The right ideas for outdoor barbecue stations can turn a so-so backyard into your family’s favorite meeting place in hot weather.
In addition to simply installing the best barbecue on the patio, a barbecue station offers additional amenities that enhance the entire barbecue experience. Think outdoor kitchen ideas, but exclusively dedicated to grilling: cooking areas, built-in sinks, extra sockets to connect small appliances and even shelter from the sun and rain.
Outdoor barbecue station ideas
From planning an outdoor kitchen dedicated to grilling to shopping for stand-alone grill dishes, these grill stations span a variety of price ranges, styles and backyard sizes.
1. Find the right place for your barbecue station
One of the most important things to consider when planning an outdoor barbecue station is where it should be located so that it works best for your lifestyle, says Russ Faulk, Chief Designer and Head of Product at Kalamazoo (opens in new tab)a provider of luxury outdoor kitchens.
“As a year-round griller in the Midwest, I like to make sure my grill is close to my kitchen door and positioned so that I can keep an eye on the lid thermometer through the kitchen window,” he says. ‘In this context, you must take into account places of use. Is gas and electricity already in a good place, or should you invest in moving it to your ideal location? ‘
2. Add a rotisserie
If there was a price for the best BBQ upgrades, this Los Angeles spread would be hard to beat.
“This customer was a true barbecue master and grills regularly for his family several times a week,” says Kate Gross, whose company Kate Anne Designs (opens in new tab) created this outdoor kitchen. ‘We included a proper Argentinian grill that rises and falls over burning tree trunks, a smoker to cook and slowly cook meat, and a grill to sear meat before it is slowly cooked, to preserve the juice inside the meat.
‘The grill also has a rotisserie function for, for example, rotisserie chicken, but it is also great for cooking hot dogs and burgers on a casual pool day. We also have a prep wash, two fridge drawers for storing ingredients, a drink fridge and a “Sonic” ice machine for perfectly crispy ice cream, just like you used to get from Sonic as a child. ‘
Notice how ideas for garden bars are incorporated into the layout of the barbecue station.
Use a pergola to house your barbecue station
A pergola can raise the average outdoor barbecue station in a few ways.
First, it provides shade from the sun on a hot day, which is especially welcome when you are standing over a burning barbecue. Depending on the type of pergola ideas you choose, it can also create surface area to create a small bar or serving station. And you can use your barbecue station to add ambiance to your entire backyard by equipping the pergola with light chains.
4. Install a brick frame
A built-in barbecue station is a polished way to create a kitchen space outdoors, especially when covered with bricks, like the one above by bloggers Chris Loves Julia (opens in new tab). The design duo DIY-released this beautiful brick frame, but if you’re not quite as handy, tap on a landscape architect, contractor, or outdoor kitchen company to create something similar.
5. Plan for the elements
Since your outdoor barbecue station is outside, there are a number of factors to consider when planning it. “Considerations such as sun orientation, views, and weather coverage (depending on sun / rain) are issues specific to outdoor kitchen design,” says Matt Baran of Baran Studio Architecture (opens in new tab).
6. Create a free-standing barbecue station
An outdoor kitchen does not have to be hardscaped into your backyard. If a built-in barbecue station is not in your timeline or budget this year, look for freestanding outdoor kitchen carts, islands or cabinets to create your own custom barbecue area.
7. Add a pizza oven
Consider yourself a true barbecue enthusiast? Then you need more than just a barbecue.
“Smokers and pizza ovens add their cooking specialty to your repertoire,” says Faulk. ‘Cooling can make entertainment more fluid. And a wash is a critical element to washing hands while cooking. ‘
8. Get the basics right
Not all barbecue stations need to be over the top. Even a basic barbecue station can be a winning backyard idea if you get the basics right.
“The most important element of a grill station is a grill that has the temperature range and versatility needed to support the cooking techniques you enjoy the most,” says Faulk. “Beyond that, you need to make it a functional space. That means work areas at opposite heights with enough space to handle dishes, cutting boards and ingredients; a little bit of storage space for tools to clean your grill and your charcoal and wood (if applicable ); and task lighting so you can see what you’re doing after sunset. ‘
In this Saddlebrook Ranch, Ariz. Project, designer Kathryn Prideaux (opens in new tab) designed the outdoor entertaining space around the Kalamazoo grill, both from a functional and aesthetic point of view. It was located specifically to take advantage of the desert views beyond the property.
9. Build a bar nearby
Serving as a standard grill master is a lot more fun when you are surrounded by friends and family. Bring the party to you with an island or bar area next to your barbecue station, which can serve as an easy place to serve your best BBQ.
10. Add lights to your outdoor grill station
If your fresh Dinners tend to stretch far into the evening, so be sure to add a light source to your barbecue station so you can effectively turn your burgers after the sun goes down. If your barbecue area is adjacent to your lounge seating or a gathering place, choose task lighting that will also add to the ambiance.
How to build an outdoor barbecue station?
First of all, it is important to note that your local building codes govern things like whether you can build an outdoor barbecue station on your property, where it can be located, how it is built, what surrounds it and more. So your first stop should always be to check with your local construction department or zone commission or to consult an area builder who is familiar with codes.
Once you have made sure that you comply with the safety rules, the easiest way to build a barbecue station is to use ready-made outdoor furniture to create a layout that suits your needs. For example, if you place a rolling outdoor kitchen cart next to your grill, you can create a preparation space and a place to serve food. Or consider purchasing a prefabricated gazebo or pergola designed to serve as an outdoor kitchen area.
If you are looking for a hardscape barbecue station, your best bet is to hire a local contractor or landscape architect to handle the task.