Winter is still officially a few weeks away, but plenty of the country is feeling the chill already. As you pack up the pool toys and unpack winter sweaters, remember to add one more job to your to-do list: winterizing your outdoor kitchen. Properly preparing your kitchen to brave the winter weather means it will be in top shape when summer rolls around again. It doesn’t take much to ensure your patio spot is ready to go next season:

  • Close your shut-off valves and disconnect the hot and cold water supply. All water lines should be drained to avoid freezing, but leave your drain valves open. Remove your faucets for indoor storage and cap off the supply lines. Remember to cover sinks with a tarp to prevent debris from collecting in the basin.
  • While you should cover your sink, don’t cover a fridge or ice maker. Moisture caught underneath the cover creates an ideal environment for mold and can cause electrical damage. Just be sure all fridges and freezers are cleaned and wiped completely dry.
  • Turn off all electrical units via the circuit breaker or unplug appliances individually.
  • Seal stone countertops to prevent birds and winter weather from damaging surfaces.
  • Give cabinets, outdoor refrigerators and grills a thorough cleaning – inside and out – to remove any crumbs and spills. Finish by wiping exteriors down with a stainless steel polish.