Can I Leave My Grill Outside In The Winter?

Can I Leave My Grill Outside In The Winter?

As winter approaches, it becomes time to think about how and where to store your grill if you are not planning on any winter grilling. Winter weather predictions and habitual weather patterns for any given area will have a role in deciding to keep the grill out or prepare for seasonal storage.

Due to regional climate differences, some areas may experience below-freezing temperatures and snow-covered ground while others have mild temperatures and significantly less snowfall.

Can I Leave Grill Outside In The Winter? It is perfectly okay to leave a grill outside during winter. The only exception will be if temperatures are at or below -44 degrees Fahrenheit. When the temperature outside is too low, propane compounds shrink, and there is insufficient pressure to ignite.

Staying current with winter weather predictions for your regional area will help in the final decision to keep grilling or pack up and use the kitchen again.

The kind of grill you are using is another factor to take into consideration.

Where Should I Store My Grill In Winter?

Grills can be stored in many different areas. Charcoal grills can be stored just about anywhere: a shed, garage, the side of a home, or in a secured spot on a patio or balcony.

With proper winterization steps and a durable grill cover, gas grills can stay outside. For indoor storage of gas grills, the recommended locations are shops, sheds, and garages.

For grills using natural gas, make sure to disconnect the line from your grill before winter storing.

Grills using propane tanks can stay connected as long as the propane is turned off at the tank, and the tank can be stored appropriately under a durable grill cover with the grill.

Another option is to disconnect the propane tank, make sure the tank is turned off, unscrew the hose and regulator from the grill, cover the ends of the hose with plugs or a plastic cover, and store the tank outdoors next to a garage, shop, shed, or house.

How To Store A Grill For Winter

Step 1

The first step in winter storage is to clean the grill. A deep clean is necessary to remove all debris, food particles, and grease that could go bad or attract unwanted creatures.

Remove the grilling grates and use a high-quality grill brush to scrub off any leftover food. Next, use a sturdy cloth to wipe off the grates before applying a high heat oil coating.

The oil coating will protect the grates from rusting if any moisture unexpectedly enters the grilling chamber.

Make sure to empty the grease cup or grilling basin of any built-up grease before putting the grates back in the chamber. If the grill has an electric starter, remove the battery to avoid battery corrosion.

Step 2

After a thorough deep clean of the grill, the next step is to clean the venturi tubes that mix the gas and air, double-check the burners, and wrap any open ends in plastic to prevent insects from getting inside.

To protect the burner, remove it from the grill, coat it with cooking oil, and wrap it tightly in a plastic bag. Perform an inspection underneath the grates, drip pans, and grilling chamber for any dents, scratches, damage or pests.

Should anything need to be replaced, this is the time to do it while the grill is clean and not in use. Check the control knobs for any insect nests as well as the coupling nut of the regulator.

If you already have a durable grill cover, this is the time to use it, make sure it is secure, and keep your grill safe from animals, insects, and the weather.

If you do not have a durable grill cover, it is crucial to purchase an appropriately sized cover to extend the life of your grill and prevent unwanted risks of damage or infestations.

Step 3

Once the grill is packed up, it is ready to be stored. Whether being stored indoors or outdoors, it is best to keep the grill in a cool, dry location.

Shops, sheds, and garages are ideal, but covered patios, sheltered balconies, or under makeshift ledges on the sides of homes or garages will work too.

Propane tanks can withstand temperatures of -50 degrees Fahrenheit, so they are acceptable to be stored outdoors in a safe and secure location. If possible, check for any animals that may have wriggled their way under the grill cover throughout the winter season.

Preparing Grill For Outdoor Winter Storage

Preparing Grill For Outdoor Storage

The type of grill that you have will determine the exact steps needed to prepare for storage. Always check the manual for any exact requirements that should be done before, during, and after seasonal storage.

As a general rule, never store an uncleaned grill. To help the cleaning process go quicker and more smoothly, fire up your grill for ten to twenty minutes before you start cleaning.

The heat will help remove any food debris left on the grates from your last grilling session.

Keep in mind, the grill was just on and had direct heat. It will be hot for a few minutes before it is safe to start grabbing at the grates or drip pan.

While waiting for the grill to cool enough to deep clean, take this time to turn off the fuel source. Natural gas and propane tanks should be turned off at the source and hoses disconnected.

Now it is time to clean the grill. Use a wire brush on the grates to remove any leftover residue or debris that has been stuck, followed by a durable cloth to wipe the grates clean before applying high heat oil to prevent any rusting. Clean out grease cups and drip pans.

By now, the grill should be completely cooled, and a mixture of mild soap and water can be used to wipe the exterior and restore the original shine and clean appearance. Use a towel to dry the grill before covering.

If your grill did not come with a grill cover, make sure to purchase one. There are generic brands that work well or manufacturer covers that will match the brand of your grill.

Make sure the cover size is the right one for your grill and that the material is durable. When you are ready to store the grill, choose a location that is safe, secure, covered if possible, and not in direct sunlight.

Preparing Grill For Indoor Storage

Similar to outdoor storage, grills that are going to be stored indoors will need the same deep-cleaning and care. Follow the same cleaning steps to ensure no grease, food, or environmental debris is left in or on the grill.

Fuel sources should be turned off at the source. Hoses should be disconnected, cleaned, and the ends wrapped to keep insects out.

A grill cover is an excellent idea to protect from dust, scratches, bugs, and animals, whether stored indoors or outdoors. The main difference between keeping a grill inside or outside is that a propane tank should never be stored inside. Cold weather will not harm a propane tank.

Should You Clean Your Grill For Winter Storage?

Cleaning your grill is a critical step that should not be overlooked when preparing for winter storage. Grease and food debris that is left inside a grill can become old, stale, moldy, and cause rust in the cooking chamber.

Leftover food residue can also attract bugs, rodents, and animals.

It is typical to perform quick cleanings between grilling sessions. Still, a winter storage cleaning requires a more in-depth experience that maintains top grilling functions during the months the grill is primarily used.

Image Credit: Eric Kilby | License: CC BY-SA 2.0

Storing Your Grill Outside Without Cover

Grill covers provide protection year-round. It is not mandatory to cover your grill while it is outside, but it is highly recommended.

A grill is protected from dust, debris, animals, insects, and rust when covered. Using a moisture-resistant grill cover is ideal.

If you do not have a grill cover and the only feasible option for storage is outdoors, try to find an area that provides as much protection from the elements as possible.

A covered area that stays primarily dry and is easily accessible for routine critter checks will be better than a grill left out in the open to fend for itself.

Follow the same winterization steps for outdoor storage and keep the grill clean at all times to avoid internal oxidation and mold.

Related Questions:

Q. Can I Use The Grill In The Winter?

Yes, you can use your grill in the winter. Note that it will require more propane to grill in the winter due to the cold temperatures that reduce the size and pressure of the propane compounds.

Frequently opening and closing the lid on the grill will require more propane to maintain a heat source.

Safety precautions should always be taken with winter grilling. Frostbite, illness, and winter-related injuries can happen quickly, even when careful.

Q. Is It Safe To Leave Propane Tanks Outside?

Propane tanks are designed to be left outside. It is safer to have a propane tank outside than to have one inside. The tanks can withstand temperatures of -50 degrees Fahrenheit and do not obtain any damage from the cold.

Q. Can I Store My Grill In The Garage?

Grills can be stored in many locations, garages included. Following winterization steps will ensure the grill is clean and protected. When storing a grill in a garage, it is crucial to follow standard safety steps.

Store the grill in an area that is out of the way of frequent foot traffic, does not risk falling over, is not blocking entrances or exits, and is not near any chemicals that could erode the grill cover or cause damage to the grill.

Q. How To Protect Grill From Bugs and Rodents During Winter Storage?

To protect your grill from bugs, rodents, and animals during winter storage, the first step is to deep clean the grill inside and out before storing.

When the grill is clean, there is nothing out of the ordinary to attract any critters.

Disconnecting hoses and wrapping the ends will keep insects from entering. Wrapping nozzles, burners, and any other openings will help deter bugs and rodents from finding any way inside the small areas.

Using a durable, moisture-resistant grill cover will keep the top of the grill covered and slightly larger animals out of the cooking chamber.

Using a tarp on top of a grill cover and tying the bottom off with a rope will also add an extra layer of protection during winter storage.

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