7 Steps to Creating Your Own Outdoor Barbecue Area For Summer Entertaining

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By Michele Koh Morollo
Nothing beats a good old backyard cookout with family and friends in the summertime.

Outdoor barbecue setups can be as simple as a pit with coal in the back of your garden, or a small portable grill surrounded by chairs. For a more complete system, they can include sleek gas grills, sinks, refrigerators, and work tops designed for outdoor food preparation. If you have some basic brick-laying and carpentry know-how, have time to spare on the weekends, and are ready to get creative—and most likely sweaty—then here's how you can build your own top-of-the-line outdoor BBQ area.

1. Choose Your Grill 

The first step is deciding on your cooking appliances. Gas grills are one of the most modern and attractive options for state-of-the-art outdoor cooking. Brands such as Genier’s Appliances, Weber, and Napoleon offer power-packed choices with modern, streamlined designs. Weber's Genesis II LX E-640 Gas Grill with six burners is ideal for large parties.

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Weber Genesis II LX E-640 Gas Grill

2. Choose the Appliances to Accompany the Grill 

Home Depot offers a wide selection of outdoor sinks, island counters, mini-refrigerators, bars, and storage options for outdoor barbecue areas. They also have a great selection of high-end islands that hold multiple appliances and are topped with tile, stone, or stucco. 

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3. Laying the Ground 

Decide on the site in your backyard—preferably a spot with access to water, power and gas lines, and drainage. Dig and level the patch of ground that will be the foundation of your BBQ area. Line the perimeter of the BBQ "plot" with wooden slats to keep the concrete from flowing out of the designated area, then pour and level the cement into the space within the slats. Wait for it to dry, then remove the slats. 

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4. Laying the Cinder Blocks 

With the measurements of the grill and other appliances in mind, pick up some rebars, cement epoxy, and cinder blocks. After drilling holes in the concrete, embed the rebars securely to the concrete foundation with the epoxy. Next, stack up the cinder blocks around the now secured rebars, and leave openings for the grill in the front. Use a brace to support the middle brick above the door. 

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5. Building a Countertop 

Make sure your water and electrical lines are where they need to be, and that your measurements for the grill, doors, and other fixtures are correct. Using sturdy plywood, create a form, which will wrap around the top of the cinder block structure. Pour the cement within the form, level it, and wait for it to dry. 

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6. Adding the Finishing Touches 

Mix and trowel stucco onto the sides of the cinderblock structure. Using tile glue and a trowel, lay tiles or stone slates onto the countertop, laying the edge tiles first before proceeding with the tiles around the perimeter of the countertop surface. If desired, you can also add doors onto the front to cover electrical and water lines with hinges and handles made of wood or metal. 

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7. Consider Sheltering the Area 

If you want to ensure that your BBQ can happen in both rain or shine, then build or install a roof or awning above your grilling area. 

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Shop For Your BBQ Area

PK Grill & Smoker with Rib Rack
PK Grill & Smoker with Rib Rack
Rust-proof, durable and ready to sling some dogs and burgers at your next cookout. The PK Grill has something of a cult following in the South, for a couple good reasons. For one, Southerners take grilling pretty darn seriously, and for two these cast aluminum grills are near indestructible — many of the thousands from the original run in the 60s and 70s are still around today. PK was brought back to life in the late 90s, and for once a brand rebirth got it right: same great grill with killer construction and portability.  Each grill is cast from a rust-proof aluminum body in the USA and features four air vents that provide a wide range of airflow and temperature options. The grill capsule is guaranteed for 10 years against burnout, rust or breakage.  Explore the collection here. 
Food52 Grilling Grids (Set of 2)
Food52 Grilling Grids (Set of 2)
Pop these handy grids on the grill for an instant cooking surface perfect for cooking smaller cuts of meat and delicate fish. The perforated bottom lets all that smoky goodness reach your ingredients while cooking, while keeping vegetables like scallions or asparagus from falling through the grill grates (tragedy!).  Made in: China  Made of: Stainless steel or porcelain  Size: Small grid: 13" L x 7.5" W x 0.91" H; Large grid: 16.46" L x 10.04" W x 1" H Sourced from: Companion Group Photography by Rocky Luten.
The PK360 Grill & Smoker
The PK360 Grill & Smoker
MVP of the 2017 Cookout Season. Cast from rust-proof, durable aluminum, the PK360 is ready to sling some serious dogs and burgers come next cookout. Originally fired-up in the '60s with wild success, the PK's been upgraded for 2017 with:  High portability: use by itself or with the wheeled pedestal base; grill capsule can sit on uneven surfaces thanks to rear stabilizer feet  Twin cylinder intakes and upper radial vents give you precise control of temperature and airflow (slow or fast grilling) Internal ash roofs prevent ash from falling into the lower air vents  Marine grade 316 stainless steel cooking grate and charcoal grate  Hinged section on cooking grate for easy addition of more coals  Dual heat-resistant, durable and removable shelves provide workspace with steel bar for hanging accessories  Pedestal base with aluminum foot and quick-release knob for easy removal the grill capsule  Aluminum grill capsule guaranteed for 10 years against burnout, rust or breakage  Includes PK360 Grill, pedestal base, two shelves, hardware and assembly instructions as well as a free stainless steel Rib Rack, a $39.99 value
Portable BBQ Grill "Mon Oncle V2"
Portable BBQ Grill "Mon Oncle V2"
Enjoy the smoky smell of summer at the beach, on a rooftop, at the park—anywhere, really—with this beautifully designed portable grill. The ultra-light Mon Oncle is ridiculously easy to use and perfectly scaled to take with you on the go. When closed, it's an elegant briefcase with character and a vintage feel. Open it up and you'll find a portable, tabletop barbecue grill inside. Take it to a beach picnic or elevate your tailgating experience. Tight on space? Use it at home, on a terrace or balcony. Its innovative design is easy to use and dismantle and features a perforated surface that ensures even air flow for fast, flavorful cooking. 
White & Grey Enamel Drink Dispenser
White & Grey Enamel Drink Dispenser
There’s no better way to serve big-batch beverages to a crowd than by having guests serve themselves out of a big ol’ classic drink dispenser. This one comes in classic white with grey trim and looks great with a set of matching mugs or tumblers. It holds just over 15 quarts, so get a-squeezin’ those lemons!Read more on why we love enamelware a whole lot for every little kitchen task.   Made in: China  Made of: Steel, porcelain enamel. Metal stand. Stainless steel spout.  Size: 14" in diameter (15" W with handles) x 17.5" H, holds 15.25 quarts  Sourced from: Crow Canyon Home Photography by Rocky Luten.

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