The fall is here, and winter is just around the corner, which means it’s time to prepare for the cold snaps and potential snowfall for the upcoming months. Leaving your backyard landscape and outdoor kitchen exposed to the elements might be a big, amateur mistake. An outdoor kitchen is a significant investment, so it is important to take the proper steps to prepare it for the winter. Putting an outdoor kitchen into proper condition to take it out of service for the winter requires quite a bit of work, but will protect your investment for years to come.
Start with a Thorough Cleaning
After you finish clearing the backyard from leaves and debris, it is always nice to make an annual event of giving an outdoor kitchen a thorough cleaning before retiring it for the winter as well. When the sun returns, the last thing you’ll want to be doing is chipping away at a buildup of grease and debris. Remove all items from refrigerators. Then gently remove all trays. Check with manufacturer’s specifications, but most are safe to put in the dishwasher on a non-heated rinse. Otherwise, give them a good cleaning by hand. Remove all ice from icemakers. Clean grills, ovens, and cook surfaces with appropriate cleaners. Wipe down all surfaces, and spray with disinfectant wherever necessary.
Cut-Off and Cover
Assuming that you won’t be using your outdoor kitchen during the winter, it’s now time to cut off the power. Start by cutting off the water supply, gas supply, and turn off the electricity on all the units individually or with the master electrical breaker switch if there is one. Covering up your outdoor kitchen is not as simple as you might think, as some appliances suffer damage from water trapped under covers. However, there are specialized materials that do not hold moisture in, yet still, protect appliances from winter snow. Other appliances, such as some outdoor grills, have a design that withstands winter weather and may not need any cover at all.
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