You’ve decided to extend your living space with the addition of an outdoor kitchen, but how should it be maintained? Even if you won’t be using it as often as you use your indoor kitchen, your outdoor kitchen needs to be cared for so that you can get proper use of it in your Poughkeepsie, NY, landscape and so that it will continue to look great for many years.
Grill: Clean and Cover
Whether you use charcoal, propane, or natural gas, it’s important to clean the grill inside and out, and cover the grill after each use. Grills can be susceptible to dings and scrapes if not covered. A thorough spring cleaning including removing all debris from the burners and grease cup will prep your grill for the season—or you can do this at the end of the grilling season and be ready to roll come spring!
Keep in mind for a propane grill you will want to have the tank disconnected when not in use to prevent any leakage. A cloth, hot water, and a mild detergent are what’s needed to wipe down the exterior of the grill. The inside of the lid needs to be cleaned thoroughly with a grease-cutting cleaner, rinsed, and let dry before using.
A handy grill brush can be used to clean the cooking grates and bottom of the grill’s interior. Once the baked-on bits are gone, the bottom can be washed with a mild detergent and hot water, and then rinsed and left to dry before using. If your grill features porcelain-coated grill grates, be careful when scrubbing them as they may scratch. If they are removable, a good soaking in hot soapy water should help loosen baked-on food.
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Utilities: Shut Off
Turn off the gas, electrical, and water connections when you close up your kitchen for the season. Even if you use your grill year-round, it’s best to shut off the water supply to the sink to prevent freezing/bursting pipes.
Stone: Power Wash
While some people like the look of moss growing on rocks, grease and smoke stains are unsightly. Both natural and manufactured stone façades can be power washed once a year to remove grease, grill smoke, mildew, or grass and leaf stains.
Refrigerator: Empty and Disconnected
During the outdoor season, clean your fridge inside and out using hot soapy water, rinse and let dry before using again.
Sink: Clean and Disconnected
Wipe the sink down with hot soapy water after every use. Outdoor sinks tend to become traps for debris, so consider getting a cover for it. At the end of the season, be sure to have the water disconnected to prevent burst pipes. Avoid using steel wool to clean a stainless steel sink—it can scratch, so use a non-abrasive sponge instead.
To extend the life of your outdoor dining set and lounge chairs, clean them frequently with hot soapy water to avoid stains and debris from damaging the surfaces. At the end of the season, either bring your dining set and lounge furniture indoors, or if that’s not feasible, you can prepare the furniture for winter by thoroughly covering all of it.