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Pellet Grill Outdoor Kitchen: 3 Major Benefits & The Best Options for Your Space

By Daniel Cdebaca

June 8, 2023

There are so many details to consider when planning an outdoor kitchen project… And the type of BBQ grill you choose is perhaps the most important one of all.

It’s a major decision!

Maybe you’re leaning towards a pellet grill outdoor kitchen… That’s a fantastic choice! 

Pellet grills are one of the most versatile appliances on the market. 

Today, we’ll lay out some important details to help you decide if a pellet grill is the right fit for your outdoor cooking station.

Let’s dive in… Starting with a little background info!

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What is a Pellet Grill Outdoor Kitchen?

rta outdoor kitchen with weathered wood finish and pellet grill

The answer to this may seem obvious… Isn’t a pellet grill outdoor kitchen simply a BBQ station with a pellet grill?

Well, yes! But there’s a bit more complexity here.

To us, an outdoor kitchen with pellet smoker will include a true built in pellet grill.

This means the grill will sit in an appliance cutout… And be a seamless part of your kitchen island!

So, why are we making this distinction?

Well… Genuine built in pellet grills are a fairly new addition to the world of outdoor cooking!

While pellet grills have been around since 1985 (when Traeger hit the scene)… It wasn’t until recently, when outdoor kitchens surged in popularity, that true built in pellet grills started to take off.

Prior to this, the connotation for built in pellet grills was a little different. Rather than being built into a kitchen island… Many homeowners opted for a DIY pellet grill outdoor kitchen by simply modifying their freestanding pellet grills (this was particularly common with Traeger grills)!

This usually entailed removing the legs, and placing the head of a pellet grill on a recessed stand. While this made pellet grills look and feel like more cohesive additions to outdoor kitchens… This wasn’t an authentic built in solution.

Not to mention, modifying any freestanding appliance for built in use may pose safety hazards! 

Now, with plenty of legitimate built in pellet grills available… There’s a much more practical, safer solution for incorporating a pellet grill in your kitchen island. 

But… Why, exactly, might you want to add a pellet grill in an outdoor kitchen?

Let’s discuss the benefits.

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Benefits of Including a Pellet Grill in Your Outdoor Kitchen Island

Compared to gas grills or charcoal grills… Pellet grills are relative newcomers to the world of outdoor cooking.

Why might you consider a pellet grill as opposed to a more tried and tested appliance?

Let’s discuss the benefits. 

Pellet Grills Offer Increased Cooking Versatility

small modular outdoor kitchen with 28 inch coyote pellet grill

Pellet grills are one of the most versatile outdoor appliances.

Why is this?

Well, it mostly has to do with their wide temperature range.

On average, pellet grills can cook between 150-500 degrees Fahrenheit (though many models can get significantly hotter)!

This means that you can smoke food at low temperatures, sear meats at higher temperatures (if you have a pellet grill capable of getting up to 750+ degrees), and everything in between (rotisserie, anyone?).

As well as this… Pellet grills are also able to provide consistent, steady temperatures, and maintain even heat distribution across the entire cooking area. 

So, pellet grills can not only be used for searing and smoking… Their ability to evenly cook food means they can also be used to bake!

That’s right, you can bake bread, cookies, and even pies on pellet grill grids!

Alright, now that you know what you can use a pellet grill for… How do you use one?

Let’s move onto the next benefit.

Pellet Grills are Easy to Use

Another major benefit of pellet grills is that they’re straightforward and easy to use.

Once you’ve added pellets to the hopper... All you need to do to fire up a pellet grill is switch a button.

Pellet grills will automatically monitor when new pellets need to be dispensed to the fire box.

As well as this, many pellet grills have WiFi capabilities, which means you don’t have to hover over your grill for temperature control.

Plus, certain pellet grills can be used with temperature probes, which will monitor the internal temperature of whatever you’re cooking for you!

Essentially, a pellet grill will run itself, so you don’t have to do anything other than enjoy your food when it’s done!

Sounds pretty amazing to us… But what about after you’re done cooking?

Well, to keep your pellet grill running smoothly, all you have to do is clean the grates after every use (as you would with any outdoor grill)… And clear up ash buildup every 3-5 uses.

The latter may sound daunting… But really, it’s as simple as unplugging your pellet grill, ensuring it’s fully cooled off, removing the internal components, and carefully running a vacuum cleaner along the inside.

All in all, from ignition to maintenance… Pellet grills are one of the most low maintenance cooking appliances!

Pellet Grills Provide Delicious Flavors

grilling on coyote built in pellete

We can’t discuss the benefits of pellet grills without bringing up the amazing flavor profile they’ll provide. 

Though charcoal grills are also renowned for offering delicious flavors… Pellet grills can achieve similar flavors, with much less effort on your part! 

For many, the easy-to-achieve, smoky flavor profile of pellet grill cooked food is reason enough to include one of these appliances in an outdoor kitchen!

Alright… At this point, you’re probably eager to see how you can factor a pellet grill into your own BBQ station

To give you a better idea of what’s possible, let’s discuss the different methods for including a pellet grill in your outdoor kitchen.

Pellet Grill Outdoor Kitchen Options

Pellet grill inserts are still a fairly recent development in the outdoor kitchen scene. 

So, while it’ll be easier to factor a true built in pellet grill into your outdoor kitchen design… Your options to do so are still somewhat limited.

Even so, let’s see what options are available!

Modular Pellet Grill Outdoor Kitchens

To start, let’s talk about modular pellet grill outdoor kitchens.

Modular outdoor kitchens are prefabricated, individual cabinets... Which you simply place together to form your grill station.

This is an incredibly easy (and inexpensive) way to add an outdoor kitchen to your backyard!

So, is there such a thing as a modular pellet grill outdoor kitchen?

Well, we were able to find just one modular outdoor kitchen with a pellet smoker option… From Grilla Grills!

Grilla Grills Modular Pellet Grill Outdoor Kitchen

grilla pellet grill
Product Highlights

Price: $3,199.00

Materials: 304 Stainless Steel

Size: 48″ 

Warranty: 4 years

Grilla Grills offers three and four piece modular pellet grill outdoor kitchens.

Their kitchens are specifically designed to fit built-in Grilla Grills pellet smokers or kamado grills… But they would certainly suffice at holding other, similarly sized appliances.

Now, let’s take a closer look at their outdoor kitchen modules.

Of course, there’s a module specifically designed to hold a pellet grill. It has a 48” wide base, and sits above two large drawers for storing BBQ tools or other grilling accessories.

Another module features both an outdoor sink and faucet, as well as a refrigerator!

And the final two modules provide some prep and storage space, with outdoor kitchen cabinets.

All of Grilla Grills outdoor kitchen modules have a black porcelain countertop, which should be heat, scratch, UV, and water resistant.

The modules themselves are made with stainless steel, which Grilla Grills claims is heavy duty.

However, they neglect to state the grade of stainless steel used! We generally recommend 304 stainless steel for outdoor use… Anything less than this grade will be susceptible to rust and corrosion, so it’s worth checking with Grilla Grills on this!

There’s a four year warranty covering this modular kitchen island… And pricing for all four modules totals $3,199.00 (though this doesn’t seem to include the grill itself).

The Verdict On Modular Pellet Grill Outdoor Kitchens

Alright, now you have a better idea of what a modular pellet grill outdoor kitchen looks like.

You’d simply arrange the cabinets however you’d like… Place your pellet grill… And you’d be good to go!

But unfortunately… There’s a couple downsides here.

Firstly, modular outdoor kitchens tend to be short term solutions… And the Grilla Grills pellet grill kitchen doesn’t appear to be an exception to this rule!

It’s not covered by a super long warranty… And the lack of clarity on materials used certainly leaves us wondering how it’ll hold up.

It’s worth keeping in mind that pellet grills require electricity to function… And running utility lines may not be worth the effort if your pellet grill station won’t be a permanent addition to your backyard. 

Furthermore… There’s little room for customization with a modular outdoor kitchen.

Sure, you can arrange the modules any which way you prefer… But you’ll be limited by those modules’ functionality, as well as their aesthetic.

All in all… A modular pellet grill outdoor kitchen may be a decent choice for someone who’s looking for a BBQ station they can use for a few years, at most. But it’s not necessarily a solution we’d recommend! 

So, how does a prefab pellet grill outdoor kitchen differ?

Prefab Pellet Grill Outdoor Kitchen

As with a modular kitchen, a prefab outdoor kitchen will be fully assembled and finished for you.

Unlike modular outdoor kitchens, however, prefab islands will come as a cohesive setup with all of your appliances, countertops, and storage built into one singular frame.

To give you a better idea of what this looks like… Let’s take a look at a specific prefab pellet grill outdoor kitchen from Memphis Grills.

Memphis Grills Prefab Pellet Grill Island

memphis pellet grill
Product Highlights

Price: $10,498.00

Materials: 304 Stainless Steel

Size: 28″ & 39″ models

Warranty: 7 year limited coverage on grills

Memphis Grills offer two prefab pellet grill islands… One 6’ island for their 28” Pro pellet grill,  and one 7’ island for the 39” Elite model.

Both islands are much the same… They include a decent amount of sealed storage space, as well as additional counter room.

To one side of this grill station, there’s an integrated control panel for monitoring temperature… But other than this, there’s really not much else of note. The grill itself is the only appliance you get!

As far as materials… Memphis pellet grills are made with heavy duty, 304 stainless steel. No concerns here!

But as for the rest of the BBQ island… We can’t say the same.

The fully assembled island has a black powder-coated aluminum finish and a stainless steel countertop.

Though we’d like to think the stainless steel counters are constructed with 304 (like the grill)… It’s not directly specified that this is the case. If the counters aren’t made with 304, they may rust and corrode over time, so it would be well worth confirming these details!

Concerning the powder-coated aluminum frame… This material may hold up outdoors for a while, but if the protective powder-coating chips, it will leave the aluminum prone to corrosion.

It’s unclear how long this grill island is warrantied for… Though the grills themselves have a seven year limited coverage.

Currently, the 7’ island costs $10,498.00… While the 6’ costs $8,398.00.

The Verdict on Prefab Pellet Grill Outdoor Kitchens

Now, a prefab pellet grill island would certainly make things easy…

But this method has similar disadvantages to a modular kitchen setup!

For starters, the grill island materials definitely aren’t the best… And we’d like to see a more robust warranty covering this grill itself.

Functionality is also sorely limited. There’s no option to include any other outdoor appliances alongside your pellet grill!

And there’s no wiggle room in the way of aesthetic customization, either. It’s truly a you-get-what-you-get option.

Again, if you’re looking for a simple solution, a prefab pellet grill may make outdoor cooking more convenient for a short time… But it’s really not a permanent solution. 

Now, let’s see if a ready to finish pellet grill outdoor kitchen offers any more flexibility.

Ready to Finish Pellet Grill Outdoor Kitchen

Ready to finish kitchens are similar to prefab islands… Every element of your BBQ station will be included in the same, pre-assembled frame.

But these require a bit more effort on your part.

Rather than being finished for you, you will be responsible for applying a stone, brick, tile, or stucco veneer to complete your kitchen island.

While this offers more flexibility for aesthetic customization… It also requires a relatively high skill level to complete. It’s not exactly an easy DIY project!

But if you’re intrigued by this idea… Let’s look at a ready to finish pellet grill island from All Things Barbecue.

Yoder Smokers Ready to Finish Built In Pellet Grill Island from All Things Barbecue

yoder smoker pellet grill
Product Highlights

Price: $4,289.00

Materials: Unknown grade of steel

Size: 52″

Warranty: 10 years for cooking chamber and 3 years for ACS controller and ceramic ignitor

This built in pellet grill island from All Things Barbecue is specifically designed to house the Yoder Smokers YS640s pellet grill.

The 52” frame comes ready for you to finish with any material of your choice, to match the aesthetics of your outdoor living space.

It includes two under-grill double access doors… But that’s it! It’s simply a ready to finish stand for your pellet grill, with a bit of storage space.

It looks like it’s meant to be paired with other ready to finish islands from All Things Barbecue, to form a more robust kitchen setup!

Now, this island is truly as bare bones as it gets… Which could be a good thing, if you want to go all out with customization.

You’ll need to attach a cement board to the frame to apply the exterior finish… Make a cutout for the access doors… And you’re even responsible for finding and installing your own countertop (which you’ll need to cut into to accommodate the Yoder Smokers built in grill).

As you can see… There’s a pretty high skill cap required here!

And honestly, we’re not really sure if it’s worth the effort.

The grill itself seems to be made with an unknown grade of steel… It’s covered by a 10 year warranty for the cooking chamber, and the ACS controller and ceramic ignitor are covered for just three years.

The stainless steel access doors on the island are also made with an unknown grade… And the same goes for the ready to finish frame!

As well as this, there’s no information on the frame’s warranty.

The grill and island combo costs a total of $4,289.99.

The Verdict on Ready to Finish Pellet Grill Islands

So… It looks like ready to finish pellet grill islands have their faults, as well!

A major downside with this method is materials.

Looking specifically at the ready to finish frame… If this island is exposed to frequent moisture and freeze/thaw cycles, the exterior finish may settle, causing it to crumble and fall off… Which will ultimately leave the inner workings of your kitchen island exposed.

And when metal is exposed to the elements… It will quickly rust and corrode. This obviously isn’t ideal!

At this point… You may be wondering if a long term solution for your pellet grill outdoor kitchen actually exists.

Fortunately, it does! And there are a couple ways to achieve it.

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Outdoor Kitchen Solution

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Built From Scratch Pellet Grill Outdoor Kitchen

contractor in Florida building an outdoor kitchen

Up to this point, the methods we’ve discussed have had little room for customization… Limited functionality… And none have really been built to withstand the test of time.

Because of this, you may be tempted to consider a more hands-on approach… And have your pellet grill outdoor kitchen custom built!

Now, building an outdoor kitchen from scratch is quite an involved project. It’s definitely something that you should leave to a professional contractor.

But if you take this route, you won’t be limited by set dimensions, layout, aesthetics, or poor material quality (though you will have to use discretion here, not every contractor is predisposed to using high quality materials!).

Plus, you can include whatever brand of pellet grill you’d like… As well as any other outdoor appliances to accompany it!

Before you commit to this method, though… There are some important factors to bear in mind.

First off… Most contractors are generalists rather than outdoor kitchen specialists.

This means you may be gambling on your contractor’s skillset… And if they’re inexperienced, it won’t bode well for your outdoor kitchen with a pellet grill!

Furthermore, hiring a contractor can significantly elevate the cost of an outdoor kitchen project. Not only will you have to pay for materials… You’ll also have to factor in the price of labor.

If you have a more modest budget for your outdoor kitchen project, but don’t want to skimp on quality, functionality, or aesthetic… Is there a different solution?

Ready to Assemble Pellet Grill Outdoor Kitchen

pellet grill island on deck

Let’s talk about ready to assemble (RTA) pellet grill outdoor kitchens.

RTA kitchens are the happy medium between the options we’ve discussed today.

For starters, they’re fully customizable.

You won’t be limited to predetermined dimensions or layout… We can fashion your outdoor kitchen to perfectly suit your outdoor space!

And once your kitchen is designed…. It’ll be super easy to install. We’ll ship your island to you 95% complete, and it will take just two hours to fully set up!

This is because the appliance cutouts are already factored into your design… And the finish is already incorporated! All you have to do is bolt the panels together to form the frame, slide in the appliances, and place your countertop.

There’s no need to hire an expensive contractor to do the work for you!

As for functionality… You won’t be limited here, either.

We’ll factor any high quality appliances from Coyote Outdoor Living into your design… To pair with your built in Coyote pellet grill!

Now, Coyote offers some of the best outdoor kitchen pellet grills.

From the exterior hood to the inner workings… They’re made with full 304 stainless steel construction, to hold up for years to come!

And since you know your pellet grill will hold up… Your kitchen island should, too.

Well, with RTA… This isn’t a concern! We use high performance, specialized concrete panels… Which are impervious to the elements. These panels are backed by a structural guarantee, and covered by a limited lifetime structural warranty. You’ll never have to worry about replacing them!

So, now that we’ve gone over the different options for including a pellet grill in your outdoor kitchen… What route should you take?

The Best Pellet Grill Outdoor Kitchen Solution

rta pellet grill island with alfa pizza oven in stacked stone chalk on patio

Truthfully… There is no inherent best solution for everyone. The method you choose for your built in pellet grill outdoor kitchen comes down to your personal wants and needs!

But if you’d allow us to make a suggestion…

It’s clear that the RTA pellet grill outdoor kitchen is the most convenient and reliable method, by leaps and bounds.

RTA offers the most room for customization… From layout, to functionality, to aesthetics. You’ll get all the benefits of a scratch built kitchen, without having to spend extra on a contractor!

Plus, RTA offers an easy-to-achieve, long term solution for your outdoor kitchen with a pellet grill.

Once your kitchen island is installed… It’ll hold up rain or shine, and last a lifetime!

If you’re intrigued… What’s the next step?

Well, you can start by checking out our free online design tool!

Here, you’ll customize your outdoor kitchen with pellet grill design as you see fit. It’ll be easy as can be to factor in a Coyote pellet grill (and any other appliances, like a flat top griddle, a side burner, or even an Alfa pizza oven)!

And once that’s good to go… One of our Design Experts will reach out to help you start planning in earnest.

In the meantime, you can check out our Learning Hub for everything you need to know about outdoor kitchens!

When you’re ready… We look forward to hearing from you!

Need Help With Your Plans?

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FAQ

You can absolutely put a pellet grill in an outdoor kitchen! Built in pellet grills are designed to be seamless additions to outdoor BBQ islands.

A pellet grill is fueled by wood pellets, while a gas grill is fueled by natural gas or propane.

Pellet grills are much more versatile than gas grills… They can be used for low and slow cooking, as well as high temperature searing.

Pellet grills also cook food with much more even heating than gas grills… And they tend to be significantly easier to use.

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