Building an Outdoor Kitchen will involve a lot of choices and decisions. Because the grill is permanent the position of the grill is important for looks, functionality and performance. Over the years we have encountered several grills that have been positioned in areas that are unprotected from strong prevailing trade winds that have done damage to the grill and also in extreme cases the structure.
The first consideration that we have when designing the outdoor kitchen is the grill location. It is important to ask or know if there is a prevailing trade wind. Since we supply a lot of grills to property owners that are located on the water there can be issues with strong winds. Wind can disrupt the grills ability to let the heat rise out the back of the grill when it is baking or indirect cooking mode.
Grilling Basics: Most people cook on grills with the grill hood in the (Indirect Cooking) closed position, this is the equivalent of an outdoor oven. Everything inside the grill is getting the same temperature and the food is cooking on the bottom and the top surfaces. In this style of cooking the heat inside the grill from the burners is rising and escaping out the back top of the hood. If there is a steady or strong breeze that is coming in towards the back of the grill the air pressure can push the hot air to one side of the hood or even worse push all the hot air down into the control panel. All grills are susceptible to this condition and it can cause damage to the electronics, gas valves or even the enclosure. You can tell if this condition exists if you are not getting the normal temperatures on the grill hood thermometer or if the control panel is getting warm or hot. Less expensive grills with small BTU burners will just blow out the flame, allowing the gas to continue to escape creating an explosive hazard. The more expensive grills with high BTU burners will continue to produce heat and can do damage to your grill or even the enclosure below.
The answer to this condition is to educate our customers and position the grill in a way that minimizes this condition. Also, the use of a large non-combustible backsplash behind the grill can also help block the grill from wind damage.
Second, you can cook with the hood open (Direct Cooking). Higher end grills have powerful BTU burners that produce more heat. This extra horsepower allows you to cook at different temperatures above each burner so you can cook meats, vegetables and fish on the same grill at the same time.