barbecue with propane tank beside it

Although you might be a diehard griller who uses their grill all year round, you still should understand how to protect your grill in the winter. Here we offer winterization and storage tips to keep your grill protected until summer rolls around again. 

Winter Grill Maintenance Cleaning 

If you are preparing for gas grill winter storage, the first thing you should do is give it a thorough cleaning. Cleaning is a must for your winter grill maintenance regime as all that greasy buildup and food residue attracts pests and traps moisture. The moisture leads to rust and corrosion. Follow these cleaning steps: 

  • Remove all the grease and buildup from your grates, bars and burners using a grill brush 
  • Do the same to the interiors using a putty knife to scrape off the gunge 
  • Brush all the debris into the grease tray/disposable drip pan 
  • Empty the pan, and then give it a good cleaning using a grease removing dish detergent 

Be sure to thoroughly dry all the surfaces to remove all moisture. 

Winterizing Your Gas Grill 

With the cleaning out of the way, you can use the following steps to winterize your grill: 

  • Apply cooking spray: Spray your grates lightly with cooking oil the same way you would before grilling. This helps prevent moisture and rust. 
  • Heat the grates: Vapourize the excess oil by turning on your burners on high for a minute or two. This will help keep insects and pests away. 
  • Wrap the burners: If you don’t plan to use your grill until the spring, wrap the burners in plastic bags to keep out insects who might try to build a nest there. Just be sure to remove the plastic completely before your first barbecue in the spring. 
  • Wrap the gas line and orifice: Disconnect the gas line from the propane tank and wrap it and the gas orifice leading to the burners in plastic. 
  • Check the warranty for polish use: Some grills prohibit the use of products such as polishes and corrosion inhibitors in the warranty. If yours doesn’t, consider using this on the outside only, of the grill to help protect it from rust. 
  • Remove the battery: Your grill might have an electronic ignition system which uses a battery. If so, remove the battery. 
  • Remove rotisserie motors: If you have a motor for a rotisserie feature, remove it and store it indoors for the winter. Although many are considered waterproof, it’s always safer indoors. 
  • Use a grill cover: Cover your grill with the right size grill cover. Be sure the exterior surfaces are completely dry or you will trap moisture below the cover causing rust and corrosion. When wondering do grill covers prevent rust, the answer is they do help protect your grill from moisture and in hand with our tips, you should reduce the risk for rust.   

If your grill has a cart or storage, be sure to check for any food, condiments or spices you might have stored there. All food items should be brought indoors to avoid them rotting, or attracting pests. 

Are you looking to buy an outdoor BBQ grill for your family? Contact the industry experts at Ultimate Home Comfort to get the best advice for your needs and budget. 

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What Happens If A Grill Gets Rained On?

A rain shower or two won’t make much impact on your grill. However, when sitting unused over the winter, rain can lead to moisture issues, corrosion, mould, and rust. 

Is It OK To Leave The Grill Outside? 

The short answer is yes. However, ideally, you should store it somewhere like the garage or shed. However, if space doesn’t allow for indoor storage, place it in a spot it will get the most shelter such as under an awning, or beneath a gazebo or carport. If there is no shelter available, that grill cover is an absolute must. 

Does Cold Weather Affect Propane Tanks? 

First, let’s provide an important warning regarding propane. Although we recommend storing your grill in the garage or shed, never store propane tanks indoors. Propane tanks should be stored upright in an area that is well-ventilated. If storing your grill outdoors the cold weather won’t affect the propane tank but remember it must be disconnected, and the valve must be shut off completely. 

Are you looking for storage and maintenance tips for your outdoor grill in winter? Contact our team at Ultimate Home Comfort to get the best advice available. 

While you’re at it, check out our BBQ recipe book!