Winter is coming, which means you’re probably not going to spend as much time using your outdoor kitchen as you might otherwise. While some outdoor kitchens can still be used regardless of rain, snow or shine, it’s still a good idea to prepare for the cold weather. The last thing you need is for your outdoor sink to freeze or your cabinets to be damaged by harsh winter weather.
Here’s how to winterize your outdoor kitchen, so it’ll be ready to go when spring rolls around:
- Clean out the refrigerator: Once you’re done cooking outside for the year, take everything out of your outdoor fridge. Shut off the power, and drain any water lines. Clean the entire refrigerator—inside and out—with a mild soap and water. Allow to dry completely. Next, remove the toe plate from the bottom of the fridge and vacuum underneath to get rid of dirt, debris and insect hideouts. Once it’s completely clean, replace the toe plate. Do not cover your refrigerator—moisture can get underneath the appliance and damage it during the winter. It’s better to let air flow freely until spring arrives.
- Shut off water lines: Want to keep your outdoor sink from freezing? Shut off the water lines to your outdoor kitchen from the inside, and drain all the faucets and appliances. This will prevent water from freezing in the water lines. When water freezes, it expands, and can crack pipes and tubes. Avoid flooding and other water damage by heading this problem off at the pass.
- Clean off your grill: If you’re not using the grill over the winter, turn off the gas line. Next, give your grill a complete scrub down, inside and out. (Do not leave your grill wet, as it may rust or corrode.) Make sure you remove any and all food debris, grease, smoke residue, burned wood or charcoal from the surfaces. It should be gleaming by the time you’re done. Polish it with stainless steel polish. If you have cast iron grates or grills, take the time to rub vegetable oil over their surface. This seasons the cast iron so it won’t rust in the coming months. Finally, cover the grill and start dreaming of warmer days.
- Prep your cabinets and countertops: Once the preceding steps are finished, take the time to clean out your cabinets and prep the cabinets and countertops. Remove any liquid or perishables from the cabinets, and thoroughly clean all surfaces. If you have stainless steel cabinets and countertops, simply give them a polish with stainless steel polish, then cover if desired.
With a little extra care and attention, your outdoor kitchen will come through winter flawlessly. Now is the best time to take care of winterization. Clean up and winterize your outdoor kitchen before snow and holiday chaos get in the way.
When you want to transform your outdoor areas, MSE Hardscape Design and Installation is here to help. Call us today to learn more about our hardscaping services and get a quote.