Outdoor Kitchen Barbeque Grill Safety

Q & A: Safe Installation of Outdoor Kitchen BBQ Grill

Q & A: Safe Installation of Outdoor Kitchen BBQ Grill

Building an outdoor kitchen involves many a challenge including decisions about plenty of small details.

Certainly safety is paramount when playing with fire and you don't want surprise problems down the road.

So, below are tips and answers to readers questions about fire-proofing, choices for non-flammable materials, insulation jackets and general safety considerations when installing an outdoor kitchen barbecue grill.

QUESTION:

I have outdoor kitchen design plans for our Moose Lodge.

I want to put it on the back pad behind the building, with a grill, oven, deep fryer, stovetop and fridge.

Do I need a fire system hood?

We live in Florida. The area will be screened in with a couple of picnic tables.

ANSWER:

If the outdoor kitchen barbecue area is completely enclosed with roof and screened walls and smoke could get trapped by the roof, then you'll want to install some type of ventilation system.

Or fashion a chimney in the roof top to allow the smoke and heat to vent up naturally.

At minimum you may want some directional fans attached to walls or ceiling to help direct smoke out of the structure.

However, if you mean an emergency sprinkler type system for putting out a fire, that is a question for your local outdoor kitchen code inspector.... especially if this is a public space.

Certainly having a hand-held fire extinguisher permanently located near the cooking area is a super idea.

But given you'll have several outdoor kitchen appliances (including hot oil) in what may be a smallish space, then an installed, automatic fire-suppression system is something to seriously consider for the safety of your cook and guests.

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Outdoor Kitchen Backsplash Behind Grill

by Bobby
(Charleston, SC)

QUESTION:

I am building an outdoor kitchen next to our shed the roof hangs over a foot or two.

I want to protect the wall and the over hang...


What can I do? What type of material do I use?

ANSWER:

I imagine you'd like to protect the wall and overhang from flame and heat, but also food and grease from the outdoor kitchen grill.

Any non-flammable material will do the job for protecting the wall behind/around the grill, so long as you prepare the shed wall to support it properly.

Of course, you'll want to choose something with a smooth surface for easy clean-up around the barbeque grill.

Fire-retardant materials include:
  • Stainless steel sheeting

  • Squares of tin decorative tile

  • Granite, travertine tile, any kind of stone tile

  • Ceramic tile or glass tile

  • Bricks or rough cut stone wall cladding

  • Or go simple, low-budget industrial chic and use corrugate metal panels... easy install and maintenance.

With so many possibilities I can't say you should definitely do A or B. Especially without seeing your set-up or design style.

The overhang shouldn't be an issue. The barbeque grill housing itself provides the majority of fire-protection. It's a controlled flame covered by the lid for most of the cooking, so risk is small.

However, if the overhang is unusually low, then consider covering it right above the grill with something easy to install, like stainless steel or tin sheets.

And really, unless the grill is right up against the shed wall, then the chance of accidental fire or excessive food splatter is pretty slim.

If it's a relatively large wall, then you have an opportunity to do a cool design with tile. That's probably what I'd lean toward.

Get creative with the design and let your personality show. Style-wise there isn't really a "wrong" thing to do, so I say install a material and design that you'll be happy looking at and maintaining for the next 5-10 or more years.

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Best Gas Grill Insulation for Outdoor Kitchen

QUESTION:

I am planning an outdoor patio kitchen with a bbq grill in a covered area (11 feet high).

The grill will go against a wooden wall, and on a wooden frame.

What type of fireproof material (and how thick) should be used as insulation between the wall and grill?

Can tile be used? What's most cost efficient?

ANSWER:

Ideally you should purchase a grill that includes an insulating jacket to protect the wood outdoor kitchen framing from heat.

In addition, use granite, porcelain or ceramic tile or metal sheeting to cover any other exposed, flammable surfaces above, behind or to the sides of the barbecue grill.

Ceramic tile is typically the most cost-efficient and relatively easy to install, however, you need to use the proper materials and technique to ensure a water-tight surface.

Obviously, if water gets to the wood frame it will rot out quickly and ruin your outdoor kitchen.

Thickness of the fire-retardant material is not too important. Excessive heat is not the issue.

The protection needed is to prevent an open flame from catching the frame on fire and simply covering the frame with non-flammable surface will prevent this.

Now, your local building code may have something to say about this issue though, so be sure to check that out. You may not care now, but when you go to sell the house it could get flagged.

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Outdoor Kitchen Grill Installation with Backer Board

by Jim Smith
(Rock Hill, SC (york))

QUESTION:

I'm building an outdoor kitchen and I am installing a barbeque grill without an insulation jacket.

I am placing this grill on double 1/2 inch concrete backer board surrounding the entire area.
I'm also using double backer board on the burner area.

Will this be safe without having to buy an expensive insulation jacket?

The kitchen frame will be made of wood completely covered with backer-board and stucco. The counter top will be 1/2 inch backer-board and tile.

ANSWER:

While most backer board is non-flammable, the outdoor kitchen set up you describe may not satisfy local building codes, which could be a big issue when selling the property.

First, I'd find out what the code is.

But why not just carry the outdoor countertop tile around the grill since you know it can take the heat without problem?

This will also make for easier clean up and up-keep.

Also, know that backerboard is not waterproof. Many think that it is, but no. It will not deform like wood when wet, but it still absorbs moisture.

And if the backer-board absorbs water, then it will eventually get to the wood frame, and then your whole set-up is kaput.

So, you need to cover the backer-board with water-proof material (like tile) installing it correctly to create a water-tight surface.

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Fireproofing Standing Grill for Outdoor Kitchen

by Yancy
(Oklahoma)

QUESTION:

I'm covering my patio and would like to install some counter tops and a fridge for an outdoor kitchen.

I have a small freestanding propane grill that I'd like to build into the counters.

As far as fireproofing goes what would be my best options?

I plan to use 2X4 wood for the frame, some kind of brick exterior and possible a concrete counter top. Thanks.

ANSWER:

In order to adequately fireproof and outdoor kitchen grill, you simply need to cover all flammable surfaces (like your wood framing) with non-flammable materials (like brick and concrete or tile).

So, it sounds like you have the idea already figured out!

You could also use metal sheeting to line the walls, etc. directly next to where the grill will stand... like in-between two sets of outdoor kitchen cabinets.

I'd caution you about using colored or dyed concrete outdoor kitchen countertops, if you had intended to.

Most dyes used for coloring concrete countertops will fade and/or turn yellow with excessive sun exposure. There are some new coloring systems that are much more resistant to yellowing, but something you should know before jumping.

Of course, you don't have to color them. Just make sure to seal them well.

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Outdoor Kitchen Grill Insulation

by Kyle
(Kentucky)

QUESTION:

I am in the process of building an outdoor kitchen.

I had planned on the entire kitchen being non-combustible and I purchased a grill without an insulated jacket thinking this would be the case.

However, the more I look, it seems that for tile, at least part of the substrate material should be plywood of some kind.

Does this one layer of plywood make this a "combustible" kitchen so that I can no longer use the grill I have without the addition of an insulated jacket?

Some of the wording from Lynx indicates that the insulated jacket is required if the grill cabinet is composed primarily of combustible material.

I just need some clarification on how to move forward with the substrate, and if there are any precautions I need to consider when creating the substrate for my "non-insulated" outdoor barbeque.

Not sure that it matters, but my grill is a 48" Kitchen aid.

ANSWER:

Installing an outdoor kitchen barbeque grill with an insulation jacket is always a good idea. However, the important factor is that combustible material is not exposed (is insulated) to heat and flame.

The plywood substrate should be completely covered by tile. And to set the tile properly outside means also installing a cement backer board and vapor barrier (needed to prevent the plywood from warping and rotting), thinset and then tile and grout.

Without knowing your exact outdoor kitchen design it's hard to determine if there could be a problem, but I don't see any issue with a plywood substrate that will be completely covered with non-flammable material, if the rest of your outdoor kitchen is also non-combustible.

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Outdoor Kitchen Firewall

Cinder block outdoor kitchen plans

Cinder block outdoor kitchen plans

QUESTION:

The previous owner of our house started an outdoor kitchen. He ran all of the gas, plumbing and electrical.

He built it out of cinder blocks. This is as far as he got. We want to finish it.

Do we have to install any type of firewall?

ANSWER:

Well I don't know where the BBQ is going, but if the outdoor kitchen plan is to use all cinder block, then no... no need for any additional fire protection.

Barbecues are pretty protected with the lid and all and cinder block is non-flammable. Unless there is wood or any other flammable surface involved, you should be good to go.

Have fun building your outdoor kitchen!

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Outdoor Kitchen Drop In Grill Placement

by Dennis Dettra
(Richboro pa)

QUESTION:

Does the lip of the drop in BBQ grill go on top of the countertop or under the countertop?

One way looks better the other is practical for removal of the grill later.

ANSWER:

Without seeing your countertop and the outdoor kitchen barbecue it's difficult to answer definitively, however, typically even a drop in will not have the countertop run in front of the grill due to depth and controls.

The outside countertops will be cut to butt up on each side of the BBQ.

But if your's will have the countertop run in front, then I imagine the controls and barbeque grill sit above the countertop surface.

So, I'd put the lip above the outdoor kitchen countertop, which would facilitate later replacement.

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