It is very easy to forget all about your outdoor cooking area in autumn and winter as there are so few days in Toronto when the weather is warm enough to make preparing and eating a meal outside an attractive proposition at this time of year. What this means is that when the weather finally starts to warm up, your outdoor kitchen can be in a bit of a sorry state. To avoid this being an issue, you should follow a regular maintenance schedule, as set out below. Some tasks need doing every time you cook, whereas others may only need attending to once every few years.
How to Keep Your Outdoor Kitchen in Good Working Order
Follow the suggestions below and you will find that your kitchen is primed and ready to use when the sun starts to show its face again.
Clean and Check Your Grill Regularly – Whenever you are using your grill on a regular basis, you should be cleaning it on a regular basis too but even in the colder months of the year when you seldom use it, you should give it the once over every couple of weeks. It is almost certainly the most important appliance in your outdoor kitchen and should be treated as such. In addition to cleaning the surface of the grill once it is not too hot to the touch (but still warm) you should check the condition of the burners, hoses and valves every now and then.
Have Your Counter tops Sealed – This is especially important if you chose granite for your kitchen work surfaces, as so many people in this part of the world do. Granite is a good choice for kitchens both inside and out, owing to the fact it is very resistant to heat. However, it can easily be damaged by the UV rays to which it will be subjected in an outdoor kitchen, which is why it should be sealed. The work should be performed by a professional but there’s no need to panic as it only needs doing every 3 to 5 years so it won’t cost you a fortune!
Power Clean Your Stone Surfaces – Whether you opted for engineered or natural stone in your outdoor cooking area, an annual cleaning with a power washer will ensure that it stays looking good for many years to come. One thing to bear in mind when you are using a pressure washer to clean engineered stone is not to exceed the manufacturer’s recommendations as far as the maximum pressure you use is concerned.
Disconnect Your Appliances – To avoid wasting energy when your outdoor kitchen is standing unused and to avoid the possibility of gas or electric lines being accidentally damaged, disconnect your appliances until spring: unplug any electrical equipment and turn off the gas supply to your grill.
Store or Cover Outdoor Furniture Over Winter – Most people have a few chairs and a table in their Toronto outdoor kitchen if nothing else. If you want to make sure that your kitchen furniture is still in good condition once it is time to start cooking outside again, it is a good idea to store in in a dry place during the winter months. If you do not have anywhere suitable to store it, you can cover it instead: use tarpaulin, canvas or vinyl sheeting and try to make sure that it is completely protected from the elements.
If you would like more tips on how to maintain your outdoor cooking area, or you don’t yet have one and would like to find out how much it would cost to build one, please do not hesitate to contact us.