Extend the Life of Your Grill
Before you put your grill away for winter, it's important to thoroughly clean it. Turn on the grill and run it on high heat with the lid closed for about 20 minutes to burn off leftover food. Use a grill cleaning brush and scrape the remaining food from the grates and inside the grill. Use soapy water to remove extra-tough stuck-on food.
Rinse all soap away thoroughly, then remove all components and brush them clean. Soak parts in warm, soapy water for about an hour before you dry everything and put your grill in storage.
Whether it's the grates, a gas line, or the control knobs, now is the time to do a quick inspection to look for any broken parts on your grill. Damage to your grill can be a bummer when spring rolls around, so go ahead and replace those broken parts now if you can.
Look all around your grill from top to bottom and pay attention to areas where there could be cracking or dents. If you replace these parts before you store it away, you'll be ready to grill as soon as the weather warms up.
When temperatures plummet, protect your grill with a high-quality cover. Look for covers that feature heavy-duty, weather-resistant materials like vinyl and polyester. The cover should resist cracking in cold weather, and if you don't have a place to store it, make sure your new cover is made of UV-protected fabric, so it doesn't fade.
You can find grill covers to match your exact make and model for a perfect fit. Some covers are adjustable so they can easily fit snugly over a variety of grill sizes and shapes.
If you have a gas grill, make sure you shut the propane tank off before putting it away. Put a protective cover over your propane tank as well as the grill itself after you clean it.
Don't bring propane tanks indoors, even if it's a shed or a garage. Small leaks can cause serious explosions or fires. Disconnect your tank and store it outdoors in an upright position if you want to store your grill inside. You can also find separate propane tank covers that will keep it stored safely while looking attractive in your yard.
Everything from small insects to rodents may want to make a nest in your grill when it's cold outside. If these pests get in your grill, it can lead to a pretty nasty surprise when you're ready to fire it up.
To protect your grill from pests, wrap the burners in a thick plastic tarp or another protective covering. This will keep pests out, and it will give you peace of mind knowing there won't be bugs or mice in your grill next season.
There's no rule that says you can't enjoy a bit of grilling during the winter. If you decide to grill in the cold, make sure you keep the lid closed as much as possible, as opening it too often can cause uneven cooking and your grilling to take longer.
Brush off snow and ice before you remove your grill cover. Preheat your gas grill for 15 minutes before you cook, and make sure you have enough charcoal if you use it as a fuel source. Charcoal tends to burn quickly during the winter months since the cold air dries it out much faster.
TIP: Remember to dress warm and bundle up before you head outside to do a little wintertime grilling!
You don't have to store your grill inside, but if you don't, a cover is recommended. If you prefer to keep it indoors, a storage shed or garage is a great place to stash it away for winter.
Never store propane tanks in an enclosed area. Always disconnect the tank before you put the grill away. You can leave a grill stored without a cover indoors, but a cover will give it an extra layer of protection against the cold.
More Winter Preparation Tips
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Get a head start on all your household winter prepping tips now. We've got all the tips and products you need to ensure your home and property weather the winter safely and efficiently.