Planning Your Dream Outdoor Grill Island

Barbeques are best enjoyed out in the open, under the warm glow of the sun. If you love outdoor barbecues as much as I do, you probably know how much of a hassle it is to constantly go back and forth between the outdoor grill and the kitchen. This is why to get the best outdoor dining or grilling experience, I recommend getting outdoor grill islands.

Outdoor or BBQ islands are a great addition to your home, not just during BBQs but for all outdoor dining experiences. While picking your outdoor grill island, it is important to consider how it fits in with the rest of your house. Considering your entire estate as a whole, rather than the grill island as a separate entity is the key to planning your dream outdoor grill island.

Since there are so many varieties in what an ideal outdoor kitchen may look like, finding the best grill island for you can be overwhelming. In this article, I will be talking about some different types of outdoor grill islands as well as things you should consider before getting a grill island for your outdoor space.



5 Things To Consider Before Setting Up An Outdoor Grill Island


Installing an outdoor grill island is a big commitment. Not only is it a large financial investment, but it is also a major factor that can modify the look and landscape of your house. Before deciding to install an outdoor grill island, here are a few things you should take into consideration.

  • Style

Treat the selection of your outdoor kitchen island the same as selecting an indoor kitchen island. Aside from being functional, the style of your outdoor grill island should complement the aesthetic of your home. Since the BBQ Island will be situated outdoors, you only need to consider the outer aesthetics of your home.

Think about the design of your house. How would you describe its architectural style? Is it modern, rustic, gothic, classic, or something in between? After figuring out the outer aesthetic of your house, you can begin planning the design of your outdoor kitchen. Your outdoor kitchen island does not have to be the same as your house. However, the style of your kitchen should not clash with the architectural design of your home.

  • Counter And Cabinet Space

While designing your outdoor kitchen, do not negate the importance of functionality. Take some time to consider your cooking style. After that think about how much space you need, or where you would like the placement of things to be. If you cook often, you should have a good idea of how you prefer to keep things on your kitchen island.

Use your empirical knowledge of using your indoor kitchen while planning your outdoor kitchen. Aside from counter space, also think of cabinet space. What things do you intend to store in your outdoor kitchen? How much space do you need to store these things? Considering these things can help you decide what size outdoor grill island you should get.

  • Expense and Space

Planning or designing an outdoor kitchen is relatively easy. However, the execution of these ideas is where things start to go wrong. For the flawless execution of your dream outdoor kitchen island, be realistic of what is or is not possible. To figure out a plan that is realistic and accessible, you must be mindful of how much money and space you can allocate to your outdoor kitchen.

To do this, first get some measuring tape and note down the size of your outdoor area. Next, go online and get some ideas for the type of Kitchen Island you would like. After you have a solid picture of your ideal kitchen in your mind, you can start planning the budget. Look at the prices for outdoor kitchens on the internet. Match the price of items to your budget and modify the image of your ideal outdoor kitchen accordingly.

  • Proximity To House

One of the biggest reasons why people get outdoor kitchens is so that they do not have to go back and forth in and out of the house while cooking. An outdoor kitchen can provide you with a lot of the same things as an indoor kitchen. However, that does not change the fact that your indoor kitchen will always be the headquarters of your finest cooking tools.

To make cooking easier, it is good to have your outdoor kitchen placed near your home. Smaller homes will have a backdoor near the indoor kitchen that leads to the backyard. In such cases, it is easy to set up the outdoor kitchen near the backdoor for easy access to the main kitchen. Placement of the outdoor kitchen may be a bit more complicated in larger houses. However, with a printed layout of the estate, you work out a good place for your outdoor BBQ Island.

  • How You Intend To Use It

Before getting an outdoor grill island, you should also consider how you intend to use it. Is it only for cooking? Or do you want a BBQ island where guests can eat as well? Considering these things can help you sort out the shape and design of your BBQ Island. Outdoor kitchen islands can be modified to serve different purposes. Thus make sure you know what you want to use it for so that you can modify the design accordingly. By the way you could also check this article of the best pellet tube smoker from the guys of University Grill the best grill you will ever try in Florida.

While thinking of the structure of the island, you should also think about the most important component of a BBQ island, the grill. If you already have a specific grill you enjoy using then you can speak to a contractor about installing it on your kitchen island. If you want to buy a new grill, look into online reviews and recommendations to find the best built-in grill for your needs.

5 Types Of Grill Islands


Now that you know the preconditions to choose an outdoor grill island, let’s talk about your options. There are many types of grill islands on the market. You can also have them modified by a professional based on your taste. However, before all of that, it is important to know the basics. Here are the five most common types of outdoor grill islands.

  • Straight

A straight grill island is a rectangular kitchen island. It does not have any extended sides or corners. Its shape, as suggested by the name, is a completely straight line. This outdoor kitchen island is perfect for people who do not have much outdoor space. Usually, a straight grill island will consist of a grill next to some empty counter space. In longer islands, you may also get a sink.

You will have cabinets below the counter where you can store things. The amount of storage you have is dependent on how long the island is. The downside to straight kitchen islands is that you don’t have space to dine on the actual island. However, this issue can be rectified by adding separate chairs and tables near the island where people can eat their food hot off the grill.

  • L-Shaped

L-shaped BBQ islands are like two straight islands joined together to make an “L” shape. This is good if you want to square off a portion of your outdoor space as a kitchen spot. L-shaped islands tend to be a lot bigger than straight islands. These grill islands are also great for people who want more counter space without feeling boxed in.

Since L-shaped islands are larger, there’s more you can do with them. For instance, you can designate one part of the island for cooking and the other for eating. L-shaped islands also have a lot more below-the-counter space. This gives you more storage space for kitchen tools. Additionally, you could also use the extra space to add devices such as an oven or mini-fridge.

  • U-Shaped

A U-shaped BBQ island has three sides. Imagine three straight grill islands joined together to form a “U” shape. That is what a U-shaped grill island looks like. Most U-shaped islands are large and require a lot of space. They have a lot of counter space and are great for people who multitask while cooking.

U-shaped islands have a lot of cover and counter space. Because of this, there is a lot more you can do with a U-shaped island compared to other grill islands. For instance, if you are not someone who likes to cook alone, a U-shaped counter is spacious enough for two or three people working together without the kitchen feeling crowded.

  • Two Tier

This type of Grill Island isn’t as well known as the other islands on this list. A two-tier grill island is shaped kind of like the steps of a staircase. The side on which the grilling happens is the bottom tier. The other side is the top tier. This is where people eat. The design of the tiers allows the cook to interact with guests without worrying about them seeing the mess of the kitchen.

This type of Grill Island embraces the idea of socializing through food that lies at the heart of BBQs. If you enjoy talking to friends and family while cooking, this BBQ Island is perfect for you. Tier aside, the shape of the island is similar to a straight Island. There isn’t too much counter space. However, if all you plan to do is grill and eat while talking to friends and family, it should not be an issue.

  • Round

A round BBQ Island is like a straight Island but with curved sides. The shape of a round Grill Island could be described as a sort of semi-circle. Since this Island is round, it can be difficult to fit all the appliances into place. However, with proper planning and adjustments, setting up a round BBQ Island is by no means an impossible task.

This Grill Island like the two-tier island also embraces the idea of socialization. Since the counter has a round shape, it allows everyone to see each other when they dine on the Island. This Island also gives the cook easy access to everyone at the counter. The round shape is also convenient if you want to be hospitable and make sure everyone always has food on their plates.

How Much Do Grill Islands Cost?


There are a lot of different factors that influence the cost of a Grill Island. For instance one of the main factors is size. Bigger Islands are expensive while smaller ones are cheaper. Aside from this, you also need to consider the material being used. Are you using marble, stone, metal, wood, or something else? The materials used also play a role in determining the cost.

The built-in appliances affect the cost of the Island as well. If you are getting an expensive high-quality grill, the Island will be more expensive. Additionally, extra light fixtures, ovens, refrigerators, etc. will also impact the cost. Due to the many variables, there is no fixed amount as to how much a Grill island costs. However, as a rough estimate, you can assume that they cost between $5,000-25,000.


How To Make An Outdoor Grill Island?

If it is not in your budget to buy a professionally designed outdoor Grill Island, you can always build your own. There are various tutorials on the internet directed towards people of various skill levels, which show how to build an outdoor grill island at home. Most of these tutorials involve building a frame and table around a typical BBQ grill.

A homemade outdoor kitchen Island, will not have many special features of Grill Islands made by experts. However, if all you want is some extra counter space while you cook outside, a DIY BBQ Island can get the job done.

However, building a Grill Island does require some level of carpentry skill. Therefore, make sure you are careful if you take on this project or get the help of someone skilled in woodwork.



I hope this article helped you learn more about outdoor grill islands. Since you are aware of all the types of grill islands now, I am sure you won’t have any trouble finding the best BBQ Island for you and building the outdoor kitchen of your dreams.

Thanks for reading till the end and have a nice day!


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