Retrofitting Your Grill

If you’ve had an outdoor kitchen for some time, you eventually might want to replace your existing built-in grill. Depending on the weather in your area and your grill’s design, older models may rust out or stop working after years of use. If you’re in this situation, it’s important to find a built-in that fits your space and lifestyle. Choosing a retrofit option saves you time and money, since you don’t have to make major changes to fit it into your space. Consider these important factors before choosing the perfect replacement grill for your outdoor kitchen.

Matching Your Space

Retrofitting a new grill into your existing space cuts cost, time, and effort. You’re looking for something that closely matches your current space, unless you plan to replace the counter and possibly the base. These tips will help you find the perfect solution for your kitchen:

  • Know your model
    • Write down the name of your existing model to find another grill with the closest dimensions – choosing the same manufacturer is often a good choice. Most manufacturers use similar dimensions and technical details, making your retrofit simple and effortless.
  • Measure your space
    • Don’t guess on the measurements. Take your time and measure both the existing grill and the space where it fits. This helps you understand whether you have any wiggle room or could use an adapter to fit a new model into the space.
      Measure the height clearance and rear lid clearance. Even slight variations in these measurements can create problems. Ensure your new addition functions perfectly by staying within these boundaries.

Electricity

Find out whether your existing grill uses electricity, and look for something similar when you choose your new grill. If your existing model already has electric power, you can choose an electric or non-electric option; however, if your existing grill doesn’t have electricity and your new one requires it, you’ll need an electrician to create the proper connection. This will cost extra, so make sure it’s worth it for your outdoor cooking needs.

Natural Gas

If your grill uses natural gas, you’ll probably need to replace the gas valve. Smart buyers figure this cost into their budget before they begin. Since gas valves typically wear out at the same rate as your grill, it’s wise to replace them when you remove your existing model.

Do You have a Combustible Island?

If you have a combustible island, the insulated jacket of your new grill must match the old one exactly. Ensure a perfect match by choosing the same manufacturer. While different manufacturers use different types of insulated jackets, most manufacturers don’t vary the jackets within their own line. It’s safer for you and your outdoor kitchen to choose the same manufacturer. Of course, if your island isn’t combustible, a grill from any manufacturer that fits your space will work.

Problem Solving

Maybe you’ve found the perfect model, but it doesn’t quite fit your space. Use these tips to make it work well with your space:

  • Cut-out is too small
    • If your grill is too big for your space, you’ll have to increase the cut out. The material of your island and your construction skills will determine whether or not you do this on your own. It’s best to get an estimate from a professional before you buy.
  • Cut-out is too large
    • In this scenario, your grill requires support on three sides. If there’s no way to support it on three sides, choose a different model. If you have the support, use stainless trim or an adapter to cover the openings.

If retrofitting your new grill into your existing space works for you, you’ll save lots of time, money, and effort. Measure your space and understand the technical needs of your grill, then start looking for something to match your current space. Soon you’ll have a beautiful new grill that works seamlessly with your existing outdoor kitchen.