Once the first leaves of fall have started hitting the ground and winter is on its way, it’s time to start thinking about storing your gas grill away. But, for some people, this isn’t an option. Perhaps you don’t have adequate storage space.
Or maybe your grill is simply too large to wheel in and out of storage. In any case, you’ll want to know whether you can leave a gas grill outside all winter.
The short answer is, yes, you can! In fact, many people chose to leave their gas grills outside over the winter months as they still enjoy firing them up and cooking the occasional steak for that authentic, flame-grilled flavor that you just can’t get from your hob.
However, there are certain things to keep in mind. Below, we’ll take a look at some care advice that will help you keep your gas grill well protected if you are planning on leaving it outside all winter.
The first thing you should know is that the higher the quality of the material you’re gas grill is made from, the less likely it will be to suffer damage over the winter months.
If it’s made from stainless steel, it will be able to resist the cold, wet conditions that the winter weather will throw at it and can be left in place and uncovered.
If it’s made from sheet steel or a metal that is more susceptible to rust (such as cast iron), you would be better off storing it in a shed or a garage, or covering it and leaving it in place.
To Cover Or Not To Cover
There is much debate about whether you need to cover your gas grill if you’re planning on leaving it outside all winter.
As we’ve already mentioned, if it’s made from a high-quality material then it would be fine to leave uncovered. If it’s made from a material that is susceptible to rust, then it would be better to cover it.
However, it’s never really a bad idea to cover your gas grill, no matter how high-quality the material it’s made of is.
By doing this, you’re not only keeping it protected from the elements, but you’re also reducing the amount of work you’ll need to put into cleaning it when you’re ready to use it again.
If you’re still not keen on the idea of covering it entirely, it’s still a good idea to move your gas grill to a covered location. This could be a porch or underneath a covered pergola. This will keep the worst of the weather off it and stop snow from piling up on top of it.
There is one situation where you should always cover your gas grill over winter, though. If you live in a coastal area, the salt content in the air will be much higher.
And, as it is carried through the wind and rain, there’s a higher chance that it will corrode your gas grill. This even happens to high-end grills made of the best materials. So, to put it simply, if you live in by the sea, make sure you cover your grill if you’re leaving it out all winter.
Tips For Covering Your Gas Grill
If you would prefer to keep your gas grill covered over winter (and it’s always a good idea to do so), you need to make sure that the cover you’ve purchased is breathable.
This will allow any moisture that’s built up inside the cover to evaporate away, without allowing rain or snow in. Look for a cover that has vents, or that is made from a waterproof, breathable material.
It’s also important to note that not all covers are 100% waterproof. Water can be let in through the seams, and it may also get in through the bottom of the cover if wind and rain are particularly strong. Rainwater evaporating off the ground could also become trapped inside the cover.
So, don’t just choose the first cover you come across. Take the time to research your cover properly and make sure it’s completely waterproof. Some come with securing straps too, and these are ideal for stopping the cover from blowing away in very strong winds.
Preparing Your Gas Grill For Outdoor Storage
Before you cover your gas grill and walk away from it until the weather starts warming up again, it’s important to make sure it’s prepared for storage.
Even if you’re not covering it, you need to make sure you’ve carried out certain checks before leaving it in place until you’re ready to use it again.
Below, we’ve put together some top tips for preparing your gas grill for outdoor storage over the winter.
- Leave It Burning: Before you even think about putting a cover over a gas grill, it’s important to burn everything off it. Turn the grill on high and leave it burning for 15-20 minutes. This will kill off any bacteria or mold, and leave it sterilized for storage
- Turn Off The Fuel Source: No matter what fuel you use to fire up your gas grill, you need to turn it off at the source and disconnect it. If it’s propane, make sure you don’t store it indoors. A propane tank will be able to handle any kind of weather, so leave it outside in a well ventilated area.
- Clean It Thoroughly: Once it’s cooled down from burning everything off, give your gas grill a thorough cleaning. Make sure you cover every inch, including the burners, grill holes, and grease pan.
- Spray With Oil: Use a cooking oil spray to lightly grease the entire grill. This will help protect the burners. It will also prevent moisture from corroding the material over winter.
- Cover The Grill: Finally, place the cover over your gas grill. It’s worth checking underneath the cover every couple of weeks for moisture. If there is any, wipe the gas grill down, allow moisture to evaporate, and recover it.