The kitchen in pickleball refers to the non-volley zone. The kitchen measures 7 feet by 20 feet and is located between the net and the non-volley line on both sides of the court.
To have a full grasp of what it means to be in the kitchen in pickleball, you must first understand what a volley means. Volley in pickleball is a shot that you hit before the ball bounces to the ground during the rally. Whether an overhead shot or a soft shot, it does not matter as long as you hit the ball that has not bounced yet, it is a volley.
When you volley, you must stay out of the kitchen the whole time. It does not matter how high the ball is nor the fact that you are hitting it above the kitchen, as long as your feet are not touching the kitchen or the kitchen line, you are good to go.
Another thing to avoid in the kitchen is when you hit a volley and your momentum brings you to the kitchen. To avoid this kitchen fault, make sure to stop before you reach the kitchen line. Do not let your momentum from your volley take you to the kitchen. You can also return to a balanced state first before stepping into the kitchen. You cannot also be in the kitchen, step out, and then volley the ball before your foot lands.
Simply put, you cannot volley while you are standing in the kitchen.