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Outdoor Grill Station: 11 Inspiring Ideas & Designs

By Jayme Muller

November 9, 2022

Looking to jazz up your backyard?

You may be considering a variety of outdoor living projects.

Perhaps a pool, hot tub, fire pit, or…

An outdoor grill station.

We have to say, it’s a great option!

Who doesn’t love a relaxed, summer barbecue with loved ones?

If you have an outdoor grill station… That can be you every weekend!

Now, you may not be clear on exactly what the term means.

mike pyle at his RTA outdoor living grill station equipped with a pizza oven

What is an Outdoor Grill Station?

Also referred to as an outdoor kitchen, grill island, or BBQ island… An outdoor grill station is actually a bit of a regional term.

The Eastern half of the United States is most likely to use the term “outdoor grill station”. A couple outliers are Texas and California.

That was a fun bit of trivia… But what does it actually mean?

Well, it’s a literal term. Just like how an outdoor kitchen is describing a kitchen built for outdoor use… An outdoor grill station is a grill station, outdoors!

Let’s think a bit deeper about the term “station”. Miriam-Webster puts it simply, as “a stopping place”.

Although we primarily think of this in terms of a gas station or a radio station… That’s exactly what an outdoor grill station is! It’s the stopping place for all of your guests.

Or as we would put it… The backyard hangout.

Sound pretty good so far?

Let’s dive into some reasons why outdoor grill stations are a worthy project for your backyard.

Why Consider an Outdoor Grill Station?

man cooking at standalone gas grill

If you’ve had a cart model grill in the past…

You’ll know how inconvenient it is!

Of course, better to have a grill than nothing at all… But that doesn’t erase how frustrating the experience can be!

First of all, there’s little to no workspace available. Nowhere to put your utensils, trays, plates, the list goes on.

You can’t do any prep work or wash your hands either. So it’s back to running in and out of the house for every little thing. (And letting all kinds of bugs into the house!)

An outdoor grill station eliminates all of these problems. It is a complete station for all of your grilling and hosting needs.

At minimum… You have the BBQ island countertop for prep and serving space.

You can also incorporate storage for utensils, a sink for hand washing, refrigerator for cool beverages… The list goes on.

You can even include a bar island for seating!

And as far as outdoor cooking goes… You don’t have to limit yourself to just a grill. There’s an array of flat top grills, pizza ovens, power burners, smokers, and more to boost your grilling potential.

If you want to take your backyard to the next level… An outdoor grill station is where it’s at!

Let’s look at a few types of outdoor grill stations you may encounter.

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Types of Grill Stations

If you’re sold on a built in grill station… You have quite a few options to consider.

Some can be considered DIY projects… Others require skilled labor to complete.

We’ll begin with modular.

Modular

stainless steel modular outdoor kitchen

Modular grill stations are often found at local retail stores and online.

These islands are made from modular cabinets. Essentially… You pick the cabinets you want, and arrange them to form your layout.

This allows you decent flexibility in design! You can mix and match to your tastes.

Modular outdoor grill stations are also easy to put together. Sometimes, they will arrive completely assembled for you.

They also tend to be inexpensive… So it’s easy on the budget!

The downside?

These solutions generally aren’t built to last. With the lower barrier to entry… Material quality isn’t always up to par.

You can expect a modular outdoor kitchen to last only a few years.

Considering most homeowners want a grill station to be a lifetime investment… This simply won’t do!

Ready to Finish/Prefab

prefab outdoor kitchen with bar seating and built in grilll

Another option would be ready to finish (RTF) or prefab islands.

These are both constructed using outdoor kitchen frames… But require different levels of effort on your part.

These islands generally start with metal frames. This forms the structure of your layout.

From there, the frames are wrapped with cement board.

The final step is to apply a finish. This could be stucco, tile, brick, or stone veneer.

In the case of a prefab BBQ island… All of this work is done for you.

You order a completely finished island that is brought into your backyard.

RTF requires more in the way of installation.

Some RTF kits will have the frames, cement board, and appliance cutouts done for you. You’re just responsible for applying the finish.

It might seem simple… But you actually need quite a bit of skill to do this yourself!

The primary downside on these options?

Materials.

If you live in a dry, arid area like the Southwest US… You can probably get away with this type of island.

Not so much for the rest of the country. These systems are highly susceptible to humidity and freeze/thaw cycles.

As soon as moisture is allowed into your island… Say hello to rust, corrosion, and structural damage.

Is scratch-built any better?

Scratch Built

a diy outdoor kitchen project that needs electrical utilities ran

Many homeowners are interested in a completely custom outdoor kitchen.

Most of the time, this means you’ll be wanting to hire a contractor for the job!

If your contractor is truly an outdoor kitchen specialist… This can be a great choice.

However, they are the exception and not the rule!

Many contractors tend to be on the unreliable and inexperienced side… A combo you really don’t want for your project.

In short…

Scratch-built can be a great option, if you find a top-notch contractor. However, you have to be extremely careful in the vetting process.

Hiring a contractor for a custom build also tends to be quite expensive.

On the flip side… Some homeowners want to take this on as a full DIY project.

Generally speaking, we don’t recommend building your DIY grill station from scratch.

While you might save some money on materials and labor… Unless you have years of experience, you’re likely to be left frustrated and disappointed.

An outdoor kitchen island is a huge investment. Make sure it’s done right the first time!

Ready to Assemble

mike pyle with his family at their custom outdoor kitchen with a modern concrete finish

Finally, there’s ready to assemble (RTA).

These grill stations are made using specialized concrete panels.

If you’re familiar with SIP construction… You’ll know exactly what we mean!

SIP construction involves panels that slide into place. This creates the structure of your home.

Same concept with RTA.

Our concrete grill island panels are both structuralAnd have the finish incorporated into them.

Compared to RTF, this saves you a ton of time! (No technical skill required, either!)

You just bolt the panels together, insert the appliances, and slide on the countertop.

In as little as two hours… You can have a fully functional BBQ island at the ready.

Pretty great, right?

There’s a lot to love about the RTA system. (We’ll circle back to this later.)

For now, let’s look at some outdoor grill station ideas.

Outdoor Grill Station Ideas

Before you get your own outdoor grill station… You need to know what it’s going to look like!

Let’s review some examples to get the creative juices flowing.

Outdoor Stone Grill Station

Let’s kick off the list with this beauty.

Believe it or not… This natural stone look is made from concrete!

This kitchen is made from high performance concrete panels… With the finish fully integrated into the panel. (All the examples you’ve seen have this too!)

Point is… You don’t have to use natural stone to get a stone outdoor grill station.

It looks just as gorgeous as the real thing!

Outdoor Grill Station Plans

Looking for double the cooking power?

Not only do we have a beautiful natural gas grill… There’s a Coyote power burner to the left.

For those unfamiliar… A power burner adds a ton of cooking area potential to your kitchen!

The power burner is most commonly used for large crab or lobster boils.

However, there are multiple attachments that bring this humble appliance to another level.

Consider a wok accessory to add some Asian flair to your barbecue… Or a teppanyaki attachment for a makeshift outdoor flat top grill.

The possibilities are endless!

And with the storage space in this grill station… You don’t need to wander far for the necessities.

Outdoor Covered Grill Station

Want a summer kitchenUnder cover?

Look no further than this gorgeous example!

This covered outdoor grill station is wonderful showcase on how to efficiently utilize your space.

The slight L-shape design provides extra counter space for food prep.

The rest of the island features a pull out trash, power burner sleeve, propane gas grill, double access doors, and an outdoor refrigerator.

It’s the perfect setup for hosting gatherings of any size!

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Outdoor Grill Station with Sink

When it comes to functionality outdoors… This outdoor grill station is the perfect trifecta!

You have the sink for hand washing and easy cleanup… The fridge for refreshing beverages on hand… And of course, we can’t forget the grill!

There’s even counter space leftover for food prep and serving!

Who’s ready for a barbecue?

Grill Station Outdoor with Pellet Grill

Looking for a different approach with your built in grill station?

You might be interested in a pellet grill.

By using wood pellets as a fuel source… You’ll get far more functionality out of your grill! You can grill, sear, smoke, and even bake!

This grill station also features a side burner, storage space, and an outdoor refrigerator.

You’ll even peek a portable electric grill on the countertop! While most often used for camping or tailgating… This grill is a great way to boost capacity for large gatherings.

Outdoor Patio Grill Station Ideas

l shaped outdoor kitchen with refrigerator and pull out trash

Want your barbeque island on a patio?

Easily done! This homeowner’s patio is the perfect match for this outdoor kitchen finish.

Taking a closer look at the design… This grilling station has combo storage, a pull out trash, access doors, and an outdoor refrigerator.

And we can’t forget… The built in gas grill!

Plus, the bar island provides seating for family and friends. (Or use it as a serving station!)

Small BBQ Grill Island

Do you want a grill station… But have a small space?

There’s plenty of opportunity with this small outdoor kitchen layout!

You’ve got the essentials and more.

You have the built in grill, an access door, pull out trash… And plenty of counter space for food prep!

It’s a beautiful sight.

Outdoor Grill Station with Pizza Oven

This BBQ island is excellent for those who want a little extra.

The L shape layout adds a plethora of functionality to your outdoor space.

Of course… You have the grill! It’s essential for a grill station, after all.

You’ll also find an outdoor fridge, pull out trash, access doors, power burner, and even a pizza oven!

Having the outdoor pizza oven on a separate stand frees up valuable real estate on the bar island.

Burgers and pizza, anyone?

Outdoor Grill and Smoker Station

If you’re an outdoor grilling aficionado… One grill might not be enough!

Of course, having a gas grill is mighty convenient. But you might be missing the authentic, smoky flavor from a charcoal grill.

Why not both?

With this layout, you get the rapid fire convenience of gas… And that irresistible slow flavor from the Coyote Asado smoker.

There are a ton of other features to enjoy here as well! There’s the power burner sleeve, combo storage, refrigerator, outdoor sink, and a full bar island!

And with being under the gazebo you can host and cook no matter the weather.

Sounds like a party to us!

Electric Outdoor Grill Cooking Station

Do you live in an area with fire restrictions?

If you can’t have an open flame where you live… You don’t have to abandon your dreams of an island grill!

Take a look at this example.

In the center, there are two electric Coyote grills.

With no open flame to be found… It’s the perfect loophole!

Outdoor Grill Station with Bar

moks outdoor grill station with bar seating

When you’re building an outdoor grill station… Also consider bar seating!

It’s true, the grill is the star of the show.

But when you’re hosting a large gathering… Having bar seating is supremely convenient!

With this galley layout, you could turn your grilling into a hibachi-like experience.

The other outdoor appliances are a pizza oven, drawer storage, a grill, and access doors.

There’s also a fridge in the bar island. (It’s just not visible from this angle!)

Now that you’ve seen some great examples…

You may be wondering how to build an outdoor grill station yourself!

DIY Outdoor Grill Station

All of the examples you’ve seen today were DIY projects!

Starting to get curious about your own DIY grill station?

We are too!

As you’ve seen… RTA offers a quick, easy to assemble solution for your project.

In just a few hours, your complete outdoor kitchen will be ready to use!

The benefits don’t end there, either.

The heart of the RTA system is in our monolithic, structural concrete panels.

This means that the panels provide the structure… But also have the finish incorporated into them.

The benefit of this goes beyond less effort. Most outdoor kitchens involve many layers. The more layers… The more of a chance that something goes wrong.

By eliminating the layers… RTA also eliminates issues like delamination, rot, rust, and corrosion.

Even better, this ever-durable concrete is rated for 100 years. That’s a lot of time to enjoy your grill station!

Now that you’re excited… Let’s get you started with your DIY grill station.

The best place to begin is with our free online design tool. You’ll have a complete 3D render of your dream outdoor kitchen in minutes!

Trust us, it’s well worth your time.

Speaking of… We won’t keep you any longer.

Get started on your design, and we’ll catch up later!

Have Any Questions? Were here to help.

Book a call with one of our outdoor kitchen design experts and get started today!

FAQ

There are quite a few ways you could tackle this project. Most homeowners will opt for a wood frame outdoor grilling station… Although, this is not recommended. (Rot, warping, termites, fire hazards are all concerns.)

Your best bet for a DIY solution would be to explore a ready to assemble grill station. This will allow you to have all the satisfaction of a DIY project… Without the hassle and technical knowledge.

Yes! However, material quality is important.

Grills manufactured with 304 stainless steel grills are better suited to withstand the elements. They are far less likely to rust or corrode.

No matter what your grill is made from… It’s a good idea to purchase a grill cover. This will provide a little extra protection from the elements.

Where it makes the most sense! In all honesty… It doesn’t matter too much where you place your grill.

The primary thing to keep in mind is safety. You don’t want to place your grill where there may be a fire hazard.

If you have your grill touching the back wall of your house… Consider installing a ventilation hood and non-combustible backsplash.

While you technically can… It’s not recommended. Wood is a problematic grill station material for many reasons.

For one… Wood is susceptible to rotting, warping, splitting, and termite damage. All of these things will compromise the integrity of your island.

Even worse, wood is a combustible material. Unless you take painstaking precautions like insulated jackets and proper ventilation… Your grill station is a serious safety risk.

Even with these precautions, we believe it’s not worth the risk.

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