How To Use A Pallet As A BBQ Grill Stand Or Table

You don’t want to spend big bucks on an expensive grill stand, but you don’t have anything to put it on?

If you want to avoid serious back problems but also have to save your dollars, then you’ve found the right article.

All you need is a little planning, some power tools and your best DIY skills. With these, you will see that it is possible to turn a pallet into a stand or table for your new grill.

The beauty of this project is that you can customize the design to suit your needs.

You can create a table on wheels that is easy to move around. You can add in storage cupboards for larger items, and hooks for small utensils.

You can even incorporate extensions that fold away, creating extra work surfaces when you need them.

The opportunities are endless. Read on, and we will guide you through the project from concept to completion.

What Is a Pallet?

Wooden Pallet

First things first: a pallet is a structure that is used during the shipping and transportation of goods.

It is flat and can be made from a number of different materials, including steel, aluminum or wood.

Think of it as being like a mattress for goods—a large flat surface that items or boxes rest on while being moved.

A pallet measures around 40 by 48 inches, and is about seven inches high from the ground. It typically weighs around 37 pounds. It is attached to a crane or forklift and used to move items from one place to another.

As I’ve explained, pallets are primarily used for shipping and transportation purposes. However, old or discarded pallets are often used for upcycling projects. Since they are made from sturdy materials, they are perfect for making things like furniture.

What Is a Pallet Made From?

Pallets need to be very strong in order to do their job of transporting heavy goods and other items. 

Many are made from metals, such as steel and aluminium.

Wooden pallets may be made from engineered wood products.

These include plywood, corrugated fiberboard and oriented state board. Pallets can also be made from natural wood. These typically include hardwoods, such as oak or Southern yellow pine.

Both of these types of wood are strong and resilient.

This makes them ideal for using to create a BBQ grill stand or table. For this do-it-yourself project, we recommend using a pallet made from one of these types of hardwood.

Southern yellow pine is also rated highly for many uses in the pharmaceutical and food industries. This means it is a very clean product and is safe for use near food preparation methods.

Oak and Southern yellow pine wood will be strong enough to support a heavy grill, plus any added equipment or utensils. These woods will also be durable enough to ensure that your new creation will last for many years to come.

Is It Easy to Take a Pallet Apart?

Taking Pallet Apart

As pallets are built to be very strong, it can be a bit of a challenge to take them apart.

You will need to ensure that the pieces of wood remain as structurally intact as possible.

By using the right equipment and carefully following these steps, you will be able to use the maximum amount of wood from your pallet. It is possible to get 40 feet of usable wood from one pallet.

Steps to Follow When Taking Apart a Pallet

When selecting a pallet, the ideal type to choose is, of course, one with no obvious signs of deterioration.

Check the pallet for mold, mildew and any rotting wood.

If there are parts that you aren’t sure about, check carefully to see if the wood is soft or if it breaks easily.

Once you have chosen your pallet, be aware that shipping pallets are not built with conventional nails. This means that the tools you would normally think to use are not going to work.

Pallets are constructed using annular ring nails, which are not at all easy to remove.

Borrowing or investing in a sawzall tool will help to cut the time spent on removing these nails by about two thirds.

You will also need to have a 12-inch metal cutting demolition blade to use with the sawzall tool. This will ensure that the sawzall is not at risk from breaking during the process.

When you are ready to use the sawzall, make sure that you are wearing appropriate protective clothing. Put on gloves and work clothes or overalls. Also make sure your eyes and ears are protected by goggles and earplugs or ear protectors.

If you are able to clamp the pallet to a surface, position it vertically. If this is not possible, lay it horizontally across your workstation. You can use the sawzall in either a vertical or a horizontal direction.

Ensure that the top of the pallet is facing upwards and that you can see the nail heads. Then use the sawzall to cut the top planks free from the three retaining pieces. This will involve cutting through the annular ring nails which secure the pieces of wood together.

Cut all of the slats free from one side and then repeat this process on the other side. To finish, use the sawzall to separate the remaining pieces of wood.

Now you are ready to build your BBQ grill stand or table.

How Do You Design a BBQ Grill Stand or Table?

Man Assembling Pallet BBQ Stand

When designing your new piece of furniture, you need to think about your requirements for this item. 

How often do you plan on using your grill? How large is it and what else will you want to put on the stand? What is your routine when cooking outdoors and entertaining?

Do you want a simple, no frills design? Do you need storage spaces and hooks for utensils? Do you need extendable sides that fold down? Do you want wheels on it so that you can move it around easily?

Once you have established the features you would like your stand or table to have, it’s time to start designing it.

You may find it easier to sketch things out by hand. Or you could use a computer program if you are technologically inclined.

There are many different design ideas on the internet, with videos giving step by step instructions, such as this great idea. The only limit is your imagination.

The other alternative, which many prefer, is to simply start building, and figure it all out along the way. This method will involve trial and error, and may be great for you if you enjoy solving problems manually.

How Do You Assemble a BBQ Grill Stand or Table?

As you already have your heavy duty sawzall tool, you won’t actually need much more in the way of power tools.

The tried and true hammer and nails approach will work fine for simpler designs. However, if you are planning something more complex there are a few other tools to consider.

A drill will help you to fix wheels on to your stand or table, and it will also come in handy for more complex construction requirements.

These could include hinged doors for storage cupboards, or folding sections of table. It will also enable you to put hooks into the wood so you can hang utensils on your stand.

You might wish to sand your stand or table after completing the construction of it. Some people may prefer the rustic look but sanding will give a more even finish. This process also makes it easier to treat the wood more effectively if you decide you want to do this.

Additionally, sanding helps to prevent the wood from splintering. This can happen more easily when your stand or table is outdoors and exposed to different weather conditions.

It is important to try and prevent this to avoid getting splinters in your food or in people’s skin.

How Do You Finish Your BBQ Grill Stand or Table?

Finishing Pallet Stand

Once your pride and joy is finished and ready to go, there is one more thing you can do before putting it into action.

Treating the wood means your new stand or table will be weatherproof, more durable, and look more attractive as well.

A few coats of a good quality outdoor wood varnish will keep your BBQ grill stand looking as good as new for years to come.

Just make sure that the product you choose is non flammable — we don’t want any BBQ accidents.

Final Thoughts

When looking at an intact pallet it may seem incomprehensible to turn this flat structure into a stand or table.

However, it is certainly achievable if you combine thorough planning and innovation with your DIY skills.

It is easy and satisfying to create a BBQ grill stand or table that suits all of your needs, and which will last long into the future.

Happy grilling.

About the Author William Clay

William Clay is a BBQ enthusiast dedicated to sharing his grilling (and overall cooking) expertise with FireFoodChef's readers.