Get the answers to all your outdoor kitchen grill island and outdoor kitchen kit frequently asked questions in my outdoor kitchen BBQ island FAQ. Learn more with the Grilling Life Q&A.
For many outdoor cooking enthusiasts (or people who spend a lot of time watching HGTV), a proper outdoor kitchen is the ultimate goal in backyard entertaining.
Outdoor kitchens combine all of the convenience of your indoor kitchen (Counters! Drawers! Sinks!) with durable surfaces and places for your grill and other outdoor cooking gear.
If you’re considering installing an outdoor kitchen of your own, it can seem like a daunting task. You’re not just remodeling a kitchen, you’re creating a new one out of nothing and have to take things like safety, weather resistance, and gas and water hookups into account.
That’s why we put together this outdoor kitchen grill island and kitchen kit FAQ!
This guide will share everything you need to know about grill islands and kitchen kits to get started on the journey of designing and building your own (with some help from a contractor, plumber, or electrician if needed, of course).
We’ll cover the types of kits on the market, helpful information for installation, and tips on where to install your kitchen, so it’s both safe and convenient to use.
We’ll also share our thoughts on bringing in outside help to install your kitchen, and where you can start shopping for your own.
Let’s get started!
In This Article, We’ll Explore:
Click a topic below to be taken directly to that section.
What Are Outdoor Kitchen Grill Islands & Kitchen Kits?
BBQ grill islands come with a built-in grill or space for your own, storage features, and sometimes bonus tools like a side burner. Kitchen kits are partially-built BBQ islands that come with all of the features above, plus customization options to fit your needs and style. If you’re looking to start your outdoor kitchen in a stylish yet economic way, start with a grill island or kitchen kit!
What Are Your Outdoor Kitchen Kit Options?
When it comes to your kitchen kit, you’ll have a few options depending on your budget, timeline, and level of effort you’d like to put into your kitchen construction. Below we will outline each so you know what you are getting into.
Ready-To-Finish Outdoor Kitchen Kits
You’ll usually find ready-to-finish outdoor kitchen kits pre-made from aluminum or steel frames covered by cement board, ready for you to finish with tile, masonry, or stucco, depending on your style.
In some cases, your kit may come with the cutouts for grills and other appliances already made. Depending on your skill level, you may still need to hire outside help to complete your kit.
Modular & Prefabricated Outdoor Kits
Unlike ready-to-finish kits, module and prefabricated outdoor kitchen kits will come to you completely finished — no tile or stucco work is required. The trade-off here, of course, is quality, and the potential for shipping damage, but if you’re on a budget or don’t want to mess with finishing your own kitchen, they’re a smart choice.
Ready-To-Assemble Outdoor Kitchen Kits
Ready-to-assemble kitchen kits are delivered pre-finished, with the decorative finish and cut-outs for appliances already built in. They’re different from prefabricated kits, however. To make shipping easier, these kits come in panels that need just a bit of assembly before you’re ready to cook.
Do Outdoor Kitchens Kits Have to Be Permanently Installed?
No, not all outdoor kitchen kits have to be permanently installed. Some kits can be taken apart into individual components or some come with wheels or casters so that they can be moved to a new spot in your yard or a completely different property.
If you think you’ll need to move your kitchen at any point, be sure to look for a kit that allows for that since some ready-to-assemble models aren’t made to go anywhere once installed.
What Framing Materials Do Outdoor Kitchen Grill Islands Use?
Grill islands typically use stainless steel and aluminum as their framing materials. Both materials are known for withstanding the elements; aluminum also has the benefit of being rust-resistant and lighter to move. If you plan on relocating your BBQ island in the future, aluminum may be the best option.
Do I Need an Electrician or Plumber to Install a Grill Island?
If you’re planning on incorporating a natural gas grill into your island, yes, you’ll need a plumber. You should also consider hiring some professional help if you want a sink in your island or have appliances that have more complex electrical systems.
However, if you’re just installing a standard propane grill, you will likely be able to handle that on your own.
How Heavy or Hard to Move Will a Complete BBQ Island Be?
That all depends on what materials your BBQ island is made from. If you have an aluminum model, or an island with casters it won’t be as hard to move. But a decorative stone finish to match your house will need quite a bit more heft to transport.
You may even need a forklift in some cases, so check your island’s specs to see how heavy it is before ordering.
Can I Install a Grill Island Against a Wall or a Fence?
Short answer: it’s not a great idea to install a grill island against a wall or fence since combustible materials like those used in fences and hot grills don’t mix. However, if the wall or fence you want to build your island against allows for the required open-air clearance between a combustible structure and the appliance, you should be fine.
Check your owner’s manual to be sure, and do the same if you plan on having any type of structure above your grill — depending on local codes, you’ll likely need a vent hood.
Do You Need Planning Permits for an Outdoor Kitchen Kit?
There’s a good chance you won’t need a planning permit to install your grill island kitchen kit, but do your research first! Your area may have specific zoning requirements, plumbing or electrical permits, or rules about building within the proximity of a property line that requires them.
Are Outdoor Kitchens Kits Worth the Money?
Outdoor kitchen kits are absolutely worth the money! Kitchen kits don’t just make cooking outside more convenient and fun — they can seriously upgrade the value of your home. Not to mention they’re an excellent place for a party!
Where Is a Good Place to Shop for Outdoor Kitchen Grill Islands & Kits?
Like just about everything, there is a great variety of kitchen grill islands and kits available online! We’re fans of BBQGuys BBQ Learning Center for Outdoor Kitchen Kits since ordering is simple, and they’re incredibly knowledgeable about all things outdoor cooking. They even have agents on standby to answer all your questions.
Final Thoughts on Our Outdoor Kitchen Grill Island and Outdoor Kitchen Kits FAQ
If you’re a grilling enthusiast, installing an outdoor kitchen grill island and outdoor kitchen kit makes sense for a ton of reasons.
You won’t need to spend time running back and forth to your house to grab tools or ingredients. You can soup it up with features like drink coolers, refrigerators, side burners, storage cabinets, and a finish that matches your home or patio.
Plus, it can increase the value of your home — and many can even travel with you to your next home, depending on the model you buy.
If the idea of installing an outdoor kitchen seems overwhelming, outdoor kitchen kits will save you a ton of time and effort.
From ready-to-finish kits that double as a fun, hands-on project (if you’re into that) to ready-to-assemble kits that simply need to be set up, there’s an outdoor kitchen kit out there for every skill level and taste.
We hope this FAQ guide has helped shed some light on the options available and sparked some ideas for your own outdoor kitchen. They’re truly a great investment if you spend a lot of time cooking outdoors and want to take things up a notch.
If there’s anything we didn’t cover in this guide that you’d like to see added, let us know by commenting in the section below or sending us an email. We’ll track down an answer for you and may even add your question to this guide!
As with every FAQ guide on our site, check back here often as we add new questions and update the answers with more current information.
Now It’s Your Turn
I want to hear from you:
Have you ever purchased a BBQ Grill Island before?
Have you used any of the gas grill brands worth hearing about and have any feedback to share?
What features do you typically like to see in a built-in grill?
Let me know by leaving a quick comment below.
If you still have questions, please feel free to send me a message.
Disclosure – At The Grilling Life, I am committed to researching and writing thoughtful, informative and editorially independent reviews of the best products for your outdoor cooking needs. If you like what I do, you can support me through my chosen links, which earn me a commission. This allows me to continue sharing with you my love for all things barbecue. Your support is truly appreciated.