How To Prep Your Grill For Winter

How To Prepare Your Gas Grill For Winter

There’s a nip in the air. The sun is setting earlier. Blankets and beanies are replacing sunglasses and sandals. All signs indicate winter is coming. This spells the end of grilling season for many, which means proper gas grill storage should be a priority!

If you want to be barbecue-ready come springtime (and still get years of cookouts from your gas grill), you need to know how to store your grill correctly and safely for winter. Read on for our complete guide on proper gas grill cleaning and storage.

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Why It’s Crucial To Prep Your Grill For Storage During Winter

Humans aren’t the only ones who retreat inside when it’s cold outside! Mice and other small critters will also be searching for shelter to wait out winter.

It’s fairly common for small animals to use your beloved grill as a cozy nest while it’s stored away. So if you don’t take the time to clean your grill beforehand, you’re basically inviting these critters in for a winter-long feast. will also have a store of scraps to feast on. This is one of the most important aspects of grill storage over wintertime.

Leaving grease and food residue in your grill over winter can also lead to mold build-up and even rust.

Corrosion is your gas grill’s worst enemy. It’s tricky to remove and can seriously affect the safety and functionality of your grill. To prolong the life of your grill, make sure you give it a thorough cleaning before putting your grill in storage for any length of time.

How To Clean Your Grill For Winter

Before you go ahead and put your grill in storage, you’ll want to prep it for winter hibernation. To do so, fire up your grill to high heat. Doing so will soften all the hardened grease and scorched bits clinging to the grates and burners. Once hot, use a grill brush to brush down your grill’s grates, flavorizer bars and burners. Brush all the debris into the drip tray or grease cup and dispose of it.

Then, turn off the gas, disconnect the gas line and be sure all the knobs are safely turned to the OFF position. You don’t have to remove the propane tank, but if you’re bringing your grill inside for winter (or for any other reason), be sure to leave your propane tank outside.

If you own a charcoal grill, you don’t absolutely need to fire it up before cleaning, but doing so will make cleaning it much easier. To clean your charcoal grill, brush off the grate and the grid, clean the bowl and empty the ash catcher.

Once your grill has cooled, get hold of some hot, soapy water. You want to give your grill and all its components as thorough a clean as possible. Be sure to remove any stubborn grease or residue. Then, rinse well and dry.

For gas grills, remove the grates, flame tamers, and store them in a cool, dry place until grilling season comes around again.

Burners are critical components of your gas grill, so you want to do everything you can to prevent rust and debris from forming on or sticking to these particular grill parts.

Brush all dirt and food debris off the burner tubes with a stainless steel or scrubbing brush. Use a small drill bit, toothpick or cleaning rod to unclog the burner tubes’ tiny openings.

Finally, use a paper towel to coat the inside of your grill with a thin, even layer of cooking oil. Doing so will seal out any moisture that may make its way into your grill, thus preventing rust from forming while your grill is in storage.

Wipe Down The Outside Of Your Grill

Once the inside of your grill is looking immaculate, be sure to give the outside a wipe-down too.

PRO TIP: Don’t use abrasive cleaners on any part of your grill, unless your grill’s user manual tells you otherwise.

How To Store Your Grill For Winter

After you’ve managed to get your grill disassembled and all its parts are spick n’ span, it is ready for storage. Now, you need to decide where to store your grill!

Where To Store Your Grill For Winter

You don’t have to bring your grill inside, but if you have grill storage space in your garage, that would be preferable. Consider indoor grill storage if there will be an extended period of freezing weather in your region. Clear out some space and keep your grill inside, or at least ensure it is kept dry and under shelter.

For optimal grill storage, you’ll want a dry, well-ventilated area that doesn’t get too hot or too cold for any significant amount of time.

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What To Do With Your Propane Tank

Please note that you should never store propane gas tanks indoors. Luckily, these big, metal tanks are more than able to withstand sub-zero temperatures. As a general precaution, remember to keep all fuel sources out of reach of children and pets during winter storage. If you’re using natural gas, be sure to close off your gas line while your grill is in storage.

Is It Okay To Leave My Gas Grill Outside During Winter?

Following all the steps above and making use of a good-quality grill cover, you can store your grill outside, under shelter. Every few weeks or so, just lift off the grill’s cover and inspect the inside, to ensure no freeloaders have moved in. Also, be sure to regularly check for any signs of mold or rust.

If you do find mold or critters nesting, don’t worry! It’s not the end of your grill. Just clean out any nesting material or traces of mold. When summer comes around and you’re ready to take your grill out from storage, be sure to fire up your grill to high heat for about 30 minutes, just to ensure it’s safe to cook on after its long winter sleep.

Of all the measures you can take to ensure effective grill storage during winter, nothing helps to protect your grill more than a sturdy, moisture-proof grill cover. We strongly suggest you invest in one to extend the lifespan of your grill.

And as always, has you (and your grill) covered.

Need a grill cover for your gas grill? Search for gas grill covers here.

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