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How Do I Protect My Outdoor Kitchen From The Sun?

One of the most common questions when building an outdoor kitchen is the best way to protect your outdoor kitchen from the sun. You will want to remove or protect your outdoor kitchen from direct sun light, especially early and late in the day from 11am-3pm (sun is strongest during these hours) to prevent your interior surfaces from becoming too hot and baked on with grime.

An outdoor kitchen is an amazing feature to have at your house, especially if you often entertain guests or small get-togethers. It is also quite an investment, so it is only reasonable that you want to protect it and prolong the quality of this area.

There are many ways you can protect your outdoor kitchen from the sun and weather. Provided you do most of these steps to protect your kitchen, you will find that it can last quite a while without needing any replacement parts or appliances.

How Do I Protect My Outdoor Kitchen From The Sun?

Although you want to protect your outdoor kitchen from all types of weather, the sun can be a slow killer. Here are many steps that will help you prevent quick and severe wear and tear:

  • Add some shade.
  • Clean when you’re done with the area.
  • Clean all the appliances.
  • Keep an eye on the cabinets.
  • Take the surface material into consideration.
  • Add a layer of protection.
  • Get your kitchen ready for the winter.

Add Some Shade

One big step that will help keep your kitchen from wearing down too quickly is adding a little shade. This can be temporary and easily removable, like an umbrella or something as permanent as a pergola. The choice is yours.

An outdoor kitchen covered with pergola.
It can also provide an area to cool off when you have guests.

The shade will not only keep the sun from damaging the surfaces and your appliances, but it can also provide an area to cool off when you have guests. You can sit in the shade and converse while the kids play in the backyard.

If you need some ideas of what you can add to your kitchen, here are a few things that can provide a covering:

  • Pergola
  • Umbrella
  • Roof
  • Gazebo
  • Canopies
  • Awning

Any of these will leave your kitchen better off than nothing, and you will find that it will add some style and originality to your home. It is almost like a home away from home.

Clean When You Are All Done

When you have finished entertaining your friends and family or have called it a night, ensure that you clean everything. You don’t want to leave leftover food out to attract wild animals and insects. These creatures can damage any of the surfaces and can be hard to get rid of.

Kids wasing the dishes.
Ensure that you clean everything.

Leftover foods and drinks can also cause damage to your surfaces and the finish. The sugars within foods and drinks can break down the finish and make it easier for the elements to make their way into the materials. It is always best to clean when you are all done.

Clean All Appliances

When you clean everything, this also includes the appliances. You want to clean them of any food messes that may have been left behind. This simple step can protect your appliances from unwanted visitors (animals and insects) as well as keep them from getting crusty and gross.

A man cleaning the grill.
This simple step can protect your appliances from unwanted visitors (animals and insects).

Over time, any food splatters can cause the buttons to become crusty and hard to use, sensors to be inaccurate, and just cause overall damage. The food can also interact with the sun in a way that harms your appliances.

Having a dirty appliance is also not the best sanitary condition if you often don’t clean your appliances.

Keep An Eye On The Cabinets

Most outdoor cabinets are made of either wood or a type of high-grade plastic. You will want to protect the surfaces, whether treating them or renewing a layer of paint. This simple step can keep your wood from getting warped by the sun and rain.

Any wood material outside should be treated at least once or twice a year, depending on what it is treated with. This will keep the sun at bay, and it will protect your cabinets from insects like termites or ants from damaging the inside.

Take Surface Material Into Consideration

Although the surface material is important in your home, it is even more important in an outdoor kitchen. Each surface will need to be cleaned and treated appropriately. If you use the wrong chemical, it can damage the finish or ruin the material.

There are many different types of surface materials that are usually found in an outdoor kitchen. They are as follows:

  • Wood
  • Stainless Steel
  • Stone
  • Plastic


Get yourself a cleaner that is great for wood that won’t damage any treatments or paint. If you get a heavy alcohol cleaner, it can wear at the finish and make it easier for the sun to damage anything built with this material.

Stainless Steel

Stainless steel is a durable and long-lasting material. It is often what many of your appliances will be made out of. It can withstand the sun but be careful of using metal on your stainless steel as it can damage it and make it easier for the sun to weaken its structure.


Granite and other stone materials are great for outdoor use. The sun and rain actually help keep its longevity instead of wearing it down since it is naturally durable against the elements. The best way to clean these is with oil and lemon juice to prevent the surface from dulling.


Some outdoor kitchens will have appliances and other parts made with heavy-duty plastics. Although it can be more durable than even wood, it will dull in the sun. You will want to clean it and ensure that it isn’t exposed to the sun for long periods.

Add A Layer Of Protection

Even if you have a roof or some sort of covering over the entire kitchen, you may want to invest in some smaller coverings. You can get protective coverings for your fridge, grill, and other appliances, as well as coverings for your furniture.

A grill covered.
You can get protective coverings for your fridge, grill, and other appliances.

These coverings are also great if you don’t have the money to build a large covering for the entire kitchen area. They are a fraction of the cost, and you can use them immediately. It also can keep other elements out and little critters.

Get Your Kitchen Ready For The Winter

You may not be using your kitchen during the winter months like you were during the warm summers. If this is the case for you, you will want to winterize your kitchen to protect it from the winter weather and the sun.

A covered grill with snow.
It is good to cover everything and clean anything out that was housing food.

It is good to cover everything and clean anything out that was housing food. This will keep your kitchen in top shape for when you want to use it next summer, and you don’t have to worry about constantly cleaning it of debris and other elemental factors.


Outdoor kitchens are a wonderful area to have, so you don’t want them to fall apart too quickly. These steps allow you to prolong its lifespan and provide a clean and organized area to relax during the hot summer days. 

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