Transform Your Outdoor Space with the Perfect Multi-User Grill Setup

12 minute read | Grills

In the bustling world of real estate, creating appealing communal spaces can significantly enhance the value and attractiveness of multi-family properties like apartments and condos. One of the most popular trends is outfitting outdoor spaces with custom-built kitchen countertops that feature a variety of built-in grill accessories. These setups enhance the outdoor area's functionality and aesthetics and provide residents with a convenient and enjoyable cooking experience. Whether you're a contractor, developer, or property owner, understanding the importance of these installations and the variety of options available can help you make the best choices for your properties.

Choosing the Right Patio Grill

Selecting the perfect patio grill is a crucial first step in creating an ideal outdoor patio kitchen. Here are some key considerations:

  • Patio Space and Layout: Evaluate your available patio space and how the grill will fit within the layout. Consider traffic flow, accessibility, and the placement of other amenities like seating and dining areas.
  • Fuel Type: Based on the availability of resources and potential users' preferences, choose between natural gas, liquid propane, or electric grills.
  • Cast Aluminum or Stainless Steel Grill: Choose between one of our smaller cast aluminum grills or our larger stainless steel grills. Both materials are used because of how durable they are and because they are both very resistant to rust and corrosion.
  • Usage and Capacity: Consider how often the grill will be used and by how many people. This will help determine the size and features needed. Larger multi-family properties often need more than one grill in a grill area or even multiple grill areas with more than one grill at each.

Our patio grills are designed to withstand outdoor conditions, making them durable patio appliances. Our grills are made with weather-resistant materials that ensure longevity and performance, even in challenging environments.

Types of Fuel for Patio Grills

There are three types of fuel for patio grills to choose from: natural gas, liquid propane, and electricity, each with its own set of advantages. While our natural gas and propane grills are twin models of each other, the fuel type is not interchangeable between models. Our electric grill was designed from the ground up to meet your patio grilling needs.

Natural Gas Grill

A natural gas grill is a fantastic choice for those seeking a permanent, reliable grilling solution. Connected directly to a natural gas line, these grills provide an endless supply of fuel, eliminating the need to refill tanks. Ideal for large outdoor kitchen setups, natural gas grills are renowned for their consistent heat and efficiency. For added safety and convenience, our T-Series natural gas grills (T30NG, T40NG, S27TNG, S36TNG, and S48TNG) come equipped with the FuelStop One-Hour Gas Flow Timer, ensuring that the gas flow automatically shuts off after one hour of use, preventing potential hazards and conserving energy.


  • Constant fuel supply
  • Low operating costs over time
  • Consistent and controllable heat

Liquid Propane Grill

Liquid propane grills are highly popular due to their portability and ease of use. These grills utilize propane tanks, making them perfect for properties without a natural gas line. They heat up quickly and are easy to move around, providing flexibility in outdoor cooking. For enhanced safety and efficiency, our liquid propane grills (T30LP, T40LP, S27TLP, S36TLP, and S48TLP) feature the FuelStop One-Hour Gas Flow Timer, which automatically shuts off the gas flow after one hour of use, helping to prevent accidents and save energy.


  • Can be a portable grill or installed stationary
  • Quick heating
  • Widely available fuel
  • Can be installed quickly
  • Can be used in areas without access to natural gas or electricity

Electric Patio Grill

For those looking to adhere to municipal building code regulations that require green energy appliances to be installed (or prohibit flammable gas-based fuel sources), our electric grill is the most eco-friendly option. Electric patio grills (E-Series E27T) are an excellent choice for any multi-family property. These grills are easy to operate, although they require a power outlet (NEMA 6-30, 240 volts), which a licensed electrician would need to install if you don’t have one. Electric grills offer a clean cooking experience and because they are plugged in they don’t need fuel storage of any kind.


  • Environmentally friendly
  • Easy to use and maintain
  • Safe for use in areas with strict fire regulations
  • Complaint with various cities’ energy-based building code regulations

Designing a Custom Grill Countertop

A custom grill countertop is often a centerpiece of a cohesive and functional outdoor patio kitchen. Here’s what to consider when planning your custom grill island with your developer:

  • Materials: Choose durable and weather-resistant materials such as concrete, stone, or stainless steel. These materials withstand the elements and add a sleek, modern look to the outdoor space.
  • Design and Layout: Plan the countertop design to include cutouts for the grill/s and other appliances like beverage centers, sinks, drawer trash can receptacles, side burners, access doors, and storage drawers. Ensure there is ample workspace for food preparation and storage.
  • Ventilation: All grills require proper ventilation when installed into any countertop to ensure safety by preventing the buildup of heat, in the space below the grill itself, that can potentially damage the countertop, grill island, the propane tank, fuel hoses, or even the grill itself. Using AEI’s instructions for proper ventilation during your design process will ensure your construction goes smoothly and your grills function as expected.
  • Functionality: Incorporate features that enhance usability, such as built-in storage for utensils and supplies, integrated lighting for nighttime cooking, and weather protection elements like covers and shelters. Or infrared patio space heaters to keep your residents warm while using your grill in colder months.

Setting Up Your Outdoor Grill Space

A well-planned outdoor grill space can transform the communal areas of multi-family properties. Here are some tips:

  • Layout Planning: Design the layout to facilitate easy movement and access. Ensure there is sufficient space for cooking, dining, and socializing.
  • Seating and Dining: Include comfortable seating and dining areas where residents can relax and enjoy their meals. Consider adding picnic tables, benches, or even outdoor couches.
  • Safety Considerations: Follow safety guidelines and regulations, such as keeping the grill free from flammable materials and ensuring proper ventilation of the compartments below the grill. Install necessary safety features like an emergency gas shutoff button with timer (which is similar but different from the 60-minute gas flow shutoff grill timer that comes standard on our T-Series grills), fire extinguishers and first aid kits.

Maintenance Tips for Your Outdoor Grill

Regular grill maintenance is crucial to keep your multi-user grill in top condition. Here are some tips:

  • Routine Cleaning: Clean the grill grates and surfaces after each use to prevent buildup of grease and food particles. Use a grill brush and mild cleaning agents suitable for your grill type.
  • Seasonal Maintenance: Before the grilling season starts, perform a thorough check of all components. Inspect gas lines, clean burners, and ensure all connections are secure.
  • Prolonging the Life of Your Grill: Cover the grill when not in use to protect it from the elements. Regularly check for rust and perform necessary touch-ups to maintain its appearance and functionality.

Integrating an Outdoor Sink

Incorporating a sink (AESINK21H) into your outdoor kitchen is a game-changer for both convenience and hygiene. An outdoor kitchen sink allows residents to wash their hands, rinse vegetables, and clean utensils without returning indoors. This addition makes cooking more efficient and enjoyable, especially during gatherings and events. Our stainless steel outdoor sinks are designed to withstand the elements and provide long-lasting durability, making them an essential component of any custom grill countertop setup.

Adding a Stainless Steel Trash Receptacle

A stainless steel trash receptacle (AETD13H, AETD20H) is another essential appliance for a well-equipped outdoor kitchen. Proper waste management is crucial in maintaining a clean and inviting communal space. Installing a built-in trash receptacle ensures that residents have a convenient and hygienic place to dispose of their waste, reducing clutter and making cleanup easier. Our outdoor trash receptacles are designed to blend seamlessly with your custom grill countertop, offering both functionality and aesthetic appeal.

Investing in a well-designed outdoor kitchen with a custom grill countertop can significantly enhance the appeal and value of multi-family properties. By choosing the right patio grill and incorporating essential appliances like sinks and trash cans, you can create a functional and inviting area that residents will love and frequently use. Explore our catalog of products to find the ideal solutions for your outdoor kitchen needs and transform your property into a vibrant hub of outdoor culinary delight.

Want more information? Have a question? Contact us today, and we will be happy to help!

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