You can’t have a backyard kitchen without them!
What is an outdoor kitchen? Most people have a grill in their backyard, does that count? It can. Do you also have cabinets and drawers containing cooking accessories? There are, of course, examples that obviously qualify – like a full setup with appliances, and countertop surfaces, etc… but the bottom line is, if you can create a meal in your backyard, you arguably have some version of a backyard kitchen.
When you’re planning your outdoor kitchen, the materials that make it up must be designed to withstand the elements. Your outdoor kitchen cabinets are no exception. Naturally, if you are just considering taking on the project of building a backyard kitchen, the climate extremes in your regional area are the first things you need to factor into your decisions.
Of course, the majority of grills are constructed of stainless steel, as are the related appliances. But generally the countertops for such an endeavor will need to be made from stone, it’s the best material to use as it holds up well against the weather. Meanwhile you actually have a choice of what substances to use for your outdoor cabinets. Obviously they need to resist weather conditions and be termite proof as well. There are a number of applicable choices, such as stainless steel, quality polymer (marine grade), teak and stone.
If you want visual consistency, steel cabinets will likely match your grill and other outdoor appliances. They are further advantageous as the oft-used 304 stainless steel is weather and bug-proof. It is also resistant to corrosion and staining. The standard durability it has preserves it for years, despite all the potential beating it takes from the elements. But no matter, the welded corners make them nearly indestructible. Despite this, you’ll want to attach wind chains into the doors so they don’t blow open in extreme winds.
Budget is also a concern when considering steel cabinets, depending on how many you need, and the details you intend to incorporate or add on to them. On the other hand, a separate practical factor that may be of concern is just how hot the solid steel cabinets can get on particularly sunny days. Needless to say, it could make food prep genuinely difficult, although there are common sense safeguards you could take.
Another option you have for outdoor cabinet material is marine grade polymer. Like plastic, polymer is synthetic. For the outdoor kitchen purpose it is the marine grade polymers that make the grade, both for their protection from water as well as UV resistance. It can be easily hosed down when needed for cleanliness, and it can withstand some pretty rough elements. When you consider that it is also stain resistant and is available in a variety of colors, it makes a fun option to look into for your outdoor cabinets.
No matter the advantage of all-synthetic material, there are those that prefer to use real wood. For the outdoor cabinet purpose, Teak wood material is desirable as it offers a classic and elegant look that homeowners love. Like regular wood, Teak is not as weather resistant as may be considered ideal, but it stands up to the elements much better than most other types of wood. Perhaps that’s a reason why it is so expensive. Just like an outdoor deck the stain / finish used on Teak will fade when outdoors over time. It’s high maintenance, but the perfect option for using wood in your outdoor cabinets.
Some homeowners will throw caution to the wind, expense be damned, and go for the entirely customized look of masonry cabinets. They use frames made of either metal or cement blocks that is covered in a decorative stone finish that has a completely natural stone appearance. It is very resistant to weather extremes, and has that cool ‘built-in’ look that is highly desirable. As with any custom work, labor and material costs may be on the high end, but the results are typically beyond satisfactory.
It doesn’t matter if you simply want to barbecue out back with ease, or if you want to prepare food and drink without ever having to go inside, there is a version of an outdoor kitchen that’s right for you. After you take the care to ensure that the materials you use will last a long time, so too will your enjoyment of it all!