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Outdoor Grill & BBQ Islands

Are you curious to learn more about our grill islands? Or even grill islands in general?
There’s an overwhelming amount of options out there… It can be difficult to make sense of it all.
Allow us to sort through the noise.

Types of Outdoor Grill Island Kits

In the outdoor kitchen industry… There are three types of grill island kits you will encounter:
Modular outdoor kitchens are an option you’ll often see online or at big box stores. These are generally sold in units that you can piece together to create a full outdoor kitchen.
Ready-to-finish is another popular outdoor kitchen option. These can also be found at big box stores and elsewhere online. Though they require a bit more work, ready-to-finish outdoor kitchens are more customizable than modular.
Prefabricated outdoor kitchens are another common option. These are quite similar to RTF systems… With just a few differences. These differences are mainly in the assembly process.

Ready-to-assemble outdoor kitchens

Ready-to-assemble outdoor kitchens. RTA systems are the new kids on the block! Ready-to-assemble systems combine the benefits of modular and RTF… With fewer of the pitfalls. This is the grill island kit we offer here at RTA.

Advantages and Disadvantages
of Grill Islands

Let’s continue the discussion on the various types of grill island kits you may see. To help you make your decision… We’d like to review the pros and cons of each type.

Modular BBQ Grill Islands Pros & Cons

stainless steel modular outdoor kitchen_

RTF Outdoor Grill Islands Pros & Cons

Ready to Finish Frame System done and in a yard

Prefabricated Grill Island Pros & Cons

a stone outdoor kitchen with a natural veneer

RTA Outdoor Kitchen Grill Islands (That's us!) Pros & Cons

rta outdoor kitchen near swimming pool

DIY Outdoor BBQ Island

If you’re a big DIYer… You’re probably wondering, “How do you make a BBQ island?”

Well, there are varying levels of do-it-yourself when it comes to outdoor kitchens.

Normally, when people think of an barbecue island DIY project… They think of building from scratch.

Now, you can definitely do this! But if you don’t have a decent amount of construction experience… This can be an absolute bear of a project!

The nice thing is… There are outdoor kitchen BBQ island projects you truly can complete yourself. Without a ton of construction knowledge.

What are they?

Well, they’re some of the options we just talked about!
RTF, and RTA are all accessible DIY choices. The only one that may be a bit tricky are RTF systems due to the fact you have to apply the finish yourself.

You enjoy that sense of accomplishment… Without all the stress.

modern concrete outdoor kitchen by rta for mike pyle
grill masters dream outdoor kitchen by rta
rta moks outdoor kitchen grill island cooking food
two people easily putting together a ready to assemble outdoor kitchen grill island
rta outdoor kitchen grill island being prepared for shipment
coyote appliances being delivered for an outdoor kitchen kit

What is Included with Our BBQ Grill Island Kits?

Short answer is… Just about everything you need!

At RTA, we are all about providing complete solutions.

First and foremost… You’ll receive the panels and countertops to create the frame of your outdoor kitchen. Of course, all the components you need will be included as well.

Here’s where we differentiate ourselves.

Unlike other BBQ grill island kits… an RTA outdoor kitchens ships with the appliances.

This takes a lot of planning off your plate. There’s no need to juggle working with multiple companies… And struggling to figure out what appliances will work for your outdoor kitchen.

Better yet… We offer best-in-class appliances from Coyote Outdoor Living.

Coyote offers a wide range of appliances in complete 304 stainless steel. These appliances are not only durable in every climate… They are incredible to use!
Grilling in style has never been easier.

So… Is there anything RTA doesn’t include?

Just a friend to help and a power drill. We don’t keep those in stock ;)

Where Do I Go From Here?

Now that you have some background on grill islands…

It’s time to explore!

As you’ve seen… We have nearly endless grill island options available. You can start by browsing through our predesigned shop to get a taste of what is possible.
You can consider these islands as our “best hits” in grill island design.

Still not satisfied?

Give our free online design tool a try. In just a few minutes… You’ll get a complete picture of what is possible with RTA. Not to mention… You’ll have a custom outdoor kitchen design at the ready!

As always, we are more than happy to assist you… No matter where you are in your outdoor kitchen research. If you’re looking for advice on your project, set up a call with one of our design experts! We’ll consult with you on your needs and help you decide what solution is best.

Call our design experts to help with every step of the process

Frequently Asked Questions

You’re probably expecting us to say “it depends”. Well, you’re right!

There are many factors in play when it comes to determining the cost of your outdoor kitchen. 

Materials used, appliances, and the size of your grill island will ultimately determine your price.

On average… A good quality grill island will cost anywhere from $1,000 – $2,000 per linear foot. 

This average includes countertops, appliances, and island structure. For example, a 6’ linear grill island would cost around $6,000 – $12,000. 

Of course, you will see outdoor kitchens that cost more! But these will be decked out with all the bells and whistles. The above estimate is the most common pricing you’ll see. You can read the detailed answer for grill island cost here. 

Once again… It depends! 

The installation method you choose will directly affect the cost. Say you choose a prefabricated outdoor kitchen option like RTA. The work is 95% done for you already. 

In this case… You can install it yourself in a few hours with a friend. With no need to hire anyone… You completely eliminate the installation cost there.

On the other hand, you could hire a contractor to install your prefab BBQ island. Expect this to run you anywhere from $700 – $1,500. 

You may also decide to build your BBQ island completely from scratch. It will take days or weeks for installation depending on your design. Hiring a contractor to build your island this way could add thousands of dollars in installation costs.

There are many BBQ island solutions out there. How you make one depends on the method you choose!

Most commonly, BBQ islands are made from a frame. They can be made from wood, metal, or concrete block. 

If the frame is metal or wood, you’ll attach cement board to create a surface. From there, you apply the finish you desire. It could be stone, brick, tile, stucco, etc. Drop in your countertop, install appliances, hook up utility and gas lines… And you’re good to go. 

The steps are simple… But it definitely requires some construction know-how to ensure being properly installed.

Perhaps you’re interested in a more modern approach to BBQ island construction. In that case, consider RTA. Our outdoor kitchens are frameless… Which eliminates multiple steps in assembly. 

Instead of frames, we utilize structural concrete panels. These panels are constructed and designed with longevity in mind. Even better? The finishes are already incorporated into the panels. 

You simply fasten the panels together, drop in your countertop, install appliances, and hook up utility lines. No need to fuss with constructing frames… Attaching cement board… And applying your own finish.

While it’s technically possible to put a regular BBQ into an island… It’s not recommended.

Most cart model BBQ grills are not designed for adding into an island. As a result… You can create safety or grill performance issues. Yikes!

To make matters worse… It wouldn’t be easy to install anyway.

These BBQs are not designed to be dropped in. Therefore, you have to build around them. Sounds like a lot of work!

Further, cart model BBQs tend to have shorter warranties. They’re also not designed to last a lifetime. So if your grill goes kaput… You have a structure built around a grill that doesn’t work. This can create some serious challenges down the road with repairs and replacements.

Many outdoor kitchens are built deeper than indoor kitchens. Standard depth for interior cabinets are generally 24”. For outdoor kitchens, this increases to 30”.


Simply put, it has to do with the appliances. Most outdoor appliances are larger and require more island depth to fit properly.

That’s not to say you can’t make your BBQ island wider… It really comes down to personal preference and what you’re looking to accomplish.

Well, it depends!

The type of outdoor island grill and appliances you select determine how mobile it is.

You’ll likely remember we stated modular outdoor kitchens can move with relative ease. They’re fairly simple to disassemble and move to another location. (This is especially true of our modular option, MOKs!)

RTF grill islands are definitely not recommended to change locations. It’s not something you can just take apart the same way as modular. So if you decide on a ready-to-finish outdoor kitchen… Make sure you’re okay with leaving it behind if you move. Or, make sure it’s installed at your forever home!

RTA is a mix of the two. Our kitchens are easy to assemble and disassemble, yes. However, our concrete panels are going to require much more attention in transit than the metal pieces of a modular model. In many cases, it may be more trouble than it’s worth.

A simple Google search will show you tons of ideas! But sometimes, you’re looking for something with more detail.

Shameless plug here… But our website is a wealth of information for grill island ideas. In fact, we have an entire blog dedicated to that purpose.

Other than a Google search or perusing our website pages… Also look into reading outdoor living blogs or publications. Oftentimes, you’ll see outdoor kitchens featured in a stylized setting. These images can really get the creative juices flowing!

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