Your Guide for Choosing Outdoor Kitchen Cabinets

Stainless steel outdoor kitchen cabinets

As people spend more time at home, they put more money into their living spaces to make them extra comfortable. Outdoor kitchens are one of the most popular trends right now. Families devote plenty of time together while cooking, and an outdoor kitchen helps everyone get outside.

While the grill is the first thing people notice about your outdoor kitchen, the outdoor kitchen cabinets form the structure for everything you do in that space. Without it, you wouldn’t have outdoor kitchen appliances, a BBQ island, and grill cabinets.

There are several options when creating an outdoor kitchen space, and the outdoor cabinets are a significant part of that decision. To help you decide, we have a guide to help you figure out the best layout, design, and function for your outdoor kitchen cabinets. 

What Material Should You Choose?

The first and most important thing to consider when designing your outdoor kitchen space is what materials you will use. Interior kitchen cabinets will fall apart quickly since they aren’t water-resistant. You need weather-resistant materials because this space is entirely outdoors and exposed to the elements.

You have your choice of three primary cabinet materials: polymer, teak, and stainless steel. The price of your outdoor kitchen cabinets depends greatly on what material you choose.


Polymer cabinets are the most common type of cabinet material. They are easy to make and care for and come in various colors, styles, and textures. In addition, polymer cabinets are waterproof, easy to clean, and resistant to ultraviolet light.

These cabinets range from $500 to $2,300 per cabinet, depending on the style and texture. Because of the range of available styles, these can be the cheapest or most expensive cabinets for an outdoor application.


Teak cabinets are a favorite for outdoor cabinets. Contractors have used them for years and still do today. They look and work great in outdoor applications.

They come in multiple varieties and styles, but there are some drawbacks. For example, they must be custom-made for each kitchen space and are not waterproof. You must seal and refinish them routinely to keep water from damaging the wood.

Quoting teak cabinets is also challenging because the price of these cabinets varies depending on the region, market, and availability of wood.

Stainless Steel

A smaller outdoor kitchen

Stainless steel cabinets are another great option for your outdoor kitchen area. These cabinets offer a sleek, minimalistic look that is easy to clean and usually matches the grill. Stainless steel is waterproof, resistant to the weather, and immune to wear from the sun’s UV rays.

Make sure you get high-quality stainless steel, usually 304 stainless, with welded corners to keep them from warping or cracking.

Which Is the Most Durable?

Durability is a primary concern for homeowners wanting an outdoor kitchen. Your outdoor kitchen cabinets must be waterproof and weather-resistant, whether or not they have a cover. Using poor-quality cabinets will destroy your kitchen space in the end.  

Each of these materials is highly durable. The teak wood cabinets are the weakest of the three because they require sealing and refinishing at least once or twice a year. However, they will last a long time if you take good care of them.

The polymer cabinets are much more reliable since you don’t have to finish them yearly. Additionally, they consist of high-quality plastics, so they don’t ever rot or warp. They may fade in direct sunlight, but that could take a few years.

Stainless steel is the most durable of the materials. It cannot rot, warp, rust, or fade, even in direct sunlight, and it provides excellent support and structure for your countertops.

You can worry less about durability if you use one of many covered outdoor kitchen ideas.

Other Things to Remember When Picking Cabinets

Outdoor kitchen with some wood cabinets by pool

Besides choosing the make of the cabinets, there are other things you have to consider for your outside space. You need to consider how the area will work for you, what the space will look like, and hardware choices for your outdoor kitchen cabinets.

Cabinet Function

How do you plan on cooking in your outdoor kitchen? Do you cook with spices? Do you need storage for condiments, sides, or even paper towels?

These are all essential questions to consider because how you cook in your outdoor kitchen determines the type of cabinets you need. For instance, you may need an enclosed spice rack or pantry for food items.

There are cabinets with built-in coolers or refrigerators if you like throwing parties or drinking while you cook. It all depends on what you want to get out of your cooking space.

Layout and Design of Your Outdoor Storage

After figuring out the functions and specifications of your cabinets, you need to figure out the design and layout of your kitchen space and outdoor storage.

Teak cabinets are almost always custom-built for the opening. Polymer and stainless cabinets are usually prefabricated and assembled on site. If you want an outdoor kitchen island, prepare for that in the planning phase of the operation.

You also need to consider the size of the cabinets you want. Since teak cabinets are custom-made, the dimensions are up to you. For prefabricated cabinets like stainless steel and polymer, they come in standard sizes that vary in increments.

The design and layout of the space are critical and impact the way your outdoor kitchen space looks forever.

Match the Storage and Grill Hardware

While this is a tiny part of the process, it does make an impact. Matching the grill to the cabinets makes the whole space come together. If you get cabinets from the same brand as your grill, they likely make hardware finishes that match your grill.

If you can’t match the cabinets to the grill, consider matching the cabinet hardware to the grill. The matching hardware and grill will tie your outdoor kitchen cabinets together and unify the space.

Contact Perfect My Home For Your Outdoor Kitchen Needs

If you want to create the perfect outdoor kitchen space in Missouri and Illinois, fill out our contact form so we can discuss your options. At Perfect My Home, we love turning every backyard living space into a paradise.