Building An Outdoor Kitchen

Outdoor kitchens and barbecue islands are the perfect addition to your outdoor space, especially if you like to entertain and spend as much time as possible outside. They are essentially an extension of your home and should be considered as such when you are considering your outdoor kitchen plans.


Why Build An Outdoor Kitchen?

Outdoor kitchen islands add value to your home.

Compared to most renovations to your home's exterior or outdoor space, grill islands have the best return on investment when you go to move on to your next home. This is because the components you add, depending on the brand, are built for life outdoors for sometimes upwards of twenty years.

This means that the next homeowner will still be able to enjoy your outdoor kitchen design for many years after they move in.

A barbecue island is a great way to entertain.

If you love to barbecue, but want to spend more time with guests or family, then an outdoor kitchen provides the perfect solution. By creating a seating area on the other side of the island, you can now cook and entertain at the same time. This can be as easy as adding an extra 6" lip to the outer edge of your island. Just enough space for someone to pull up a bar stool. With everyone gathered round, no one will notice if dinner is taking a little longer than it should because they won't care. They'll be enjoying themselves and you won't be missing in action.

Barbecue islands make outdoor cooking easier.

The more outdoor kitchen components you incorporate into your barbecue island, the less you will have to run into the house for. Less time inside, means more time outside with your family or guests. Assuming, of course, that is something you want.

Steps to Building An Outdoor Kitchen

Measure the space you plan to dedicate to your outdoor kitchen.

It makes it a lot easier later on if you don't have eyes that are bigger than your stomach. Knowing the number of pieces you can reasonably fit into this space will help you to determine where to start. Visiting our showroom and picking out products before measuring usually leads to heartbreak when you get home and realize you only have enough room for half of it.

Determine Your Budget

Building your dream outdoor kitchen is not an inexpensive endeavor. Most grill heads for outdoor islands start around $1500 and can get up to $7000 depending on the brand. That's just for the barbecue. Then you need to consider how much you are willing to spend on the rest of the components. Add several thousand dollars for the construction of the actual island and you can see how it adds up.

For a less expensive option, you can consider the Napoleon Oasis collection. This collection of pieces allow you to build a custom modular outdoor kitchen without using a contractor. The island is built out of a series of powder-coated, galvanized steel modular units that lock your components into one another. You will just need to source out a countertop that fits the final configuration. Visit one of our stores and we can help you realize the Oasis of your dreams, with the exception of the countertop.

If your budget is at least $10,000 and up then you might prefer the flexibility of building a custom barbecue island from scratch.

Choose the components to include

Now this is the fun part. Now that you know what your budget and space requirements are, you can put together a list of the components you'd like to include. We recommend starting with the grill head. After all, it is the biggest, most important piece in the mix and will likely have the highest price tag.

Next, look at storage options. Are simple access doors enough for you if you're not planning on storing anything in the island, or do you want storage drawers to hid all your barbecue unmentionables? If your outdoor kitchen island will be fueled by propane then a propane tank drawer should definitely be on your list.

Accessory burners, like side burners or teppanyaki griddles should be next. If you want the full functionality of your indoor kitchen in the great outdoors, I'd highly recommend one of these.

Lastly, if you're planning on entertaining, and have the space, adding a refrigerator or even a beverage prep center to your grill island is a great idea. Make sure that it is outdoor rated though! We also have beer dispensers and wine coolers available.

These types of renovations are in fact set in stone, quite literally, so make sure that you are sure about the pieces you choose to include or exclude because your decision will last for decades.

Visit one of our showrooms to see all of your options. You can browse the items on our website, but know that there are far more options available than what you see on the site. A few luxurious brand we carry are DCS, Hestan and Lynx.

Things To Consider When Building An Outdoor Kitchen

Check the clearance, Clarence.

It's very important, for safety and sanity, to make sure you always check the clearances to combustibles for the products that you are building into your barbecue island. Nobody likes when their outdoor kitchen goes boom. Using an insulated jacket is also recommended. No, not like a parka, this is a steel liner that sits between your grill head and the counter top and framing.

Accessibility is Key

Installing access doors and drawers in your outdoor kitchen will provide access to gas lines and electrical wires for maintenance and upkeep - oh and safety. That's important too.

Separate hot from cold

Don't install your refrigerator right next to, or under, your grill head or any other heat producing component, like side burners or warming drawers. The heat from the other components may make the fridge work overtime to keep its cool, causing its motor to overheat.

Keeping space between the different types of outdoor kitchen components will make sure that they each have room to ventilate. You also don't want your kidlets to be rooting around in the fridge for a juice box with a hot grill overhead. Now that, my friends, is a recipe for a trip to the emergency room - and nobody likes those.