Preparing Your Outdoor Kitchen for Fall

stone outdoor kitchen with steel grill, sink, and refrigerator in landscape backyard

With the end of summer and cooler temperatures around the corner, it is time to start getting ready for fall! For many homeowners, fall means backyard activities like watching football and grilling out. For fall football parties or just outdoor gatherings, outdoor kitchens and grills are a popular element. Now is the perfect time to make some BBQ for gameday or grill burgers on a cool evening. Much like your yard, outdoor kitchens and grills need a bit of seasonal maintenance. This will keep them clean, functioning, and in good condition for years. Plan to spend a weekend soon preparing your outdoor kitchen for fall. Take time to inspect and clean the grill but also clean up your surrounding living space. By taking some time to do seasonal outdoor kitchen maintenance, you can ensure your cooking station is functioning through the season!

Seasonal Outdoor Kitchen Maintenance for Fall

Georgia weather is typically pretty warm. However, it can get cold quickly! Cooler temperatures will be here before we know it. Now is the time to go ahead and take care of some preventative maintenance tasks for your outdoor kitchen. Being proactive makes outdoor cooking much easier this fall season.

Fall Outdoor Grill Maintenance

The beginning of fall is a great time to give your grill a thorough cleaning and inspection. Here are a few fall grill maintenance tasks to take care of:

Remove the grill grates and clean underneath the burners.

By removing any accumulated debris, your grill will heat up faster and burn hotter. This allows food to cook quickly and evenly. Clean the grates and remove any burnt-on food.

Use a degreaser to remove any grease build-up.

By removing built-up grease, your grill looks and performs better. Also, grease that builds up over time can eventually ignite and cause a fire within the grill. This can make cooking difficult and even dangerous. Use degreasing solutions to clean out any build-up.

Polish surfaces with stainless steel polish.

This will keep your grill looking brand new and maintain a high-end look. When polishing a stainless-steel grill, go ahead and take care of any other steel surfaces. These include cabinets, sinks, outdoor refrigerators, etc.

Season the cooking surfaces.

After cleaning off the grates and cooking surfaces, make sure to season them with oil. Apply a high-temperature oil, like vegetable or avocado oil, and heat the grill to 500 degrees Fahrenheit. Keep the grill at this temperature for 20 minutes. This will not only clean the cooking surface but will prevent food from sticking.

Turn off the gas line when not in use.

If you don’t expect to use your grill during cold weather months, shut off the gas line. This helps further protect the most critical pieces of your outdoor grill. Keep the gas line off when you are not using the grill. Cold weather can cause leaks to form in the line. Keep the gas off to prevent a dangerous propane gas leak in your outdoor kitchen.

Protect the Plumbing

Many outdoor kitchens contain plumbing. Whether it is for water or gas, check to make sure all your plumbing is in good condition. Inspect for any potential leaks or corrosion in the pipes. As the weather approaches freezing temperatures, clear out any water that might be stored in the pipes. Failing to do this can lead to burst pipes if the temperature goes below freezing. Check to see that all drain valves are open so that water cannot be trapped. If your outdoor kitchen has a sink, this is a great time to thoroughly clean it out. Use a grill cover to prevent scratches from yard debris.

Prevent Damage To Your Outdoor Kitchen

Cover all surfaces and appliances that are subject to cracks, stains, and scratches due to cold weather or debris. When the season changes, leaves and sticks fall frequently from trees. This debris can get blown onto your outdoor kitchen or grill. Organic debris can stain stone and steel surfaces. By covering the outdoor kitchen, it will prevent organic debris accumulation. If you have cabinetry or stone countertops, now is a good time to apply a coat of oil or sealer. Applying a coat of oil or sealer will extend the life of the surfaces and make cleaning them easier.

Turn Off the Refrigerator and Ice Maker

In addition to turning off water and gas lines, make sure to unplug refrigerators and ice makers. If you are closing the outdoor grill for the winter months, remove any stored food or ice inside. Make sure the ice maker is turned off to prevent it from making too much ice. Do not cover these devices as this can cause moisture accumulation. Accumulated moisture can damage refrigerators and ice makers.

Keep Everything Dry

After cleaning your outdoor kitchen, make sure everything is completely dry. Look for water that may have accumulated in a corner or crevice. Moisture is bad news for stone and steel items. Additionally, if there is an overnight freeze, sitting water can freeze and expand. This can create cracks in your stonework and lead to extensive damage.

Enjoying Your Outdoor Kitchen This Season

Having an outdoor kitchen is a wonderful option. After all, it means you have more useable outdoor space to enjoy the fall weather in Georgia. Keep your living space in good condition by taking care of seasonal outdoor kitchen maintenance. Make these tasks a part of your fall routine so that you can get many long years out of your outside kitchen.

If all this talk of outdoor cookouts and fall activities sparks a desire for an outdoor kitchen, contact our team today! Outdoor Makeover & Living Spaces install outdoor kitchens and grills. Our design experts know how to create the ultimate, custom-built outdoor cooking station with a high-end aesthetic. Schedule a landscape design consultation to kick off your very own outdoor makeover this fall!