Outdoor kitchen owners in warmer regions of the US may be fortunate enough to enjoy their outdoor living spaces and patio kitchens throughout the year. While they might need to add patio heaters or a fire feature to keep your guests warm, they can entertain in winter almost as easily as in summer. So, most homeowners in warmer regions will likely only have to undertake a mild winterizing regimen, mostly consisting of maintenance and cleaning.
Winterizing Your Outdoor Kitchen In Milder Climates
Although the powder-coated stainless steel outdoor kitchens provided by Grillnetics are durable in virtually every climate, there are still some valuable steps you can take to increase the longevity and durability of your outdoor dining space. Even warmer climates have specific maintenance requirements, especially when your outdoor kitchen and outdoor furniture may be used less frequently during winter months.
1. Clean out the refrigerator, wine refrigerator, and other appliances.
You will likely entertain less in the winter months than you did in summer and fall, so now is a good time to clean out your patio refrigerator. Throw out expired food, compost those wilted vegetables, and use a rag and a spray bottle with a mixture of water and distilled white vinegar to clean the walls and shelves. If you keep baking soda in the refrigerator to combat odors, now is a good time to replace it with a fresh box. This is also a good time to vacuum the coils.
2. Clean Your Grill and Pizza Oven.
Your barbecue grill and pizza oven probably got a lot of use this summer, so start the winter entertaining season off right by making sure they are clean and in good, working order. After you have cleaned your grill and made sure it is working properly, season your cooking grates to help prevent rust. You can easily accomplish this by applying a coat of vegetable oil, and then heating the grill for 15 to 20 minutes.
If your outdoor kitchen is well protected on a covered patio, you may not need a grill cover. If your grill or pizza oven is exposed to the elements or you simply want to keep them clean and protected through winter, purchase covers designed to fit them properly.
3. Take Care of Your Cabinets and Countertops.
If your cabinets and countertops are stainless steel, you can simply apply stainless steel polish to make sure they are ready for the next entertaining season and for any wet weather. If they are wood, make sure they are properly sealed so that they can withstand the wetter months of winter.
Winterizing Your Outdoor Kitchen In colder Climates
Outdoor kitchen owners living in colder climates with hard freezes will need to take additional steps to make sure their outdoor dining spaces can withstand the elements and avoid busted pipes, flooding, and expensive repairs. You've worked hard to get your outdoor kitchen ready for hosting, so it's important to take the time and energy required to protect your investment in the harsher winter climates.
Frozen water lines can cause expensive damage to your faucets and appliances, so it's important to winterize them as soon as you can. First, turn off the water valves. These are most often located under the sink. Then, add some soft insulation to the pipes to reduce the risk of freezing and breaking over the winter. Third, turn the faucet on to drain the water. This will push out any stagnant water that’s in your pipes. Finally, unscrew the faucet. You might find some sitting water where the faucet connects to the sink. If so, mop it up with a sponge or towel and reattach the faucet.
Outdoor kitchen appliances need special preparation for winter months. If you have an ice maker, you'll need to switch off power and drain the water line(s). Remove any remaining ice from the ice maker and clean the ice bin.
Next, you'll want to empty your refrigerator and freezer. The process is similar to emptying an indoor refrigerator and freezer -- move any perishable food and drinks out, and allow the freezer to thaw before wiping down the inside.
After you've finished prepping your appliances, it's time to treat your outdoor grill to a thorough clean and polish. Once you've finished the cleaning and polishing, cover your grill with a grill cover so it will be nice and clean for summer next year.
Now, it's time to winterize your cabinets. Coat stainless steel grill cabinets with a fresh layer of stainless steel polish. Any cabinets made from wood need to be oiled or sealed to protect them from harsh temperatures and moisture changes.
The stainless steel cabinets offered by Grillnetics Outdoor Kitchens are engineered to remain durable in all types of climates – even snow and frost. Our modular grill cabinets are made-to-order with 6063 aluminum, which offers added resistance to corrosion when exposed to weather effects.
Grillnetics Outdoor Kitchens is the leader in appliance cabinets that will house virtually every outdoor cooking appliance, as well as sinks, fridges, dishwashers, and more. We make our grill cabinets to be durable and weather-resistant, but outdoor appliances and amenities are not immune to the effects of freezing and winter conditions without taking necessary precautions. The steps outlined above will help you properly winterize your outdoor appliances and amenities for maximum life.
Are you interested in learning more about maintaining your outdoor kitchen in a colder climate? Give Grillnetics Outdoor Kitchens a call for a quote for an outdoor winter kitchen!