The Ultimate Outdoor Kitchen / Texas BBQ Religion Part 1.5

Posted by Phil on June 17th, 2010 | Cooking

From the Hello Kitchen Design Blog

My buddy has been looking to build an outdoor kitchen in the backyard of his new house in Houston, and being a BBQ/cooking nut, I started to help him plan it.

There’s a few ways you can go with planning any project/product, you can do it simple/basic, or highly idealistic/almost-unattainable.. we chose the latter.  This is why it makes it to The Sportsman Dispatch, anyway.

So, if you’re going to build an outdoor kitchen, what do you incorporate? From a high-level perspective, I started thinking about my my favorite cooking methods, even idealistic ones I want to try, ALL built into one:

1.) A REAL smoker pit.  See Smitty’s in Lockhart, Texas.   If you read Texas BBQ Religion Part 1 on last edition, you’ll know what wavelength I’m on here.  I’m talking brick and mortar, ground-level firebrick smoke “box” (even open top, maybe), and rectangular cook-box.  Plywood lid.  “OK, Colin, we can make it something more appealing, sure”.
2.) Tuscan-style or other Wood-fire grill – simple flat grill area to make wood (or charcoal) fires for direct heat grilling.  Pecan Burgers, Mesquite Fajitas, “Asador” (see article) South American Style Meats, or Tuscan-style grilling, whatever that is.
3.) Gas Grill – lets be honest, this is easy and convenient and makes excellent food.  You don’t always have time to burn down a 1/4 cord of oak for a couple burgers.
4.) Gas Burners – stir-fry, crawfish boilers, stinky/herby stuff you don’t want to stink the house up with.  Plus, its always more fun to spill stuff everywhere outside cause you know cleanup is not that big a deal.
5.) Flat-top grill – this is a greasy-spoon secret, and can be used to cook damn near anything.  Plus you can entertain your friends by pretending you’re a Japanese grill chef right up until you light your hair on fire with rice wine.

I’m going to try to bring in some “experts” on this one too – friends who take cooking/grilling seriously and know what it takes to make the perfect food.  I’ve got a crawfish man (who is a writer on the site) that I’m gonna ask about the gas-burner section of the kitchen.

One very important reference here:  Hello Kitchen Design, out of Austin, TX, featured the design of a similar outdoor kitchen in a blog post titled “Primitive Outdoor Kitchen… on a Tiny Urban Half-Lot?” (seen here –  This excellent article (including the photographs and planning drawings) both helped to further inspire this idea, and reassure me that there ARE others out there who share this vision.

More to come.. ideas for now..

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