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The Shape of Outdoor Kitchens

2018-10-09T13:07:07+00:00 Outdoor Cooking|

The beauty of building a customized outdoor kitchen with HL Posey is that you can choose your kitchen shape to suit your space and your needs. Before you even consider which materials to use — Nature Kast, stone, tile, or stucco — sit down with your HL Posey outdoor kitchen specialist and discuss what you want your new outdoor cooking area to do for you.

With your space measurements in hand, we’ll start the decision-making process by asking you about your current outdoor cooking habits. What do you cook on, and/or what would you prefer to cook on — gas, lump charcoal, wood pellets, or infrared? We have grills of all sizes and shapes that use any of those methods. We even have pizza ovens!

What kind of outdoor entertaining do you currently enjoy? For how many people? How would you like to see that change? These questions help us determine the equipment you’ll need, the accessories you will enjoy, and calculate how much counter space is required. A good rule of thumb is to allow 16” between each appliance or accessory, about the size of a serving platter. If you will regularly put a bartender or a caterer at the counter, you’ll want to allow a three to four foot working space between each counter. You may even want to consider split levels for your beverage service, or a separate area with an ice machine if drinks will be in great demand.

Indoor kitchens are generally designed around the “work triangle,” placing refrigerator, stove and sink at each corner of a leg that measures between four and nine feet. Outdoor kitchens are usually planned for three main zones or stations: preparation, cooking, and serving.

The Outdoor Kitchen Island

The island is the simplest form of outdoor kitchen. It can be accessed from all sides which aides in traffic flow. It’s a good choice for smaller spaces. There is often just enough counter space for food prep above a small refrigerator below. However, there is no separation between the prep, cooking, and serving stations.

The L-shaped Outdoor Kitchen

An L-shaped outdoor kitchen is a good choice when there are two or more cooks in the family. One side can serve for prep and serving, the other for cooking. The L-shaped outdoor kitchen is often incorporated into an existing outdoor wall. HL Posey Builders will help you choose the best material for this outdoor kitchen configuration.

The U-shaped Outdoor Kitchen

If you have a large family or enjoy entertaining many friends at once, a U-shaped kitchen will serve you well, with plenty of cabinet and counter space. This shape integrates all of the zones, keeping the cook/host in the middle of the action. It’s a great outdoor kitchen layout for social gatherings. U-shaped outdoor kitchens are often built beneath a cover — a lanai, awning, or a freestanding pergola — to provide lighting, fans, outdoor speakers, and other amenities.

Counter Heights for Your Outdoor Kitchen

Regardless of which outdoor kitchen shape you choose, industry standards apply when planning the counters for your outdoor kitchen. If your outdoor kitchen includes a seating area, the counter height, the standard counter height will vary between 36 – 38” depending on the pitch or slope on the lanai or deck.
For your prep and cooking zones plan on a 36” counter height. Split-level or bar areas should be 42” to 44” high and building a cantilevered edge 10” deep will give you enough room for comfortably sitting on a bar stool at the counter.

HL Posey Builders has designed custom outdoor kitchens from Marco Island to Sarasota. When you’re ready to shape your future outdoor kitchen, give us a call at 239-229-8273.