How to Winterize Your Grill (6 Easy Steps)

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Who’s to say that grilling season ends when the cold winter months begin to creep in?

However, let’s face it. It’s hard enough to roll out of bed when it’s freezing and snowing outside.

Much less get that grill started just to cook a simple steak in the cold weather. 

So, what should you do with your grill?

Just stow it away in a shed for those three or four months? Well, yes.

However, there are some things that you should keep in mind first. 

Keep reading this article to learn how to properly store your precious grill so that it’s all ready for you to use as soon as the weather begins to warm up.

Why Is It Important That You ‘Winterize’ Your Grill?

First off, let’s start with going through why prepping your grill for the lack of use during the winter months is so important. 

  • It prevents your grill grates from rusting over time.
  • It helps to prolong its lifespan. So you won’t find yourself having to replace your grill so soon.
  • It allows you to save some time. For example, you won’t have to disassemble your entire grill and clean it before you cook with it.

Got a Gas Grill? You Have to Remove the LP Bottle

If you have a gas grill you have to remove the gas bottle.

To do this, just turn off the gas at the gas tank, then unfasten the burners, take the gas tubes off the gas line and pull the gas tank out of the grill.

Coat The Grill With Oil

Next, you want to cover all the metal parts of the grill and burners with oil. Make sure you use cooking oil. This will help to stop rust forming

Wrap It! (Keeps Outs Bugs and Other Critters)

It’s more than likely that you’re not going to be tucking your outdoor grill away into your house during the winter season.

Unfortunately, this means that some insects or even small animals might crawl their way into your gas line. Especially, while it’s not in use during the cold period.

Once you have applied the oil, you will want to wrap everything in plastic wrap. This stops bugs, spiders, and insects from getting into the gas lines.

How Do You Prevent Mold From Forming?

Winter weather should be cold enough to prevent any mold from forming. However, the temperatures during the end of autumn and the start of spring are still high enough for the growth of mold.

So, you don’t want to take that risk when the warm weather returns.

So, is there a way to lower the chance of mold forming when you’re not using your grill? Yes, there is.  We understand that it’s always tempting to just cover your grill with the grill cover and just forget about the mess during the snowy winter months.

Out of sight, out of mind, right? However, is it worth dealing with the mold buildup at the start of spring?

No, it isn’t. Especially, when the solution is super simple. Just make sure that you get rid of the burned-on food or leftover food debris before storing it away. 

However, what if you do find mold in your barbecue grill?

Don’t worry, there is a way to get rid of the mold and still have a clean grill for you to cook food on. 

Just put on a face mask and scrape off the mold with a grill brush. Then make sure you clean the inside of the grill body and the grill grates with some soapy water.

Lastly, as an extra safety measure, just light your grill up and let the fire burn for at least 15 minutes before placing any food in there to cook.

Nobody Wants To Deal With A Rusty Grill

Another reason why you wouldn’t want to leave any rogue food particles in your grill is that the moisture from that (as well as any grease) can oxidize the metal—promoting creating rusty grill grates

To truly prevent any rust from forming, you’ll want to make sure that you clean the entire grill to the best of your abilities before storing it away.

You should also make sure that it’s completely dry so that no corrosion can occur.

As an extra preventive measure, you can also coat the grill grates and any other parts of the grill that comes into contact with the food, with some oil.

The oil will ensure that none of the metal bits come into contact with oxygen. Hence, this will help to protect your grill from corroding.

If you have failed to prevent any rust from forming, it still doesn’t mean that you have to immediately throw away your grill and replace it with a new one.

Sure, you should never resort to cooking with a rusty grill, however, there is a way to remove the rust.

The best thing you can do is to use some baking soda and vinegar to get rid of the rust. Just mix these two ingredients. Once it’s done fizzling, you should be able to make a paste with it. 

After that, just spread it onto the rusty patches on your grill and let it sit for at least half an hour.

When the time’s up, simply pour some warm water over the spot to wash away the paste.

How to Store Your Grill

If you want to, and if you have the space, nothing is stopping you from just bringing your grill into the house.

However, if you have got a gas grill that is connected to a propane tank, then be sure to leave that outside. 

You should also make sure that you cover the gas tube or opening on your grill, as well as the actual propane tank, with some plastic wrap. This is to help prevent any spiders from making that space their new home.

And if you’re planning to store your grill outside, then make sure that your clean grill has the lid closed tight.

However, the most important thing would most definitely include checking to make sure that none of the valves is left open. You don’t want any of that gas leaking out.

Lastly, even if your grill is positioned under a sheltered area, you should still cover your BBQ grill. This will make sure that your grill won’t be covered in dust nor will it get wet.

How To Use Your Outdoor Grill During The Winter Months

It’s great that we now all know how to properly winterize our grill.

But are there any particular steps that we should take if we do decide that we still want to use it during the cold season? 

Well, the truth is you can honestly use it just like you would during the warmer months. However, you’ll have to keep in mind that the internal temperature of your grill will fluctuate a lot more because of the colder weather. 

Some tips to make sure that your winter grill game remains strong:

  • First things first, safety is super important. You should clear away any snow around your cooking area. This will help prevent you from accidentally slipping while you’re cooking.
  • Secondly, you already know that you shouldn’t really lift the grill lid open when it isn’t really necessary. After all, this can slow down your cook by letting all that hot air escape. This can really slow down your cook and mess up your overall temperature control.
  • You might be wondering if can you use a smoker in the winter? Just like a grill you can use your smoker during the winter. We suggest using a smoking jacket for it or using a sheltered area.
  • And lastly, do your best to cook in a sheltered area. You’ll want to do your best to avoid any windy or snowy conditions.

And that’s it for our tips for prepping your grill for the winter months.

While all of these little pieces of advice might seem trivial, they can do wonders for prolonging the lifespan of your grill. 

Smoke On!


Author: Charlie Reeves
Hi, I’m Charlie, I have been meat-smoking and grilling for the past 15 years. I have an array of different smokers, thermometers, and have a love for finding the right wood and charcoal combo My favourite recipes are my EXTRA CRISPY smoked pork belly, juicy pulled pork, smoked brisket, duck poppers, and ANY SEAFOOD I grill).

I loves sharing his tips with beginners, helping them navigate the world of smoking. I find it’s not just about cooking; it’s a quest for that perfect smoky flavor.

You will usually find me playing with the kids, perfecting my brisket bark, or sipping beers with boys around the fire. Can’t wait to share all my delicious smoking and grilling recipes with you!

You can read more about me on our About Us page.

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