Beautiful winterized kitchen by Diversified energy

Tips for Winterizing Your Outdoor Kitchen

From July 4th barbecues to weekend pool parties, you undoubtedly know how to use your outdoor kitchen during the summer months to entertain family and friends, but do you know how to protect that outdoor kitchen in winter?

If you expect your outdoor kitchen grill and other appliances to do their jobs come next summer, you’ll have to make sure you treat them right when the season is over.

The importance of utilizing the proper practices to winterize outdoor kitchen appliances simply cannot be overstated.

If you plan to enjoy your outdoor area during the colder months, you need to invest in a propane patio heater!

If you already have or are thinking of building an outdoor kitchen for next season, you should review what’s needed for winterizing outdoor refrigerators, sinks, cooktops, or even a propane fireplace! Let’s go over the best ways you can ensure that your outdoor kitchen is protected against the cold and the harsh winter elements, so you’re ready for that first cookout next year.

Importance of Winterizing

Beautiful winterized kitchen by Diversified energy
Photo From: Unsplash

You can save yourself time-consuming and costly repairs by following winterizing steps for your outdoor kitchen as the cold season approaches.

The importance of winterizing your outdoor kitchen is perhaps best seen when it comes to water lines. Broken and frozen water lines are the biggest threats facing your outdoor kitchen when temperatures drop. Water in the lines can freeze, causing potential damage to appliances they are hooked up to. Water left to freeze in the lines can cause the lines to burst. 

Avoid damage, high plumbing repairs, and possibly unwanted downtime when the warm weather comes by draining water lines to sinks and refrigerators. Turn off the water and open sink faucets to completely drain water. You can also use compressed air to blow out the water lines to make sure there is no water remaining. Removing power sources to any electrical appliances is recommended.

Proper winterizing steps also protect surfaces, reduce corrosive elements, and increase the life of your outdoor kitchen appliances.

Refrigerators and Sinks

“Spring cleaning” is a common term used to describe a cleaning of a room or even an entire home, but “winter cleaning” could be used to describe the process of effectively winterizing outdoor kitchen appliances like refrigerators and sinks.

Generally, this means removing all food items from both the refrigerator and sink. Then, thoroughly clean the sink and inside the refrigerator with warm water and soap to remove any food debris and residue. It’s suggested to remove the front plate of the refrigerator and vacuum beneath it. If your refrigerator has an ice maker, empty the storage bin, clean and dry it, and close the drain valve. Unplug the refrigerator for the season (TIP: you can still use it to store food you wish to keep cold when the outdoor temperatures are low enough).

Keep the refrigerator open after cleaning until the interior is completely dry. Place a box of baking soda inside to combat odors.

It is NOT recommended to cover the refrigerator, as moisture can possibly collect beneath the cover and cause damage to electronic components.

Polishing the sink can help to protect the stainless steel from harsh weather. Shut off the valve to the sink faucet. For utmost protection of the faucet, you can remove and store inside unless you have freeze resistant faucets.


Don’t forget about countertops when it comes to winterizing your outdoor kitchen! Though not an appliance, your countertops are still open to the winter weather and need protection, too. Replacing cracked, stained, or otherwise damaged countertops can be costly.

Polishing stainless steel countertops provides a layer of protection, the same as polishing the stainless-steel sink. Stone or wood countertops should be sealed; wood can be oiled in addition to sealed. Do the same to any cabinet doors and surfaces as well. If they are not already, you might consider powder-coating cabinets to help them endure winter weather.

TIP: remember to remove any liquids that can freeze or leak from inside cabinets.

Grills & Cooktops

You might be one of those individuals who simply refuse to let the winter do you in when it comes to outdoor cooking. There’s certainly nothing wrong with that, but braving the elements to keep using your outdoor grills and cooktops doesn’t mean these outdoor kitchen appliances don’t need some special attention during this time of the year. Some of these tips are for electric cooktops or gas grills. If you are thinking of making a change, explore the benefits of cooking with gas vs electricity!

“Winter cleaning” will apply here, too: give the grill and cooktop a thorough cleaning, which includes using a degreaser, metal brush, and a stainless-steel polish. Be sure to clean all grates, warming racks, and even the burners. Removing any burnt-on residue is helpful to prevent corrosion by eliminating moisture build up and mold development. (TIP: heat the grill and let it burn for about 15 minutes, loosening up any caked-on residue).

If you’re giving your grill the winter off, then you should:

  • Use cooking oil to lightly coat your grates; this helps to keep moisture out
  • Remove the battery from the electronic ignition, if applicable; moisture can collect in the battery compartment and corrode the batteries.
  • Take out the burners and wrap in plastic, then place them on top of the grates; wrapping them keeps out insects that might nest in burner ports and cause blockage, and removing them and putting them in sight as soon as you reopen the grill come spring prevents you from accidentally igniting the grill while the burners are wrapped up.
  • Shut off the gas valve on the line to the grill
  • Cover or move the grill to a location such as a shed or a garage during the winter months

Store the grill’s propane tank if it’s not connected to a gas line outside; colder temperatures will not affect it, and it’s not safe to store a propane tank inside the house or garage.

Firing up the outdoor grill throughout the winter? Remember to cover it after each use! 

For your outdoor kitchen cooktop, shut off the gas line, close the vent hood, and use a degreaser and polish on the surface.

TIP: applying a coat of stainless-steel finish on all stainless appliances can help protect them for the winter.

About Diversified Energy

As the 31st largest propane retailer in the U.S. and one of the largest residential propane suppliers on the East Coast, you and your outdoor kitchen are in good hands with Diversified Energy.

From automatic propane delivery to propane storage tank leasing and sales, Diversified can help make all your propane use ideas reality, and help you upgrade your home! This includes layout, gas line installation, sales, and installation of propane gas appliances, and even leak testing. Delivery of the propane needed to power your appliances can be automatic: no need to call or schedule, usage is monitored, and the gas is delivered without you making a single phone call.

Diversified Energy maintains nine showrooms/offices throughout North Carolina and Mount Joy, PA, and services more than 25,000 customers throughout NC as well as parts of PA, SC, and VA. It began operations in 2000.

Gas Up Your Home

Propane can help throughout your entire home! Call us, and let us help you learn how propane can help you!

If you have any questions regarding outdoor kitchen propane gas appliances, installation, winterizing, or any other concerns or issues, call your local Diversified Energy office to speak to a representative. Whether you’re looking to fire up a gas grill or shut it down for the season, Diversified is here to help!