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With the right additions, your backyard can fulfill a great many functions just as efficiently as an indoors space can—or even better. An outdoor kitchen is certainly possible, as long as you procure elements with the right resilience. Here, we will cover a core component of your dream cooking space: cabinets! These are our reviews for the best outdoor kitchen cabinets to elevate your outdoor cooking.
A Kitchen In My Backyard, What?
You read that right! You can have yourself a kitchen just like the one you got inside, sink included—with the one major difference we mentioned in passing just above: whatever you incorporate into your design, it must be made to withstand exposure to sun, wind and, if applicable, rain. It can be a hefty investment, but it is more than worth it:
Homemade, hearty meals, all cooked outside. So many of us love summer and its endless opportunities to enjoy the breeze, the scent of the flowers nearby, the birds fluttering to and fro. With an outdoor kitchen, whoever pulls cooking duty doesn’t have to be all cooped up while the rest of the family go on with their merry times!
Added value. And we mean it literally. A well done outdoor kitchen will increase your house’s value—and what homeowner would object to that?
Planning the Layout
Just as it was with the one inside, designing and implementing an outdoor kitchen will require involving a professional—there is, after all, plumbing and anchoring to be done. A commercial entity dedicated to this sort of endeavors will crunch the numbers and do the heavy lifting, but you still can think ahead and envision the sort of distribution you would like, depending on the space you want to devote to it.
Straight run: Self explanatory. Cabinets and counters run in a straight line, which makes it optimal for when space is limited.
Multiple: This is categorized by shape: an L, a U, or a more space-intensive G, which is essentially a Utype design with a fourth, shorter line of cabinets.
Worth noting that a non-straight (i.e. shaped) design will have the advantage of incorporating work triangles at every joint. An L shape will have one, U and G shapes will come with two.
Picking The Right Cabinets
By now you may have arrived at this conclusion: for your outdoor kitchen, regular wooden cabinets won’t do. Plastic is a pretty easy choice, except because it might not be as aesthetically pleasing as one could desire. For an optimal mix of looks and resilience, stainless steel is a timeless classic.
The following are picks we consider potentially good for your soon-to-be (or already existing) outdoors kitchen; they are all, resilient, spacious to varying degrees, and fairly easy on the eye.
1. Rubbermaid Weather Resistant Outdoor Storage Cabinet
It’s true that this one is not made out of natural materials—it’s plastic through and through—, but it still does a pretty good job at mimicking the looks, which make it a potential top pick for those who have rattan furniture and would like to bring that aesthetic into their kitchen. The shelf is adjustable, and a lock can be added to the double doors in case we would rather keep smaller children from taking cleaning products from the cabinet.
This product is available in two versions: black oak, with panels that resemble rattan; and dark teak, with a pattern that mimics a basket weave.
- A straightforward way to maintain a nature-inspired aesthetic without having to worry about the higher maintenance wooden items often require.
- All screws are standard; this simplifies assembly, as there is no need to match a specific side of screw to a particular piece.
- Getting a hold on customer service to request help or report a problem has proven difficult, according to several reports.
2. ADDOK 60-Gallon Storage Cabinet
‘When in doubt, go white’. There’s no telling if this is an actual axiom of the home decoration industry, but it should be, at least, an unwritten rule: white is, after all, a great way to brighten a space, and add a clean feeling to your location of choice—and what better to do this on, than your kitchen?.
Aside from the color, this cabinet offers a texture on its panels that is easy to associate with a classy outdoors area. You get two shelves, which you can set on varying heights in order to optimize your storage space. And, although its looks make it an easy pick for your indoors living room, its high density polyethylene body makes it resistant to sun, rain and snow… and therefore, outdoors strong!
- Offers two shelves instead of just one, which helps simplify organizing items of various shapes and sizes.
- Different configurations available, which make it optimal for tackling more diverse storage needs.
- Shelves are reportedly too narrow, which may cause certain items to fall through if not placed with some care.
3. Mophorn Outdoor Kitchen Door Drawer Combo
It is not without reason that stainless steel is a perennial favorite: it’s solid, good looking, and it can endure exposure to the elements without trouble. Your outdoor kitchen can also reap the benefits with this combo, which features three drawers and one access door, intended for a space with measurements 38.1”W x 22.6”H x 20.8”D. Drawers are completely enclosed, which provides a storage space that won’t have to fear rain, dust or bugs. Your BBQ is another option that could benefit from this alternative, as the door to the right can very well be destined for the area where you stow your propane tank away.
- Multiple layout options for furnishing different kitchen areas, including the garbage can section.
- Drawers optimized for outdoors storage purposes, thanks to their enclosed design.
- Among the most expensive options available; nearly twice the average price for its category.
- Flimsy; even the handles can reportedly bend if sufficient pressure is applied.
4. Keter Unity XL Portable Outdoor Table and Storage Cabinet
Do you like the look of wood, more than you like maintaining it? If the answer is yes, then this option already has a point in its favor, as its body is made of plastic, though not entirely—the top is equally resilient, equally good looking stainless steel!
In terms of storage, it’s definitely not found wanting, as it features 54 gallons of internal space coupled with another 24 between cabinet and top. If that weren’t enough, you get 2 sidebars and 4 hook hangers, ideal for keeping your most used utensils close at hand. The leg bottoms are dual: 2 feet and 2 wheels, should you want to cart the table around to fulfill purposes other than as a cabinet every now and then.
- Can easily double up as a prep table in a pinch, thanks to its unique top.
- Plenty of ways to organize utensils aside from edibles and other sundries.
- Decent selection of additional pieces available to purchase as a single package.
- Stainless steel is of the 201 variety, not the tougher and more widely used 304 type. This makes it more susceptible to rusting.
5. SUNSTONE DSH30 30-Inch Double Door Dry Storage
This is another good potential pick for those who like the modern feeling—and well-regarded durability—of metal. Finding more resilient doors than those featured in this enclosure could prove tricky, as they (and their frame) are made in 304, commercial grade, 16 gauge stainless steel. The surface comes with a light brushed finish, which creates a better glimmer that is all but certain to add to the aesthetic.
Worth noting that the box is not stainless steel, but galvanized, which is something not openly disclosed in the product literature. This means the box is not as resilient as the rest, though it is unlikely to become a problem unless the doors are left open too long and too frequently.
- Decently priced considering the optimal protection its stainless steel doors provide.
- Measurements provided for the enclosure cut are misleading: it has been reported that, after assembly, the required space grows by half an inch due to protruding screws, which has caused problems for customers that had made their cuts according to manufacturer’s specs.
Affordable, Reliable, Good Looking: Keter Unity XL Portable Outdoor Table and Storage Cabinet
When it comes to cabinets in outdoor kitchens, there’s always the traditional (and perfectly valid) wall-mounted type we have seen in every home for generations. Whenever possible, however, we believe that functionality is a great fit for anything outdoors, and that is a large part of why we felt inclined towards this pick: aside from more than adequately fulfilling its purpose as close-at-hand storage (and looking nice), it provides a surface that is optimal for either working on, or to let some items rest until they’re needed.
The added value it delivers with its portability can hardly be denied: thanks to the two wheels it features, it can pull extra duty as an impromptu prep table for your BBQ, or a small buffet for your next outdoors gathering. The table alone is not a hefty investment, and should you be looking to disburse extra and score an extra piece of furniture, then you can do so without any hassle. It is, in summary, versatile, functional, and eye-catching… in other words, all a kitchen seeks to be.