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Basic resources for outdoor cooking center

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  • joelazar
    Former Member
    • Sep 2020
    • 11
    • Corte Madera, CA

    Basic resources for outdoor cooking center

    Hello there!

    I’m in the early stages of planning my DIY cooking center. I anticipate running both charcoal and gas, and maybe water (although connecting to my sewer lateral will be challenging).

    It is going to be right outside my patio door, so I have to consider smoke getting into the house during a low and slow smoke or a big cook out. And, of course, I have to plan for fire safety as well.

    I am quite handy and have a full woodshop in my garage so framing and finishing is no problem. Because I am potentially remodeling the outside within the next few years, I don’t need this to connect to the house.

    Phew! All of that said, any books, threads on this forum, websites, etc that are good resources for planning, advice and safety guidelines? What I see on YouTube is all over the map. Thanks in advance!
  • JGo37
    Club Member
    • Apr 2018
    • 1577
    • the LOU
    • Cookers:

      22" Blackstone Griddle, with stand & hood
      CharGriller Portable Firebox - so modified you'll BLOL
      Kitchenaid #810 Charcoal Grill - highly modified
      Weber BI-code Black Performer w/Igniter
      Weber DE-code Red Limited - 'Lucille'

      Accessories:

      Ancient heavy CI Propane Turkey Fryer, for lighting chimneys
      BBQ Dragon kettle shelves - 2
      Fyre Dragon Kettle Drippin' Ring, Burnin' Cone & Drippin' Pan - 2 sets
      Fyre Dragon Kettle Ribbin' Ring
      Fyre Dragon Kettle 2-Zone Smokin' Sheet
      OneGrill Rotisserie for the Kitchenaid
      Smokenator
      Smoking Tubes: 2x12" & 1x6"
      SnS
      Weber Gourmet Grill w/Griddle, Pizza Stone & Wok

      My Helpers:

      Anova 900W Sous Vide Cooker w/Radios
      Instant Pot 6Q Duo
      Nesco Tabletop Roaster
      & the PIT!

    #2
    Well this is a simple question (LMAO)...

    With the fuels you've chosen, we still need to know how many you're cooking for... but that said I recommend:

    Weber 26" with the gourmet cooking system grates and a Slow n Sear XL, or a Master Touch with the same add-ons. With a bigger budget, consider the Summit.

    A Blackstone sized for your serving needs.

    Somewhere in here we (the PIT) recommend the minimum entry-level or basement price of a gasser worth it's gassing - one that can sear at higher temps than the rest of the pack. Your gasser needs to sear effortlessly or it's not worth the space it takes up.

    Consider if you need a rotisserie, meaning that access to electricity might be an issue. Same consideration if you want to add an ATC device(s) to your charcoal cookers.

    Organize things well enough to position the gasser and the griddle to use the same fuel tank.

    I've learned a couple things that surprised me - how many breakfasts I actually make on the griddle, how many other stuff I make there that would be harder in the kitchen - grilled veggies and what not - and how often I use a wok in the gourmet cooking system making rice or lo mein stir fries with smoked meats. I use a Weber 22.5" with a vortex, the gourmet grate and a wok a LOT, while dicing and moving over meat that's been smoking indirect on my Performer.

    It's really cool to have the cookers to say - do we want BBQ, grilled, or Asian Pacific today?

    I also customized a char-griller firebox to use as a tabletop ( picnic tabletop) for dogs, sausages and fish. And occasionally a small chuckie or pork picnic. (that gives me a chance to upload it again LoL)

    Click image for larger version

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    Comment

    • joelazar
      Former Member
      • Sep 2020
      • 11
      • Corte Madera, CA

      #3
      Oh...no....I must not have asked my question right!

      I’m looking for resources on building the cooking center. The charcoal aspect I’m feeling pretty good about (but haven’t completely made up my mind!!!). I’m leaning toward an SNS Kamado. Gas I haven’t looked into yet.

      Anyway, I wanted to see about building requirements. Stuff like hardy backer, wood framing space allowances, etc. Maybe I posted in the wrong place? I’m a noob so forgive me!

      Comment


      • JGo37
        JGo37 commented
        Editing a comment
        Okay - never mind... LoL
    • Donw
      Club Member
      • Jul 2017
      • 3318

      #4
      Since you live in Marin county your best bet is to try and get the answers from the town’s building department which enforces the California codes. https://codes.iccsafe.org/category/California?year[]=Current+Adoption&page=1 Other states and locales have their own rules whether it is the IBC, IRC, SBC, NFPA or others so what we might tell you might not be acceptable where you live. Many places only require permits for accessories of 120 sq or larger, but I live in what is called a critical area here in Maryland, and I have to account for every square foot of my acreage. As to construction there are a lot of articles on building all types of outdoor kitchens and here is a link to one from This Old House: https://www.thisoldhouse.com/yards/2...utdoor-kitchen Good luck.
      Last edited by Donw; October 2, 2020, 09:17 PM.

      Comment


      • joelazar
        joelazar commented
        Editing a comment
        Thanks for the this old house article. And yeah, I have a good friend who is a contractor and architect in the area. Clearly he's the guy to ask, he deals with this all the time. Why didn't I think of that!?

      • CaptainMike
        CaptainMike commented
        Editing a comment
        Be careful what you wish for when contacting the building dept in California and especially Marin county, you might open an unnecessary can of worms for an otherwise simple project. Your contractor/architect buddy should be able to give you good advice.
    • Uncle Bob
      Club Member
      • Feb 2019
      • 441
      • Salado, Tx
      • Summerset TRL44 gas grill and side sear
        RecTec 590 Stampede
        Weber Performer
        Cajun Grill Preaux
        EcoQue Gen 3 wood fired oven
        Camp Chef Somerset IV 4 burner propane stove
        Camp Chef FTG600
        OT QOMOTOP 23-inch Gas Griddle
        Oklahoma Joe's Bronco
        Oklahoma Joe's Bronco Pro
        Oklahoma Joe's Judge
        Golden's Cast Iron Grill
        Ooni Koda 16

      #5
      My small contribution would be to advise you make sure you spend more time than you might think you need to on storage space/shape/access. If you get bit by the same gadget bug that most of us do you'll have plenty of accessories/add ons/etc that would be nice to have both at hand and effectively organized.

      Comment


      • joelazar
        joelazar commented
        Editing a comment
        The storage is actually why I want to build it. I want space for furniture covers, gadgets, utensils, plates, etc. In a lot of ways, it's really more a storage piece than it is a cooking piece!
    • LA Pork Butt
      Charter Member
      • Dec 2014
      • 5541
      • Grew up in New Orleans, lived in Texas for 20 years, lived in Mandeville, LA for 22 years. I now liv

      #6
      This isn’t a knock on the SlowNSear Kamado, but just another option. Visions makes a Kamado that can be switched back and forth between gas and charcoal with a gas insert. Every cooker has its advantages. Ther a ton of ideas on cooking centers out there so it would be hard to specifically direct you without more details about size, covered/uncovered, etc. on the amazingribs.com you will find some general suggestions.

      Comment


      • joelazar
        joelazar commented
        Editing a comment
        Didn't know about the visions brand. I'll check it out!
    • bbqLuv
      Club Member
      • Jan 2020
      • 1064
      • Milwaukie, OR

      #7
      Try bbqguys.com, website full of resources.

      Comment

      • CaptainMike
        Club Member
        • Nov 2015
        • 2544
        • The Great State of Jefferson
        • Weber Summit Charcoal Grill w/SnS and DnG (Spartacus)
          Old school big'ol Traeger w/Pro controller (Big Tex)
          2 W22's w/SnS, DnG (1 black, 1 copper) (Minions 1 and 2)
          20+ y/o many times rebuilt Weber Genesis w/GrillGrates (Gas Passer)
          20 x 30 Santa Maria grill (Maria, duh)
          Bradley cabinet smoker (Pepper Gomez)
          36" Blackstone griddle (The Black Beauty)
          Fireboard
          Thermoworks Smoke and Thermapen.

        #8
        Here's a couple of threads from the pit: https://pitmaster.amazingribs.com/fo...utdoor-kitchen

        https://pitmaster.amazingribs.com/fo...-cooking-space

        Comment

        • surfdog
          Club Member
          • Mar 2016
          • 1169
          • Sunny SoCal
          • Cooking gadgets
            Weber Summit Charcoal Grill Center
            Weber Summit Platinum D6
            Blue Rhino Razor
            Dyna-Glo XL Premium Dual Chamber
            Camp Chef Somerset IV along with their Artisan Pizza Oven 90
            Anova WiFi

            Thermometers
            Thermapen Mk4 - ThermaQ High Temp Kit - ThermaQ Meathead Kit - ThermaQ WiFi - ThermoWorks IR-GUN-S - ThermoWorks Signals & Billows - ThermoPop -ThermoWorks ProNeedle - ThermoWorks TimeStick Trio x2 - and a Christopher Kimball timer - NO, I do not work for ThermoWorks...I just like their products.

            Other useful bits...
            KitchenAid 7-qt Pro Line stand mixer
            A Black & Decker food processor that I can't seem to murder
            A couple of immersion blenders, one a "consumer" model & the other a "high end" Italian thing. Yes, the Italian one is a bit better, but only marginally
            Instant Pot Duo Evo Plus 8-qt + accessories like egg-bite & egg holders
            All-Clad pots & pans, along with some cast iron...everything from 7" Skookie pans to 8.5qt Dutch ovens
            Weber GBS griddle, pizza stone, and wok
            Knives range from Mercer to F. Dick to "You spent how much for one knife? One knife?!" LOL

          #9
          Something like this..?
          https://www.amazon.com/Sunset-Outdoo...1820791&sr=8-2


          There are several version with loads of ideas along with how-to & why...

          Comment

          • Attjack
            Club Member
            • Aug 2017
            • 4244
            • Primo XL
              Weber 26"
              Weber 22"
              Weber 22"
              Weber 18"
              Weber Jumbo Joe
              Weber Green Smokey Joe (Thanks, Mr. Bones!)
              Weber Smokey Joe
              Orion Smoker

              DigiQ DX2
              Slow 'N Sear XL
              Arteflame 26.75" Insert

              Blaze BLZ-4-NG 32-Inch 4-Burner Built-In
              - With Rear Infrared Burner
              - With Infrared Sear Burner
              - With Rotisserie
              Empava 2 Burner Gas Cooktop
              Weber Spirit 210
              - With Grillgrates
              ​​​​​​​ - With Rotisserie
              Weber Q2200

              Blackstone Pizza Oven

              Portable propane burners (3)
              Propane turkey Fryer

              Fire pit grill

            #10
            Counter space, sink (dig a dry well), storage are essential imo. Refrigeration is nice and so is seating such as a bar area.

            Comment

            • joelazar
              Former Member
              • Sep 2020
              • 11
              • Corte Madera, CA

              #11
              Seating is a great idea. If I can make this into a bar I will. I also am curious about this dry well idea. It’s on a stone patio so “dig a dry well” isn’t in the cards at the moment. But I’m definitely thinking about how I can get water over there.

              Comment


              • Attjack
                Attjack commented
                Editing a comment
                Can you run a garden hose to the area?
            • Bruceski44
              Club Member
              • Jun 2020
              • 15
              • Simi Valley, CA

              #12
              Here's a pictorial history of my build. Sorry if it's too much. It shows rough-in for hot&cold water, sewer drain and floor drain, 115VAC and natural gas. The counter measures 110 sq ft and below that fit Fire Magic doors and drawers. Inside the cabinet is a low-voltage transformer to run dimmable counter top lighting and landscape lights. The switch for all lighting is inside the house by the back door. The patio cover includes wiring for stereo, video, phone, ethernet, speakers and ceiling fans. I can bring a big screen TV from inside, connect it to the video feed (Component video over VGA connector) and also bring a stereo and connect it to the audio feed. This is all switched from my multi-zone receiver and some added splitters and amps.

              The sink drains to a sump pump which ties into the sewer near my deep sink and laundry in the garage. It can handle food disposal and fits into that tub you see sitting at floor level in pic 132. The floor drains run to the curb at the street. There's a gate valve by the grill for the natural gas. My contractor put some kind of tracer wire on the NG flexible pipe so it could be found easily from the surface by using a metal detector. The cabinet is all cinder block construction. The wood you see is just to support the concrete countertop before the pour.

              Lessons learned:
              1. Use stainless steel hardware to avoid rust streaks.
              2. Avoid putting a stanchion (vertical post) directly behind the gas grill.
              3. We discovered the footing for the surrounding wall was huge and thick, so raised the kitchen up instead of demo-ing down. The end result is that when sitting in the bar stools around the counter outside the kitchen, the counter is about chest height, which is a little awkward. The wall itself is great as it keeps big winds off the smoker.
              4. With the cabinetry made from cinder blocks, there's 5-6" inset for the sink from the edge of the counter.
              5. I made a plug for the sink opening from a plastic cutting board to keep leaves and critters out.

              That's about all I can think of right now. Going through all this right now saddens me as we've decided to move away and will be leaving this all behind. :-(
              Attached Files

              Comment

              • Bruceski44
                Club Member
                • Jun 2020
                • 15
                • Simi Valley, CA

                #13
                Here's what it all looks like now. That's stucco around the doors and drawers:
                Attached Files

                Comment

                • joelazar
                  Former Member
                  • Sep 2020
                  • 11
                  • Corte Madera, CA

                  #14
                  WOW!!! That's amazing. Looks like a ton of effort but also looked like it paid off. Mine is going to be so much simpler. I'm looking at a modular construction that will basically be two tables with cabinets underneath where available, and cutouts for the cookers. I'm researching the right materials for fire safety that I can add to wood, because I think wood will be both more attractive and more accessible for me since I'm a woodworker.

                  The planning is half the fun though, so I'm sure I'll change my mind.

                  Comment

                  • joelazar
                    Former Member
                    • Sep 2020
                    • 11
                    • Corte Madera, CA

                    #15
                    Originally posted by joelazar View Post
                    Seating is a great idea. If I can make this into a bar I will. I also am curious about this dry well idea. It’s on a stone patio so “dig a dry well” isn’t in the cards at the moment. But I’m definitely thinking about how I can get water over there.
                    Yes, I can. Getting water there isn't a problem, but draining it is another situation.

                    Comment

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