Selecting the ideal outdoor kitchen material for your own backyard living space is harder than you may think. While the options are several, there’s always the question of which material will remain strong, beautiful, and resistant for longer. And truth be told, nearly all materials used for the construction of outdoor kitchens are strong. After all, they all have to battle with the elements.
Concrete and stainless-steel outdoor kitchens prevail, though – each for its own reasons. They both meet all the criteria required for outdoor structures, but still have advantages and disadvantages. If you like these materials for your outdoor cooking area, you need to know their benefits and most importantly, their downsides to avoid surprises in the future. Should we take a look?
Concrete outdoor kitchens
Concrete is an extremely durable material. If you also consider that it’s poured over the structure and is seamless, you can understand why it has become many people’s favorite choice. That’s if you like its modern, wabi-sabi style. Since it’s poured and applied, they might be some imperfections. Since it is susceptible to cracking, some imperfections may be created in the future. Whether you like this style or you hate it. And then, if you want to sell the house at one point, concrete is not a safe option to increase the home’s value.
To the material’s defense, it’s very durable, fire-resistant, and long-lasting – it won’t necessarily crack or it won’t crack anytime soon. You can have the outdoor kitchen builder give any shape to the structure and so, it’s versatile. You may also choose any color you like. Since it holds well under heat, it’s ideal for the areas around the grill, the fridge, and any hot spot in the kitchen. While its color may fade, the material will hold well for years with maintenance.
But here’s the thing. It requires maintenance, especially since it’s a porous material and must be sealed. Another disadvantage of concrete is the difficulty of installing it since the pros must have masonry skills. But if you like a minimalistic outdoor kitchen and won’t mind some maintenance through the years, it will be perfect. You will also love the price. It’s one of the most affordable options.
Stainless steel outdoor kitchens
Stainless steel is one of the most resistant materials. No wonder it’s often used for the construction of outdoor kitchens. Due to its appearance, the material is extremely modern with a sleek look. But it’s also cold and may bend under pressure, or get dented upon impact.
The material’s strength and resistance are also subject of the stainless-steel grade the outdoor kitchen contractor uses. You need marine grade stainless steel to be sure it won’t corrode and it will remain durable. With marine grades, the material is not affected by heat or chemicals. Anyway, it doesn’t crack or fade and so you don’t have to worry about such things. But since it may be easily scratched and dented, its great looks may be compromised.
A great benefit of stainless steel is that it doesn’t need maintenance and overall, is easy to clean. As for the price, it may be a bit more expensive than concrete. But if you consider the maintenance requirements of concrete, stainless steel turns out to be cheaper.
How to choose?
It all comes down to your preferences in regard to the material’s appearance and your expectations. Do you mind maintaining concrete, for example? Your decision will also be affected by your location’s climate, how exposed will the outdoor kitchen be to the elements, your budget. But do you know what? You can also mix & match materials when it comes to building an outdoor kitchen. If you cannot decide and love them both, why don’t you get a concrete outdoor kitchen countertop with stainless steel cabinet doors?