There’s nothing better than a warm summer afternoon behind a hot grill with a cold drink in one hand and a spatula in the other.
You’re on a quest to cook the tenderest chicken breast, the juiciest rib-eye, or the beefiest burger. You have special sauces, marinades, and rubs that set you apart from the other backyard chefs in the neighborhood.
And your grill or smoker? It’s no basic model, but is it time for an upgrade?
Your cookout will ascend to another level with a few high-end features for custom BBQ smokers and grills.
Custom BBQ Smokers & Grills: 6 Design Ideas That Bring the Heat
When it comes to grilling and barbecuing, customization can make or break your experience. Integrating useful features makes grilling easier, safer, and ultimately more fun.
Some BBQ smoker design ideas to consider are:
- Counterbalance hinges
- Drum smoker latches and hinges
- Drum smoker accessories
- Multiple fuel sources
- Unique finishes
- Sensor technology for better cooking
1. Counterbalance hinges
Grill buyers want more grate space for custom BBQ smokers and grills, but that inevitably means a heavier lid. A heavy-duty counterbalance hinge design handles weight and torque so anyone can lift the lid, regardless of strength.
You can customize the amount of weight you want the customer to feel, or even create a "floating" hinge grill that stays in place when they let go.
Plus, with the right lid support hinge, soft-close functionality keeps little fingers safe. And, there's need to worry about a heavy gust or butterfingers causing the lid to fall.
Soft-close hinges for heavy lids can be hidden away, impressing customers with clean lines and elegant movement. BBQ smoker and grill lid hinges with smooth moves give off the impression of luxury.
2. Smoker Latches & Hinges
Smokers are a great way to spice up your summer cooking, but handling your smoker can sometimes be difficult or even dangerous. Integrating high-quality hinges and a latch can vastly improve your BBQ experience.
The drum smoker hinge and latch handle are compatible with most drum smokers and make your smoker safer and easier to use. The hinge adjusts to hold various lid weights, while the latch allows for one-handed operation. Both pieces can withstand the high heat of outdoor cooking.
Resource: Want to see a high-end latch in action? Check out the drum smoker latch handle that’s part of our Smokin’ Ugly line.
If you’re comparing specific models, look for a hinge that opens beyond 90° to allow full access to the smoker.
3. Drum Smoker Accessories
It doesn’t take a lot to design the perfect drum smoker, but some accessories are essential. Any outdoor grill design should include accessories to enhance the customer's experience:
- Latch handle kit
- Charcoal basket kit
- Charcoal shoot kit
- Inlet vent and exhaust vent kit
- Grill grate and utensil hook kit
- Water pan holder kit
- Pizza Oven kit
- Pizza peel
4. Multiple Fuel Types
Charcoal, gas, pellets, and wood each have their devotees. There's even a market for electric grills. But how about a grill that burns more than one kind of fuel?
Alternating fuel sources can change the taste of food cooked on your BBQ or smoker, adding different, distinct flavors. Buying a hybrid fire grill can show your neighbor that you’re the Grill Master on the block.
5. Unique Finishes
There's nothing wrong with using stainless steel. It won't corrode, especially if it's a marine-grade 316. Plus, it polishes up to a bright shine. But everyone and their brother has a stainless steel grill; you want style.
To see what's possible, look at kamado grills. These Easter egg-shaped BBQ smokers come in colors ranging from red and green to powder blue.
Plus, a grill with a heavy-duty hinge in a UV-resistant polyester or polyurethane powder coating won’t break down throughout a long, hot summer.
6. High-Technology Features
BBQ enthusiasts today use Bluetooth temperature probes to help cook meat perfectly. But what if these features were already part of the grill, and you didn’t need an accessory?
It's what Coyote does with their high-end pellet grill. Integrated sensor technology times your food perfectly, letting you know precisely when to lift the lid and flip your steak.
Tasting the Best Design for Custom BBQ Smokers & Grills
Many outdoor cooks want to treat themselves to high-end BBQ equipment, and reasonably so. These six grill and BBQ smoker design ideas are the next level in safety and functionality, especially the counterbalance and soft-close hinges.
Smokin’ Ugly: Truly Custom BBQ Smokers
Weber Knapp has engineered motion control products and drum smoker accessories that revolutionize the grilling/smoking experience. Learn how you can turn your smoker into the envy of your fellow backyard BBQ warriors. Click the button below to see our accessories.
Are You a Grill Designer? We Can Help!
Want to design a special grill or smoker with heavy-duty, soft-close lid support or another motion control feature? Ask our engineers what they can do to help meet your cycle life, style, and cost targets.
Our six guidelines for grill and BBQ smoker hinges give you more tips on how to enhance look and feel while improving grill lid hinge durability.
(Editor's Note: This blog was originally posted in June 2020 and was updated in July 2021.)