With football season winding down, you might be getting ready to store your grill for the winter. Careful cleaning and storage can extend the life of your grill significantly, so you will want to make sure that you do everything you can to prevent rust from forming and to keep spiders and other insects out of your burners.
Cleaning Your Grill
Regardless of the type of grill that you own, you will want to make sure that it is as clean as possible before you put it in storage for a long period of time. You should always try to scrape off any stray bits of food or grease buildup after using your grill, but you will want to do a deep clean before storing your grill for the winter.
Start by turning your grill onto the hottest setting. Leave it closed and let it burn for at least 20 minutes. This will ensure that any large chunks of food are consumed by the flames, making it easier to remove the remaining residue.
Any removable burners or grates should be soaked and scrubbed thoroughly. The best way to do this is with a grill brush and a specially formulated grill cleaner, but you can use hot soapy water in a pinch. We recommend that you soak your grates for at least an hour before attempting to scrub them clean.
After cleaning, you can take steps to prevent the rust formation that can sometimes be caused by a moist environment. The easiest way to do this is by coating your burners and your grill’s other metal components with cooking oil.
Storing Your Propane Grill for the Winter
If you own a gas or propane grill, you will need to carefully store your propane tank as well as the grill itself. If you are storing the grill inside, you will want to completely disconnect the propane tank and make sure that it is left sitting upright and outside of your home or garage. A gas leak inside the building can be extremely dangerous for you and your family. Even a small leak can cause a deadly explosion, so you will want to take great care to eliminate this possibility by storing your propane tanks outside. You will also want to make sure that the tank is far away from anywhere your kids like to play as well as away from furnace or dryer vents.
Once the propane tank is removed, you will need to seal off the gas lines by taping a plastic bag or other cover over the openings. This will prevent insects such as spiders from climbing inside the gas lines and building a nest or laying eggs. If your grill has removable burners, it can be a good idea to wrap each burner in a plastic bag. Making sure that the bag is tightly sealed can help to keep moisture and spiders out of these key components.
Nests like these can be easy to overlook but can cause inconvenient problems later on. Typically, these nests will affect the flow of the propane, causing inconsistent flames or difficulty lighting the burners. However, in some cases they can start fires or unexpected gas leaks, so you will want to proceed with caution when dealing with exposed openings in your gas lines.
If you are storing the grill outside, it is safe to leave the propane tank connected throughout the winter. However, you will want to make sure that your grill and tank are both protected by a tarp or other cover, particularly if you live in an area that is prone to snow. Many manufacturers sell grill covers that are fitted to your particularly style of grill, making it easy to ensure that the grill is tightly covered and protected from the elements.
Storing Your Charcoal Grill for the Winter
The best way to winterize your grill will depend on whether it is a gas or charcoal grill and whether you will be storing it inside or outside. Fortunately for you, storing a charcoal grill is similar to storing a propane grill, but it is definitely more straightforward since you will not have to worry about a propane tank. Other than that, all of our advice applies to all grills, regardless of their fuel source. Make sure that you keep these tips in mind when tucking away your grill for the winter. It can mean the difference between a successful Memorial Day cookout or a costly grill repair.
For more tips on choosing a grill or on the proper maintenance and storage of your outdoor barbeque, browse our website or read our informational blog posts. Our team at Armand’s Discount is here to answer any questions and help you choose the grill and storage solution that is right for your home.