Understanding how your outdoor kitchen worktops will be used influences the material you choose. How will I use appliances? How will I host? How will my outdoor kitchen countertop be used?
With that, a worktop for use outside needs to ensure that it's weather resistant and can withstand all the elements. Not only that, but to ensure that it can withstand high temperatures of piping hot kitchen equipment - hot pans, plates and of course the BBQ itself. When choosing the countertop material that is best for your outdoor kitchen, you should consider factors such as colour and finish options, durability in the outdoors and maintenance.
For any outdoor living space, we would recommend a minimum of a 20mm thick granite worktop (or thicker if you wish). Specifically a dark granite as it can withstand the elements and lasts longer. Natural stone is UV resistant, has low porosity (it won’t absorb things like acids, red wine, or even water), and holds up to scratches and stains.
If you wish to upgrade from granite, we would then suggest a recycled porcelain or a ceramic surface. The beauty of these are the colours that are available so with the granites where you used to be restricted to the darker colours.
If you wanted to go the other way, another alternative idea for a worktop is to use a porcelain slab. We do a lot of patios and we use porcelain tiles and slabs for the patios. Slabs tend to come in about 600 wide by 900 which is a two foot by three foot tile. Some are available in bigger sizes and smaller sizes but you can use those for your worktops. The only disadvantage to that is that you will have a grout line - a join every 600/900mm. It can be a really economical way of saving money yet still having a practical worktop for your outdoor kitchen.
Our acclaimed outdoor kitchen designers would suggest steering away from a marble or quartz worktops. A quartz worktop will need to be kept covered at all times and you wouldn't be able to place piping hot BBQ equipment onto the surface. The reason for these restrictions is due to the differences in how granite and quartz worktops are made.