Winterize Your Outdoor Kitchen
It’s important to take the time and energy required to protect your investment in harsh winter climates. To continue enjoying your space for years to come, you will need to ensure your kitchen is prepared for cooler temperatures. Failing to properly winterize outdoor kitchens can potentially result in costly repairs later down the road.
To winterize an outdoor kitchen, you must attend to all appliances, equipment, and surfaces. As the outdoor kitchen experts, the team at Danver Stainless Outdoor Kitchens has outlined a few important steps that will help you keep your outdoor kitchen in good shape.
Winterize the Plumbing
Water that remains in the plumbing system of your outdoor kitchen can cause big problems if you don’t implement proper preventative measures. When temperatures drop near or below freezing, the water in your pipes can freeze, causing them to burst. This problem can turn into a huge nuisance, racking up hefty plumbing bills, leading to flooding, and putting your outdoor kitchen out of use until the problem is solved. Therefore, taking care of your pipes is a must.
To keep pipes from freezing and potentially bursting, we recommend that you shut off all water supply lines that lead to the kitchen from your indoor plumbing system. Begin by draining the pipes so that no water is left in them. Then turn off the water supply that feeds pipes to your outdoor kitchen. Don’t forget water supply lines connected to refrigerators, ice makers, and sinks as well.
After turning the water off, open the hot and cold faucets to remove excess water. You can also address any water caught in the drains by blowing compressed air into the drain valves. Unless you have a gravity-based kitchen winterization system in place, compressed carbon dioxide often works best for clearing water from lines.
Clean the Grill
It’s a good idea to do maintenance on your outdoor grill at the end of the summer. If you don’t plan on using your grill or side burner this winter, you should turn off the gas supply lines.
Clean your grill thoroughly by scrubbing the inside so that there is no food or grease residue left behind. Remove the grates and clean underneath as well. Don’t forget to clean the outside, as grease anywhere on your grill can lead to rust. Degreasers work great for stubborn grease. Once it is clean, polish the grill with stainless steel polish.
To season your cooking surfaces, take the time to wipe vegetable oil over them to prevent rust. Any cast iron should be seasoned like this as well.
Lastly, place a grill cover over your grill. Make sure it is designed to fit your grill and does not trap moisture.
Clean the Fridge and Ice Maker
For appliances like the refrigerator and ice maker, it is important to turn the power off by unplugging them or shutting off the circuit breaker in your home’s electrical panel. Any water lines should have been shut off and drained.
You will want to make sure your refrigerator or ice maker is empty and clean. Use mild soap and water to wipe down the inside of your refrigerator, freezer, icemaker, etc. Thoroughly dry the surfaces.
Cabinets, Countertops, & Appliances
Dealing with outdoor kitchens in cold climates can mean wear and tear sustained from the elements. But the good news is that this can all be prevented.
Stainless steel cabinets are the most durable outdoor cabinet material. The addition of a powder coat finish will extend the lifespan, minimize maintenance, and add beauty. Danver’s stainless steel cabinets are powder coated to ensure that your cabinets are ready to withstand the harsh winter months. Our powder coated cabinets only need to be cleaned with mild soap and water to last a lifetime.
In addition, the elements can wear down the finish on stone countertops over time, but you can use sealers designed for the stone to prevent this from happening. This will help protect expensive outdoor stone surfaces from the threat of stains or other damage. While sealers and finishes can protect outdoor surfaces from wear, don’t forget to remove everything from inside the cabinets too.
Covering surfaces and appliances is a great method of prevention. However, it is important to note that allowing moisture to get trapped underneath a cover can do just as much damage. If you are unsure about what to cover or leave uncovered, contact the manufacturer of your appliances for instructions on how best to protect them from the elements. In general, stainless steel appliances manufacturers recommend applying a coat of stainless steel polish before covering them.
Follow these tips to keep your outdoor kitchen protected all winter season and start planning that first spring BBQ!
This article is based on industry knowledge and research by outdoor kitchen design professionals, including our in-house experts and engineers with decades of experience.