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L Shaped Outdoor Kitchen – 3 Reasons to Choose this Layout

By Jayme Muller

July 29, 2022

Humor us for a moment.

It has been a long week. You arrive home on a Friday late afternoon from work.

Normally, what would you be doing?

We imagine it’s usually one of two things…

One, order a pizza for the family. The kids may be happy but you’re really regretting those garlic knots. The carb load hits you and all you have the energy left for is putting the kids to bed and falling asleep in front of the TV with your spouse.


Take the family to Applebee’s or another chain restaurant. You wait for a table, eat food you really wish you didn’t, then decide to get dessert anyway. You come home smelling like greasy food… And just like last weekend, that carb load sends you straight to bed.

Unfortunately, this sleep isn’t very restful considering your kids are bouncing off the walls from that ice cream sundae sugar rush.

Sound familiar?

There’s a way to get out of the weekly carb load to sleeping on the couch routine.

We’d like to posit the solution… An L shaped outdoor kitchen.

Let’s begin with why it’s a good idea.

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Double the Islands, Double the Fun

Compared to a regular old straight island… The possibilities are nearly endless with an L shape!

Normally, you would just have a grill island to work with.

Now… There’s nothing wrong with this! You’ll have a complete outdoor cooking station.

But it’s a bit of an isolated experience.

Most of the time, guests will want to hover around the island when you’re cooking.

This is much easier to do when you have an L shaped outdoor bar!

There’s seating available right at the bar top for loved ones to be right there with you.

Plus, an L shape layout gives you room for more appliances! (Who doesn’t love that?)

Now that you’ve gotten a taste of what’s possible with an L shaped kitchen… Let’s see what the considerations are.


Space, of course, is an essential step in planning your outdoor kitchen. If you don’t have the space for a certain layout, obviously you’ll have to seek other options.

If you’re limited on backyard space, an L shaped outdoor kitchen can work.

However, you will likely have to sacrifice L shaped outdoor bar seating and have the kitchen located on the perimeter of your deck or patio. This way, your L shaped outdoor kitchen does not really intrude on your exterior living space at all if you have less to work with.

You can see an example of how this would look below:

As you can see, the L shaped outdoor kitchen fits perfectly into that corner and allows for open space. This placement is best for functional use, rather than entertainment.

Of course… If you have a larger backyard you can realize all the benefits of L shaped bar seating and entertainment space. There is no need to limit yourself to a corner.

For full utilization of your L shaped BBQ island, you’ll want at least 3 feet of free flowing space at the front and 4 feet at the back of the island. This will ensure full ease of movement for guests and allow them to sit at the outdoor bar counter comfortably.

Set up this way, the L shaped outdoor kitchen design can become a premium entertaining space with the added utility of an ultimate party bar.

Speaking of parties…

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guests sitting at l shaped outdoor kitchen

It’s not just about the amount of exterior living space you have.

It’s also about the potential entertaining space your L shaped outdoor kitchen can provide.

Layout for entertaining and socializing has to be a consideration.

When you have a house party, the kitchen is the focal point where people gather. This is the same when you are having a backyard barbecue.

You want adequate bar counter space for everyone at the party to gather and mingle around your outdoor kitchen.

The great news is… An L shaped outdoor bar is perfect for family and friends to socialize and gather around!

There’s plenty of space for bar counter seating. Everyone at the party has a place to sit, and the chef doesn’t have to feel left out.

With an L-shaped design layout, you can be both the host and cook with ease. Guests are right in view as you’re grilling an incredible meal for all to enjoy. Plus having guests seated at the bar counter reduces foot traffic and helps keep you focused on the task at hand.

An L shaped outdoor kitchen creates that “family style” setting where everyone is together, and truly connected.

Another wonderful benefit of an L shape?

You get efficiency in functionality.


woman preparing food

Of course, we have to consider efficiency and utility when deciding on an L shaped outdoor kitchen layout.

You are purchasing an outdoor kitchen to grill amazing food, after all! The layout should make prepping, cooking, and grilling as easy and enjoyable as possible.

L shaped grill islands are a wonderful and efficient option to consider.

When you’re cooking outside, you want everything you need right where you need it. Wasted time futzing around for something can be the difference between a perfectly seared steak and an irreparable hockey puck.

The nice thing is, the very nature of an L shaped BBQ island is efficient.

Everything you need can be designed to be within arm’s reach. If you opt for a sink and/or refrigerator, they can easily be placed in a convenient location for use. There is also ample opportunity to add storage space.

Another benefit of this layout?

You don’t have to cook alone!

Because this layout is two adjacent islands, you have two distinct cooking/prepping zones.

While a friend is prepping on the l shaped bar, you can be grilling burgers to your heart’s content. You don’t have to worry about all the other tasks that need doing, you’ve got the exterior living space for a helping hand.

With an L shaped outdoor kitchen island, cooking and prepping outdoors doesn’t feel like work at all… It’s play.

It’s for the above reasons that L shaped outdoor kitchens are such a popular choice!

So let’s see some examples of this excellent layout.


Obviously, L shaped islands are an aesthetic focal point.

There is something about the simplicity in this design that makes it a popular choice for many. In fact, there are two notable people in addition to a HGTV Designer that also opted for this layout.

Who are they?

Skip Bedell of ‘Catch a Contractor’ on Spike TV and Charlie Moore, ‘The Mad Fisherman’.

Let’s see what inspired them to jump for an L shape BBQ island.

Skip Bedell's L Shape Layout

Skip Bedell has smaller yard space to work with and needed a layout that would fit in his yard without impeding the space.

We created a custom L shaped outdoor kitchen design that fit his space, met his needs and looks incredible in his yard. This L shaped BBQ island actually elevated the space, rather than taking away.

And while this outdoor kitchen doesn’t provide dining space… It’s highly functional!

You can watch the video below to watch how Skip’s kitchen came together in one afternoon.

As mentioned before, Charlie Moore also opted for an L shape design for his deck outdoor living space.

Charlie Moore's L Shape Outdoor Kitchen

Location played a huge factor in Charlie’s decision to work with RTA.

Our panelized construction is one of the only options for building an outdoor kitchen on a deck. Charlie wanted a masonry style to match his New England home and RTA was the perfect match.

We were able to optimize the outdoor kitchen footprint… Positioning the grill island on the back edge of the deck.

This left plenty of space for counter seating on the L shaped bar island. In addition, the placement of Charlie’s outdoor kitchen reveals a beautiful view of his backyard.

You can watch Charlie design his outdoor kitchen using our free outdoor kitchen design software in the video below. As you can see, his design comes together exactly as imagined!

But… What if you’re not sure L shaped kitchens are the right choice for you?


For whatever reason, you still may be unsure that an L shape design is right for you.

It could be budget, space, time, etc.

The nice thing is, you can still get started on your outdoor kitchen project without committing to an outdoor L shaped bar right away.

With RTA Outdoor Living, you can simply start with purchasing a linear outdoor kitchen island. Get started enjoying, entertaining, and BBQ’ing while you decide if you want to expand your outdoor kitchen.

Once you decide an L-shape outdoor kitchen is ultimately best for your space… You can easily add a matching bar island adjacent to your current one.

This flexibility opens you up to a ton of choices in the future. You could add a cocktail bar, pizza oven, refrigerator, sink, storage, and more.

Starting with a BBQ island allows you to get a feel for your space and help you decide what is most important for you to add on later.

A Magnolia Network host knew from the start that an L shaped outdoor kitchen was the best choice for her.

Let’s get into the details of her design!

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tamara days outdoor kitchen idea brought to life

You may know Tamara from her hit Magnolia Network series ‘Bargain Mansions’.

If you’re not familiar, designer Tamara renovates large, old homes she finds at bargain prices. Even more amazing, she does a lot of the work herself! 

Needless to say, Tamara spent a lot of time thinking about her outdoor kitchen layout when the time came! As a designer, she takes a close look at detail and not a single feature of her outdoor living space went overlooked. 

Ultimately, Tamara decided on an L-shape layout with a couple add-ons. This setup leaves no stone unturned in terms of hosting and cooking capacity! Tamara also has 4 kids with big appetites – so the space is always being fully utilized! 

This layout is gorgeous, isn’t it? 

Tamara’s deck has been transformed into a hub where everyone wants to gather.

You may be thinking… This is nice and all, but why did she choose RTA specifically for her outdoor kitchen?

Well, let’s talk about that.


When it was time to add an outdoor kitchen to her home… Tamara needed to work with a company who could match her discerning tastes.

RTA was that company.


Quite a few reasons!

One of the most important was ease of assembly. 

Assemble Your L Shape with Ease

We know and love Tamara for her incredible renovation projects. But when it came to remodeling her own outdoor space… An outdoor kitchen seemed like one project too many.

Understandably so!

The traditional outdoor kitchen project is highly invasive and time consuming. It takes months… Your backyard is disturbed… And you have to work with multiple vendors to source all the outdoor kitchen materials required. It’s a lot to manage!

It wasn’t until Tamara discovered RTA that the idea became much more palatable. Yes, she could have her cake and eat it too!


It’s all in RTA’s seamless assembly and sourcing process. You can learn more about the system elsewhere on our website, but let’s briefly explain it here. 

First, you start with a design. You can opt for a pre-designed layout, or custom. Tamara opted for a luxurious modern outdoor kitchen layout, as you can see! 

Once your design is solidified, our manufacturing team gets to work. When your kitchen is finished… The panels, countertop, and appliances are shipped straight to your doorstep. 

From there, all you have to do is assemble. Tamara got some help with hers and within a couple hours… Her entire outdoor kitchen was ready to use! 

RTA removed all the main hindrances that blocked Tamara from wanting an outdoor kitchen initially. All the time, stress, and frustration fell to the wayside. With RTA, she was able to get her dream outdoor kitchen without compromise. 

Another aspect to consider was durability. 

The Long-Lasting Solution

Let’s face it. An outdoor kitchen is a huge investment! Naturally, Tamara wanted to ensure her new outdoor kitchen would last for decades to come. 

A high quality outdoor kitchen needs to be able to withstand the elements, no matter where you live. In Tamara’s case, that place is Kansas. While Kansas isn’t exactly the great white north, Kansans have their own weather challenges to grapple with… Particularly wind.

With the amount of planning put into her outdoor space, the last thing Tamara wanted was an outdoor kitchen that breaks down after a season of use. 

RTA outdoor kitchens are manufactured from a unique and incredibly durable type of concrete. Harsh winters, snow, ice, and wind are no match for our island enclosures. Our kitchens will look the same on year 5 as they do on year 1.

Coyote Outdoor Living takes the same approach with their outdoor appliances. All of their built in grills and other products are manufactured from complete 304 stainless steel.

A more durable outdoor kitchen = a more secure investment.

The final thing that drew Tamara to RTA was the ability to customize her design.  

An L Shape Design Your Way

Being a designer, Tamara has a fantastic eye for detail. She wanted to work with a company that would be able to bring her vision to life. 

Her vision required that an outdoor kitchen be functional. She wanted a sink to wash hands and plates, a pull out trash, a fridge to grab cold drinks. Space for family and friends to gather. Tamara was thinking about her family’s needs, lifestyle, and how to enjoy her outdoor space to the max. 

And she certainly will be enjoying her space to the max!

Tamara also opted to add a power burner and Asado smoker to the side of her L Shape outdoor kitchen. She’ll be able to do lobster boils, cook breakfast, and make Kansas City Brisket all in one area!

With all that Tamara wanted to accomplish in her backyard space, many companies would not be able to accommodate her wishes. 

Due to the nature of our product, RTA can be incredibly flexible with design. This is what enabled us to create the exact outdoor L shaped bar Tamara desired.

We can do the same for you. Consumers don’t want cookie cutter designs anymore. You want an outdoor kitchen that is unique to you, your style, and your needs. You’d be hard-pressed to find a company that can bring your desires to reality quite like RTA can.

That’s why Tamara trusted us to design her outdoor kitchen area. We offer the best in assembly time, quality, and customization.

So… Curious about how to get started?


If you couldn’t tell, we at RTA are passionate about outdoor kitchens and their design.

That’s why we created a free online outdoor kitchen design tool.

This tool allows you to design your kitchen in just a few clicks and even get a free quote on the way.

You can see exactly how each layout will look, from straight, L Shaped, U Shaped, to Galley outdoor kitchens.

It’s the perfect opportunity to see how that L shaped outdoor kitchen will look, and the appliances you choose to fit it with.

No risk, only reward.

So what are you waiting for?

Click down below to get started designing your outdoor kitchen, and have fun!

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