Outdoor Kitchens

How Your Outdoor Kitchen Dimensions Will Guide Your Design

When designing your Brown Jordan Outdoor Kitchen, the size of your space can be placed into one of four categories (small, essentials, medium, large). The size will ultimately determine specific features, such as the depth of your stainless steel cabinets, the length of the countertop, and the appliances that can be used. Additionally, you must consider where to place appliances based on functional zones, which are hot (grills), cold (refrigerators), wet (sinks), and dry (prep counters and storage). Typically, only large outdoor kitchens will include all four zones. For a more effective workflow, you will want to consider the placement of the zones. It is recommended to place the dry zone next to the hot zone and the wet zone next to the cold zone.

In the initial stages of designing the layout and choosing appliances for your outdoor kitchen, consider this helpful guide to determine the size of your space.

  1. Small (10 linear feet). A small kitchen will include limited amenities that are considered necessary, such as a grill, cooktop, sink, and storage. Small kitchens need a minimum of 36 inches of countertop frontage (the workspace area).
  1. Essentials (13 linear feet). In addition to the amenities in a small kitchen, an essentials kitchen will typically include a refrigerator as well. Since it is a bit larger, it should have at least 48 inches of counter space.
  1. Medium (16 linear feet). A kitchen that is medium in size will add more storage, more countertop space, and occasionally more refrigeration options. A medium kitchen will have at least 72 inches of countertop frontage.
  1. Large (more than 20 linear feet). Large kitchens include all four zones, can accommodate multiple cooks, and have all the amenities. They will have at least 156 inches of countertop frontage.

outdoor kitchen dimensions

Design Considerations

Once you’ve defined the size of your space, you should consider other features of your design, such as grill selection. Although Brown Jordan Outdoor Kitchens manufactures appliance cabinets, we do not manufacture outdoor kitchen appliances. However, we do distribute them. Based on the size of your cooking area, we can help you choose the grill size that is right for you. You will also need to consider the best way to incorporate countertop space, storage, seating, and color into your outdoor kitchen design.

  1. BBQ Grills. Since grills do not have uniform dimensions, upgrading the size after your kitchen has been installed could be challenging. As such, you should think ahead and choose the largest size that you think you would need in the future. For entertaining purposes, you will want to consider placement of the grill to allow the cook to be social with family and friends. It is recommended that the outdoor grill is not placed in a spot where the cook’s back will be to the guests.
  1. Countertop space. The size of the workspace is an important amenity when designing an outdoor kitchen. Since smaller kitchens will have less space by default, you should be extra mindful of your design. For optimal food preparation and serving, your space should have free countertop areas on both sides of grills, sinks, and cooktops. This setup allows for a more functional kitchen and a better workflow. For example, raw ingredients can be placed on one side of the grill, and then the cooked food can be placed on the other side for serving.


  1. Storage. Space for tools and accessories, such as pots, dishes, glasses, and grill brushes, is essential for your outdoor kitchen. The assumption is that smaller kitchens will need to store fewer items, so they will need less storage space. Plan accordingly while you design, being mindful of leaving enough room for storage as well as any appliances. Although base cabinets are a storage necessity in any kitchen, smaller spaces in particular will benefit from incorporating wall cabinets as well. Check out our blog on Outdoor Kitchen Wall Ideas to learn more. If you have walls in your outdoor space, wall cabinets will provide you with additional storage options without taking up floor area.

Related – Outdoor Kitchen Storage Ideas

  1. Dining Area. Outdoor kitchens typically offer different types of seating, such as formal, casual, and bar. For entertainment purposes, the primary cooking areas should be near the main seating areas. Smaller kitchens may only be able to fit bar seating, which is a more compact setup, especially when barstools can be tucked underneath a counter. Large kitchens have more options to include multiple seating areas in their outdoor kitchen design for maximum entertainment.


  1. Color. If you have a smaller kitchen space, you will likely benefit from choosing lighter colors or metallics for your cabinets, as they will reflect light well and make the space appear larger in your backyard. Conversely, large kitchens have more versatility with color section. To help you decide, Brown Jordan Outdoor Kitchens offers a full palette of powder coat finishes in a variety of colors and textures, along with realistic wood grains. Powder coating your cabinets not only provides a beautiful and lasting color that will enhance your design, it also adds protection and minimizes maintenance.

Related – Top 10 Powder Coat Finishes for Outdoor Kitchens

Feeling inspired? Check out our outdoor kitchen gallery to get beautiful outdoor kitchen ideas in all shapes and sizes. Ready to start designing your dream outdoor kitchen plan? We help transform the outdoor living space.

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Call 203-626-5625 or click to learn more about Brown Jordan Outdoor Kitchens.