How to Properly Care for Your Outdoor Kitchen
An outdoor kitchen island adds beauty and elegance to your backyard, while giving you additional space for family and friends to gather. It even adds to the value of your property. Given the investment you’re making when you purchase an outdoor kitchen, whether it is pre-built or custom-made, it pays to keep the unit in good shape by properly maintaining it.
We recommend treating your outdoor kitchen island like the additional room it is, even if it is an outdoor space rather than one that exists inside your home. That means regular care and cleaning. Here are some tips to get you started:
· Clean the inside of grill after each use. After you’ve finished preparing the meal, take advantage of the remaining heat! Put brush to grill and scrape away any food that was left during the cooking process. This may seem like an extra chore but it’s a good habit to get into, and it really takes just a few minutes. This regular upkeep will save you time and energy during your deep cleanings. We recommend deep cleaning — burners, grates, burner tubes, etc. — at least once a year, or every few months, depending on how often you use the BBQ grill and how it performs.
· Take care of the stainless steel components. If parts of your outdoor kitchen island are made of stainless steel, do avoid keeping hot metal, steel or iron items on these pieces for long periods of time. Failing to do so could lead to corrosion. Other than that, the maintenance on stainless steel is fairly simple: just clean when needed with soapy water. Be sure to follow the grain of the metal and to dry thoroughly. Stay away from abrasive cleaners or harsh chemicals that will damage the smooth finish of the stainless steel. If you’re preparing for a party and really want your stainless steel to shine, try polishing with glass cleaner.
· Wipe down the counters regularly. If your outdoor kitchen island counters are made of granite or stone, be aware that the porous nature of the material makes it a bit more susceptible to stains. We advise wiping up stains as quickly as possible. You could also consider having the counters sealed for added peace of mind, although this is not absolutely necessary. And again, a mix of soap and water is the best solution to clean these counters. Stay away from Windex and spray cleaners, which, over time, can break down a sealed countertop. For ceramic tile countertops, use soap and water, along with a tile cleaner. You can also utilize a toothbrush to scrub the grout with the cleaner and really make it shine.
· Cover the outdoor kitchen with a tarp in the off-season. Protect your outdoor kitchen island from the elements in the winter. You can do this quite easily with a large tarp and a few small bungee cords. You should also take care to cover the BBQ grill (or any other type of cooking apparatus) portion of the outdoor kitchen island whenever it is not in use. The grill head should be covered to help protect it from bird dropping and such during the season. Depending on the type of grill head in your outdoor kitchen, a custom cover may be available.
· Don’t forget the basics. Whether it’s leaving a box of baking soda in the refrigerator of your outdoor kitchen, emptying the trash or stacking up the chairs and putting them away for winter, treat your outdoor kitchen as you would any other type of home investment.
With family and friends around so often in the summer, it’s easy to get caught up in the good time and forget about cleaning. That’s fine once in a while, as long as you make sure you’re keeping up with the maintenance on a somewhat regular basis.