Common winter preparations include HVAC system inspections, winter sprinklers, and snow shoveling — But what about your gas grill? When a grill is left uncovered outside, it is exposed to snow and rain, which can rust, rust, and reduce longevity. Leaving a grill uncovered also makes it susceptible to rodent and insect infestation, which can cause irreversible damage.
The good news is that you don’t have to make room for your grill in the garage or at home. You can leave your gas grill outside as long as it has an all-weather cover. If possible, move it to a location (such as under a roof overhang) where it is protected from snow and rain.
How to Store Your Gas Grill for the Winter
If you want to make sure your grill is in tip-top shape for next barbecue season, follow these steps before storing it away for the winter.
Step #1: Clean the grill
Do not store a dirty grill. Food left over on grates can attract pests and make for a challenging cleanup in the spring. To clean your grill, first, turn it on for fifteen minutes to burn off any food stuck to the outside of the grate. Then, turn off the gas. Scrub the grates with a stiff wire brush dipped in water. Add a little dish soap if not enough to remove the greasy mess. Dry the grates with a clean towel when you’re done.
Remove the burners from the supply line and clear any blockages by brushing the ports in a side-to-side motion. Clean the burner valve with soap and water. Scrub the inside of the grill with your scrub brush, soap and water. Dry everything and put it back together.
Step #2: Coat grates in high heat oil
Coat your grates and burners in a high-heat oil to seal out moisture and prevent rust and corrosion. The best options include canola and peanut oils.
Step #3: Buy an all-weather cover
A well-fitted all-weather grill cover is key to storing your grill outside. Find one for your brand and model and make sure it fits well.
Step #4: Disconnect the propane tank if storing the grill in the garage
With your all-weather cover, you can leave your gas grill outside if you don’t have a garage or shed to store it. If you leave your grill outside, you can leave the propane tank on, but make sure it’s closed. (Propane tanks can withstand temperatures down to -50°F.)
If you store the grill in your garage or shed, disconnect the propane tank and leave it outside.