Care Notes for Outdoor Kitchens

Including BBQs, Fridges and Sinks

BBQs

Firing up your new BBQ on a summer evening is the perfect way to relax, however, making sure you keep the grill and accessories properly maintained and functioning is key not just for the life of the unit but also for food hygiene. Ensuring the unit is cleaned regularly and the burners are de-clogged will avoid the potential of small fires in the base of the unit.

Always keep the unit covered with a protective weatherproof cover.

Make sure before you use a gas grill you check the hose for leaks or damage (particularly from rodents!)

Do a seasonal check-up

Before you turn anything on, give your grill the once-over. For a charcoal grill, we recommend scraping out the ash from the firebox if you didn’t at the end of your last grilling season. Also, confirm that the metal vents open and close, and grease them with WD-40 as necessary.

For a gas grill, you should clean the drip pans, if needed. Remove the grates and the burners that help direct grease away from the burner tubes. Then make sure nothing (spiders, spider webs, other organic material) is blocking the burner tubes. If flames don’t come out of all the holes in the tubes, you’ll need to clear the obstruction with something like a bent paper clip or thin wire. Make sure your igniter is working and you hear a click and see a spark.

Fridges and coolers

There are two main differences between refrigerators designed to be used outdoors and indoors:

First is the ambient temperature range. Refrigerators have to work to keep everything inside it cold despite the temperature outside of it. We keep the temperature in our homes pretty even — generally between 18ºC and 23ºC. Outdoors, temperatures can change dramatically from morning to night, and vary widely from freezing cold to blazing hot. Outdoor refrigerators have to maintain consistently cold temperatures in that highly unstable environment. In the Summer heat, for example, a fridge would require additional insulation and more powerful compressors and components to keep everything cold.

Second is weatherproofing for the electrical components. Even when built into a cabinet or other outdoor fixture, outdoor refrigerators can be exposed to water from rain, or from splashing in a pool area, or the like. Water and electricity are a dangerous mix, so special design precautions are taken. This weatherproofing is only to keep the electrical parts safe from water. It doesn’t mean you can leave it completely unprotected in the worst of rainstorms, or function in the coldest of winters.

Almost all outdoor fridges are made from stainless steel thanks to its ability to resist rust in wet environments. However, stainless steel can still rust under the worst of conditions. And, not all stainless steel is made with the same level of rust resistance. You may therefore want to cover your fridge in, particularly wet weather.

Additionally, like their indoor counterparts, outdoor refrigerators are not designed to function in temperatures below 5ºC. Why not? Because that’s about the temperature the fridge tends to keep everything on the inside. If it’s already cold enough outside the fridge, there’s no need for it to turn on.

That can lead to problems like the freezer section not turning on so that everything inside it thaws and spoils. If you keep your fridge outdoors in a cold winter environment, it’s recommended to empty it, unplug it, and keep it covered for the season. (You may also want to keep the door slightly open so it can air out and avoid mould.)

Drawers and units

We always suggest emptying the draws and units overwinter when not in use, a little splash of WD-40 on the mechanism and hinges just keeps things moving, again baby oil can be applied to stainless steel finishes as a good protector.

Taps and sinks

It is really important to consider the outdoor kitchen tap just like a garden tap. Overwinter, make sure the tap is isolated from the main connection and that the pipe and tap are opened fully and left to drain down- the tap can be left ¾open over winter. You can cover the tap with insulation if you wish although it is not necessary. Do make sure the sink is left clear and the drain hole free to drain off rainwater**.**

TOP TIP**:** Use baby oil to keep the stainless steel looking good, it also creates a film that grime can be easily wiped off from.

Stone Worktops
For general cleaning, you can just hose off or wipe off with water and then use Granite Countertop & Marble Cleaning spray to remove surface gunk and grime. You may also consider periodically (monthly)using Topical Polish/Shine Enhancer to give a little added protection and shine to the polished finish.

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