What are the best countertops for an outdoor kitchen? 5 materials that are stylish and practical

The right outdoor kitchen countertop material requires a blend of beauty and durability, and these expert-approved options are a wonderful choice

What are the best countertops for an outdoor kitchen hero
(Image credit: Dmar Interiors & Molly Rose Photo/GreyHunt Interiors & Christy Kosnic Photography/Lundhs)

If you're planning a new alfresco space, you might be wondering, what are the best countertops for an outdoor kitchen? They still need to fit the aesthetic of your design style, but they also need to be durable and weather-resistant to ensure they are fit for outside use.

Outdoor kitchen ideas consider just as much though and an indoor space. From a visual perspective, you want the scheme to reflect your interior design style, but practically, the countertop material you choose needs to be more than just scratch or stain-resistant. They also need to be hardy to various weather conditions, so some of the components you would usually choose might not be so suitable outside.

There are still plenty of options to choose from for your outdoor kitchen countertop. To help you make the right choice, we've asked the experts what countertop materials are the best choice for outdoor spaces, and their suggestions don't disappoint.

What are the best countertops for an outdoor kitchen? 

Outdoor kitchens have surged in popularity, so the variety of countertop materials to choose from has never been larger. From porcelain to slate to limestone, these are the outdoor kitchen countertops to consider.

1. Outdoor porcelain countertops

Outdoor kitchen with outdoor porcelain countertops

(Image credit: Dmar Interiors/Molly Rose Photo)

Outdoor kitchen countertops need to be functional while also looking great – they are the largest surface in the space, so they can really dictate the overall aesthetic of the scheme.

'For outdoor kitchens, we find that outdoor-rated porcelains work best. Most natural stones are not durable enough to hold up to the weather, so you can still get a similar look with this durable man-made product,' explains Mollie Ranize, founder and lead designer at Dmar Interiors.

In this outdoor kitchen in West Los Angeles, the countertops have been carefully selected – while they are durable and suitable for outdoor use, they are still visually appealing and fit into the scheme of the rest of the space. 'There are many brands that offer these products, but for this particular outdoor kitchen, we used Neolith,' Mollie adds.

2. Granite outdoor countertops

Outdoor kitchen with outdoor sink

(Image credit: Lundhs)

Style and function both need to be considered when choosing outdoor kitchen countertops, so opt for something that boasts resilient properties but also creates a wonderful focal point in the scheme.

'Stone kitchen countertops are an ideal choice due to their durability and performance in dealing with both the elements and outdoor cooking. They boast long-term durability and are ideal for embracing the outdoor living lifestyle,' explains Tansu Ulu, design and brand manager at Marble Systems.

'Granite stands out as one of the least absorbent and highly resistant to stains and scratches among natural stone options,' Tansu adds. Low absorbency is an important factor to consider, as they will need to withstand rainy weather, making granite a wonderful option.

3. Concrete/light colors

Outdoor kitchen with concrete countertops

(Image credit: Raili CA Design)

Outdoor kitchen countertops don't have to be made from stone or man-made slabs. If you want to keep things simple, a concrete countertop can make a lovely feature.

'In this case, we selected poured concrete for this outdoor space. When selecting materials that are exposed to the elements, the lighter, the better. Dark colors heat up and (in some cases) can burn you,' says Raili Clasen, of Raili CA Design.

This small outdoor kitchen is centered around the grill and the light hue of the concrete ties the design together. Simple, yet effective.

4. Dekton

Covered outdoor kitchen with Dekton countertops

(Image credit: GreyHunt Interiors/Christy Kosnic Photography)

For a countertop that has been crafted with outdoor use in mind, Dekton is a great choice of material. Created using glass, quartz, and porcelain, it creates an incredibly hard and durable countertop that is scratch and heat-resistant, perfect for an outdoor kitchen.

'Dekton is extremely durable and what we recommend to our clients,' says Sallie Lord, of GreyHunt Interiors. In this covered outdoor kitchen she designed, Dekton countertops have been introduced on the wall cabinets and the kitchen island. The result is a space that feels fresh and contemporary.

5. Limestone

Stone outdoor kitchen with a built-in grill

(Image credit: Clarke)

If a rustic design is more suited to your style, there are several alternatives to the more polished stone options that prove popular. Of course, the materials you pair with the countertop are key to creating an authentic scheme, but the right material will make all the difference.

'Limestone countertops resist stains, moisture, and bacteria yet create a rustic charm in appearance,' says Tansu. In this outdoor kitchen, an island has been created using natural stones, while a limestone counter finishes the scheme off beautifully, and offers rustic charm that blends into the surroundings.

Outdoor kitchen countertop materials have come a long way. As well as choosing something durable and resilient, there is now a wide range of options that are as aesthetic as they are practical. Whether you opt for stone, concrete, or porcelain, there's something to suit every style and budget.

Molly Malsom
Content Editor

Molly joined the Homes & Gardens interiors team at the start of 2024 as a content editor. Her undergraduate degree was in Magazine Journalism and Production, which she studied at the University of Gloucestershire. Before joining Homes & Gardens, she worked for two interiors titles across both print and digital channels, writing about a range of topics from room design ideas and decorating trends to the best places to source pre-loved homeware.