How To Put Your Grill Away For The Winter

Do this not that post outdoor grill winter care

With the winter season upon us, you may be wondering how to protect your outside grill and keep it from rusting. We have customers of all kinds, those who pack up their grills and wait until the weather warms and those who are year-round outdoor grillers.

Either way some basic winter prep to winterize your grill will help protect it and extend its useful life.

1. Examine Your Grill Parts for Good Working Order

First of all, give your grill a once over and see if everything is in proper working order.

If you need to replace any of your grill parts, winter is a great time to get the best deal on replacement grill parts. You’ll appreciate having it ready to go on the first nice day of the year.

2. Fire Your BBQ Up And Burn Off Excess Grease and Gunk

You can then turn the grill on to the highest heat and leave it running for 10 or 15 minutes while carefully attending it to burn off any remaining grease stuck to its surfaces.

With a gas grill, just flip those knobs to high and close the lid. If it’s a charcoal barbecue, just put some charcoal on and let it cook off any remaining residue and burn down.

3. Scrub and Clean With A Grill Brush and Wash Cloth

Next — after letting it cool safely — give the grill a thorough cleaning.

Use a grill brush to remove any greasy residue and char buildup on the burners, bars, and grates. This gunk can trap moisture and lead to rust.

You can also gently use a putty knife to scrape any crud from the grill’s interior. Dump the debris in the grease tray or drip pan, then take the tray inside to clean it with some liquid detergent and warm water.

4. Clean The Outside of the Grill

After that, you can clean the outside of the grill. Use a washcloth and warm, soapy water. Now you’ve got a clean grill that you can examine for any signs of rust.

If you find any rust on your grill, don’t wait to treat it. Get some rust removing spray gel and follow the directions to treat the rusted spot. Doing this is key to extending your grill’s life. On the exterior of painted black grills, you can use a high-temp paint to seal and touch-up any spots where paint has chipped off.

5. Oil Grill Surfaces to Winterize and Keep Out Moisture

Next, if you would like, you can use some high smoke point cooking oil like peanut oil and a clean washcloth to lightly cover the grill’s surfaces. Use as thin a layer as possible.

Less is more here. The oil will help protect your grill from moisture, even from the interior grill surfaces. In the spring, just thoroughly wipe your grill down to clean off the thin layer of oil.

6. Wrap Burners and Gas Line with Plastic Bags

If you have a gas grill, wrap the burners next if you won’t be barbecuing until the spring. Use plastic bags and wrap them tightly so insects won’t get in and nest.

Then disconnect the gas line and wrap it up in plastic as well. If your grill has an electric ignition, remove the battery to store inside until you’re ready to use the grill again.

The last step before you put your grill away for the winter is:
7. Cover Your Grill With a Waterproof Grill Cover

Finally cover the grill with a correctly-fitted, waterproof grill cover to protect your grill from rust causing rain and snow.

If you’re storing the grill in a dry shed or garage, you can skip this step. But if you’re leaving it under the sky, definitely do not skip this step or your grill will be prone to rust.

If you have a gas grill, never store the propane tank indoors. You can leave it outdoors in cold weather. Just be sure to cover it so that it isn’t exposed to rain or snow. You can wipe the propane tank with a light layer of cooking oil to winterize and protect it from rust.

For even more tips and tricks about how to put your grill away for the winter, check out this video from the Grill Girl.

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