How to Choose the Right Shape and Size for Your Outdoor Kitchen

March 26

Outdoor kitchens are one of the most popular and universally beloved landscaping additions in America, and it’s easy to see why! There’s nothing better than kicking back in the comfort of your own backyard and enjoying a cold drink and some homemade pizza or barbeque in the company of your friends and loved ones. In previous articles, we discussed the main benefits of adding an outdoor kitchen to your property and provided you with a list of useful features every outdoor kitchen should have. Now we’ll take a look at some of the top outdoor kitchen layouts landscaping contractors in San Diego can provide you with. Read on. 

What is a good size for an outdoor kitchen?

When choosing the right size for your outdoor kitchen, it’s a good idea to think of it in terms of zones (eg., spaces dedicated to specific activities). The four functional zones are dry zone (storage and preparation), wet zone (sinks and beverage tubs), cold zone (fridges, freezers), and hot zone (grills, side burners, pizza ovens).  Typical sizes for outdoor kitchens are:
  • Small: 10 linear feet
  • Essentials: 13 linear feet
  • Medium: 16 linear feet
  • Large: 20 linear feet
Needless to say, the dry and hot zones are an essential part of all outdoor kitchens, regardless of how large or small they may be. For added safety during food preparation, make sure to place the hot zone away from any trees, bushes, or other things that could potentially catch fire. 

How do you layout an outdoor kitchen?

Outdoor kitchens generally follow a similar layout to indoor kitchens. That being said, nothing stops you from designing your own unique layout, or modifying the popular layouts to fit your budget, cooking style, and available space. The 4 most common outdoor kitchen layouts are:


This is a highly customizable and convenient layout because it can be placed anywhere, with all the grills, appliances, and cabinetry neatly packed in one central unit. For extra effect, consider separating socializing and cooking areas by raising one side of the countertop.

Straight line

These kitchens are usually built next to a wall and designed to accommodate a single cook. Due to their smaller size, they’re the ideal option for small backyards. A word of warning: if you decide to install this type of kitchen against a wall, make sure to use non-combustible materials to protect the siding. 


This is an extremely popular shape because it can easily mold into existing patios or backyards, and can be scaled in terms of both cost and size. Not only can these kitchens seamlessly fit into a corner, they can also create a more natural flow by extending from existing walls. 


Due to their 3-sided shape, these outdoor kitchens can serve as the centerpiece of your backyard and contain the largest amount of appliances, cabinets, and countertops. They’re typically built away from walls and placed under a separate covering. 

Where can I find the finest outdoor kitchen contractors in San Diego?

Are you looking for reputable landscapers who can construct a state-of-the-art outdoor kitchen on your property in Poway? Or perhaps you’d like to install a modern artificial turf or convert your backyard into a gorgeous xeric landscape?  Here at Pacific Dreamscapes, we provide you with all those services and more! We’re a fully licensed landscaping contractor in San Diego that boasts a long list of satisfied customers, hundreds of 5-star reviews, and an A+ BBB rating.  Book your on-site consultation today, or give us a call if you’d like to learn more about what we offer.