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A long-time contributor to SeriouslySmoked. Jim has had a lifelong relationship with the art of grilling, passed on from his father and grandfather to him.
Doug is a hardcore barbeque enthusiast and connoisseur. While he spends most of his time on editing and research,
he sometimes moonlights as a product tester for particularly interesting things he comes across.
While outdoor grills are a must-have for any home entertainer, you may often find yourself running back and forth from the kitchen to retrieve prepared meat and veg. A grill table provides you with the space you need to slice and dice ingredients without taking you away from your guests.
There’s no need to buy an expensive grill table from your local store. You can design your own and customize it to meet your outdoor cooking needs. If you are handy with DIY tools, there is virtually no limit to the intricate designs you can use to create a unique grill table.
Before you begin making your DIY grill table, there are several essential considerations.
DIY Grill Table Access
If you’re designing a portable DIY grill table, access may not be an issue because you can wheel it into the most suitable location each time you have a barbeque. But when constructing a static grill table, you’ll want to make sure it’s not too far from where your family and friends will gather while you cook.
Grilling is a social activity, and it’s not much fun if you’re on your own and can’t converse with your guests. However, you also don’t want the smoke from the grill irritating people's eyes and airways. Building your table 6-8’ away from the seating area ensures that you can still be part of the conversation while keeping your guests comfortable.
Cover From the Elements
You don’t want to use your grill table in the coldest part of your backyard, but standing in the hot sun for a couple of hours isn’t fun either. Try to find a spot that has a natural shade, such as under a tree. Consider where the sun will be when you’re most likely to cook and set up your materials in that spot.
Access to Fuel
If you are designing a DIY grill table for a charcoal BBQ, you can keep your fuel underneath the unit. However, if you have an electric or gas grill, you may need to run electrical cables or propane lines to your BBQ. This aspect could determine where you place your grill table and what access points and cable management features you need to incorporate into the design.
The best place to place your grill table is on solid level ground. If you have room on your patio and it offers sufficient cover from the elements, this is an excellent grill table location. If this is not possible and you need to use your lawn, consider using pallet boards to provide a stable base. You could even dig out a small area and lay concrete if you’re confident your grill table will be in this spot for many years.
Designing Your DIY Grill Table
When you’ve determined the ideal location for your DIY grill table, it’s time to consider the factors that contribute to durability, functionality, and style.
1. DIY Grill Table Materials
When choosing your grill table materials, you need to examine if they are robust in variable weather conditions and how much the materials cost. Wood is an excellent choice for a grill table because you can choose from different wood types such as oak, pine, or cedar.
Oak is sturdy and can support significant weights, while pine is lighter but costs considerably less money. Cedar has a beautiful appearance and can be a feature in your backyard. Whichever wood type you choose, it’s essential to treat the material before you begin building.
Because your DIY grill table wood is exposed to heat and dampness in the air, you need to ensure it has complete staining coverage to reduce the risk of deterioration.
2. DIY Grill Table Shape
When considering the shape of your grill table, you need to determine if you need extra space for plates and glasses or if the table is only going to hold your grill. Utilizing an L-shape design is a great way to provide you with access to your grill at the front while keeping utensils and silverware accessible on one side.
If you need even more space, you could make a walk-in U-shaped table. Guests can stand on one side and chat while you keep your plates and ingredients on the other side of your grill table.
3. DIY Grill Table Storage
When you’re designing your grill table, it’s crucial to add enough storage space. You can add cupboards beneath the unit to keep charcoal or gas tanks, ensuring you don’t have to leave the grill unattended when you need more fuel. It’s also a good idea to build in a compartment for food waste and a recycling bin, allowing you to keep your grilling area clean and tidy.
Including a set of drawers means you can keep your grilling utensils close to hand, and you could even make a space for a refrigerator. If you have a power source, you can keep meats and beverages cool until you’re ready to begin grilling.
4. DIY Grill Table Support
Whichever plans you choose to follow, it’s essential to ensure your table has enough support.
5. Rectangles Are Sturdy
Rectangles are robust and modular, meaning you can build them separately before attaching them to other parts of your table. Use four solid timber pieces as vertical legs, and then use four more horizontal solid lengths to create a secure base. You can screw the horizontal pieces into the standing legs to create a solid structure.
6. Add Your Tabletop
Place a flat, treated board on top of your base, and screw it firmly into position. Measure your grill diameter, and use a jigsaw to cut an exact-sized hole in the tabletop. You can create a makeshift compass by inserting a screw into the center of your table, attaching a string and pen, ensuring the string length is correct and marking the wood in a circular motion.
Create a Social Hub in Your Yards with a Grill Table
Designing a DIY grill table is an enjoyable project and can elevate your simple BBQ area into a relaxed entertainment space. By following these guidelines, you can build a table in one or two days. All that’s left to do is fire up your grill and cook some delicious food!
Once you’ve built your grill table, you may also be interested in finding the best grill to mount on the table. We recommend reading our electric grill reviews to help you find the best grill for your table.