Imagine sinking your teeth into a cut of steak that has been grilled to perfection. Now, imagine being able to make that for yourself at home with your very own DIY grill station.
For some people, barbecue grilling has practically become a way of life. They have parties centered around their grill and competitions for the best meat. Why not bring this tradition home to your very own backyard with a DIY outdoor grill station?
The inside of our home often receives most of the focus when it comes to design and investment. However, the outdoor space on a property can present just as much value.
Going outside gives you quite a bit more space when you are hosting or celebrating with friends and family. Traditional holidays take on a new feeling in the fresh air and relaxed atmosphere. Building a barbecue grill in your exterior space opens up a whole new realm of possibilities, not to mention delicious meals.
What is a DIY Grill Station?
A barbecue grill is one that cooks food by sending the heat upwards from a heat source below. There are three primary categories for these grills: gas-fueled, electric, and charcoal. It is up for debate which of these grills produces a better taste. Which do you prefer?
Barbecue grills that run on gas normally use butane, natural gas, or propane in a tank stored below or connected at the side. In a gas-fueled barbecue grill, the gas is ignited into flames, cooking the food to a flame-broiled finish.
Electric grills are those powered by electricity. They offer excellent temperature control but are not as common for a barbecue grill since they do not tend to produce any smoke, which some people consider essential in a barbecue.
Charcoal grills provide the classic, smokey flame-broiled flavor that is so sought after in barbecued food. The type of briquettes you use, and any wood chips you may add, change both the flavor and the way your grill heats up.
How Does a DIY Outdoor Grill Station Differ From an Outdoor Oven?
In an outdoor area, you often only have a finite amount of space. It would be best if you made choices regarding how to use this space as effectively as possible. For some people, it will be more worth it to craft their own DIY outdoor grill station. For others, it is handy to have an outdoor oven. Which is better for you?
For some people, versatility is the name of the game. If you want to be able to cook while moving around your yard or house, then an outdoor oven gives you more freedom. With an oven, you can set it and forget it; however, you will miss out on the classic barbecue taste that a grill provides. Grillmasters need to often tend to the grill and are usually standing at the grill until all food is cooked.
Source of Energy
An outdoor oven is going to need a gas or an electric connection unless it is specialized to heat by burning wood. This means that the oven needs to be placed in an area with access to these energy sources. If you are an avid charcoal griller, or you have a portable propane tank, you can select any place in the yard to suit a DIY outdoor grill station.
Time to Cook
If fast preparation for plenty of people is what draws you in, then a BBQ grill is preferable. These cook through much faster than a conventional oven does, and they take less time to heat up as well.
How to Design a DIY Grill Station
Getting down to brass tacks, there are several different ways to build a DIY grill station. You can hire contractors to do the work, but it is going to be much more expensive. Doing it yourself is also the best way to ensure that you get what you want.
Take a look at your budget before getting started. Doing so helps you consider the kind of material that you can afford during the process.
Select and Measure Your Space
Depending on your grill preference, you might need some wiring and electrical access, or a gas hookup. In these cases, it is best to choose a site closer to your home. If you have a freestanding grill, perhaps equipped with a gas tank or heated by charcoal, then the entire yard is your oyster.
Survey your space. Do you only want a small patio area where your grill will sit? Do you want to fashion your own grill, perhaps from brick? Would you prefer an area large enough to cook and serve those seated nearby?
Whatever you decide, measure out the approximate location. It is best to mark it out, so you get an accurate picture of just how much space it will take up. Also, be safe and get a certified inspector to check that no essential lines are running underneath the space you will dig.
Construct the Foundation
Unless you are building on an area that already has a patio, you will need to make the foundation for your grill. In most cases, this will be similar to building a patio, although it does depend on which design you want.
The guideline of instruction we give below is if you are constructing a patio from bricks. You can also make one using wood, in which case the methods are different. Also, consider that if you use wood and briquettes or oil drops down from the grill, it is much more challenging to clean and fix the area. There is also an increased risk that the wood will burn or scorch.
To start the process making a brick patio for your DIY outdoor grill station, dig down about as deep as the patio bricks that you want to lay. Use a thin mixture of concrete to make the area level and stable. Then, place the patio bricks on top and carefully line the gaps with your choice of filler. Some people use concrete again, but this can make the brick-top messy. Otherwise, use a tight-packed sand mixture, so they do not move around while in use.
DIY Grill Station Designs to Consider
There are many different ways that you can design your outdoor barbecue grill. The best choice for you will be those that fit your grilling style and how you want the rest of the exterior space to appear. Here are three common options:
Stand-alone Barbecue Grills
Stand-alone barbecue grills are the most conventional style. You can buy these from almost any home goods store during summer or online at any time of the year. It is up to you what kind of grill you get, although electric grills need to be near the home to access a power source. These grills are the most simplistic. Once you have a patio, they can easily sit on top of it.
Brick DIY Grill Station
Go the whole nine yards with the DIY theme and build your own grill from bricks. There are quite a few designs for this, but they all follow a similar pattern. They feature a mid-height rectangular box that is partially open in the front and completely on top.
You make it so that briquettes or wood are laid underneath, and a section where a grill can be set on slightly protruding bricks. These can be set into the patio or built on top of it, though it is more stable if built into the patio area.
Barbecue Grill Stand
You can build or buy a barbecue grill stand from many different kinds of material. One unique design is to build one from wood that resembles a kitchen countertop. However, there is a hole cut out that a grill can fit into, and the rest of the space is for the remaining meal prep. It is similar to having a mini outdoor kitchen.
Protect Your DIY Grill Station
Once you have done all of this work, it would be a shame only to use it during beautiful weather. Protect your space and increase the amount of time you can use it by sheltering it with something like a grill gazebo. Your cover should be made from a material that won’t warp or discolor from the heat and smoke coming up into it.
When you get your shelter, anchor it down properly. With some, you can do this by extending guylines from the side and fixing them in with the provided stakes. With others, you may want to bury the legs at the bottom or ground them in concrete blocks. Ensure that they hold fast so that the entire barbeque gazebo area stays safe during a storm or high winds.
Taking Your Exterior to a New Level
Building your own backyard barbecue grill station is a unique way to separate your outdoor space. It gives it a distinctive feeling and effectively extends the valuable square footage of your home. Protecting your handiwork keeps it safe and increases the amount of time you can use it during the year. Now, who is ready for some barbecue after all of this?