Outdoor Kitchens

Concrete Outdoor Kitchen vs. Stainless Steel

concrete outdoor kitchen vs stainless steel

When choosing between different outdoor kitchen materials, you want to consider which material will be durable, attractive, and will require minimal maintenance. Some popular choices for outdoor base cabinets and other kitchen cabinets include concrete and stainless steel. So, whether you’re looking to add on to your patio, rooftop, backyard deck, or any other outdoor living space, you’ll want to make sure you pick the right material. Here we compare the two materials and explain the ways in which stainless steel is the best material for your outdoor living space, as it is durable in virtually every climate.

Concrete Outdoor Kitchen

Concrete is a popular material due to its strength and durability. It is also an affordable option. There is minimal concern about housing an outdoor grill or other hot appliances, as it is fire-resistant. It is also customizable to an extent, as you can embed stone or tile into the concrete surface or paint it any color that you wish. In addition, it can be poured into any size or shape mold for versatility in your outdoor space. As far as drawbacks, it can be tough to install and usually requires masonry skills. It is susceptible to cracking and breaking, and colors will fade over time and through weathering. The same thing applies to outdoor concrete countertops. The material of a concrete counter or kitchen is also difficult to clean. A concrete countertop or outdoor kitchen must be maintained regularly and will sometimes require repairs to keep its appearance. If you decide to choose concrete it will require some maintenance.

Stainless Steel Outdoor Kitchen

Like concrete, stainless steel is another durable and popular outdoor kitchen material option. Stainless steel is a metal alloy of iron and other metals, with at least 10.5% concentration of the element chromium, which deters the stainless steel from rusting. Outdoor kitchen cabinets are typically manufactured using 304 or 316 (marine) grade stainless steel, and both are durable options – with 316 providing additional corrosion resistance. These grades of stainless steel are resistant to heat and chemicals and will not fade or crack. However, bare stainless is still susceptible to corrosion, rust, stains, and scratches in the outdoors if it is not properly maintained. Powder coating the stainless steel is a highly recommended option to minimize maintenance.

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Why is Stainless Steel the Best Option?

In comparing concrete with stainless steel for a perfect outdoor kitchen design, you will want to determine which material will last longer, remain durable, require less maintenance, will be the most cost-effective in the long run, is more attractive and customizable, and can withstand the weather over a long period of time. Although concrete is initially more cost-effective than stainless steel, it will end up being pricier in the long run. A concrete outdoor kitchen will hold up well enough outdoors, especially if the outdoor space is shaded from the elements. However, as the finish degrades, parts of the structure especially on a concrete counter space will eventually need to be repaired or replaced completely to maintain the structural integrity. Stainless steel is ultimately the better outdoor kitchen cabinet material overall due to limited maintenance and longevity, especially when powder coated.

To help preserve the appearance, concrete can be painted, and stainless steel can be powder coated. Painted concrete will fade from weathering and the porosity of concrete makes it extremely difficult to clean, especially when preparing and cooking food. While both materials must be maintained regularly, the Brown Jordan Outdoor Kitchens powder coated stainless steel cabinets are UV resistant and require very little maintenance – regular cleaning with mild soap and water will do the trick. Our color palette also includes bright and dark colors, textures, metallics, and even realistic wood grain finishes for the ultimate customization. Your cabinet finish will remain vibrant despite facing years of weather effects.

Concrete can be tricky, as it is susceptible to breaking or cracking, which diminishes the integrity of the structure. At Brown Jordan Outdoor Kitchens, our cabinets are shipped preassembled with professional resources, including installation instructions. As a result, installation is simple and convenient. On the contrary, concrete is messy and difficult to work with, requiring a contractor or mason to be on the jobsite for weeks at a time for installation – hardly convenient!

Although concrete and stainless steel are both common materials for outdoor cabinets, stainless steel is the better choice for the perfect outdoor kitchen design. Concrete pales in comparison to stainless steel in terms of the longevity and ability to withstand weathering in the outdoors. For the best return on investment and to ensure that your outdoor kitchen will last for many years, powder coated stainless steel is by far the best option.

Contact Brown Jordan Outdoor Kitchens today to learn more about our stainless steel outdoor kitchen cabinetry!

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