Your kids are back in school, the holidays are just around the corner, and the weather is cooling. Now is the perfect time to retrofit your outdoor kitchen or installing that barbecue island you’ve been talking for years. Whichever it is, you’re going to need one of the most important aspects to any outdoor kitchen island – the cutout.
Cutouts – A Definition
Cutouts are additional frame pieces that must be added to your main module so your appliances have a place to live. Cutouts come in one of two types:
- Drop-in – For appliances that will be lowered in from the top of your module. This may include a sink or a side burner.
- Slide-In or roll-in – For appliances that will be slid or rolled in from the front or side of the module. This will require you to cut at least one stud on the main module, hence the name – cutout. This may include your grill, refrigerator, or drawers.
Cutouts are necessary not only to lay the foundation for and hold the appliances in place, but to strengthen the integrity of the main modules when they need to be cut.
The following appliances will need a cutout kit to be installed: Grills, smokers, side burners, sinks, refrigerators, freezers, ice buckets, trash chutes, cutting boards, doors, and drawers.
The Ground Up Advantage
If you’ve been thinking about installing a new barbecue island from the ground up, perfect. This will allow you to build out your island just as you want from the beginning. After selecting a DIY BBQ island kit (or creating a custom island, which may also include a backsplash, an overhang, or something a little special), the next step is choosing your appliances.
Why, you ask? Because each appliance you choose to include, from the grill to the cutting board, needs its own cutout. Knowing the appliances that will be installed will guarantee you’re choosing the right island kit.
Installing Your Cutouts
Follow these steps to install your cutouts.
- Purchase your appliance. To install your cutout correctly, you need to know the size of the appliance that will be placed into your island. Please note: If you purchase an appliance directly from DIY BBQ, we include the requisite cutout for free and sized to your new appliance.
- Measure the width (to indicate how much of the module the appliance will take up from left to right), the height (to indicate how deep the appliance will sit in your module from top to bottom), and the depth (to indicate how far back the appliance will go from front to back). Use these measurements to place the cutout frames in the correct position.
- Measure it again. Always measure twice. There’s nothing worse than cutting too much from your main module.
- Mark the placement of each cutout frame on your main module to make sure you have enough space for all cutouts you expect to install and that you’re happy with the final placement.
- Install the frames. DIY BBQ has several easy-to-follow instructions for all types of cutouts. If possible, you may place and remove the appliances as needed to make sure the frames are being installed in the correct location.
Retrofitting Your Island
If you have a completed barbecue island with all finishing material installed, it will take a bit more time and patience to add new appliance cutouts or modules.
You’ll want to start by purchasing your new appliances, modules, and cutout kits. Measure the appliances to make sure they fit where you would like them to be installed.
Once you have them marked, it’s time to tear away the finishing materials covering your frame. Be careful when tearing apart the materials that you do not damage the module frame. Also, make sure you have additional finishing materials you can use to rebuild before tearing apart the old material. If you do not have replacement materials, you may consider tearing away the finishing materials from the entire module.
Once the finishing material has been stripped away, install the modules, cutout kits, and appliances. Then reapply the finishing materials.
Cutouts may not be the first thing we think of when starting to put together or retrofitting our barbecue islands, but they are very important in making sure your outdoor kitchen is built correctly and lasts for years to come.