Plastic vs. Stainless Steel Outdoor Kitchen Cabinets: The Rundown

Plastic vs. Stainless Steel Outdoor Kitchen Cabinets: The Rundown

Homeowners across the country are adding kitchens to their outdoor spaces. Having an outdoor kitchen can give you numerous new ways to enjoy cooking, spending time outdoors, and entertaining friends and family. At the same time, it may even bring your family together in entirely new ways. Several appliances and accessories are now available for outdoor kitchens, so you can customize your space in virtually any way you’d like.

Beyond the Appliances and Add-Ons

Of course, cabinets are an essential component of any outdoor kitchen. They enhance the look of the space as well as its functionality and longevity. An Outdoor Kitchen Store can offer a range of cabinet styles, colors, and sizes, but the material they’re made of is one of the most important factors to consider. Plastic and stainless steel are the most popular, and each one offers its own set of benefits and downsides.

Exploring the Benefits and Disadvantages of Stainless Steel Cabinets

Stainless steel is an ideal material for outdoor cabinets. As a metal, it can be prone to corrosion through certain additional materials added to the mix to help protect the steel from the elements. Different grades of stainless steel are available, but the most common for outdoor kitchen cabinets are 304 and 316. When it comes to longevity and corrosion resistance, 316 is recommended. You can also purchase powder-coated stainless steel cabinets for an extra layer of protection.

These types of cabinets are particularly suited to the outdoors and can withstand repeated use, extreme temperatures, moisture, and other hazards. They’re not prone to warping or cracking, so you don’t have to worry about bumping into them or wayward basketballs causing damage. For the best results, regular cleaning of stainless steel cabinets is advised.

Discussing the Advantages and Pitfalls of Plastic Cabinets

Plastic is also a good choice for outdoor furniture and accessories with high-density polyethylene being one of the most popular varieties for outdoor kitchen cabinets. It doesn’t rust or hold onto stains the way wood and certain other materials can. It won’t decay or become discolored the way wood cabinets tend to when exposed to the elements. Unlike stainless steel, plastic is available in a vast range of colors and patterns. It can even be made to mimic the appearance of wood. That makes it an extremely versatile material that can meld with virtually any decor and color scheme.

Having said all that, there are certain downsides to plastic cabinets. They’re notorious for fading because of exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet rays. Extreme temperatures and freezing can cause plastic cabinets to warp and crack as well. Additionally, the high levels of heat generated by grills, ovens, and other outdoor cooking appliances may damage plastic cabinets.

Choosing the Right Cabinets for Your Outdoor Kitchen

If you have an outdoor kitchen, adding cabinets to the setup is essential. It’ll give you extra space to store all your dishes, utensils, and other necessities, so you won’t have to make constant trips back and forth to your indoor kitchen when you’re cooking outdoors. Choosing the right material for your outdoor cabinets will only heighten the experience and maximize the value of your investment.

While plastic cabinets are typically less expensive than stainless steel, they may not hold up to all the hazards of cooking and constant use. On the other hand, you won’t have as many style and color options if you choose stainless steel. Consider which factors matter most to you and your family, and make your decision accordingly. Either way, you’re sure to love all the fun and freedom your outdoor kitchen provides.


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