The extreme weather and extended periods of unuse make winter particularly tough on outdoor equipment and appliances. Just as you should winterize your lawn mower, you should take the time to prepare your grill for the cold season.
1. Cleaning and Maintenance
Regular cleaning of the grill is always important, but winter brings an opportunity to give it a nice deep cleaning. This will help protect it from rusting over the winter. This will also ensure the grill is ready to use without hassle when you bring it out in the spring.
Deep cleaning involves pulling out the grates, drip pans, and other removable parts, and scrubbing them completely free of any debris. Burners should be thoroughly inspected for any clogs that need to be removed, and the interior should be cleaned thoroughly. Finish the job by wiping down the outside and lubricating any moving parts.
2. Covering and Storing the Grill
You probably already have a cover that you use to keep the elements away from the grill. A cover protects the grill from rain during the grilling season and can help prevent it from rusting. If you don’t have one, winter is an ideal time to get one. Snow settles onto a grill and causes prolonged exposure to moisture that increases the threat of rust.
In addition to a cover, storing the grill in an area where it’s covered by a roof or other structure will go a long way in further keeping it safe. If you have a gas grill and store it inside a garage or shed, remember to detach the propane first. Storing gas canisters inside is a fire risk.
3: Fuel Management
Since storing a propane tank indoors brings the risk of gas leaks and explosions, let’s talk about how to keep it safe outside. Store the tank in an upright position and ensure that the valves are fully closed. To protect the bottom of the tank from rust, store it on concrete or bricks to keep it elevated away from the damp ground. For extra safety, keep it away from living areas and high-traffic zones.
Store the charcoal inside when possible. Moisture is an enemy of charcoal, and inside storage will help keep it dry. Additionally, if the bag is opened store the charcoal in an air-tight container, this will help further protect it from unwanted moisture.
4: Adjusting Cooking Techniques
Some people get the urge to have a cookout even in the colder winter months. As long as you remember to store the grill properly afterward, winter cooking poses no threat to the grill. It does potentially pose a threat to the quality of the food, however. If you cook the food exactly the same as you would in the warmer months, you’re likely to end up with some a meal that’s undercooked or unevenly heated.
Due to the cold of winter, you should give your grill a longer period of time to warm up than you normally would. Using a thermometer is especially important in winter, as the temperature inside the grill can cool more rapidly during cooking. Close the lid to retain heat and monitor the temperature more frequently than you normally would.
Get Your Grill Winterization Supplies at Clarks
Whether you want to put your grill into deep storage for the winter or buy some supplies for a winter cookout, the grill store at Clarks Ace Hardware has the supplies you’ll need for a perfect experience. If you have any questions about our offerings, please feel free to visit one of our convenient Maryland locations: