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Concrete vs. Stainless Steel Outdoor Kitchens: What Are the Pros and Cons of Each?

Outdoor kitchens gain popularity every year. Having cooking tools and counter space close to the ever-popular grill adds convenience to outdoor cooking and barbecuing.

There are minimal arrangements to get the job done or more ambitious outdoor kitchen projects that involve concrete and stainless steel elements.

image - Concrete vs. Stainless Steel Outdoor Kitchens What Are the Pros and Cons of Each
Concrete vs. Stainless Steel Outdoor Kitchens What Are the Pros and Cons of Each

During the warm months, cooking outside helps the house stay cooler and adds another fun element to meals and entertaining.

The Dream Outdoor Kitchen

If someone wants a dream outdoor kitchen, they may want an L shaped kitchen. An L-shaped outdoor kitchen takes less space and is convenient for the person doing the outdoor cooking to navigate.

They also come in many sizes. The amount of space available to install the outdoor kitchen will determine the size of the outdoor cabinets and counter space.

The size of the outdoor kitchen will depend on how much counter space is needed and what outdoor appliances are being used.

Outdoor seating and a serving table will also need to be taken into consideration. A small existing deck or patio being used will limit the run of cabinets and counters.

If the yard is large and the outdoor kitchen space can be built from the ground up, there will be more possibilities.

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Concrete or Stainless Steel?

The next step after the basic space planning is to decide on materials for the cabinets and counters. The appliances will often be stainless steel for exterior use.

The stainless steel will last better in outdoor conditions. But the cabinets and counters that go around the grills and other appliances can be made of stainless steel, wood, or concrete and natural stone.

The Advantages of Concrete and Stone

Concrete is a popular outdoor kitchen material because it is strong, durable, and affordable. It is also fire resistant, so ideal for housing stainless steel appliances such as ovens or grills that get hot.

Concrete can be poured in any size or shape a family wants and can be painted or finished in many ways. It can also be embellished or combined with natural stone or tile.

But, concrete has drawbacks such as being harder to clean and subject to cracking or breaking. It also requires masonry skills to install, adding labor costs. Concrete countertops require a certain amount of maintenance to keep their good looks.

What About Stainless Steel?

Stainless steel is also strong and durable for outdoor kitchens. Stainless steel is a metal mixture that resists rusting.

This material can be made into cabinets and countertops for outdoor kitchens. Stainless steel appliances and cabinets are resistant to heat and chemicals and do not fade or crack.

But, stainless steel can be subject to some corrosion, stains, rust, and scratches if it is not properly maintained. Stainless steel that is powder-coated will minimize maintenance and look better for longer.

Stainless steel can also be used for movable outdoor kitchen counters or serving carts. The stainless steel cabinets, islands, and prep stations can be found at restaurant supply stores or home stores.

In the end, outdoor kitchens are often a mix of stainless steel, natural stone, and concrete. A well-designed outdoor kitchen meets the needs of the homeowner and falls into the available budget.

Good design takes both function and beauty into consideration. A well-designed and executed outdoor kitchen will add outdoor living and entertaining space that is going to last for years of use and enjoyment.