We are always happy and a little jealous when we hear about people that have their own yards because it gives people a chance to take a breath of fresh air in a society where going outside is frowned upon because of the dire circumstances.
We encourage people to take advantage of this outdoor space and, if you are at all passionate about cooking and good food, an outdoor grill is a must. And because we want to show you how you make the best out of this outdoor cooking experience, we’re going to talk about what makes outdoor grill stations amazing and show you how to choose one for yourself.
What’s an Outdoor Grilling Station?
An outdoor grilling station is basically an ensemble made of cooking surfaces that go on the side and underneath your outdoor grill. There are many different variations to this outdoor piece of furniture, but it usually offers a countertop surface where you can prepare your food and place the ingredients and tools needed to cook delicious meals.
Some grilling stations are sold together with the grill itself, and some even include refrigerator, sink, and additional side grills. There are some models designed to be modular, allowing you to place the pieces as you see fit to maximise space and cooking productivity. Truth be told, there are many different types of outdoor grill stations, so you’re bound to find one that’s suitable for your needs.
Design Inspiration for Your Outdoor Grilling Station
Whenever you’re ready to invest in an outdoor grilling station, it’s important to take a look at some design ideas to help you catch a glimpse of what your outdoor space could look like. So, let us show you some ideas that could put you on the right track towards choosing a model that you would enjoy and benefit from.
As always, Homedit is here to show you what an amazing outdoor kitchen ensemble would look like. For instance, take a look at this amazing setup with night lights that showcase the beauty of the details: a beer tap, the gas grill, and that gorgeous manufactured stone veneer base. Also, we suggest making your own outdoor kitchen setup, such as this Weber grill BBQ station that offers shelving and counter space.
Sublime Architectural Interiors offers its own take on what an outdoor grill station should look like, showing us some impressive models. Just take a look at this amazing modern outdoor kitchen combined with stylish wooden pergolas for added privacy.
Tips for Cleaning Your Outdoor Grilling Station
Knowing how to properly care for an outdoor grilling station is important because it is quite an expensive investment and not something that you’re looking to replace in a couple of years. Here are some tips that will help you maintain your outdoor kitchen ensemble for longer:
- Make sure that you carefully clean any components made from stainless steel. It’s important to avoid letting the metal get too hot by placing overly-heated items on top of it. However, stainless steel is amongst the materials that are easiest to care for because they pretty much require just cleaning with soapy water. Experts recommend following the grain of the metal and allowing the surfaces to dry properly. Avoid harsh chemicals and abrasive cleaners because they will take a toll on the smooth finish of stainless steel stations.
- Make sure that you wipe the counters on a regular basis. Stains should be wiped as fast as possible, but also be careful whether or not the counters have smooth surfaces or are made from porous materials. Sealing the counters is a wise idea in the long term but it is not a mandatory step if you do clean the counter regularly. Mixing water with soap creates a solution that pretty much does the trick. Don’t choose spray cleaners because they can damage seal countertops in the long term. Tile cleaners should do a good job here, and don’t be afraid to use a toothbrush on the grout to give it that lustrous shine.
- It’s really important to cover your outdoor grill station when you’re not using it and especially over the winter. A large hasp should do the trick, although you can easily find covers that are especially designed for covering outdoor furniture.
- One thing to keep in mind is that you should treat your outdoor kitchen furniture just the same as you treat your indoor one. That means you should avoid leaving stuff on the counters, clean them after each use, make sure you get rid of all food residue, clean the BBQ whenever you’re done cooking and invest in quality cleaners if the surface of the station demands it.
Choosing an Outdoor Grilling Station
It’s perfectly normal to feel overwhelmed because of the abundance of different grilling stations available on the market, so let’s look over some tips that will help put you on the right path to making a purchasing decision:
- If you’re short on space or want to be able to change the design of your outdoor kitchen, consider opting for movable pieces. Adding rolling carts with shelves next to your outdoor grill is a great idea because you can easily get everything out of the day if you want to make sure for a lounging space.
- If you have specific design tastes, don’t rule out the possibility of ordering or making a custom-made outdoor grill station. It’s true that these projects are meticulous and take time or, if you hire a professional, they will cost you more than a ready-made station, but they will be created to match your exact tastes and current outdoor decor.
- Consider the different outdoor grill stations systems that are available so you can plan your outdoor kitchen accordingly. For instance, traditional styles are generally represented by masonry bases with brick and stone constructions. Contemporary setups have sleek lines and are usually made with granite or stainless steels. Rustic setups focus on texture and matte finishes, and include wood and terracotta elements.
- You also want to consider the configuration of your outdoor grill station, or the layout that it’s going to have. Grill stations that are places along one wall are suitable for smaller yards or for homes with a single cook. L-shaped layouts are better for multiple cooks and can include other appliances that are needed in the process, such as kitchen or refrigerators. U-shaped stations work as free standing kitchens and usually come with multiple appliances and include a bar area as well.
- Island stations are good for entertaining and experts even recommend adding a raised counter to separate the area where the food is prepared from the socializing area.
- Consider the material that’s used to make the countertops. Granite is a pretty resistant option and it doesn’t fade in the sun, but it’s also a pretty expensive choice. Concrete is cheaper than granite but if you don’t install it properly, it’s very likely to crack. Outdoor-rated ceramic tile is a much less expensive option and a pretty versatile one in terms of design.
- For those of you that fancy the idea of owning an outdoor grill station with cabinets, consider what materials are used to make them. Stainless steel cabinets are very popular because they match the design of the grill and also have a weather-proof construction. Marine-grade polymer might be more expensive, but it resembles painted wood without the maintenance stress that wood usually comes with.
- The materials that are used to make the base of the outdoor grilling station are also important. Cultured-stone veneer is really elegant but it’s less expensive compared to natural stone. Brick is often the material of choice because it’s easy to care for and also pretty affordable.
The Best Outdoor Grill Stations
Veradek does some pretty cool outdoor grill stations, and this model right here is an example of that. It is designed with an aluminum frame that’s corrosion-resistant, and even comes with a powder coat that makes it scratch-resistant as well. It measures 48.5” H x 101” W x 23” D, so it’s a pretty spacious station with multiple shelves and compatible with the Kitchen Aid 4-Burner Built-In Gas Grill – 740-0780. This modular station comes with a bunch of features that are truly useful, such as food safe construction, adjustable leveller, proper hinges to close the door on the cabinet gently, and even some anti-scratch mats.
If you liked the 3-piece modular station we talked about earlier but you hoped it would be bigger, this is basically its upgraded version, with 5 pieces to provide you with enough storage and room for preparing delicious meals outside. It does have the same construction features as the ones seen earlier in the 3-piece station: corrosion-resistant aluminum, powder coat for added scratch-resistance, soft hinges to close the cabinet gently, and it includes the anti-scratch mats and the propane tank holder. This station also includes a stainless steel sink with faucet (sink is 8 inches deep) and quality plastic wheel for moving the station around easier. The station measures 48.5” H x 148” W x 68” D overall.
Quite similar to the model we’ve shown you above, this is another 5-piece station but with smaller dimensions than the last one, measuring 48.5” H x 122” W x 68” D. In fact, this is pretty much the only difference, as the construction and added goodies stay the same. So, if you decide to opt for this model, you will get the same quality stainless steel construction and scratch-resistant coating, the 8-inch sink equipped with a faucet, a food safe countertop that’s super easy to clean, ease of assembly, a propane tank holder and anti-scratch mats.
Taking things up a notch, we wanted to show you an outdoor grill station that probably won’t match just any outdoor decor, but it is a gorgeous and high-quality choice that could easily be labeled as luxury outdoor furniture. It is made from proprietary concrete panels, measuring 53.5” H x 126.25” W x 96” D overall. If you’re confused about the higher price of this product, know that it includes the actual cooking grill, rotisserie, a bar center, an access door, a refrigerator, and the sink. It is basically everything you need to start cooking, except for the actual food and cookware.
You can choose between the station that works on liquid propane tanks and one that connects to your natural gas pipeline. The included grill is a 5-burner model that offers a heat output of 90,000 BTU and is made from quality stainless steel. It has electronic ignition and is super easy to fire up. Installing this outdoor grill station is a little more laborious compared to the other models, and you’re going to need an electric drill with bits (Phillips, 5/16 hex, T-25 Starbit, 1/8 masonry drill, 5/32 masonry drill), a lever and a square.
Measuring 52” H x 71” W x 27” D, this is a smaller outdoor station that comes with a little storage space and an included grill, but when you put everything together, you still get a very fancy and good-looking station packed in a stone veneer and tile construction. The grill itself is made from quality stainless steel and comes with 4 burners and 60,000 BTU heat output. It uses liquid propane to function and has electronic ignition for a quick and clean start. Each of the burners is controlled individually and comes with a thermometer for more precise food preparation.
Serving as a larger and upgraded version of the Cal Flame outdoor grill station we saw earlier, this is yet another model that’s incredibly beautiful and practical. Unlike the other station, this one measures 52” H x 84” W x 37” D, so it definitely offers a lot of extra space to work with. Aside from the grill, you also get a side burner and a refrigerator, which completes the cooking experience by offering you a cool place to store ingredients. The grill is equipped with 4 individually-controlled burners and takes its fuel from liquid propane tanks to offer a total heat output of 60,000 BTUs.
As you can see, outdoor grill stations come in all shapes and sizes, so whether you have $300 or $3,000 to spend, there are options for you as well. If you’re passionate about DIY projects, you can always try to make your own station from scratch, but it might be a more difficult task for those who aren’t used to working with the tools needed to see the project through. Just make sure that you take good care of your outdoor furniture and it should last you for a very long time if you do.