Aluminum vs. Stainless Steel Outdoor Kitchens

Published Categorized as outdoor kitchens

When deciding on a design, your outdoor kitchen cabinet material is the most important factor in your investment. Ideally, you will want to choose a material that will last a long time with limited maintenance. Many materials do not hold up long-term when exposed to outdoor elements. Of the available outdoor kitchen materials, metal is the best choice.

In this article, we compare aluminum and stainless steel, which are two popular metals in outdoor kitchen design. At Trex® Outdoor Kitchens™, our stainless steel cabinetry is the most durable product on the market. We engineer our cabinets with beauty and functionality, offering seemingly endless layouts and the most color options available.

Aluminum Outdoor Kitchen Cabinets

Aluminum is unlike many other metals because it does not contain iron. Since iron will rust when exposed to moisture, aluminum will not rust for this reason. As such, people often use aluminum in outdoor applications where moisture is a concern. Aluminum surfaces can corrode over time, but a powder coating can assist with maintaining its appearance.

Even though people use aluminum outdoors, this material is not the best choice for outdoor kitchens. Aluminum, being a soft and lightweight metal, tends to dent easily under normal wear and tear conditions. Damage compromises the structural integrity of an aluminum cabinetry box. The result is that doors and drawers may not close and open properly.

Aluminum absorbs heat easily and has a lower melting point than many other metals. As a result, it is prone to losing strength over time with repeated exposure to high heat. Prolonged exposure in direct sunlight will negatively affect the items inside the cabinets as well. These properties mean it is not optimal for outdoor grill cabinets or other outdoor cooking appliance cabinets.

Stainless Steel Outdoor Kitchen Cabinets

Stainless steel is one of the most common metals for a variety of applications. These applications include indoor kitchens, outdoor kitchens, medical equipment, and machinery. Stainless steel does contain iron, which makes rusting a possibility. It also contains chromium, which is vital to this material’s hardness and corrosion resistance.

Stainless steel is a highly durable material in all types of environments. A strong and dense metal, it can withstand extreme temperature fluctuations without warping, cracking, or denting. Unlike aluminum, stainless steel cabinetry boxes will maintain their structural integrity. Structural integrity is especially important for your outdoor storage space.

Because of its properties, you should clean stainless steel regularly, especially outdoors. Like aluminum, powder coating makes it easy to maintain. With regular maintenance, it is the top material for outdoor kitchens.

At Trex Outdoor Kitchens, we manufacture our stainless steel outdoor kitchen cabinets in 304 and 316 (marine) grades. 316 grade stainless steel has enhanced resistance to corrosion, so it is useful in coastal environments. We have perfected the use of stainless steel for outdoor cabinetry, manufacturing the most luxurious outdoor kitchens available.

Aluminum vs. Stainless Steel for Outdoor Kitchens

For a long term investment in your outdoor kitchen, the cabinetry material is the most important consideration. Most importantly, your outdoor kitchen should have structural integrity, be easy to clean, and be resistant to weather effects. As a bonus, your kitchen should have plenty of color, layout, and style options.

Aluminum and stainless steel both have pros and cons when used for outdoor applications. Stainless steel is the ideal choice for outdoor cabinets because of its ability to withstand heat and wear and tear.

You can easily dent aluminum because it is light and soft. This will negatively affect the weather resistance of the cabinetry, as well as the function. It also means a greater likelihood and frequency of replacement and upkeep – not the best investment!

Aluminum is also a better conductor of heat, making it a poor choice for outdoor cooking. Stainless steel will not crack or warp when exposed to heat, meaning it will maintain its structural integrity over time.

While aluminum will not rust, it is not immune to degrading over time. Stainless steel can rust outdoors when not maintained. The bottom line is that both these materials will require maintenance outdoors. For either material, a powder coat finish is a must-have to add beauty and reduce maintenance.

At Trex Outdoor Kitchens, we value the beauty and longevity of your outdoor living space. This is why we engineer and manufacture high quality stainless steel outdoor kitchens with a variety of features. These features include:

  • Grill and appliance cabinets that support nearly every cooking appliance.
  • An extensive palette of powder coat finishes, from neutrals, bright colors, and metallics.
  • Door styles to add visual interest to your kitchen.
  • Storage cabinets, sink cabinets, trash pull out cabinets, and more.
  • Hundreds of sizes and seemingly endless configurations and layouts.
  • Predesigned layouts for a streamlined design experience (Trex Ready™).

When comparing aluminum and stainless steel, stainless steel is a superior material because of its strength and outdoor longevity. The density of stainless steel makes it an optimal choice for solid outdoor kitchen construction. Trex Outdoor Kitchens guarantees you a beautiful and durable outdoor kitchen that will retain its value. With proper maintenance, we engineer our stainless steel outdoor kitchens to last a lifetime.

Contact us to learn why stainless steel is the superior material for outdoor cabinets!

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