November 1, 2018
It’s a very sad day when summer ends and you need to start thinking about winterizing your grill. Just like the end of a vacation, this isn’t something you want to even think about. But, we must take steps to prepare our grills for the winter. Doing so will improve the odds that the grill will work properly the following year. You have made a financial investment in your grill. You don’t want to be forced to buy a new one next year due to neglect before winter. So, continue reading to learn the top things you need to do to prep your grill for the next New England winter.
Tips for Winterizing Your Grill in New England:
Clean The Inside of Your Grill
The first thing you should do when winterizing your grill is clean it. As you will see in most of these tips, a lot of them have to do with cleaning. This is the most important thing you need to do when winterizing your grill. A good tip is to turn on the grill and run it with the lid closed for at least 20 minutes to burn off any leftover food that is stuck to your grill grates. This will help you clean it once it has cooled down. Take your grill brush and brush off any remaining chunks of food. Then, use soapy water on any remaining spots that haven’t come off after brushing. You can also remove and clean the drip pan, cooking grids, and other parts with the soapy water.
This is very important because you don’t want any rodents or other small wildlife to get attracted to the food. In addition, that excess food can encourage mold, which you definitely don’t want to see. More on those things later.
Clean the Exterior
You want to also clean the exterior of the grill to get off any dirt that is on the grill from your summer time fun. Much like the interior, cleaning the exterior fends off mold. Plus, the outside of your grill can be subject to corrosion if you are not careful. Clean any excess food, sauce, or drippings on the outside of the grill. Doing so will put you in position to fight corrosion. Worst case, if you cannot clean the grill yourself, you could always reach out to a grill cleaning professional, like our friends at Cape Cod Grill Cleaning.
Cover Your Grill
You will need a grill cover that can keep the elements away from your grill. A quality grill cover can keep the dirt, rain, and snow from building up on the grill. If your old grill cover has any holes in it, we recommend replacing it with a brand new grill cover. Bugs and other small creatures can get through those holes and nest in your grill for the winter. So can water. The cover protects against rust and corrosion from all of the wet weather as well.
Keep Pests Away
As we have already mentioned, pests can be a problem when your grill is outside for the winter. Mice, rats, squirrels, and insects are all looking for warm places to stay for the winter. Guess what? Just like your house, your grill looks like a really nice place for them to stay. If they can easily get into the grill to get out of the elements, they will. Don’t attract them with food leftover on your grill. Make it harder for these pests to get access to your grill with a quality grill cover.
Avoid Mold Buildup
Generally, mold will not build in temperatures below freezing. However, with the way our New England winters have been going the last few years, we never know if we will have below-freezing temperatures or a mild winter. Temperatures vary and it is a good idea to make sure your grill is clean to avoid any mold buildup if we get a milder winter. Even without a mild winter, the last weeks of fall and the first weeks of spring will always have milder temperatures. So, if you are the type of person that will start grilling between Memorial Day and Labor Day, then your grill would be susceptible to mold during the shoulder season. Just make sure that you clean off any excess food or grease to avoid this problem.
Avoid Corrosion & Oxidation
If you leave grease or food residue, this can trap moisture on the grill. Moisture promotes the development of corrosion and oxidation. By cleaning your grill before the winter, you can decrease the odds that corrosion or oxidation will develop on the grill. Also, make sure that when you put your grill cover on the grill after cleaning it, that you are not covering it when wet. This will have a similar impact with corrosion. You want to cover your grill when it is completely dry. If you can avoid corrosion and oxidation, you can extend the life of your grill.
Store Your Grill
The last tip for winterizing your grill involves how you store your grill for the winter. You could bring your grill inside, but never bring your propane tank inside your house or garage. If you have a garage, shed, or storage room, that can be a great place for the grill. For a lot of people though, they have no choice but to leave it outside. If this is your situation, try to find a covered location to keep the rain and snow off of it. Like, under an overhang or deck. You also want to make sure it won’t fall over. If a storm hits the Cape with a lot of wind, you don’t want it to blow over. But if it does, make sure the grill is in a spot that won’t cause a lot of damage to any other parts of your house.
Breakaway: Cape Cod’s #1 Store For Winterizing Your Grill
We understand how depressing it can be to winterize your grill or put it away for the winter. But, as New Englanders, we know the deal. And, with a little preparation, you can ensure that your grill will not get damaged and it will be ready for next summer. Your work now will prevent you from having a problem next summer. Avoid replacing parts, needing grill repair, or worse, being forced to buy a brand new grill. Or, if you plan on continuing to grill throughout the winter, Breakaway is here for you too! We are always here for the truly hardcore, courageous, backyard year round BBQ griller’s needs. In fact, we will be writing another blog post soon about the top tips for winter grilling.
Breakaway is Cape Cod’s #1 grill store on Cape Cod. If you have any questions about winterizing your grill, our expert grillologists are here to help you. We have the grill accessories, like grill covers and grill cleaners, that you will need to properly prepare your grill for the harsh New England winter. Visit us at one of our locations in South Dennis or Mashpee, call us at 508-398-3831, or contact us below.