In a previous article we compared an outdoor kitchen made of stainless steel with one in masonry/concrete. Today we want to do the same, but changing the term of comparison and choosing this time a metal: aluminium. Which of these two materials is the most suitable and durable for outdoor kitchens furniture? Let’s find out together.
Aluminium furniture: long lasting as long as they are carefully maintained
Among the most popular materials, metal appears as a better choice for outdoor kitchens than masonry or concrete, as it is durable and can be customized with a powder coat finish that is practically maintenance-free. Specifically: aluminium cabinets can last long in outdoor spaces because the lack of iron content within this metal prevents it from rusting. However, the surface of an aluminium cabinet must be maintained, as it can still corrode. If in fact aluminium tends not to rust, it must be said that it is a soft, light metal, a good heat conductor and has a lower melting point than other metals containing iron. These characteristics indicate that aluminium outdoor kitchen furniture are susceptible to denting: aluminium therefore tends to be a less workable material for cabinets and hobs, where heat is an issue.
Stainless steel cabinets, hobs and cupboards: a choice of common sense
Stainless steel is the material par excellence as a choice for outdoor kitchen furniture, since it is an alloy composed of iron and at least 10.5 chromium. The presence of chromium is indeed fundamental, as it prevents stainless steel from rusting. As we at OF outdoorkitchens often emphasize in this blog, stainless steel is also available in different varieties for different applications. The most common grades of stainless steel kitchen furniture are 304 and 316 (marine grade), with 316 providing greater corrosion resistance. Although a bare stainless steel cabinet is an interesting option for an outdoor kitchen design and for an outdoor living space, it must be properly maintained and regularly cleaned to avoid rust, corrosion, scratches or stains.
What makes us realize that one metal is better than another?
When determining which metal is the best option for your outdoor living space or any modular outdoor kitchen, it is very important to take into account these characteristics:
- Durability and structural integrity;
- The ability to withstand weathering, heat and daily wear;
- The weight and density;
- The aesthetics and design;
- Longevity in the open air.
These factors are vital because outdoor kitchen furniture are susceptible to the potentially harmful effects of atmospheric agents and use that, in the beautiful seasons, can also become daily. Aluminium and stainless steel are both comparable in terms of outdoor longevity and aesthetics. However, when considering the differences, stainless steel is the best material for outdoor kitchen furniture thanks to durability, structural integrity and ability to withstand heat and other effects of outdoor cooking.
If you want to discover all the outdoor kitchens in the OF outdoorkitchens world, consult our online catalogue and our gallery, which are full of solutions and variations, or call us to make an appointment. We will be happy to accommodate you and answer any of your requests.