No outdoor living space is complete without an outdoor BBQ station.
Just like the kitchen indoors, an outdoors grilling station is the heart of the space.
And with increased popularity in backyard BBQing, homeowners are adding innovative products like DIY 55-gallon drum smokers to their existing outdoor kitchens. Carefully selected, these additions set any backyard grilling station apart.
With some DIY smoker kits featuring integrated spring-assisted hinges, inlet vents, exhaust vents, and even griddle and pizza-oven conversions, creating the ultimate BBQ oasis can be as easy as finding the right kits for your needs.
Creating the Ultimate Outdoor BBQ Station
While comfortable seating and a matching ambiance – and perhaps outdoor kitchen appliances such as a fridge – are key elements of important parts of an outdoor BBQ station, the cornerstone is the main cooking implement. In other words, the ultimate outdoor BBQ station is only as good as its smoker or grill. When the cooking starts, all eyes immediately go to the grill or smoker that’s fired up.
For 55-gallon drum smokers, it’s important to choose one that has a plethora of features. To an extent it’s like a souped-up car – the extra bells and whistles are what make it stand out.
But having a tricked-out smoker is more than the optics – and bragging rights – of it. In the ultimate outdoor BBQ station, high-quality meat smoking accessories do more than keep up appearances, they improve functionality.
The Must-Have Kits for DIY Smokers
Take, for instance, the drum smoker’s hinge. It’s important to find a kit with high-quality stainless steel hinges that are built to withstand extreme heat. Heavy-duty, heat-resistant hinges should feature multi-position spring adjustment that can accommodate a variety of lid weights and opens beyond 90° for full access to the smoker. In addition, it's important to select weather-resistant hinges that withstand exposure to the elements – especially rust-resistant hinges.
To perfect the cooking temperature or smoke quantity, integrating charcoal chutes can let the user easily add charcoal or wood to their drum smoker without having to open the lid or remove smoker grates and food. These chutes can also act as an additional air inlet to achieve higher temperatures.
On the opposite end of cooking, make sure your ultimate smoker kit includes a charcoal basket with an integrated handle for fast and easy cleanup.
While most smoker kits include grilling grates, make sure yours can stand up to grease, flames, and cleaning brushes. We recommend a kit with a heavy-duty grate that is constructed with 1/8" stainless steel and has hand-hole cutouts for easy installation and removal.
Some specialized products, like the Smokin’ Ugly Drum Smoker Conversion kit lineup, feature air intake sliders that allow the user to choose how much air comes into the smoker. The pinwheel-style exhaust vent mounts seamlessly to the Ugly Drum Smoker lid to regulate airflow and temperature.
Futureproofing Your Outdoor Grilling (Station) Oasis
Creating the ultimate outdoor BBQ oasis starts with having the best smoker kits. The last thing any grillmaster wants it to replace their smoker because it didn’t have the chops for the job.
Weber Knapp’s Smokin’ Ugly Accessories are made to withstand the test of time and innovate standard BBQing equipment.
For instance, the Smokin’ Ugly Pizza Oven Kit turns any standard drum smoker into a pizza oven or flat top griddle that’s perfect for cooking flatbread pizza, eggs, bacon, and more. The kit features three upgrades for standard 55-gallon drum smokers:
- The fuel basket – this piece attaches easily to the smoker’s rim and can be filled with wood or charcoal to provide more direct heat to the griddle and flame for wood-fired pizza.
- Stainless steel cooking plate – this rests on the fuel basket and is contoured perfectly to the smoker’s rim.
Cooking chamber lid – This attaches directly onto the drum smoker lid to provide more heat coverage for your food
When a drum smoker may be too big or bulky, find products like the Chiminea, The Smokin’ Ugly’s product line’s newest innovation. Featuring a tool-free, easy-to-assemble design with an integrated grill and storage compartment for kindling and wood pieces, the chiminea can serve as a focal point for entertainment, or as a grill to cook the perfect wood-fired steak.
Designing Your Ultimate Outdoor BBQ Station: Relying on the Experts
While Rome wasn’t built in a day, it also wasn’t built by one person. To that end, neither should your grilling station.
Designing outdoor grilling stations that are functional and inviting – and make the neighbors a little jealous – is challenging. Finding the balance between form, function, and flash is a balancing act of sorts.
When it comes to creating the perfect outdoor oasis, don’t settle for featureless, space-consuming products. Turn to the experts to integrate space-saving, feature-packed products that will revolutionize your outdoor living spaces.
Weber Knapps has years of experience designing BBQ grill accessories and motion control products and our team of engineers is available to answer all of your motion control-related questions. Contact us today with any questions.
Weber Knapps has years of experience designing BBQ grill accessories and motion control products and our team of engineers is available to answer all of your motion control-related questions. Contact us today with any questions or click below for more information on the Smokin’ Ugly Accessories lineup: