Frame

The frame for the outdoor kitchen design should be made out of material able to withstand the outdoor elements, conditions for your region, and made of non-flammable material if possible. Most grill specifications call for a 12” distance away from anything flammable, so if you are using a wood frame, an insulated jacket is usually recommended around the built in gas grill. Wood and steel frames allow more freedom of design and are typically much lighter weight than masonry/cinder block designs. However, the masonry/cinderblock design provides the ultimate option in durability.

Wood Frame: The wood frame is the least preferred for most outdoor kitchens due to its flammability, but obviously the easiest choice for the do-it-yourselfer. Wood frames are recommended over steel frames in extremely corrosive areas. Make sure to use pressure-treated lumber, as it provides the best lifespan. A cement board, such as hardibacker, which is both fire and moisture resistant, is recommended for the walls.

Steel Beams: Steel studs are an excellent replacement for wood. These can be cut and screwed together for the do-it-yourselfer. They provide the same flexibility of design as wood frames, but are non-flammable. For those with welding capabilities, steel tubing can be cut and welded in order to complete the frame. As with wood framing, a cement board is recommended.

Cinder Block: Probably the most durable and long lasting of the three basic frames. The main disadvantage is lack of design freedom and loss of storage space.