Different types of outdoor kitchen layouts

Different types of outdoor kitchen layouts
Dec 2, 2019

It’s tough to beat the feeling of coming home after a long day at work and decompressing with a cold beverage or casual dinner on your outdoor patio. If you planned ahead and installed an outdoor kitchen at your Rock Valley, Iowa home as well; you have all the ingredients of an ideal backyard environment. Even in some cold winter months for folks living in northern tier states, an outdoor kitchen can be a go-to favorite for weeknight meals and lively football parties or other neighborhood events.

However, when it comes to layout for that outdoor kitchen, there are many options and it takes some general understanding to make full use of your space while incorporating function and other amenities such as sitting areas and related hardscapes including fire pits or outdoor fireplaces.

The letter game

Many outdoor kitchen layouts are based on traditional letters of the alphabet (think U-shape, L-shape, G-shape) but each one offers its own unique visual appearance and function. Virtually all layouts are based on how you choose to arrange countertops, storage areas, appliances, and the path of the work area. Consider for a moment, the natural movements you make in your indoor kitchen from the fridge to stove to counter to sink. The same geography applies outside. Let’s look at some popular outdoor kitchen options that could be the perfect fit for your Sioux Center, Iowa home.


The basic galley kitchen is made up of two rectangular rows of cabinets facing each other, with appliances blended in. A walking area between makes for easy access to countertops and the work space is generally sufficient for one cook.

The U-shape

The U is the most versatile outdoor kitchen layout with its continuous run of counter space and loads of storage space on three sides of a busy cook. With larger kitchens it is possible to design multiple work stations to handle those big gatherings.

The L-shape

The L kitchen allows a natural work triangle with continuous counter space and adjacent work stations. This layout is great for cooks to interact with guests while still getting things done with food prep. Other attractive elements include easy access to all kitchen areas, room for an island, additional seating area behind the counter, and the look and feel of a full indoor kitchen.

The G-shape

The G layout is a spinoff of the U-shape, with similar counter space and storage on three sides of the cook, but also includes a partial fourth wall of cabinets.

Straight run

If your Rocky Valley, Iowa yard is smaller, the straight run kitchen layout is a great choice. All kitchen zones and appliances are staged along one wall, similar to a line-cook design in a commercial cooking setting.

Remember that with all kitchen layout designs, it is wise to enlist the help of a pro to help incorporate the entire outdoor living space including pools, decks, and patios.

For more information on outdoor kitchen layouts and design, contact Outdoor Elements at (712) 476-5299 or outdoorelements.com.