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If you’ve decided to build an outdoor kitchen…

Outdoor Kitchen Grill & SmokerOne of the primary pieces of equipment you’ll select is your outdoor kitchen grill.

This is a very important piece of equipment, as it provides the focal point of cooking power you’ll need to entertain your guests with success.

With options a plenty…

Today, we’re going to look at 7 key questions to consider when purchasing your outdoor kitchen grill.

Let’s get to it.

#1 › Do you want a grill-only setup or a grill & smoker combo?

Ah, the age old question…

Do you want to grill your food or smoke your food?

We say why not both!

There are plenty of outdoor kitchen grills on the market that offer options to grill or smoke your food.

However, another great setup is where you install a built-in gas grill…

Along with a separate built-in smoker.

Outdoor Kitchen Grill & Green Egg

It’s not uncommon to see a stainless steel grill along side a Big Green Egg or other kamado smoker.

Seriously. Awesome.

#2 › How large a cooking surface do you need?

The cooking surface area of your grill will determine how many people you can feed.

A larger cooking surface (or multiple surfaces) will accommodate more food.

Steak Grilling Grates

Look for a grill that has the surface area to fit the needs of your most common crowd size.

To get an idea… some grill manufacturers estimate approximately 20 square inches per hamburger patty.

So, as you are considering how many people will be gathered in your outdoor kitchen, think about how much food you’ll need to cook to feed them.

Then do a little math to figure out your minimum grill cooking surface size.

Another feature to look at is the cooking grate surface materials.

Avoid cheaper outdoor kitchen grills that include sub-standard cooking grates that don’t last.

Your higher-quality models will include a robust set of porcelain-coated cast iron or stainless steel cooking grates.

#3 › What fuel source will you use for your grill?

The most common fuels for barbecue cooking are gas & charcoal.

And if you’re using a smoker wood (hickory, pecan, apple, cherry, etc.) comes into the play.

The fuel source you select is kind of personal preference.

Lump Charcoal on Grill

There are advantages to each different type of fuel…

…Usually distinguished by preferences in convenience, flavor, speed, etc.

There are even built-in electric grills available for outdoor kitchens.

So talk this over with your outdoor kitchen builder to decide what’s best for you.

#4 › How well does the grill hold a temperature?

Temperature control is a vital ingredient for good outdoor cooking.

Grill TheremometerSome people say, the main reason people give up on grilling is due to their inability to control the temperature.

That’s why.

It’s important that your grill is designed to give you the maximum possibility for success.

While gas grills can offer consistent temperature control.

Charcoal grills or smokers require a bit of skill and practice to control the temperature.

And, while your skills can be developed.

Some grill or smoker designs just make it a whole lot easier.

So do a little research and ask questions about how to control temperature on each grill you are considering.

#5 › Do you need additional features like side burners or rotisserie options?

Think about how you are going to use your outdoor kitchen grill.

A rotisserie setup with burner, spit and motor can extend the capabilities of your grill.

Grill Accessories

Some grills offer secondary warming racks with individually controlled fire boxes or heat sources.

Another common accessory is a side burner to cook food in pan.

Consider how you can extend the functionality of your grill with accessories.

#6 › What is your budget for the grill?

Outdoor kitchen grills can range from several hundred dollars to several thousand dollars.

It’s important to weigh the pros and cons of each model grill you are considering.

When it comes to built-in grills for outdoor kitchens…

Cheaper is not better.

You won’t want to invest in a cheap grill that falls apart in a few years.

Especially, considering the labor involved to remove and replace the grill (or retrofit for a different model).

To get the best value, invest in a quality piece of equipment that will last.

#7 › How easy is it to clean and maintain the grill?

When it comes to grilling…

One of the more unpleasant parts of the experience (for some of us) is cleaning the grill.


Cleaning your grill is also the most important routine you can practice to extend the life of your outdoor kitchen grill.

And to provide great food for your guests – that not only tastes better, but is safer to eat as well.

Grill Cover

The best outdoor kitchen grills are designed to offer easy maintenance and clean-out.

So you can routinely clean things like the grates and grease cup (or ash pan).

And you can deep clean the grill periodically with easy access to drip pans, burners, etc.

Invest in a higher-quality grill that has easy-to-disassemble components and features that make cleaning a breeze.

And don’t forget to cover your grill as well.

Check Out More Outdoor Kitchen Ideas

Adding an outdoor kitchen to your backyard is a great way to enjoy more time outside with friends and family.

We hope this help you select the right grill & smoker equipment to make it that much more enjoyable.

Want to see how we have incorporated different types of grills and smokers into outdoor kitchen layouts? Check out the gallery of outdoor kitchen projects.

Are you building an outdoor kitchen?

We would love to help! 918 Outdoor is an outdoor living contractor serving Tulsa and all of northeast Oklahoma.

918 Outdoor helps you live life better outdoors! If you want to build an outdoor kitchen near Tulsa, call us for a free consultation! (918) 943-3063

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