Not all outdoor kitchens are built the same way. An outdoor kitchen will endure tons of wear-and-tear, both man-made and natural. The materials selected for an outdoor kitchen must be able to withstand high temperatures as well as a variety of human mishaps such as overturned pitchers of water or other liquids, a variety of stains from grease and other materials, and even unexpected fires from the cook-top.

There are a variety of options when it comes to the base or structure of an outdoor kitchen and the construction can be a complex process. For these reasons, it is recommended that you research and choose wisely when selecting the building materials for your outdoor kitchen. Framing options include wood, concrete block, brick or steel. For safety and durability, it is essential that construction be carried out properly so it is recommended to hire a professional that has experience building outdoor kitchens.


Building an outdoor kitchen with a wood frame or plywood top is the most affordable up-front option, but wood overall is potentially the most costly as it could possibly cost you your entire house. As you know, wood can burn. It will also eventually rot and shrink even if treated. It is also easily damaged by insects. Overall it is simply not as strong as the alternatives. If choosing to build a wood-framed base, you should use pressure-treated pine because it will hold up better under the extreme heat omitted by the grill. In order to protect the wood frame from heat and water, it should be covered with cement backer board, both on the inside and outside of the structure.

Concrete Block/ Brick

Concrete block and brick are common options when building the base frame for your outdoor kitchen. A concrete block or brick structure must be built on a solid, level slab of concrete. Concrete block and brick are affordable, weather and fire resistant, and easy to work with. Decorative concrete panels, stucco, tile and stone can all be used for the facing materials for your concrete block outdoor kitchen. An added benefit to building your outdoor kitchen out of brick is that you will not need to use facing materials on your kitchen since it will already have a beautiful finish. Concrete block and brick construction allows for complete customization. When using these two materials, you will be able to layout your kitchen any way you like and include as many appliances and accessories as you wish.


Steel is a popular option for an outdoor kitchen because of its strength, versatility and durability. It is able to withstand the variations of the strongest winds and temperatures. The basic steel structure is virtually immune to anything that Mother Nature or the homeowner can throw at it. Steel frames can be used to create both simple and elaborate outdoor kitchens, plus everything in between. The frames are positioned as you like, riveted together and bolted to a concrete slab. Cement backer board is used to skin the structure and then the walls can be faced with stucco, stone or tile. Steel is one of the most recommended materials to build your outdoor kitchen frame since it is durable and can last you a lifetime.

The Bottom Line

While each outdoor kitchen is unique, the construction process is relatively uniform whether it’s built out of wood, block or steel. When it comes to selecting the materials to frame your kitchen, the saying, “You get what you pay for” is most certainly true. To simply put it, investing in superior materials for your outdoor kitchen will pay off not only in the long-run but as well as the safety for you, your family and your home.

At Increte of Houston, we are experts in building outdoor kitchens and we can help you build the outdoor kitchen of your dreams. Call (281) 499-3990 or contact us on our website for a free estimate.