4 Gourmet Projects to Upgrade Your Backyard BBQ

You may be ready for a great summer cookout, but is your outdoor space? Boost your home's entertaining potential with these 4 projects.

Nothing says summer quite like the smell of barbecue sizzling on the grill. From family-filled days to evenings catching up with friends under the stars, the backyard is the perfect gathering area for summer fun. Make sure your outdoor BBQ space is ready for the occasion with these home improvement projects.

Prepare Your Perfect Outdoor Kitchen

When it comes to cookouts, the grill is the star of the show. But there are many other appliances needed to pull together a delicious summer meal. If you're tired of wasting time shuttling food between the fridge inside and the grill outside, it may be time to upgrade to a complete outdoor kitchen. When you have everything you need in your backyard, you can spend less time inside the house (missing out on the fun) and more time enjoying the outdoors with family and friends.

Turn Up the Heat with a New Grill

There are three main types of grills that are typically used for outdoor BBQ areas: gas, charcoal, and electric. Gas grills, the most popular option, typically run on bottled propane, but can be hooked up to use the natural gas that your home uses instead. Gas grills start quickly and are durable, easy to use, and available in a wide variety of sizes and styles. Charcoal grills, however, are preferred by some because of the smoky flavor the charcoal gives the food. Charcoal grills take more time to heat up—at least 45 minutes prior to cooking—and can be more expensive, but the quality of the food may be worth the splurge. Electric grills are best for people who have little space, or who live in apartments or cities where gas and charcoal grills are not allowed. All three are available in built-in or freestanding designs, so it's easy to find a grill to match your kitchen flow.

Add an All-Inclusive Island

A good barbecue is supported by a cast of other appliances besides the grill. Outdoor kitchens can be customized to include as much, or as little, as you want. Need only the basics? Have a simple outdoor kitchen island installed with a grill, a mini fridge, and drawers for storage and trash. Interested in going full-out? Opt for a complete kitchen setup—a sink, a grill hood, counter space, a stove, and even a bar area. With this many options, you can create a kitchen that's ready for endless entertaining at a price point that matches your budget.

Get Cookin'

Work Your Way Up with Outdoor Kitchen Plans

Before you have an outdoor kitchen installed, start by attending to the foundation of the space. If you're adding a new foundation, it's important to consider all the factors—the location (you don't want smoke from the grill blowing into your house), the material, and the structure. A local contractor can help you choose between a deck or a patio, and can advise you on what material will work best for your needs.

Does it rain a lot where you are, or are your little ones prone to spilling? Tile and marble may not work as well as wood for your space, as they can become slippery when wet or stain easily. The location of your home, your family's needs, and your aesthetic preference will help you decide whether tile, wood, marble, composites, aluminium, or even a material like concrete painted to look like brick will be the best foundation for your deck or patio.

Start from the Bottom

When It Comes to a Backyard BBQ, the Sky's the Limit

Eager to upgrade your BBQ space but don't have a yard? Urbanites can take the fun to their balcony or rooftop. Many apartments and condos feature some kind of outdoor space that can accommodate a small grill and other accessories, and a carpenter can help you green it up by creating custom raised garden beds that add natural beauty to the area. Even better? You'll have fresh garden food available at your fingertips.  Just make sure your building and city codes allow it. With a few upgrades, you'll soon feel like you're at a genuine backyard BBQ.  

Dinner with a View? Yes, Please!

Don't Forget the Details

When the big projects are completed, all your space needs is a few finishing touches. Custom seating will make sure no one has to eat standing up and can complement the design of your kitchen. An awning or pergola over your space can help block the sun's rays. And adding electrical elements can be the cherry on top. Pretty outdoor lights illuminate your space well into the night, electric heaters keep the chill away once the sun begins to set, and speakers guarantee you'll have the perfect background music for your BBQ—because honestly, who doesn't dance a little when they take a perfectly cooked steak off the grill?

Complete Your Outdoor Project

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