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Building an outdoor kitchen from scratch -- PLEASE HELP

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    Building an outdoor kitchen from scratch -- PLEASE HELP

    Help me design my new built-in outdoor kitchen

    Building a new house. Will have an outdoor kitchen. Need to figure out what to put in it. I’m in SoCal, to be clear, and this will be in use year-round, and is adjacent to the outdoor dining table with easy access to the indoor kitchen. I wouldn’t say money is no object, but I’m willing to pay up for something that will really do the job and last a long time. (With the amount of money I’m putting into this house elsewhere…)

    My current setup, freestanding on the side patio of my rental, is a Weber kettle and a PBC. Have been a charcoal guy all my life, FWIW—like the ability to get really high heat for a good char, plus I like the flavor.
    Here’s what I’m thinking / wondering for the new setup:
    • I won’t have a ton of space – 6 lineal feet, more or less. No great place to set up multiple freestanding items – could probably find room for a cabinet smoker or a Weber but not both. Unless I trim back the wing of the counter…
    • For the built-in grill I would love to find a two in one solution. Does anyone know anything about the Hasty-Bake? The review on this site is a bit dated – is there a site consensus on these? Can I really do a good job with both? Would I have more luck with a kamado?
    • If neither of those, what should I build in instead? A grill or a smoker? And which?
    • If I’m getting a standalone smoker, what should I get? Have pellet smokers really gotten to a level equivalent to a PBC? Should I get a cabinet? Should I stick with the PBC?
    • Is there an undercounter smoker that works? The Kalamazoo looks great but $12K is something I’d have to buy without telling my wife. Ever. (Which doesn’t itself disqualify the option…)
    • Reviewing old threads there is a strong opinion in favor of a sink, but given my proximity to the indoor kitchen and the limited space, I’m inclined to skip it. Tell me if I’m making a horrible mistake and what I should eliminate instead.
    • What other devices do I need now that I’m building this out to order? A temperature controller? What else?

    If you're looking at a cabinet smoker check out Lone Star Grillz. I can't say enough good about mine.


      Good luck with you outdoor kitchen. I can’t really recommend cooking stuff but after you get all that figured out consider putting these lights up. They are cheap for how much ambiance they add to outdoor spaces. Enjoy!

      Feit 48' LED Filament String Light Set

      Click image for larger version

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        If you are looking for a one stop solution and used to cooking on charcoal, I recommend the Weber Summit Charcoal Grill. If you've always been a charcoal guy, you probably will not be happy with the smoke output of a pellet grill. The WSCG can do anything and is about as efficient as a ceramic kamado, but more forgiving if you overshoot temps. If you want the whole shebang to start, get a WSCG, Fireboard 2 drive, pit viper fan, medium vortex, and a Big Joetisserie and follow my thread on how to trim it down for the WSCG (https://pitmaster.amazingribs.com/fo...ng-to-try-this). That combo, you should be able to cook just about anything.

        Only downside, is you will probably have to get creative mounting it, there isn't a built in model and haven't seen anyone selling mounting kits yet.
        Last edited by glitchy; October 12, 2020, 05:37 PM.


        • Sandman
          Sandman commented
          Editing a comment
          Really appreciate the suggestion and the link. This all looks fantastic but I'm not sure I'm handy enough to hack that together.

          How about this for a dumb question -- I'm completely clueless about how to integrate the third party thermostatic controllers and fans into an existing grill or smoker. Is there somewhere you can point me to that explains it (in small words)?

        • glitchy
          glitchy commented
          Editing a comment
          There’s probably great info somewhere here, but this is the easiest and fastest way to see how they work: https://bbqguru.com/productinfo/howtheywork.

          As far as the rotisserie I’d bet your contractor would have a angle grinder and could knock the rotisserie out in 20-30 mins while setting up your outdoor kitchen, just need to have the grill there too for test fitting.

        I’d think about putting a Primo XL kamado and a gas grill in the built in. Obviously you’d want to keep the Weber and PBC for occasional use outside of the built in as well .


          Weber kettle and a PBC sounds good to me. Welcome to the Pit!


            You need to carve out more than six linear feet.


            • Sandman
              Sandman commented
              Editing a comment
              Done. Looks like around 10 in latest drawing. Now what?

            Don't own one but you are in SoCal and I have been admiring these BBQ's for a long time:



              So the good news is upon further review, it looks like I have more like 10 lineal feet. That may give me the ability to separate smoker from grill. If going separate, would you get a Weber kettle, or a kamado, or something else? And then what would you do for a smoker? I'm not sure where the bang for the buck in terms of quality / attention required / price point is. Cabinet smoker? Pellet? Something else entirely?

              Apologies for all the noob questions and thanks for all the help!


                Personally, my setup (still a work in progress) consists of a Primo XL for smoking and charcoal grilling, a 4-burner Blaze gas grill, an EVO flat top grill, and a 2-burner stovetop. I plan to build in the kamado and the EVO. I have a 4 seater bar at the opposite end of the outdoor kitchen and plan to build in another on the right side.

                A sink is a must IMO. Counterspace is too. I also have 2 refrigerators on the opposite end of the kitchen which is really nice to have.

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                • rickgregory
                  rickgregory commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Show off

                • Attjack
                  Attjack commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Just trying to give him a real-life example rickgregory! When I started building I had a Weber 26 as my main grill, some portable auxiliary burners, and a Blackstone pizza oven in there. Then I added a Weber Spirit gas grill. As you can see that all changed. I now have an auxiliary grill area 15 feet behind the kamado where the pizza oven is along with a Weber kettle of each size. I plan to lay some pavers in that area to better define it.

                So much of this will depend on what you want vs what any of us would put there, but if I were doing one I'd use this build as inspiration: https://pitmaster.amazingribs.com/fo...nally-complete

                Rather than think in terms of what kind of cooker, think about what cooking. After all, you'll have your kitchen, so the question I'd ask myself is "why do I want to build an outdoor cooking area? What do I think I'll do there that makes a kitchen necessary?" What I mean here is that you can just have a smoker outside and smoke things. Yo udon need a full kitchen for that. But if you tend to live out on the patio during decent weather and want to be able to do everything from cook and eat breakfast to grill a quick dinner to smoke, that's one setup. If it's mostly wanting to smoke, occasionally grill and not have to run back and forth to the kitchen to get food out of the fridge or to wash up, that's another. The former likely has a griddle, maybe a small gass grill and a smoker. But it might not have a sink or a fridge. The latter would have a sink and a fridge.

                TLDR - put some real thought into how you want to use this and how it relates to your particular layout - where the kitchen is, etc.


                  Check out the Cajun Grill Preaux https://www.bbqguys.com/cajun-grill/...charcoal-grill I am in your boat and have about 10’ as well. You would lose half of the grill when smoking with the Cajun Preaux so keep that in mind. If you can place the grill at one end I would also think very hard about the M grills M1. You need to allow room for the fire box door to open however and so it would need to be placed at the left end of the island.


                    Hi everyone -- sorry to have gone radio silent but we were mulling things over at this end. Thank you all for your input! We've figured out a few things with your help and I wanted to ask for more, if that's ok.

                    Meathead strongly advised me *against* building in either a smoker or a grill (fear of commitment, AFAICT) and *in favor of* having separate units for grill and smoking. I've taken both of those to heart. We've also redesigned the layout some to provide more space. Here's where things stand:

                    I will have about 17 lineal feet, less 3 feet for a built in gas grill (wife and her designer are insisting) and however much space I need to carve off the end of the counter to accommodate my (TBD) charcoal grill. The kitchen will be located just outside the sliding glass door that leads to the indoor dining area and 30 feet or so from the kitchen. Not sure what that means for the need for an outdoor fridge, sink, etc., but I'm going to have the space now. One of the linked examples had pullout drawers for igloo coolers -- is that something people recommend in lieu of or in addition to a fridge? I'll need some fuel storage, and utensils obviously, but otherwise I would love the benefit of others' experience.

                    As far as rickgregory's question about how I expect to use it -- we're in SoCal, so we could pretty much live out there if we wanted to, but we have a lot of indoor cooking equipment as well (sous vide, pressure cooker, etc.). Generally we use the tool that seems appropriate rather than always leaning to outdoor cooking. Honestly though I've been a city dweller my entire adult life and this is my first outdoor kitchen, so I'm not sure if I'll end up camped outside 300 days a year or not. (Note that I have two kids under 8...)

                    And then there's the equipment itself. Is there a product out there that is a significant upgrade on the Weber kettle as a grill? Has anyone used the Hasty Bake or the Englebrecht with the movable grate? If I am planning to also have a smoker, do I get much benefit from a kamado? (I use dual zones on the kettle as SOP right now, and my wife wants to buy an Ooni for pizza.)

                    What pure smokers should I be looking at if I'm looking for better performance and more flexibility than my current PBC? I don't want something that will require constant attention, but I can do more than the PBC requires. Or am I fool to get anything but a pellet smoker?


                    I have a built in gasser, love it. If you do the research and find what you want, I don’t see an issue with a built in. If you will be in the house for a some time especially. And even if you leave, you could take it with. Just my thoughts. When I had my Weber genesis, i cooked with it in the same place that I built the outdoor grill area. And I Also have a side burner now, which I do use often.

                    And, even with my built in gasser, I use it for other things, wok cooking, griddle cooking with the cast iron griddle I have. Being in SoCal, you could do a lot of cooking out there. I purchased a stand up propane heater for my patio space to extend the use and it’s come in handy. I just went and exchanged three propane tanks because the patio is going to be a saving grace this winter with all that’s going on.

                    I also have Weber kettle, and love what it brings to my cooking area. Along with an electric smoker. With all of that, I can do some good stuff in the backyard.

                    so just research, draw out ideas, look at photos here and elsewhere and see what you like and dislike and build from there.


                      Maybe a Weber Summit Charcoal Grill would be a good choice for you? Super versatile. Add that to the gasser and you could do anything I think.



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