Outdoor grill station ideas – 10 ways to elevate your summer BBQs

Outdoor Grill Station Ideas

From planning an outdoor kitchen dedicated to grilling to shopping for souped-up standalone barbecues, these grilling stations span a range of price points, styles and backyard sizes.

1. Find The Right Spot For Your Grill Station

One of the most important things to consider when planning an outdoor grilling station is where to put it so it works best for your lifestyle, says Russ Faulk, Chief Designer and Head of Product at Kalamazoo, a luxury outdoor kitchen provider.

2. Add A Rotisserie

If there was an award for the best grill station upgrades, this Los Angeles spread would be hard to beat. 'This particular client was a true grill master and regularly grills for his family several times a week,' says Kate Gross, whose firm Kate Anne Designs created this outdoor kitchen.  'We included a proper Argentine grill that raises and lowers over burning logs, a smoker to infuse and slow cook meats, and a grill to sear meats before they’re slow-cooked, so as to preserve the juices inside the meat.

3. Use A Pergola To House Your Grill Station

A pergola can elevate the average outdoor grilling station in a few ways. For one, it offers shade from the sun on a hot day, which is especially welcome while standing over a fiery barbecue. Depending on the type of pergola ideas you choose, it can also create surface area for creating a small bar or serving station. And, you can use your grilling station to add ambience to your whole backyard by outfitting the pergola with string lights.

4. Install A Brick Surround

A built-in grill station is a polished way to create a cook space outdoors, especially when it's covered in brick, like the one above by bloggers Chris Loves Julia. The designing duo DIY-ed this gorgeous brick surround, but if you're not quite as handy, tap a landscape architect, contractor, or outdoor kitchen company to create something similar.

5. Plan For The Elements

Since your outdoor grill station is, well, outside, there are a number of factors to consider when planning for it. 'Considerations such as solar orientation, view, and cover for weather (sun/rain depending) are issues that are specific to outdoor kitchen design,' says Matt Baran of Baran Studio Architecture.

6. Create A Freestanding Grill Station

An outdoor kitchen doesn't have to be hardscaped into your backyard. If a built-in grill station isn't in your timeline or budget this year, look for freestanding outdoor kitchen carts, islands or cabinets to create your own custom grill area.

7. Add A Pizza Oven

Consider yourself a true grilling enthusiast? Then you'll need more than just a grill. 'Smokers and pizza ovens add their specialty cooking prowess to your repertoire,' says Faulk. 'Refrigeration can make entertaining more fluid. And a sink is a critical element for washing your hands during food preparation.'

8. Get The Basics Right

Not all grill stations have to be over the top. Even a basic grill station can be a winning backyard idea if you get the basics right.

9. Build A Bar Nearby

Serving as the default grill master is a lot more fun when you're surrounded by friends and family. Bring the party to you with an island or bar area adjacent to your grilling station, which can double as an easy spot for serving up your best BBQ.

10. Add Lights To Your Outdoor Grill Station

If your al fresco dinners tend to stretch late into the evenings, be sure to add a light source to your grilling station so you can effectively flip your burgers after the sun goes down. If your grill area is adjacent to your lounge seating or a gathering spot,  choose task lighting that will add to the ambience, too.

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