Outdoor Kitchen Storage FAQ
Most people are unfamiliar with outdoor kitchen storage, so it’s only natural that there are plenty of questions on the subject that need answering. Our experts put their heads together to address your frequently asked questions, touching on everything from access doors and cabinet placement to island frame materials and propane tank storage. We hope our answers help you better understand BBQ island storage and give you more confidence when shopping for these all-important outdoor kitchen components.
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Common Outdoor Kitchen Storage Questions
What do access doors do?
An access door is a door you install on an enclosure that gives you access to plumbing, shutoff valves, or any other components you may need to reach for maintenance and safety.
What is the difference between an access door and a cabinet?
Access doors create a point of access for gas plumbing and water lines, whereas cabinets serve as a storage solution. Cabinets come not only with a door but also a box interior for storing items inside.
How do you install access doors?
The answer to this question is highly dependent on the material your outdoor kitchen island is made of. The material dictates the type of installation and hardware required, which is why most access doors come with no hardware other than handles.
Can I mount doors and drawers to brick? Or do I need to have a wood or metal frame?
Yes, you can mount doors and drawers to brick islands. If you plan on doing this, look for doors and drawers with internal flanges. Because most cabinets and access doors don’t come with hardware, your contractor will be able to choose the appropriate hardware to perform the installation.
What size cutout/opening is needed for doors and drawers?
All our doors and drawers come with specs, which your contractor needs to determine the size of the openings.
Do I need an access door under my grill?
You need an access door within approximately 6 feet (or the distance determined by your local code authority) of the shutoff valve of your grill. Access doors don’t necessarily have to be right underneath your grill, though they’re often installed there for aesthetic purposes.
Why would I need an access door under my sink?
The space under your sink typically houses the plumbing that supplies water to your sink. In order to access that plumbing for maintenance, you’ll need access doors installed. Most local code authorities require an access door be installed for this reason.
Why can’t I put a cabinet or drawers under my sink?
Because the space under the sink is occupied by plumbing, there won’t be any room left to put in a cabinet or drawers. It’s the same reason your indoor kitchen has that awkward space under the sink instead of a full cabinet.
Are your doors/drawers/cabinets sealed?
Unless the components are marketed as a “dry-storage pantry” or “water-resistant cabinet,” they won’t be sealed. In fact, you’ll see slight gaps between the door panels of unsealed models.
Can I put a trash unit under a side burner or power burner?
Trash bins are generally too tall to be put in such an area, but the main thing to consider is whether your local code authority allows this placement because some don’t. Another thing to keep in mind is that burners produce heat, which in turn might intensify the smell within the trash unit.
How do you store a propane tank?
Propane tanks should always be stored upright with the valves turned off and the regulator disconnected. You should always try to store them outdoors in a well-ventilated area where they’ll be protected from the elements. To learn more about propane tank storage check out our propane tank care and maintenance article.
Can I put an LP tank under my grill (or another heat-producing appliance)?
Most user manuals from grill manufacturers forbid the placement and storage of propane tanks under grills, so we strongly advise against this practice.
How far away from the grill does my propane tank need to be?
Typically, a propane tank should be a minimum of 10 feet from any source of ignition. But you should always check with your local code authority to make sure this distance is consistent with local guidelines.
Will access doors keep bugs out?
They will keep bugs from entering through the door opening, but won’t prevent bugs from accessing the inside of your island through other points.
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