Kitchens have been a mainstay of professional woodworkers for the last sixty years. It seems that kitchen design trends are outpaced only by the fashion industry and maybe the auto industry. But over the last five years or so, the hot trend has been the “outdoor kitchen.” And I’m not just talking about a barbeque kettle out on the back deck. We are talking about full-featured kitchens, complete with cooktops, ovens, refrigerators, long runs of stone countertop and, of course, cabinets.
Many of these outdoor kitchens even have a roof structure so that the only thing to distinguish them from their indoor counterparts is the lack of four walls.
If you perform an Internet search for “outdoor kitchen,” you will be rewarded with at least several weeks’ worth of reading. Not only are the well known DIY and home improvement sites loaded with information, but there are a ton of sites devoted exclusively to “outdoor living”. Check it out.
One thing I have noticed is that the materials in the cabinetry used in these outdoor kitchens trends more toward aluminum or stainless steel than wood. But there still seem to be plenty of people using woods like teak, mahogany, anigre and others that are fairly resistant to exposure to the elements. Not to the extent that you would expect in an indoor kitchen, but still enough to make this a market niche worth exploring.