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Designing a summer kitchen. The ultimate guide to outdoor kitchen cabinets in Canada

August 06, 2023 | Updated on: August 06, 2023

modern outdoor kitchen cabinets and island

If you love spending time outdoors, basking in the warm sunshine and enjoying delicious meals with friends and family, then creating your dream kitchen outdoor cabinets is the perfect way to elevate your summer experience. Canada's diverse climate offers unique challenges and opportunities, making it essential to choose the right kitchen cabinets outdoor that can withstand the elements while adding style and functionality to your outdoor oasis. 

When it comes to considering different summer kitchen ideas in Canada, durability is the name of the game. Our country's varying weather conditions demand summer kitchen cabinets that can brave the winter chill and summer heat with grace. Look for materials like stainless steel, marine-grade polymer, or weather-resistant wood that can endure Canada's ever-changing climate. Additionally, make sure to opt for outdoor kitchen drawers and cabinets with proper sealing and waterproofing to protect your cooking essentials from rain, snow, and humidity. With the right outdoor patio kitchen cabinets, you won't need to worry about replacing them every season, allowing you to focus on what matters most - enjoying your outdoor culinary adventures! 

Kitchen Cabinets

Beyond durability, the aesthetic appeal of your outdoor kitchen is crucial for creating an inviting and cozy space. Embrace the beauty of natural elements by choosing wooden cabinets that complement your backyard landscape or opt for sleek stainless-steel cabinets for a modern and sophisticated look. Balancing style and functionality will ensure your summer kitchen becomes the ultimate gathering spot for your loved ones, a place where cooking becomes an enjoyable and memorable experience. 

Stay tuned as we take you on a journey through the world of outdoor kitchen cabinet ideas in Canada, sharing valuable insights, expert tips, and inspiring design ideas to help you create the perfect summer kitchen that aligns with your unique taste and needs. Let's get started on this exciting adventure of designing the outdoor kitchen of your dreams!

Features of cabinets suitable for Canadian weather conditions 

outdoor kitchen with barbeque cabinet and sink

When designing an outdoor kitchen in Canada, it's essential to consider the harsh weather conditions that can vary greatly throughout the year. Here are some features to look for in different types of cabinets that are suitable for Canadian weather: 

  • Weatherproof outdoor kitchen cabinets

Weatherproof cabinets for the outdoor kitchen are specifically designed to withstand the elements, making them ideal for Canada's diverse climate. These outdoor kitchen cabinets are waterproof and are typically constructed using materials like marine-grade polymer, stainless steel, or high-density polyethylene (HDPE), which are resistant to moisture, rust, and UV damage. They come with tight seals and gaskets to keep out rain, snow, and humidity, ensuring that your kitchen essentials remain protected and in top condition year-round. Waterproof outdoor kitchen cabinets are low-maintenance and easy to clean, making them a practical choice for any Canadian outdoor kitchen.

  • Prefab outdoor kitchen cabinets

Prefabricated outdoor kitchen cabinets offer a convenient and budget-friendly option for creating your summer kitchen. These cabinets come pre-assembled and ready to install, saving you time and effort during setup. Look for premade outdoor kitchen cabinets made from weather-resistant materials like stainless steel or durable resin. The advantage of prefab cabinets is that they are often designed with practical features like adjustable shelves and drawers, providing ample storage space for all your outdoor cooking tools and equipment. 

  • RTA outdoor kitchen cabinets

RTA outdoor kitchen cabinets are a popular choice for DIY enthusiasts who want to customize their outdoor space. These affordable outdoor kitchen cabinets come in flat-pack form and can be easily assembled with basic tools. For Canadian weather conditions, choose RTA cabinets made from durable materials such as treated wood or weatherproof steel. While assembling the cabinets might take some time, the advantage is that you can personalize the design and layout according to your preferences and outdoor kitchen requirements.

  • Custom outdoor kitchen cabinets

For those seeking a truly personalized outdoor kitchen, custom cabinets are the way to go. Working with a skilled cabinet maker or kitchen designer, you can create cabinets that perfectly fit your outdoor space and suit your style. When opting for custom outdoor kitchen cabinets in Canada, discuss using weather-resistant materials and finishes with the designer. This will ensure that your cabinets can withstand the country's varying weather conditions while still reflecting your unique taste and design vision.

Investing in weatherproof outdoor kitchen cabinets, whether prefab, RTA, or custom, is essential to ensure your outdoor kitchen can withstand Canada's climate and remain functional and visually appealing for years to come. By choosing the right cabinets, you can create a welcoming and durable outdoor kitchen that allows you to enjoy cooking and dining al fresco, no matter the season.

Outdoor kitchen cabinets materials

summer kitchen on the patio with a canopy

When designing exterior cabinets for the outdoor kitchen, one of the most critical factors to consider is the choice of cabinet material. While wood cabinets may exude charm and warmth, they often succumb to the harsh realities of weather and demand regular maintenance. 

In this section, we'll delve into the best material for outdoor kitchen cabinets that stand strong against Mother Nature's whims, offering not only durability but also practicality and style. Discover the resilience of the best outdoor kitchen cabinets that are weatherproof options like stainless steel, marine-grade polymer, and high-density polyethylene (HDPE), and explore how these best cabinets for outdoor kitchen materials can elevate your outdoor kitchen to new levels of longevity and elegance.

Wooden outdoor kitchen cabinets

When it comes to creating captivating outdoor kitchen cabinets, nothing exudes charm and elegance quite like outdoor wood kitchen cabinets. The timeless allure of outdoor kitchen wood cabinets blends seamlessly with nature, adding a warm and inviting touch to your outdoor culinary oasis. 

In this section, we'll explore the enchanting world of wood outdoor kitchen cabinets, discovering the unique features and benefits they bring to your al fresco cooking experience. From teak to cedar, we'll delve into two of the most popular wood choices, examining their durability, weather resistance, and maintenance requirements, so you can make an informed decision for your outdoor kitchen. 

  • Teak outdoor kitchen cabinets

Teak has long been hailed as the king of hardwoods due to its exceptional strength and natural resistance to weathering. Teak outdoor kitchen cabinets not only provide an elegant and sophisticated look but also boast remarkable durability, making them an excellent choice for Canadian weather conditions. The high oil content in teak wood acts as a natural barrier against moisture, pests, and rot, ensuring your cabinets remain resilient through rain, snow, and humidity. 

  • Cedar outdoor kitchen cabinets

Cedar is another popular wood option for outdoor kitchen cabinets, prized for its striking appearance and exceptional resistance to decay and insect damage. Its natural aromatic scent is an added bonus that keeps pesky insects at bay. Cedar outdoor kitchen cabinets are known for their light and airy feel, perfect for creating a relaxed and rustic ambiance in your outdoor space. Like teak, cedar also requires regular maintenance, including reapplying sealers or stains to prolong its life and retain its stunning appearance.

Plastic outdoor kitchen cabinets

summer kitchen grill with folding-up peninsula and dining area

For those seeking an alternative to wood, plastic outdoor kitchen cabinets offer a durable and low-maintenance option. Made from high-density polyethylene (HDPE) or PVC, these cabinets are engineered to withstand the harshest weather conditions, including intense sunlight, heavy rain, and freezing temperatures. Plastic cabinets are lightweight, easy to clean, and resistant to mold and mildew. They do not require sealing or staining, making them a hassle-free choice for homeowners seeking a long-lasting and reliable outdoor kitchen solution. 

  • HDPE outdoor kitchen cabinets

HDPE outdoor kitchen cabinets are crafted from a high-density polyethylene material known for its exceptional strength and resilience. These cabinets are impervious to water, UV rays, and extreme temperatures, making them an ideal option for Canadian climates. HDPE cabinets are also eco-friendly, as they are made from recycled materials and can be recycled again at the end of their life. The versatility of HDPE allows for endless design possibilities, providing you with a range of styles and colors to match your outdoor kitchen vision. 

  • PVC outdoor kitchen cabinets

PVC cabinets for outdoor kitchens are another excellent choice for those seeking durability and weather resistance. PVC is a lightweight and robust material that can withstand moisture and fading caused by sunlight exposure. These cabinets are easy to clean and maintain, simply requiring occasional wiping with a damp cloth. PVC cabinets are available in various styles, from classic to contemporary, allowing you to achieve the desired aesthetic for your outdoor kitchen.

  • Polymer outdoor kitchen cabinets

Polymer outdoor kitchen cabinets offer the best of both worlds: the natural appearance of wood with the resilience of synthetic materials. Made from a blend of real wood fibers and resins, polymer cabinets are engineered to resist water, stains, and chipping, ensuring they maintain their beauty even under harsh weather conditions. The absence of wood also makes polymer cabinets resistant to termites and other pests. With an array of finishes and textures to choose from, you can customize your outdoor kitchen to reflect your personal style. 

  • Resin outdoor kitchen cabinets

Resin outdoor kitchen cabinets are constructed using a high-quality synthetic material known for its impressive durability and resistance to UV rays, moisture, and extreme temperatures. These cabinets are lightweight yet sturdy, making them easy to install and reposition if needed. Resin cabinets do not require painting or sealing, reducing maintenance efforts and allowing you to focus on enjoying your outdoor kitchen. With a range of color options available, resin cabinets can effortlessly complement your outdoor space's design theme.

Metal outdoor kitchen cabinets

Outdoor kitchen metal cabinets, particularly those made of stainless steel and aluminum, are popular choices for their durability, weather resistance, and sleek appearance. Both materials have unique properties that make them suitable for outdoor use, but they do differ in some aspects.


Outdoor kitchen cabinets stainless steel

Aluminum outdoor kitchen cabinets


Highly durable, resistant to rust, corrosion, and stains.

Aluminum outdoor kitchen cabinets are highly durable, resistant to rust, corrosion, and stains.

Weather resistance

Outdoor stainless steel kitchen cabinets have excellent resistance to all weather conditions, including rain, snow, and UV rays.

Good resistance to most weather conditions, but may not be as resilient in harsh coastal environments.


Another good thing about steel outdoor kitchen cabinets is they are low maintenance, easy to clean with mild soap and water.

Low maintenance, requires occasional cleaning with mild soap and water.


Sleek and modern appearance, stainless cabinets outdoor kitchen adds a sophisticated look to outdoor spaces.

Clean and contemporary look, may have a more lightweight appearance.


Due to premium material and durability, Outdoor kitchen stainless steel cabinets have a relatively higher price point.             

Generally, more affordable compared to stainless steel.


Stainless outdoor kitchen cabinets are heavier than aluminum, providing a sturdy feel to the cabinets.

Lightweight, suitable for installations with weight restrictions.

Customization & finishes

Stainless steel outdoor kitchen cabinets are available in various finishes and designs, allowing for customization.

Limited customization options but still available in different finishes.


When choosing metal cabinets for your outdoor kitchen, consider factors like your budget, desired aesthetics, and the weather conditions in your area. Outdoor kitchen stainless cabinets also have several styles which can be suitable for any type of outdoor kitchen you want. You can find modular stainless steel outdoor kitchen cabinets which you can easily deploy and tuck away when not in use. Whether you opt for the modern elegance of stainless steel cabinets outdoor kitchen, or the lightweight and budget-friendly nature of aluminum, both of these outdoor metal kitchen cabinets will undoubtedly enhance your outdoor kitchen experience with their durability and style.

Outdoor kitchen essentials

stainless steel outdoor kitchen cabinets and appliances against the wall

If you're looking to transform your backyard into a stunning culinary paradise, an outdoor kitchen is the way to go. For those with a deck in their backyard, consider integrating your outdoor kitchen cabinets with a sink seamlessly into this existing structure. A well-designed outdoor kitchen on a deck can provide a beautiful and functional space for cooking, dining, and entertaining, all while enjoying the scenic views from your elevated platform. 

With a myriad of simple outdoor kitchen ideas and summer kitchen plans available, you can create a space that suits your style, cooking needs, and budget. Let's explore some exciting outdoor kitchen designs that will elevate your outdoor entertaining to a whole new level:

  • Modular outdoor kitchen cabinets

Modular outdoor kitchens offer a flexible and customizable solution. These designs typically come in pre-built sections that can be easily assembled and arranged to fit your outdoor space perfectly. With modules for grilling, storage, refrigeration, and even sinks, you can create a comprehensive outdoor kitchen tailored to your cooking preferences.

  • Outdoor kitchen grill cabinets

Grilling is often the centerpiece of any outdoor kitchen, and having specialized grill cabinets can enhance your grilling experience. These cabinets are designed to house your grill securely and provide ample storage for grilling tools, accessories, and even propane tanks.

  • Outdoor BBQ kitchen cabinets

For barbecue enthusiasts, outdoor BBQ kitchen cabinets are a must-have. These cabinets are equipped with all the features needed for the perfect barbecue setup, including space for a grill, smoker, and other barbecue essentials.

  • Outdoor kitchen islands

Outdoor kitchen island serve as a focal point and gathering spot in your outdoor space. With a variety of configurations and countertop options available, you can create an inviting outdoor kitchen bar or outdoor kitchen counter for preparing meals and socializing with guests. Outdoor kitchen countertops are available in a variety of styles. You can opt for a stone outdoor kitchen with outdoor kitchen storage or stick to a simple concrete countertop with wood outdoor kitchen base cabinets. Outdoor kitchen storage cabinets should also match or complement your bar counter’s color or style.

  • Freestanding outdoor kitchen cabinets

Freestanding outdoor kitchen upper cabinets offer versatility and mobility. These cabinets are not built into a structure, allowing you to place them wherever you desire. This flexibility makes them an excellent choice for those who like to rearrange their outdoor space from time to time.

  • Outdoor kitchen wall cabinets

Maximize your outdoor kitchen cabinets with potential wall cabinets. Usually summer kitchen base is a brick or stone structure with niches and built-in outdoor kitchen doors. In such brick niches, you can store kitchen utensils. Some layouts allow you to hang wall cabinets. These outdoor cabinets are installed on the walls or deck studs, providing additional space to keep your cooking essentials organized and easily accessible.

Summer kitchen layout ideas

Designing a functional and stylish summer kitchen can elevate your outdoor living experience to new heights. From sleek and modern setups to cozy patio plans, find something that will turn your backyard into a chef's paradise. Here are a few brief and straightforward layout ideas for an outdoor kitchen:

  1. Linear layout

Arrange the outdoor kitchen components, such as the grill, sink, and countertop, in a straight line. This layout is simple and space-efficient, ideal for smaller outdoor areas. 

  1. L-shaped outdoor kitchen layout

To create an L-shaped outdoor kitchen, you can place cabinets and appliances along one wall, and then add a peninsula with base cabinets and a countertop adjacent to it. This will give you plenty of counter and storage space for your outdoor cooking needs.

  1. U-shaped layout

Opt for a U-shaped design to surround yourself with the outdoor kitchen amenities. This layout maximizes the cooking space and offers a sense of enclosure, creating a cozy and functional cooking zone. 

  1. Island layout

Consider a central island as the focal point, featuring the grill, sink, and storage. This open layout allows for easy socialization while you cook and offers a versatile setup for various outdoor activities.

Practical outdoor summer kitchen designs

summer kitchen area with BBQ and grill

As the summer sun beckons us outdoors, it's the perfect time to embrace the beauty of nature while enjoying the pleasures of cooking and dining al fresco. Whether you have a spacious backyard or a cozy patio, creating a practical outdoor summer kitchen can elevate your outdoor living experience. 

  1. Modern outdoor kitchen cabinets

Embrace sleek and contemporary designs with modern outdoor kitchen cabinets. Opt for stainless steel or polymer cabinets with minimalist hardware to achieve a chic and sophisticated look. These cabinets are not only visually appealing but also durable and weather-resistant, making them an ideal choice for Canadian summers. 

  1. Modular outdoor kitchen cabinets

For a versatile and flexible outdoor kitchen setup, consider outdoor modular kitchen cabinets. These modular outdoor kitchen cabinets in Canada can be easily arranged and combined to fit your space perfectly. With options for grills, sinks, storage, and more, you can customize your summer kitchen to suit your cooking preferences and lifestyle. 

  1. Rustic outdoor kitchen cabinets

Capture the charm of the countryside with rustic outdoor kitchen cabinets. Opt for natural wood materials like cedar or teak to create a warm and inviting ambiance. Rough textures and earthy tones complement the outdoor setting, offering a cozy retreat for summer gatherings. 

  1. White shaker cabinets in outdoor kitchen

White outdoor kitchen cabinets such as Shaker style, could bring timeless elegance and a touch of sophistication to any kitchen. However, it can be not the best practical solution for outdoor kitchens with grille and barbeque units. To ensure you do not have to clean it after each meal preparation, choose more utility colors that can withstand either the elements and retain their pristine appearance.

  1. Black outdoor kitchen cabinets

For a bold and striking statement, black outdoor kitchen cabinets exude modern elegance. Paired with stainless steel appliances and sleek countertops, black cabinets create a high-contrast and stylish outdoor kitchen setting. Consider materials like aluminum or marine-grade polymer for long-lasting performance.

Winterize an outdoor kitchen

stone kitchen with a granite countertop outdoor

Winterizing your outdoor kitchen means to protect summer kitchen from natural elements. It is crucial to prepare a summer kitchen for the winter and ensure it remains in top condition for the following spring and summer. To protect cabinets for the outdoor kitchen, start by disconnecting and draining all water supply lines, including faucets and sinks, to prevent freezing and potential damage. 

Remove any perishable food items and clean all appliances thoroughly. For kitchen cabinets for outdoor use, simply wipe them down and ensure the seals are intact. However, for non-weatherproof materials, consider covering the cabinets with waterproof tarps or custom-fit covers.

Store removable outdoor cabinets kitchen components, such as utensils, pots, and pans, indoors to prevent damage from freezing temperatures. Lastly, shut off and disconnect gas lines, and if possible, store gas-powered appliances indoors. By following these steps, you can winterize your outdoor kitchen effectively and enjoy its longevity and functionality for many more seasons to come.


Article by:

Valentina Melnikova - Lead Designer at Cut2Size

Office 403.366.7411

Hi there! I’m a millwork designer and an owner of a kitchen cabinet manufacturing company. With a team of professionals, I work on designing and manufacturing high-end millwork. Combining professional designing and manufacturing skills is what allows us to develop and translate our plans into a reality through our uniqueness and exclusive ideas. Our employees are highly skilled and creative thinkers that also utilize their professionalism and experience to take millwork to the next level. I’m very familiar with the industry and I take on each project from the design to the final product. With that said, if you’re looking for design advice or technician help, you’re in the right place.