setting should have a notepad and pen, so that everyone can write down tasting notes. It’s these small touches that turn your wine tasting party into a memorable one.

Final Thoughts
Hosting a wine tasting is a great way to show off your new DIY outdoor kitchen. There are so many different things that you can add when planning yours – from a built-in barbecue to a special outdoor-rated wine chilling rack (which makes perfect sense for this kind of party).

When you’re ready to design your DIY outdoor kitchen, please give Grillnetics a call or contact us via the form below. We can help you design your patio kitchen from start to finish, based on your exact specifications. Our professional designers understand how to make a high-end backyard kitchen look beautiful, but be functional at the same time. Some possible components include countertop and built in pizza ovens, bar sinks, granite countertops, and much more. For the most part, if you can put it in a standard kitchen, we can build it into your backyard. Contact us today to get started.

Choosing Countertops for Your DIY Outdoor Kitchen

One of the more exciting aspects to your DIY outdoor kitchen, besides selecting the grill of your dreams, is choosing a unique countertop to suit your style and needs! But how do you know which one is right for you? Well, here are a few things to consider: climate, style, size, and budget.

Climate
The most important thing when choosing a countertop for you DIY outdoor kitchen is to select a material suitable for your climate. Depending on where you live, climate will dictate what type of countertop you can install. As an example, the rocky mountain region and northeast get a tremendous amount of snow and ice. As temperatures fluctuate, ice and snow will melt, get into cracks, freeze and expand, and destroy certain materials like grout. In these areas we typically like to see granite or stained concrete countertops. In other areas like the southwest and warm coastal areas you have a wider range of materials to choose from, and it’s quite common to install a tile countertop.

Styles
There are many types of materials to choose from when building your DIY outdoor kitchen, and even more color and texture variations. However, there are three time-tested countertop categories to choose from: stone, concrete, and tile. Here are the benefits to each, and in order of our personal favorites.

Stone: Granite, quartz, travertine, and onyx are some of the most beautiful stone available, and they come in hundreds of unique colors and patterns. Plus, they hold up extremely well in all climates because of their durability. Stone will handle excessive heat and cold, can be scratch and stain resistant if sealed, and is relatively low maintenance.

Another new trend in the stone world is “engineered stone.” In this process the manufacturer takes quartz crystals and bonds them together using resin. The main benefit we see from engineered stone vs natural stone is a more brilliant pattern or color. However, while this material is more stain resistant, the resin is also more susceptible to changes in temperature. Both engineered stone and natural stone cost roughly the same per square foot.

Concrete: Another option is a formed concrete countertop. This option is extremely appealing because if has very similar properties to stone – it’s extremely strong and durable, handles heat and cold vey well, and requires little maintenance. An advantage that concrete offers is that it can be stained, thereby creating almost any color imaginable. While the concrete is setting you can also add a pattern, round or texturize the edges, and fill the seams so it looks like one solid piece. Furthermore, concrete can be formed into any size or shape, which makes a custom countertop easier to install for a DIY outdoor kitchen.

Tile: A historically common approach to finishing a DIY outdoor kitchen countertop is tile. Tile is generally lighter and cheaper than stone and concrete, yet still has great properties like its tolerance for heat. However, as we eluded to earlier, tile doesn’t hold up well in areas with lots of snow and ice because the moisture will seep into the grout and then expand.

Furthermore, overtime tile tends to lose some of its original “pop.” If you decide to install a tile countertop on your IDY outdoor kitchen, it’s usually a good idea to also get something to cover it with when not in use.

Size
Similar to choosing the best grill for your needs, when selecting a countertop size for you DIY outdoor kitchen you need to ask yourself two questions: 1) how many people do you typically cook for? 2) will you be using the countertop as a table for snacks and drinks – in addition to food prep and cooking?

Be sure to have at least 24” on either side of your grill for food preparation and plating. In addition to this, you’ll want an additional 24-36” of linear countertop space per person you intend to have seated at your DIY outdoor kitchen island. If you have the room, a little extra countertop space is always valuable.

Budget

Determining what a DIY outdoor kitchen countertop will cost is the easy part. Below is a quick guide to give a ballpark idea. If you need a more concrete number (pun intended), feel free to call one of our designers.

Average Cost per Square Foot Installed by a contractor
Granite $125
Stained Concrete $90
Tile $45
Average Cost per Square Foot DIY
Granite not recommended
Stained Concrete $65
Tile $20

Final Thoughts
Regardless of the countertop you choose for your DIY outdoor kitchen, remember that they all require some maintenance. Installers recommend sealing your countertop annually to ensure a stain resistant finish and to remove any tarnish.

If you have other questions on how to select the right grill, which cabinet system to use, latest design trends for finishing your cabinet system, or how the outdoor kitchen should “flow,” our design experts are here to help. We also provide a free 3D rendering and CAD drawing, with a complete list of building materials and step-by-step instructions, as well as on-going support for customers.

The Benefits of Building a DIY BBQ Island

If you are at all concerned about your personal health, or the health of your family, then you will receive some wonderful benefits from your DIY BBQ island. Grilling your food is a healthier alternative to conventional cooking methods, like pan frying, deep frying, or even oven roasting. Cooking your food on the grill in your DIY BBQ island allows fat to naturally drip off (instead of soaking in it while being cooked), making your meal healthier. Furthermore, and arguably more important, according to research published on the National Center for Biotechnical Information in the US National Library of Medicine, simply marinating your meats prior to grilling can further enhance the overall nutritional value of your food by reducing HCA’s up to 82%.

Quick science lesson: HCA, or Heterocyclic amines, is a chemical that is formed when cooking with high heat. It doesn’t matter if you cook indoors in the over or out doors on a grill. This reaction is caused by heat. By using a marinade prior to grilling you can eliminate up to 82% HCA’s and still enjoy that amazing grill flavor!

Finally, your DIY BBQ island could save you from spending money on restaurant meals! It may not seem like it at the time, but dining out frequently can quickly add up. The average DIY BBQ island, complete with high end grill and appliances, could cost $15,000. However, that BBQ island should last as long as your house, and a quality grill generally comes with a minimum 10-year warranty. The fully amortized cost of owning a BBQ island is roughly $41 per month.

According, to an article published in the USA Today, the average American spends about $1,000 eating out annually. Another survey published by Accounting Principles showed workers spend $2,000 eating out annually. Therefore, a husband and wife you could easily surpass $4,000 per year. And if you have kids, $5,000 is a low barrier to hit. By cooking at home, a family could save thousands over a 10-year period!

There are many benefits of installing a DIY BBQ island, but they revolve around improved food quality and nutritional value, as well as significant savings – in terms of both construction costs as well as savings from dining in.

If you have questions whether you possess the skillset to install an DIY BBQ island, or how to select the right grill, which cabinet system to use, latest design trends for finishing your cabinet system, or how the outdoor kitchen should “flow,” our designer experts are here to help. We also provide a free 3D rendering and CAD drawing, with a complete list of building materials and step-by-step instructions, as well as on-going support for customers.

Everything You Don’t Know About Building an Outdoor BBQ Island

If you have decided to build an outdoor BBQ island, you will have to make a few important decisions before jumping into your new project. There are things you should know beforehand that you may not have considered previously.

It’s easy to visualize what your new outdoor BBQ island will look like, what you plan to cook on it, or daydream about the incredible gatherings you’ll have. However, there are a few unseen items you’ll want to include, like a natural gas line, electricity, and plumbing. Here’s what you should know.

Gas
When building an outdoor BBQ island, it’s highly recommended to run a natural gas line. The cost of gas is almost always cheaper than its liquid propane counterpart. As a result, you never have to run to the store to get propane tanks refilled or exchanged.

As an example, if you take 1,000 cubic feet of natural gas you could create roughly 1 million BTU’s of energy. The cost to create 1 million BTU’s via natural gas is roughly $12 (based on 2016 data provided by US Energy Information Administration). However, this same equivalent of energy would require 11 gallons of propane, or roughly $22. Plus you need to factor in drive time to get the tank filled or exchanged, and reinstalled for use.

To get a gas line installed simply call your local gas line installer (search Google for “gas line installer (your city).” You should expect to pay roughly $500 on average for the installation, assuming your house already has gas.

Electric
While planning your outdoor BBQ island you’ll need to install electricity, too. Many of today’s mid- and high-tier grills use electricity to run their ambient lighting, digital temperature gauges, ignition systems, and rotisseries. Plus, running electricity allows for outlets to power everything from cell phone chargers and outdoor speakers to refrigerators and kegerators.

When installing a new electrical line, or multiple outlets, you should probably budget $85 per man hour. It will likely take 2 hours, plus parts to install a new line. So, a $200 budget is a good number to start with.

Plumbing

Another must-have for any outdoor kitchen is plumping. In addition to making clean up much simpler, having running water and a sink allows you to rinse vegetables or wash your hands without having to run between your indoor kitchen and your outdoor kitchen. It also adds to the kitchens overall flow. Plumbing your outdoor BBQ island also allows for some luxuries, such as a built-in ice machine – a must-have for anyone who spends time outside during the summer. You should budget roughly $300 to add running water and drainage to your outdoor BBQ island.

Final Thoughts
Investing in a natural gas line, electric, and plumbing for your outdoor BBQ island is always recommended as it cuts costs and saves time long term. As a result, it makes your time outdoors much more enjoyable.

If you have questions on how to build an outdoor BBQ island yourself, which cabinet system to use, latest design trends for finishing your modular cabinet kit, or how the outdoor kitchen should “flow,” our design experts are here to help. We also provide a free 3D rendering and CAD drawing, with a complete list of building materials and step-by-step instructions, as well as ongoing support for customers.

How to Choose the Best Outdoor Kitchen Countertops for Your Home

There’s More to a Backyard Kitchen than an Outdoor Barbecue

When most people begin planning their backyard kitchens, they think of only one main component – the outdoor barbecue. While this is almost always something that gets built into every patio kitchen, there are numerous other things that can be added to make your outdoor kitchen even more useful. Yes, that barbecue is a good thing to start with, but expanding to include other kitchen features is what really turns a mediocre space into a high-end cooking oasis.

Designing a patio space, complete with an outdoor barbecue, that has many uses can give you an ROI (Return on Investment) of between 70% and 80% on the low end, and up to 200% in a strong economy. This means that you’ll likely get back what you spent on your patio kitchen as an increase in your home’s value. It also means that you’ll have a lovely backyard space you’ll be able to cook just about anything in – which is great for entertaining guests or having a quiet meal for two. Another “plus,” for anyone who has spent an entire family party in the kitchen missing out on the fun – while the guests are in the family room – understands how important it is to have a space where everyone can gather and talk to the designated cook.

Imagine having your own outdoor oasis, complete with an outdoor barbecue framed by a granite countertop. Alongside that barbecue is a traditional or ceramic smoker, food warming drawer, fridge, and cabinet space built into the outdoor BBQ designed for storage. The only thing this set up needs next is a patio umbrella, table, set of chairs, as well as your closest friends to cook for.

Beyond the barbecue and patio setting, you might also consider heating, cooling, and lighting. During the cold fall or winter nights, an overhead built-in heater can provide warmth (for roughly $800), while a misting system (roughly $2,500) can keep everyone cools under the summertime sun! Regardless of the time of year, light up every outdoor BBQ cookout with downlighting or built-in LED under the countertop.

A sink can add quite a bit of usefulness to your patio kitchen. You’ll be able to pick vegetables from your garden, prep them, and cook them, all without having to go into the house. The cabinet space under the sink can be used to store cooking pots and pans (to be used on your outdoor power burner), as well as containers of hickory wood chips that can add some flavor to the meats grilled on your outdoor barbecue or smoker. Other things that you can keep outdoors include wine glasses (even better if your patio kitchen has a built-in wine chiller), cooking tools, and sets of plates and silverware.

When it comes time to choose the best outdoor sink for your backyard kitchen, you have plenty of models to pick from. Outdoor sinks are usually made of stainless steel, and they are rated for outdoor use, meaning that they will hold up to sunlight, rain, sleet, and just about anything else that Mother Nature can throw at them. As with indoor sinks, the price depends on the size and brand, but most range from around $299 all of the way up to over $1,100. The best models tend to have faucets built into them (think Twin Eagles, Fire Magic, Summerset, and Alfresco). There are also sinks that double as bar centers, complete with small spaces to hold cocktail accoutrements and crushed ice. These models cost a bit more than standard outdoor sinks (most are in the $1,500 range), but the versatility that they offer makes the price worth it.

A built-in, outdoor barbecue is only one of the many ways to cook food outdoors. Pizza ovens are another. Even better, you can combine both into one very attractive patio kitchen.  Of course, these can be used to make more than just pizza – and they come in different shapes and sizes, from 30-inch ovens that are set into a countertop to ones that stand on the ground and have their own ventilation systems. A good pizza oven can cost anywhere from $1,000 (for smaller, countertop models) to upwards of $7,000 for authentic Italian style wood-fired oven.  Both types are equally useful and attractive.

There’s yet another option that we haven’t mentioned yet – an outdoor BBQ island. Yes, you can have two different sets of built-in sections in your backyard kitchen. One consists of features like the sink, any burners, the refrigerator, and even some storage built into the cabinets, while the other has the outdoor barbecue, the pizza oven, a smoker, and the warming drawers. Imagine how much fun you’ll have hosting family and neighborhood parties that don’t involve going into the house.

As you can see, an outdoor barbecue is just the tip of the proverbial iceberg when it comes to backyard kitchens. You can have yours designed to meet your exact preferences, from the size of the sink to the number of storage cabinets, and to include other appliances from an ice machines to a pizza oven to a kegerator.

If you have questions about design, selecting the right appliances for your outdoor barbecue, or how to install a DIY outdoor kitchen, one of our design experts would be happy to speak with you. We also provide a free 3D rendering and CAD drawing, with a complete list of building materials and step-by-step instructions, as well as ongoing support for our customers. Call us today, or submit a request below.

Why Choosing A DIY Outdoor Kitchen Is A Good Idea: 3 Key Benefits

You may have seen outdoor kitchens in backyards and wanted one of your own. If the thought of a high price tag or dealing with construction crews in your yard has scared you away, then you should consider purchasing a DIY outdoor kitchen!

Whether you’re a DIY aficionado, or you’ve never picked up a screwdriver before, there are DIY outdoor kitchens available that are easy to build, affordable, and will look gorgeous upon completion.

There are many benefits that come with having an outdoor kitchen in your backyard, which go beyond saving a few bucks (although that’s a great perk too)! If you’ve hesitated in the past, you’ll be reaching for the tool box in a heartbeat once you see how beneficial building a DIY outdoor kitchen can be.

One of the main reasons many homeowners choose to purchase a DIY outdoor kitchen (or any DIY project, for that matter) is to save on costs. According to House Logic, many DIY projects can save up to 50% off the contracted price. Sometimes, hiring a labor team can become expensive, especially if you decide to go through a 3d party. By choosing to build your DIY outdoor kitchen yourself, you can significantly cut down on costs.

There are other benefits included in efficiency, as well. When creating your DIY outdoor kitchen, you are working on your own schedule. You don’t have to coordinate with a team of installers or negotiate on time windows. Your new project may be completed in a faster amount of time than expected by choosing the DIY route! Plus, some cabinet systems, like Grillnetics, can be bolted together and finished in a weekend.

While building a DIY outdoor kitchen may seem daunting, don’t think that you’ll be left in the dust! If at any point you do require additional assistance, handymen can always be contacted to help you along the way. There are many options available from calling the manufacturer to using a service like pro.com. In either event, this is still a cost-effective solution since you can decide when professional help will step in.

The next great thing about building a DIY outdoor kitchen is that the construction process is, surprisingly, very simple. Not only will your DIY outdoor kitchen come with all the directions required for building it, but you’ll be happy to see how easy it is to assemble with most steps being pre-fabricated. As an example, a Grillnetics cabinets are assembled as follows:

1)Unpack the cabinets
2)Use the included 8 bolts to put the frame together

To finish the project you’ll need to make a cut for the grill (using the dimensions provided by the grill manufacturer), add stone or stucco to the walls (the stone veneer literally glues on with industrial adhesive, and the stucco rolls on – just like painting a wall), and a counter top (we prefer granite due to its durability, but many people choose concrete or tile).

You also have many tools (aside from the hardware in your garage) at your disposal. How-to tutorials and instructional videos are available online to guide you through the process. You also have the manufacturers and distributors at your disposal.

Not sure if you have the skill set to build an outdoor kitchen yourself? Call and speak with one of our experts today.

A DIY outdoor kitchen may seem like a daunting task. However, if you have access to the internet and know how to use a wrench, saw, and drill, you likely have the skillset to build an incredible BBQ area.

If you have questions whether you possess the skillset to install an outdoor kitchen, or how to select the right grill, which cabinet system to use, latest design trends, or how the outdoor kitchen should “flow,” our designer experts are here to help. We also provide a free 3D rendering and CAD drawing, with a complete list of building materials and step-by-step instructions, as well as on-going support for customers.

How to Choose the Right Outdoor Kitchen Cabinet

When building an outdoor kitchen there are several options to consider in terms of the cabinet system that will ultimately house your grill – and any other appliances you want to include. Whatever material you select, it will need to withstand the weather, heat from the grilling areas, and the weight of your grill, countertop, and anything else you may set on top of it.

5 Types of Material to Consider When Building an Outdoor Kitchen

One of the most popular options for building an outdoor kitchen in the southwest is concrete block. Concrete blocks are generally inexpensive, fire- and mold-resistant, and can be completely customizable. They can also be easily finished with stucco, stone veneer, or tile.

However, this type of outdoor kitchen can be extremely heavy, so selecting the right location is critical. It will also require a level concrete slab to build upon. Concrete block outdoor kitchens require significant skill to install, so make sure to hire a contractor with masonry experience.

Time to complete: 4 weeks

An outdoor kitchen made of brick is a very unique look that holds up well in all climates. Similar to concrete block construction, it is fire- and mold-resistant, and can be completely customized to accommodate any grill and layout. Furthermore, the natural brick look doesn’t require any additional finishes once it’s built.

Outdoor kitchens built from brick can be complicated though. Due to their weight, they also require a concrete slab to be built upon and are almost always more expensive than concrete block. Brick kitchens require a high level of masonry skill, so be sure to hire an experienced contractor.

Time to complete: 4 weeks

Using wood to construct your outdoor kitchen is an option. It is lightweight and inexpensive. You can install it relatively quickly with only a few tools, and you can place it on any level solid surface.

Especially relevant, wood is obviously flammable and has potential to rot even when using pressure treated pine. If you choose to build your outdoor kitchen from wood, be sure to use concrete board to completely enclose the wood frame. While this will not make it fire- or mold-resistant, it will add a layer of protection.

Time to complete: 2 weeks

Steel frame outdoor kitchens are becoming more popular. They are extremely sturdy, fire and mold resistant, but still very heavy and require a cement slab to be built on. The steel frame is then covered in cement board, which can then be finished with stone veneer, stucco, tile, etc. The skill set required to build an outdoor kitchen out of steel is high, so be sure to use a contractor.

Time to complete: 4 weeks

The new kid on the block is pre-welded aluminum framed outdoor kitchens. An aluminum frame is extremely light weight and strong, so it can be installed virtually anywhere from a concrete slab to a wood deck. It is also mold and fire resistant and most come pre-sheeted with concrete board, so it can be finished and customized to your needs. Additionally, because the main cabinets pieces are pre-welded, anyone who knows how to use a wrench and a saw can build the entire kitchen in a weekend.

Time to complete: 2 days

In conclusion, spend some time looking at various outdoor kitchens online. Determine how much space you have, which features you would like to include, and a budget you would like to stay within.

If you have questions on how to select the right grill, latest design trends for finishing your cabinet system, or how the outdoor kitchen should “flow,” our designer experts are here to help. We also provide a free realistic rendering and CAD drawing, with a complete list of building materials and step-by-step instructions, as well as on-going support for customers.

Need help designing your outdoor kitchen? Looking for brand name grills below market pricing? Call us today, or submit a request below.

How to Select the Right Grill for Your Outdoor Kitchen

Selecting the right grill for your outdoor kitchen can be simple, even if you’ve never done it before. It comes down to five questions:

  1. Do you cook when its cold out?
  2. How many people do you typically cook for?
  3. Do you usually grill or smoke your food?
  4. What foods do you usually cook?
  5. Will your grill be built-in?

If you can answer those questions, you have all the information you need to make the right decision.

Choose the Right Grill for Your Outdoor Kitchen

The maximum number of people you usually cook for at your outdoor kitchen is critical in determining the size of the grill you need. For example, if you generally only cook for you and your significant other, a 32” grill would have more than enough space. If you cook for a family of four and maybe a couple friends on occasion, you might consider something closer to 42”.

Here is how the pros calculate it: Take the number of people you plan on cooking for and multiply that by 120. This number represents the total number of square inches of cooking space needed. So, if you plan on cooking for 6 people, multiplying that by 120 gives you 720 square inches. An average grill is 22” deep, so a 36” grill that is 22” deep would have 792 square inches of cooking space (see below).

Grill Length in Inches X Grill Depth = Total Available Cooking Area
Number of people you cook for X 120 = Total Required Cooking Area
Total Available Cooking Area > Total Required Cooking Area

When selecting a grill for your outdoor kitchen, it’s important to take into account your geographic location. In regions with colder climates, like Alaska, you’re going to need a grill with enough BTU’s (British Thermal Unit – if the grill was a car, BTU would be equivalent to horsepower), to ensure it gets hot enough with the cold outside temperatures.

While planning your outdoor kitchen, take a minute to reflect on how you typically cook your food. Is it on a charcoal, gas, or propane grill, or do you smoke it?

70% of the time we recommend investing in a natural gas or liquid propane grill. They are easy to use and maintain. Similarly, if you like to smoke your food or enjoy cooking with charcoal briquettes, then we generally recommend a Primo Ceramic Grill (better performance than the traditional egg-shaped ceramic grills). Another common option is a pellet grill, like Memphis,  that uses an agar system to pull wood pellets through a feeder and ignites them inside the grill. As a result, you get the classic grill features and use, as well as the smoke flavor.

This is what the pros do: One of each! Most grill enthusiasts have one gas grill for cooking during the week when there is more of a time constraint and a second charcoal grill or smoker for cooking on the weekends.

The foods you typically cook are often overlooked when selecting a grill for your outdoor kitchen, but it’s important. If you generally cook steaks or burgers outside, then a traditional gas grill is a great option. However, if you like to cook duck, turkey, or ham on the grill, you should select one with a rotisserie built in. Then again, if you cook a lot of vegetables, it’s worth considering a grill with a sear-and-grill section, or adding either a griddle or side burner to the kitchen.

In addition to the basics, pros look for the following: Built-in thermostat, plenty of sturdy countertop space on either side of the grill, and a smoker box to infuse some of that natural wood flavor when using a gas grill.

Lastly, are you going to build the grill into your outdoor kitchen or use a cart? If you choose to build the grill into the kitchen, which is always our preference, spend the extra money on a high-quality grill! It will absolutely be worth it! The worst thing you can do is buy a cheap grill, build it into your outdoor kitchen, and then have to replace it in a couple years when it breaks down. You’ll end up paying for a new grill as well as rebuilding the island to fit it. Our personal favorite brands are Fire Magic and Twin Eagles.

In conclusion, spend some time looking at various outdoor kitchens options online, determine how much space you have and how many people you’ll be cooking for, which features you would like to include, and a budget you would like to stay within.

If you have questions on how to build an outdoor kitchen yourself, which cabinet system to use, latest design trends for finishing your cabinet system, or how the outdoor kitchen should “flow,” our designer experts are here to help. We also provide a free 3D rendering and CAD drawing, with a complete list of building materials and step-by-step instructions, as well as ongoing support for customers.

Need help designing your outdoor kitchen? Looking for brand name grills below market pricing? Call us today, or submit a request below.