Outdoor Kitchen Cabinet Ideas
Learn about all of the materials available for outdoor kitchen cabinets in your quest to build the outdoor kitchen of your dreams.
Depending on where you call home, outdoor cooking can be a major part of your family's culinary experience. New outdoor kitchen cabinet ideas are being used in home renovations, adding functional design space to many homes.
Outdoor kitchens can range from the simplest grill space to an elaborate dream kitchen with state-of-the-art appliances, countertop surfaces, and all the bells and whistles. Regardless of the size of your outdoor kitchen, there is one universal truth that all outdoor kitchen renovators must keep in mind: All building materials in an outdoor kitchen must be able to stand up to the elements. This is especially important when choosing your outdoor cabinets.
It is of utmost importance to keep the weather in your particular regional climate in mind when choosing materials for your outdoor kitchen cabinets. While most outdoor grills and appliances are going to be stainless steel, and most countertops will be stone to hold up to the weather, you have a few options for outdoor cabinet materials that are both weather- and termite-proof. Some of these materials include stainless steel, marine-grade polymer, teak and stone.
Stainless steel is a good material to use for outdoor kitchen cabinets as it likely matches your grill and outdoor appliances, and it is weather- and bug-proof. The type or grade of metal typically used in outdoor cabinets is 304 stainless steel, as it is the most resistant to corrosion and staining. The construction of stainless steel is important to its durability over time. Welded corners are the best, with hardware and drawer pulls also made of the same material. You might want to incorporate wind chains into your stainless steel doors as well so that your cabinet doors don't blow open in extreme weather or storms. One consideration when choosing stainless steel outdoor cabinets is that they can get expensive depending on how many you need and the details you incorporate into their design. Also they can get hot when exposed to the sun, which can make food prep more difficult on a very hot day.
Another popular outdoor kitchen cabinet material is marine-grade polymer. Polymer is a synthetic material like a plastic. Marine-grade is the type used in the outdoors for its ability to get wet and its UV-resistant nature. Marine-grade polymer is popular in outdoor kitchens because it can be hosed down for cleaning with no damage, and it holds up to the harshest of elements. It also is stain-resistant and comes in more than one color in case you want to break up the monotony of an all-stainless-steel look in your outdoor kitchen design.
Teak is a desirable wood material used in outdoor kitchens; it gives a classic, sophisticated look that many homeowners find appealing. While teak is a wood, and therefore not as weather-resistant as steel or polymer, it possesses natural attributes that make it more weather-resistant than other forms of wood. Teak is a very expensive material to use in outdoor cabinets. It also can fade over time depending on the finish or stain used, similar to an outdoor deck or other outdoor furniture, making it a more high-maintenance material.
Finally, for a completely custom outdoor cabinet look, you can chose masonry cabinets that use a cement block or metal frame covered in a decorative stone to create a natural stone look. Stone is also highly weather-resistant, and stone cabinets provide a built-in look that many homeowners seek. Because of the custom nature of how these cabinets are built, labor costs can be significant when using these materials to create your cabinets.
Whether you want to create an outdoor kitchen for simple backyard BBQs or elegant parties and entertaining, finding the right materials for your outdoor kitchen cabinets—and therefore ensuring that they'll hold up to the weather where you live—is an essential step in creating a long-lasting and enjoyable outdoor dining space.