Outdoor Kitchen Layouts

Once you’ve chosen the area where your outdoor kitchen will be built, it’s time to choose the layout. Budget, space and use determine the barbecue island’s layout. It is also important to settle on a layout that’s both convenient to work in and looks good.

If you’re planning to spend little time and money on the outdoor kitchen, go for a basic barbecue island that clusters the grill and all appliances in one central unit. Since this design is small and only for one person to work in at a time, consider raising one side of the countertop to separate the cooking and socializing areas.

For the more frequent outdoor cooking, build an L-shaped kitchen. This layout provides two separate areas for cooking and preparing food. At the base of the “L” the grill and some undercounter storage are available, while counterspace and stool seating is found on the vertical side.

Professionals of grilling prefer separating areas for cooking, preparing and eating food. If you want to build the ultimate outdoor entertaining hub, the U-shaped kitchen layout may be for you. This design mimics most indoor kitchens and is very convenient for those who have a generous budget.

Remember to always have in mind your site, the amount of space you have to work with, your cooking style, and your budget before getting carried away by a beautifully designed kitchen that may not suit your needs. Now that you have settled on a layout, go have fun building your own barbecue island!

Gas or Charcoal? How to choose your grill

We all know choosing a grill is a hard decision to make when adding an outdoor kitchen to your backyard. Since it’s the most important feature of a barbecue island and you’re spending a big chunk of your budget on it, don’t rush into buying a grill. Your priority should always be durability and cooking habits when deciding which grill is right for you.

If you’re an amateur and want to keep your barbecue parties casual, a gas grill is your best bet. Gas grills are convenient and easy to use. They work pretty similar to an electric stove; it only takes the push of a button to ignite them and the turn of a knob to control temperature, but they’re not ideal for slow-cooked barbecue.

On the other hand, if you like that delicious smoky flavor in your food, go for a charcoal grill. Take into consideration it takes time and dedication to control the temperature and that you’ll be left with ashes at the end of your barbecue.

Most grills are made from cast aluminum, sheet metal, cast iron or stainless steel. Even though stainless steel is the priciest option, it definitely is the best choice in terms of durability. Keep in mind a grill is an investment; if you choose a cheap version, you’ll end up spending more money in the long run replacing it, especially if it is built-in.

Go big or keep it simple? If you’re planning to cook for a crowd, buy a large grill with multiple burners. If you want to feed only a few people, a smaller surface with three burners will do the trick.

So which type to choose, Gas or Charcoal? Go for a gas grill for everyday grilling, and a charcoal model for more occasional barbecuing. Or if you have a larger budget, look for a grill that offers both options in one unit.