Get Your Outdoor Kitchen Ready For Winter

One of the beauties of having an outdoor kitchen is that there are no restrictions to when you can and cannot use the amenities outside.  However, since winter weather often keeps many of us indoors in New Jersey and New York, you’re not likely to use your outdoor kitchen as much during this upcoming time of year as you would during the summer, or even the spring or fall.  For that reason, it’s best to do a few things before the super cold weather is upon us to prepare your outdoor amenity so that it remains in the best shape possible throughout the season.

If you don’t plan on cooking on your grill throughout the coming months, it’s a good idea to make sure it’s cleaned thoroughly so that food, dirt and bacteria are not sitting on the grill for months before you use it again.  The best way to do this is to first turn up the heat on your grill and let everything inside warm up for at least 10 – 15 minutes.  Once the grill is nice and hot, take a wire grill brush and thoroughly scrub all racks and any other areas that come into contact with food.  Once you have removed most of the visible debris, the grill can be turned off and allowed to cool.

Once cool to the touch, it’s time to make sure that all debris has been thoroughly removed.  This is a good time to wipe down any greasy areas and also to make sure that no wayward bristles have been left on the cooking surface from your grill brush.  You can tackle this step with a damp paper towel, but if grease remains, you may need to use a degreaser as well.

If the exterior of your cooking apparatus is dirty, now is the time to give it a good cleaning as well.  It’s better to tackle dirt and debris now rather than letting it stay in contact with your appliances throughout the winter, where it will become more difficult to remove once spring rolls around.  Once the interior and exterior surfaces are thoroughly cleaned and allowed time to dry, it’s time to place a heavy-duty grill cover over the apparatus to protect it from the elements all winter long.

Other areas of your outdoor kitchen should also be prepped for the coming season if you have no intention of using them until spring.  Cabinets should be emptied so that items aren’t left inside that can either freeze, get ruined due to cold and moisture, or be an invitation for wildlife to visit.  If you are not using items on a regular basis in your outdoor kitchen, they are best brought indoors.  This is especially true with any food-related items.

Tables, chairs, outdoor bars and other amenities which may be part of your outdoor kitchen should also be prepared for winter months.  If you have smaller items that may blow in the wind or be damaged by snow and ice piling up, it’s best to bring the items to an area that provides shelter, such as a garage or shed.  If that is not possible, cover any items with heavy-duty covers that are securely fastened so that they don’t blow off or cause the items to topple over if a gust of wind catches the edge of the cover.

Spending a bit of time now to prep your outdoor kitchen area to brave the coming season will go a long way towards leaving you with a feature in your backyard that you can look forward to enjoying in the spring – and for many years to come.

For more information about caring for your outdoor kitchen, contact Millenium Stoneworks in NJ at 732-201-2485.

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