Outdoor Kitchen Counter: What Height and Depth are The Best?

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what is the height of an outdoor kitchen counter

Building an outdoor kitchen with perfect dimensions is crucial for comfort. Having a luxury indoor-outdoor experience is not going to be possible, without that feeling of ease that only good design brings. Dimensions are key to success.

What is the hight of an outdoor kitchen counter? Outdoor kitchen working counters standard height is 36″. Countertops are often raised to 38″ to accommodate the built-in fridge. The outdoor bar serve counter is 42″ tall. Tabletop outdoor counters standard is 30″.

This is a standard for all people, but not all women are 4,6 to 5,2, and men 5,2 – 5,8. How to figure what is the best hight and depth of outdoor kitchen countertops for you and your family?

What is the best hight of an outdoor kitchen counter?

best hight for an outdoor kitchen depends on owners hight

Standardized countertop hight might be a great help when you start a process of designing your outdoor kitchen. Even though most of the contractors are going to use them as default, standard numbers might not suit every family. What matters are yours and your loved ones needs and hight.

Wherefrom the standard outdoor countertop comes from? Average human dimensions were taken into consideration. Below I prepared a table of countertop hight that helps a lot with picking a perfect number.

Person’s height 4′6″ – 5′2″ 5′2″ – 5′8″ 5′8″ – 6′1″ 6′1″ – 6′6″
Countertop’s height30 – 33″33 – 36″36 – 39″39 – 42″

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) the average age-adjusted hight for American men (20 years old and up) is 5′9″. Women’s average hight is 5′4″. Therefor 36″ seems to be a perfect height of a countertop. But only for those who have an average height.


How to figure what is this perfect hight of a countertop for your family?
1. Look for a perfect counter hight for adult users of your outdoor kitchen. Do you have a match? Perfect! If not go to step 2.
2. Measure distance from a lower person’s bent elbow to the ground. Now you have the max height of the countertop.
3. Remember that standard height(36″, 38″) is always better priced than unique solutions. So if you can choose the standard.

So how did the process look for my family? I’m 5′5″, my husband is 6′2″. We do not share a specific number on the table. I didn’t want my husband to slouch each time he cooks (I rather want to encourage his activities in this area). I wanted to be comfortable while cooking as well.

First of all we figured we have to pick numbers neither from my or my husbands’ columns (2, 4), but go with 36 – 39″ (3). To figure out how high the countertop can be it’s necessary to measure the distance between shorter person bent elbow and the ground. A countertop cannot be higher than this measurement.

There are also two extra factors:

  1. Outdoor kitchen countertops are very often 38″, as this is minimal hight for a built-in fridge.
  2. Standard heights are less expensive.

So to sum up the best choice for a working outdoor kitchen countertop for us is 38″.

What is the standard height for an outdoor bar?

What is hight for an outdoor kitchen bar counter

Standard height for an outdoor kitchen bar serve counter is 42″. This value can usually vary between 40 – 42″. The height of the bar serve counter depends vastly on the height of bar stools. Bar stools are typically 28 – 30″. Between the top of the stool and top of the bar serve counter should be a distance of 15″.

I have no doubt the main counter of the outdoor kitchen needs to fit specific needs. Especially when you’re higher or lower than average. But how does it work with the bar counter? Does an outdoor kitchen bar serve counter need customization as well?

Well, to be honest, you can customize it on your own by picking perfect sized bar stools. To feel comfortable while sitting you’ll need 9 – 13″ of space between the bar top and the chair. Even though bar chairs also have the standard hight, it’s possible to find a little higher or a little lower to suit your needs.

Of course, if you feel like highering on lowering bar countertop go for it. I personally tend to pick solutions that help me use my budget carefully, so I can spend on extras.


It’s worth buying bar stools before bar serve counter is built, to make sure they’ll fit well.

What is the hight of an outdoor kitchen tabletop counter?

what is the hight of outdoor kitchen tabletop counter

Tabletop counter standard height for an outdoor kitchen is 30″. It can vary from 28″ to 31″, and depend on used chairs. Chair height may vary from 17″ to 19″. Between chair and tabletop should be a distance of at least 9″ and up to 13″. It’s worth buying chairs prior to building this counter.

There is actually one more countertop hight worth discussing – so-called counter seating, which is 36″ high. While designing It’s worth knowing this one requires a bit more knee space – 15″.


Consider a lower chair height if the tabletop is thick or has a hanging counter.

What is the depth of an outdoor kitchen counter?

what is the depth of outdoor kitchen counter

An outdoor kitchen countertop has to be deep enough to fit a built-in grill. Standard depth of an outdoor counter is 30″. Bar serve counter should be at least 12″ deep, as standard plates are 9″. Tabletop countertop standard is 38″. All of the countertops should have a cantilever to allow knees movement (12″ for bar hight, 18″ for countertop height).

Sometimes a great addition to outdoor kitchen is going to be prep table. It’s going to be a much-needed space for smaller structures. Great size for a prep table is 64″ wide, 24″ deep and 36″ high.

How wide should an outdoor kitchen counter be?

how wide should an outdoor kitchen be

The outdoor kitchen countertop should be 10′ wide. For a grill, an extra 24″ on one side and 12″ on the other should be added. The pizza oven is also going to take an extra 24″ on one side and 12″ on the other. Sink requires an additional 18″ on both sides. Cooktop needs 12″ on both sides.

An outdoor kitchen consists not only from working countertop but also from eating space – like a tabletop counter or bar counter. Let’s dive a bit into the width of space to eat.

How wide an outdoor kitchen bar counter should be? The width of an outdoor kitchen bar counter depends on the amount of people seated. There should be at least 24″ reserved per person. For more comfort, personal space should be increased up to 30″. To have a luxurious experience go up to 36″.

What are outdoor kitchen sizes?

Usually, an outdoor kitchen is categorized into three groups: small, medium, and large. Size depends on budget, planned appliances, space, and the number of cooks using the space simultaneously. The appliances that might be used are grill, cooktop, sink, smoker, icemaker, burner, pizza oven, and more. Below you’ll find a list of basic ones, that has to be customized to specific needs. This list may help to figure what length your outdoor-kitchen-to-be needs.

NameTotal lengthIncludesCountertop lengthNumber of cooks
Small10′grill, cooktop, sink, storage361
Medium16′grill, cooktop, sink, storage, refrigerator 481
Large20’+grill, cooktop, sink, storage, refrigerator +1561+

To choose a perfect size it’s always wise to look into budget first. In my opinion, a smaller one with better finishes and appliances is going to be a better choice than bigger with worse quality. For example, you can omit to have a fridge outside and bring food from the home fridge, but grilling on a poor quality grill is going to irritate you more and more over time. It’s worth acknowledging better finish increases longevity too.


Before deciding on the size figure out a total budget and list of must-haves. Stick to the numbers and basics list.

Additional searches

What size should be an outdoor kitchen? A size of an outdoor kitchen depends on the budget, appliances, space, and number of cooks. The most common sizes of outdoor kitchens are small (10′ long) and medium (16′ long). They both are equipped with a grill, cooktop, sink, and storage, but a medium option has also a built-in refrigerator.

How tall should an outdoor kitchen counter be? The outdoor kitchen counter standard is 36″ tall. For outdoor kitchens with a built-in fridge, the standard size is 38″. The height of outdoor kitchen counters should be adjusted to users’ height. Customized counters hight varies from 30″ (4’6″ and wheelchair users) to 42″ (6’6″).

How deep are outdoor kitchen cabinets? Standard outdoor kitchen cabinets are 23″ deep. They can be customized and made deeper, as standard outdoor kitchen countertop is 30″ deep. It’s worth remembering to leave a knee space though if food is going to be served at the counter. In this matter keeping a standard depth might work great.

Magdalena Dutkiewicz

I like looking for solutions that lead to specific plans. Of course, looking for inspiration for outdoor kitchens is something I really enjoy too. But translating it into an action plan is something that pushes me to act.

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