Thanks to the pandemic, Americans rekindled their love of their backyard. With more time at home, thanks to remote work, people are spending an additional three hours per week outside, much of which is spent just out in the yard.
Spending more time outdoors, whether you’re on a hike or just reading a book out back has countless physical and emotional health benefits. So the more time you can do it, the better.
What’s a good way of increasing the amount of time you spend in your yard? The addition of BBQ grill islands, so that you can cook outdoors, is one of the best ways to do just that.
And no, BBQ grills and built-in islands don’t have to be super expensive. In fact, there are many DIY BBQ grill options. Keep reading below for tips on building an island and buying a new BBQ grill for your outdoor kitchen.
What are BBQ Grill Islands?
Most people who cook outdoors just have a standalone grill somewhere on their deck and patio. It looks quite lonely out there, as there usually isn’t anything next to it.
But this setup makes cooking inconvenient, resulting in fewer meals cooked on the grill. Why?
Think about your indoor kitchen. What’s next to your stovetop? Counter space.
Having counter space in your cooking area is vital for preparing and cooking food. If you didn’t have any counter space, you’d probably spend as little time cooking as possible. The same is true in the backyard.
A grilling island is a built-in island with a countertop that can either be next to a standalone grill or can encompass a grill.
That way, you have your cooktop with plenty of counter space to prepare your food all in one space.
You can keep the island simple with a solid base. Or you can install cabinets, a mini-fridge, or space for a trash can underneath. The options are only limited by your creativity, your budget, and your handiwork skills.
You can also incorporate seating into one side of the island by having the countertop extend beyond the base.
Planning Your Grill Island
There are countless blueprints out there for planning and constructing a grill island. But before you get started, there are a few things to think about. Here’s how you can start planning your project today.
How Much Space Do You Have?
The first step is determining how much space you have and where the island will go. You can build a mini island or an expansive one.
You can even get a mobile grill island cart that can be moved inside during the winter and back out in the summer.
When looking at locations to place your grill island, consider the overhead space as well. If you have a covered patio, that’s ideal. Placing your grill island underneath will keep it out of the elements. And it also allows you to have overhead lighting for when you grill at night.
If you don’t have an overhang, you may need to install some type of trellis over the island to give you a place to install lighting. And you’ll want to cover up the island when wet weather comes through.
Which Appliances Will You Incorporate?
Most people build an island that just features a grill. Grills are either powered by charcoal or propane, so they don’t need any electricity. This allows you to build the island away from the home if necessary.
But some people want multiple cooking options. They’ll have a standard grill, but also a smoker. Many will add their Komodo grill to their island plans.
To do this, they’ll cut a hole in the counter so that it sticks up from the island. They’ll install a cabinet door in front of it, or keep that space open, to allow access to the bottom of the grill while cooking.
If you want to install a minifridge, you’ll probably want to install the island as close to the house as possible.
Constructing a Base
You can make an island base out of nearly anything. Most will construct it with wood, using a 2×4 frame. But you can also stack concrete blocks or masonry.
Once the frame is constructed, you can cover the outside with a decorative finish, such as faux stone, real stone, bricks, corrugated metal, or anything else that matches your backyard.
Choosing a Countertop
The grill is the focal point of the island. But the countertop is what determines how the island will look.
You must be selective, though. Your island is outside, and it may be exposed to rain, humidity, direct sunlight, as well as heat from the grill.
You’ll want to avoid steel countertops, for example, as well as butcher blocks due to the constant maintenance that would be required. Instead, stick with concrete, porcelain, marble, or granite.
Choosing a BBQ Grill Island the Easy Way
If you like to build things, then constructing a grill island will prove to be an easy weekend project for you. But if you don’t have the skills or time for that, and don’t want to pay for a custom-built island, there’s another option.
Mont Alpi Grills offer a complete grill island solution. When buying a grill, you can select one that comes with an island. So you’ll get cabinets and counter space attached to your new grill.
These freestanding grill islands can fit in nearly any backyard space. And they are highly modular, meaning you can customize them with additional pieces like a sink, a fridge, or even a keg island.
And the best news? When you order an island like this, it comes fully assembled. Just tell your delivery team where to put it, and you’ve got a brand new, professionally-built island.
Improve Your Entire Backyard with a BBQ Grill Island
If you want to spend more time out in the yard, soaking up fresh air and sunshine, as well as more time cooking wholesome, healthy meals, then installing an island is your best bet.
BBQ grill islands can be a fun way to spruce up your yard and create a space for entertaining. And they can be affordable if you plan right.
Looking for more household tips like this? Visit our blog now to keep reading.