Winterizing Your Outdoor Kitchen

Outdoor kitchens are becoming an increasingly popular feature in backyards across New Jersey, New York and the entire northeast region.  Fortunately, many aspects of these kitchens can be used year round, even when temperatures start to drop and the center of your entertaining no longer revolves around your outdoor spaces.  However, due to the upcoming frost and freezing temperatures on the horizon, there are certain aspects of your outdoor kitchen that need to be winterized so that no damage occurs due to the excessively cold temperatures.

One of the most important things to consider when thinking about what you need to do to get your outdoor appliances and amenities ready to withstand the winter is that you want to make sure that pipes and lines don’t burst when temperatures start to freeze.  This means that you should drain out any water in pipes by opening up taps and drain valves to ensure that all water is out of the lines.  If water is left in outdoor pipes over the winter, they are likely to burst as the water inside freezes and expands.

Another consideration should be any appliances that are plugged into electrical outlets.  For example, if you have an outdoor refrigerator, ice maker, wine cooler or kegerator incorporated into your outdoor kitchen, you’ll want to make sure the power is turned off and the unit is unplugged before the freeze sets in.  When turning off power to these units, it’s also important to make sure you give the interiors of the units a thorough cleaning.  Otherwise, any dirt or debris may make the appliances smell and if there is bacteria from food present, it can lead to the development of mold and an appliance that you will not be happy to open when spring rolls around.  The exteriors of these appliances should also be cleaned well at this time and should be polished or coated, if necessary, to protect them from the elements.

Although grills do not require specific winterization and are likely to be used even as the temperatures cool and other aspects of outdoor kitchens are no longer needed, now is the perfect time to perform a thorough cleaning of the apparatus.  You should take the time to degrease all surfaces and to thoroughly clean grates, racks and the exterior of the grill.  If you are not planning on using the grill throughout the winter months, you should turn off the gas supply at the source.  However, there is no reason why you can’t continue to enjoy outdoor cooking on your grill all winter long, so if that is what your plans are, then just make sure you have a sturdy cover to protect the grill from the elements when it is not in use.

Many people choose to use some aspects of their outdoor kitchens all year round.  Just make sure that you winterize anything with water supply lines or electrical connections before the freeze sets in so that your kitchen amenities suffer no ill effects due to the cold, sleet and snow that is soon to be arriving.

For more information about winterizing outdoor kitchens, contact Millenium Stoneworks in NJ at 732-519-1112 or 347-723-6990.

Posted in