It Is Almost Barbecue Season
Summer is one of my favorite times, barbecues and outdoor parties are happening all over and the wind fills the air with the smell of burning charcoal and mesquite wood. It rings in the season better than the heat or the sound of ice cream trucks. Unfortunately I do not have the type of backyard to put a outdoor grilling island but that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t love to have one. Having a dedicated grilling station instead of a wobbly outdoor table makes the experience somehow more formal and permanent. For grilling enthusiasts, it is essential.
Store-bought grilling station prices can be exorbitant when all the “goodies” are added. Running water, ice box, propane storage and more can turn a simple piece of outdoor furniture into a major expense.
It makes sense to build your own instead. You have the choice of materials, size, and “goodies” to install. You can make it to match your décor, something store-bought items seldom accomplish. Best of all, you will have bragging rights that you designed it and built it yourself.
I built my own barbeque/party/kitchen center and it worked well for years. This spring, I decided to do a search for a fancier model to build. I like free patterns and plans because the price is affordable. I found these three, all with free plans, and will select one to be my favorite outdoor cooking space- at least for this year.
I”m proud of my own efforts. I used my new station for a couple of years. When I moved, a friend subtly hinted my style would match her patio perfectly. I made a present of it to her. She’s right. It looks great on her patio. I secretly think she remodeled her patio to match my station.
This all-in-one outdoor kitchen features a smoker, running water, grill and much more. It should be built by the person who has always wanted a full outdoor kitchen they can fall in love with. Since this is built as a permanent part of the home, it will increase the value of the house.
This is more versatile than a built-in model. It can come indoors when the weather turns against the party and still provide the cook with all the equipment he or she needs. It should be used with an electric grill if the weather is questionable. If using charcoal, it should not be brought inside.
Made from wood and trimmed with sheet aluminum or stainless steel, it fits beautifully in any modern or rustic décor.
This kitchen island looks far more expensive than it is. It has a wood frame covered with backer board. The builder’s choice of tile covers the backer board. By properly sealing the grout and tile, the station is weatherproof. It looks far more expensive and luxurious than it is.
It can be built any size and works well with any grill. A thrifty person would not pass up an otherwise expensive grill just because the leg or legs are broken. Incorporate it into one of these stations and have a unit that looks like you spent thousands.
While friends and family “oooh” and “aaahh” over your creation, you can pat yourself on the back while you state proudly, “I built it myself.” Just think of all the friends you’ll have after that who subtly hint you could build them one for Christmas.
Do you have a grilling island? Tell us about it in the comments below or share your photos with us of your grilling space, no matter how big or small. Don’t forget to check out some of our BBQ favorite recipes. There are sure to be more to come soon!
Doug Grant, “How to Build a Grill” HGTV website
Jennifer Stimpson, “How to Build a Grilling Station” This Old House website
Staff Article, “How to Build a Double- Grill Island” DIY Network website