Do you wonder if the L-shaped outdoor kitchen is the set-up that will be the best fit for your backyard? An L is a dreamy shape that fits most of the spaces and design styles best.
An L-shape is the most popular outdoor kitchen layout, which suits well patios and decks. It brings a perfect balance between cooking and entertaining and works with any design style. It comes in three sizes: small, medium, and large; and it can be placed against the wall or independently.
An L-shaped is such a versatile layout; there are no limits in using it. Can a bar counter be a part of it? What are its dimensions, and how much space it needs? Where to install a pizza oven in this shape? All of these questions, and more, are going to be answered below.
An L-shaped outdoor kitchen ideas
There is a reason an L-shape is so popular among outdoor kitchen owners. It is versatile, it is convenient, but most of all: it allows socializing while grilling. An L-shape can be used for plenty of reasons. Let’s learn a bit more from the designs below.
An L-shaped outdoor kitchen with bar
A bar counter is an amazing addition to an L-shaped outdoor kitchen. As a structure, it can be a part of an L-shaped outdoor kitchen or separate.
If your goal is to create a cooking theater in your backyard, it’s worth considering the set up with people close to the cooking area. This way, you’re not going to be out of the conversations during the preparation and cooking time too.
The second set-up is excellent when you entertain many guests simultaneously, and you need separate spaces to fit all of them.
What is worth considering at this occasion is the height of the bar counter. The standard bar counter height is 42″ (as on the first picture). One the second picture you can see a sitting area, that is also a bar, but nonstandard. The height of this countertop is 30″, so it is convenient not only to drink there but also comfortably dine.
To fit 1 person at the outdoor kitchen bar, at least 24″ of space is needed. I prepared a table with space measurements, and it is available here.
Making a bar a part of an outdoor kitchen has one more advantage.
In the picture above, you can see another nonstandard layout. With the grill placed in the L-shaped corner, adding a bar counter around the whole structure is possible. This solution enables socializing and cooking simultaneously.
An L-shaped outdoor kitchen on the patio
A patio is an excellent spot for an outdoor kitchen. Close location to the house makes it super-convenient for both – guests and hosts. It is also a location that may help save money, as all the media connections usually are already in place.
As you can see in the first picture, an outdoor kitchen with a dining space can create an outdoor living room. To increase the indoor-outdoor experience, it is worth working with a similar color palette or materials as inside.
Both of the spaces in the pictures are elegant. A patio is very often a living space, so it has to look good.
An L-shaped outdoor kitchen with pergola
Pergola is an amazing addition to any outdoor kitchen, as it covers up space but allows the smoke to fly away. There are some rules, though, to adding one to an L-shaped outdoor kitchen.
An L-shape is an open, inviting structure that does not cut off space. It is a great advantage of the shape, and covering shouldn’t change it. Small pergolas need 2 pillars, and bigger constructions are usually based on 4 pillars.
Small pergolas are usually used to cover up the grill part (even though 404 stainless steel is a great material, it needs to be protected too). 2 pillars are easy to compose into the outdoor kitchen layout.
Bigger pergolas that come with 4 pillars are a bigger concern, as 1 pillar stands alone in the space we want to be open. This might not be a concern when an outdoor kitchen is based on a separate deck. For other settings, pergolas with 3 pillars can be a solution.
People often start with sail shades and upgrade to permanent solutions when they’re sure they want to spend extra. Even if this is the way you want to follow, consider planning the pergola ahead and just executing it when the right time comes.
Small L-shaped outdoor kitchen
The smallest outdoor kitchen consists of a grill and preparation space. They’re called a hot zone (a space with appliances using heat) and a dry zone (free countertop space). An L-shape creates a natural division between them. For a 30″ grill, such a design can be 5’6″ x 4’8″. The wider part is the one with the grill.
This is the minimal amount of space you need to create an L-shaped outdoor kitchen. It can be easily expanded with a burner, a sink, or a refrigerator. It is crucial, though, to add landing spaces on the side of appliances, no matter how limited space is. The lack of these free countertop space is the main reason for an outdoor kitchen remodel, as it makes an outdoor kitchen less functional.
Working with small space for some can be difficult, to me is an opportunity to find unique solutions. At such location everything matters.
If you want to learn how to use lighting to transform the space after the sunset, here is my Beginners Guide to Outdoor Kitchen Lighting.
L-shaped outdoor kitchen with Green Egg
A corner space in an L-shaped outdoor kitchen is an excellent spot for a Green Egg.
A cutout for a medium size is 13,5″ smaller than for a 2XL! It is worth checking Big Green Egg Outdoor Kitchen Dimensions Guide while designing an L-shaped outdoor kitchen.
An outdoor kitchen shown in the picture is simple, but it covers both cooking and dining. I can easily imagine cooking and socializing in it at the same time. As this is a spot used after sunset, lighting is a pretty important part of it. It is worth planning it while designing an outdoor kitchen.
An L-shaped outdoor kitchen island
L-shape is an excellent choice for an outdoor kitchen island. I enjoy a lot the setup in the picture above. It’s quite minimal, as it lacks the sink and storage, but has what is crucial: a grill and a lot of countertop space to work on. A burner and a refrigerator are nice additions to it.
I like the two countertop heights presented above. The main working countertop is 38″ high, and the bar counter on the other side is 42″.
The concrete color on the outdoor kitchen resembles the lot design. Such a simple move that ties the space!
An L-shaped outdoor kitchen dimensions
An outdoor kitchen comes in three sizes: small, medium, and large. A small outdoor kitchen has up to 10′ of counter length, a medium up to 16′, and a large is 20’+.
Small L-shaped outdoor kitchen dimensions are 8′ x 7’10”. Such layout fits a grill, a burner, a sink, preparation space (26″ of free countertop space next to a sink), and storage. Adding a refrigerator to the structure will change dimensions to 8′ x 9’10”, as the refrigerator is 24″ wide.
Where those numbers came from? An L-shaped outdoor kitchen consists out of two counters combined. Usually, the one with the grill is 30″ deep, and one with the sink is 24″ deep.
The width of the deeper counter with a 30″ grill and 12″ burner is 8′. The width of the 24″ counter is going to be at least 7’10” for a 20″ sink (the sum of the sink, landing space on one side, prep space – 26″, and other counter depth).
You may wonder why so much space is needed for a few appliances? To use each of the appliances conveniently, it is crucial to leave free space on the sides. This space is called landing space and is predefined. It is important to know that not keeping these distances is the main reason for an outdoor kitchen remodel, as lack of them is making the space inconvenient.
|Appliance||Landing space requirements|
|Grill||24″ on one side, 12″ on the other|
|Cooktop||12″ on both sides|
|Sink||18″ on both sides|
|Refrigerator||15″ of the open counter above|
|Pizza oven||24″ on one side, 12″ on the other|
If appliances are combined, the distance between them is 1,5 times the higher number. The most common appliances combined are a burner and a grill. The distance between them should be 18″ (12″ x 1,5).
Usually, a grill and burner are on one side of an L-shape, and the rest is based on the other. The reason for that is appliances using heat are usually placed next to each other and in the distance from water and refrigerator. Appliance placement’s general rules are described in detail in my other blog post – 3 Grand Rules of an Outdoor Kitchen Layout.
There are advantages of placing grill and burner on one side. First of all, you get plenty of counter space that can be used for preparation and consumption. This is a perfect solution if you’re willing to add a tabletop counter or multilevel counter. Second of all grill should be placed downwind, so most often close to the patio or deck border, as you don’t want to smoke your guests, nor the house.
If you need to get to know more outdoor kitchen dimensions, you’ll find them in my Outdoor Kitchen Dimensions Guide.