Outdoor Kitchen Cleaning and Maintenance

outdoor stove with two piles of logs underneath, surrounded by tall green foliage

Summer is here, which means it’s the time of year you’ll get the most use of your outdoor kitchen. With that increased use it’s even more important to follow some basic maintenance steps to keep your grill, outdoor appliances, and countertops looking like new.

While your outdoor kitchen may not get as much traffic as your indoor kitchen, it’s more susceptible to dirt and damage because it’s exposed to weather. To keep your outdoor haven looking pristine and operating as you expect, we recommend you routinely follow these recommendations.

The Grill

steel outdoor grill with an outdoor sink nearby

The grill is your most important outdoor kitchen investment. If it doesn’t work, you won’t be able to enjoy your outdoor room. We recommend you do a spring tune-up on your grill, including cleaning off the burners and vacuuming it to remove debris.

It’s important to clean and cover your grill after each use. The best time to clean the grill is while it’s still warm. However, once it cools down, don’t forget to cover it. Don’t assume grills made of corrosion-resistant materials aren’t vulnerable to rust. Cover them to protect them from the weather.

Before covering, wipe down the exterior of your grill using a cloth, mild detergent, and hot water. Rinse with water and let dry before using your grill again. The inside of your grill lid will build up grease over time, so you’ll need a stronger solution that’s designed to cut through grease.

Routine maintenance should include:

• Burners: Clean your burners with a hard brush or sturdy pipe cleaner.
• Hoses: Periodically, check all your gas tubing for wear and tear.
• Valves: If your flames burn all yellow instead of blue flecked with yellow, disconnect your fuel supply and check the valves for proper pressure.

Stainless Steel

Closeup of knobs on a new stainless steel natural gas grill

Most outdoor kitchens will have lots of stainless steel, including the grill and other kitchen appliances. Not only does stainless steel look nice with the hardware typically used in outdoor spaces, but it’s also resistant to rust and corrosion.

Although stainless steel is a pretty durable material, it isn’t indestructible. To keep your stainless steel looking shiny, wiping down with soapy water and rinsing thoroughly is your best bet. Make sure you clean every surface, including the cabinetry, sink, outdoor refrigerator, and other stainless steel items on a regular basis.

You can also use a special polish for removing smudges, fingerprints, and stains if needed, but be sure to apply it with a soft cloth – using anything harsher, like steel wool pads, may cause more harm than good. Since many stainless steels come with visible polishing lines, it’s important to scrub or wipe with the “grain” when cleaning.

Glass cleaner is also a great way to remove fingerprints and other minor smudges. Not only will glass cleaner minimize scratching the steel’s delicate surface, it will also provide a beautiful polish.

Granite Countertops

Most homeowners choose granite countertops for their outdoor kitchens because they look great and can withstand a lot of heat, but the stone still needs protection from sunlight. Experts say outdoor granite tile requires more maintenance than indoor because of the effects of ultra violet light on the stone. You have to seal it to protect it.

Wipe down your counters and sink after every meal. Additionally, wash the surface with a cloth and soapy water before you start cooking. Because your counters are outdoors, they’ll collect dust and debris throughout the day. You don’t want to set down ingredients and cooking utensils on a surface that’s dirty.

While granite and stone countertops look smooth, they are porous, which means they can stain easily. If you have granite or stone countertops, you should wipe spills as quickly as possible with soapy water.

For the best long-term cleaning, we recommend you seal the stone every three to five years and that you hire a professional who can do it properly with a commercial grade sealer that will better withstand weather conditions.

We always recommend high-quality outdoor kitchen appliances and grills such as the Kamado grill. We are also the only company to offer Lion BBQ components in OKC.

Make your outdoor kitchen dreams a reality with the help of our OKC landscape design experts. To schedule your free, no-pressure consultation, contact us or call our Edmond, OK office at (405) 418-4880.