by Sierra Waldrop
Outdoor kitchens are a fantastic investment for your home, and can bring your outdoor entertaining to a whole new level. As with any home improvement, you will want to ensure that your kitchen is properly protected and maintained. Depending on what appliances you have in your cooking area (grill, fire pit, ice maker, etc.), you will want to follow a specific maintenance and coverage routine for each element. Follow these helpful tips to keep your outdoor kitchen in tip-top shape.
Before cooking, use cooking spray or vegetable oil on the grates to keep food from sticking, and after cooking, clean the grates with a wire brush while the grill is still warm. Regularly check the burners, valves and hoses, as well as making sure grease traps are kept clean.
Perform a deep grill clean, twice a year, to confirm your grill is in proper order. Follow manufacturer’s instructions on which cleaning materials will work best. Lastly, it’s wise to invest in a hi-quality, water proof, grill cover to make sure your grill is protected from the elements year-round.
Sinks are great additions to any outdoor kitchen, but they do need some supervision, especially in cold weather. Make sure the supply lines are drained, so the pipes leading to your sink don’t burst. Use compressed air or carbon dioxide through the drain valves to ensure all water has been cleared from the pipes.
Closing the water supply shut off valves will ensure the drain valves stay open throughout the cold season, so no water builds up. Another good tip is to cover the sink to ensure no winter debris clogs the drain.
Ice Maker & Refrigerator
Ice makers and refrigerators complete an outdoor kitchen, but like your sink, they need proper care in the colder months. Before the winter, when they are not in use, empty both items and then clean them with warm soapy water. Turn off the power to both appliances, clear the water lines, and turn off the water supply.
Use the same care and maintenance as you would use with your indoor kitchen. Clean up spills and messes right away, using the correct cleaning products for your countertop material and make sure to use a cutting board when slicing food. Granite can get hot in the summer so any coverage that protects your entire kitchen, such as a pergola, or covered patio, is a major bonus.
Stainless steel appliances present a clean, contemporary look for outdoor and indoor kitchens. However, they can be affected by time and weather. Not only can stainless steel become unsightly with smudges, but can be susceptible to corrosion if not cleaned regularly and properly. For light smudges use clean water and a soft cloth, for more difficult spots, use non-abrasive cleaners made specifically for stainless steel. You will also want to use a non-waxy, stainless-steel polish occasionally for your appliances, to ensure they always look sparkling clean!
Most granite needs to be sealed during its lifetime, especially after installation. Seal the granite every three to five years to ensure its protection from all-weather types. Avoid strong chemicals and abrasive cleaners; it’s best to follow the manufacturers guidelines for which cleaning products will be best to use on your granite counters. Granite counters do not chip or scratch easily, but can under extreme conditions. As with anything, in or outside your home, treat your countertops with care and they will continue to look beautiful for a very long time!
Wooden cabinets give a beautiful, rustic feel to your kitchen. To help protect against heat or cold, keep your wooden cabinets clean and oiled year-round. The more protection you give your kitchen, the better your wood will stay rich and smooth.
Your appliances, countertops and cabinets can be made from an array of different materials. Whether you choose, stone, granite, wood or stainless steel, each type needs a different method of care. With these helpful tips, you can continue to keep your outdoor kitchen looking beautiful and in great condition, so you can make the most of your gorgeous backyard space.
If any questions do arise, our outdoor kitchen experts are happy to assist and are just a phone call or email away.