The overall maintenance of your outdoor kitchen is something to think about before committing to certain materials and appliances.
What you're willing to commit to and the amount of effort you're able to fit into your lifestyle can affect your choices.
Bench tops, barbecues, fridges, and more are covered here, along with some of our recommendations. From general cleaning to the warranties and qualities of the appliance/material that will affect what will be required in order to maintain it's performance and overall look.
Corian Bench Tops
For most residues, all you'll need to clean your bench tops is warm soapy water or an ammonia basked household cleaner. Harsh cleaners aren't necessary on a Corian bench top.
Because of the quality of the material, you aren't working to maintain the appearance of a freshly installed bench top. With a Corian bench top, you're more keeping up a hygienic standard.
With the proper care, your bench top can keep that just installed feeling. Corian's bench tops carry a 10 year Limited Residential Warranty. And, if you decide to sell your home, your warranty is transferable to the new owners.
However, Corian's website advises against using window cleaners to clean your bench top. It will leave a waxy build up that dulls the surface. As well as water, if its left to dry it can leave a film that builds up on the surface, dulling the look of the bench top and making the finish appear blotchy and uneven.
To avoid this, its important to wipe the bench top completely dry after spills and cleaning.
Some Corian colours may require more frequent cleaning to maintain a uniform finish. Darker colours tend to require more attention than lighter colours. Overtime, even with proper care, your bench top will acquire a patina, changing the appearance of the finish.
If your bench top does acquire a blotchy appearance or small scratches from a build up of water or harsh cleaners, Corian's website has this solution:
- Pour a mild abrasive liquid cleaner on a damp sponge or cloth and rub over area using small circular motions, from front to back, then side to side, overlapping the circles until the entire area has been cleaned
- Rinse thoroughly with clean water and wipe surface completely dry
- Check to see if blotchiness is gone. If not, repeat procedure applying more pressure on the sponge or cloth
- Continue over all affected areas until all film is removed
"Enjoy fast heat up, superior heat retention and consistent cooking results with the cast grill and the cast hotplate. The cast elements are also simple to clean, so you can keep your barbecue looking its best for many years to come."
A great way to cut your cleaning time in half is prevention. If you're diligent in doing your best to keep your grill as non stick as possible then your grill won't need more than simple upkeep after use.
The best way to stop food sticking to the grill is to ensure you've pre-heated your barbecue before use. Never place food onto a cold grill as this will cause food to stick. On top of this, using a light coating of cooking oil either on your food or on your grill is going add an extra layer of protection against scraps of food sticking to the hotplate.
However, if you're using a cooking spray, make sure you spray your food or cooking surface before heating up your grill. These sprays can be flammable and should never be used when the burners are alight.
If stubborn fat does build up on your grill a great solution, without using chemicals, is to heat up the grill to a high heat, and half a lemon. Dip both sides in salt and rub the two halves into the grill surface. The acidity and abrasiveness in the salted lemons will breakdown any fat and grease.
Cleaning the hood of your barbecue can be just as simple. Both stainless steel and vitreous enamel can be cleaned with soapy water and a clean cloth. Make sure you're not using harsh cleaners.
If your model has a glass window make sure to only clean when the hood is completely cooled down. Cold water will crack your glass if it's still hot.
- For stainless steel hoods, cleaning in one direction along the grain will produce the best results
- Light grease can be removed with soapy water, salt water, and liquid cleaners with warm water.
- Removing heavy grease from vitreous enamel will require concentrated detergent, or domestic cleaning liquids
- Removing heavy grease from stainless steel, use a stainless steel cleaner.
Beefeater Bar Fridge
"The Beefeater cabinet has been tested to 43C in the shade and has a 304 grade stainless steel finish, making it ideal for usage in an outdoor environment."
A Beefeater bar fridge is made for outdoor use, so heavy cleaning is not necessary to maintain its performance. As well as being well insulated, these fridges also feature heated doubled glazed glass doors. This prevents condensation building up on the doors which can drip down and potentially damage your floor.
This simple method is enough to maintain the hygienic surface and performance of your fridge:
- Ensure you have turned the power off to your bar fridge.
- Remove all contents, you can temporarily place any drinks or foods that need to be refrigerated into your indoor fridge to be kept cool.
- Remove all shelves, and any other divider so that the interior is completely empty.
- Add your choice of cleaner, or you can use an at home mix of bi-carb soda, white vinegar and warm water, to a clean cloth or rag. Thoroughly wipe down each shelf you removed prior.
- Rinse with clean water, leave to air dry for at least an hour
- Clean the interior of your fridge with a clean cloth cloth dipped in your choice of cleaner (eg. dish washing liquid and warm water). Use cold water when finished to remove any trace of your cleaner.
- Dry the interior of the fridge before you replace shelving
- Re-stock your fridge and turn back on
Aluminum Composite Panel Cabinets
It's a good practice to wipe away any spills before they have a chance to dry. It'll reduce the time spent cleaning and stop you scrubbing at a dried stain.
A wet cloth is usually all you'll need. A gentle cleaner can be added if necessary.
Aluminum Composite Panel Cabinets are water resistant, which is especially important within an outdoor kitchen. Not only will this resistance protect your cabinets from weather conditions, but spills meet this resistance before the material of your cabinets. Making cleaning up after dinner or accidents much easier and preventing stains.
They have a 10 year colour warranty of their matte colours, as well as a 3 year UV warranty. Both aspects ensuring your cabinets maintains its appearance for the lifetime of your kitchen.
We've written in more detail about our outdoor kitchen cabinets on our blog if you'd like to know more.
Wood Fire Pizza Ovens
Regularly maintenance and cleaning will ensure that your oven continues to work effectively and the food you cook doesn't take on any unwanted smells or flavours.
Make sure before you start any cleaning that your oven has completely cooled down first. An oven still maintaining some level of heat presents a serious risk of burning yourself. For more information about owning a wood fire pizza oven, we have an ultimate guide to answer all the questions you may have.
- Any food scraps or wood chips should be scraped or brushed off with a pizza brush or scraper.
- Brush the floor of the oven and sides on a regular basis to prevent build up of scraps and maintain a level of cleanliness.
- Chimneys can develop a layer of soot that will affect the taste of the foods you cook in the oven. If left to build up there is a chance a chimney fire may occur. Make sure to have your chimney cleaned regularly.
- Due to the high temperatures a pizza oven reaches, most residual food within the oven is burnt off.
- You can scrape off extra food using a pizza brush or scraper
- Clear the ashes out once the oven has completely cooled
- Cleaning of ashes is required after use when the oven is has cooled.
- Do not use water to clean the inside of your oven
- The flue is recommended to be cleaned every 3 months
- Lightly coating the outside of the stainless steel pizza oven with WD40 and wiping gently along the grain, will provide a thin layer of protection on the surface that will help maintain its appearance.
If you know of any techniques we missed for maintaining outdoor kitchens Melbourne, let us know how you keep your outdoor kitchen clean in the comments below or come find us on our social media.