True grill masters never let a little cold or snow stop them from tossing some hamburgers on the grill, which is why you want to take steps in winterizing your grill to be sure it is ready for you. Few things taste as good as a steak grilled to perfection in the middle of January. However, if you are one who tucks your grill away during the coldest months of the year, there are a few things you should do to winterize your favorite cooking station.
Scrub a Dub
The most important thing you need to do is thoroughly scrub your grill. Turn the grill on and let it burn on the highest heat setting for 15-20 minutes. This will burn off any food that is stuck to the grill. After the grill has cooled completely, use a stiff wire brush to clean the burned food off of the grates of the grill. You can use hot soapy water to wipe the grill or some oven cleaners can be used. Remember to completely rinse the grates before storing them.
Take the metal heat deflectors or the lava rocks from the grill. Scrub the inside of the grill and throw away the old rocks. Now is a great time to look for new lava rocks as they may be on clearance and you can save a little money. By buying your new lava rocks in the fall, your grill will be ready for use when those beautiful spring days finally happen.
Do not forget to scrub the outside of the grill, too. Hot water and a mild soap are usually enough to clean the outside. Abrasive cleaners can peel the paint from your grill, so test a small area before you use it. This is also a great time to clean the cover for your grill. Again, hot soapy water and the garden hose will be the best choice for the cover.
Now is the best time to fix any problems you may have with your grill. Check all of the hoses and make sure there are no cracks in them. If any handles are broken, plan to fix those and make sure all of your temperature gauges work. Late fall and winter is the best time to order replacement parts from your grill’s manufacturer, because most people do not think about it until spring and you will beat the spring rush.
Protect From Weather
If you do not have a place that is out of the weather for your grill, make sure the cover you choose has no rips or holes in it. It is much better to spend a few dollars on a new cover than discover your grill has rusted over the winter because the cover let water in. If possible, store your grill out of the weather in a garage or shed. Remember, it is best to store your propane tank in a shed or building that is not attached to your home.
Wrapping your burner in a plastic bag will prevent spiders and other insects from building a nest in it and causing problems when you try to light the grill in the spring. Be sure to wrap plastic around the end of the hose from the gas tank to the grill to prevent bugs from nesting in it.
Carefully read the manufacturer’s instructions you received with your grill to see if anything else is recommended for your specific grill.
It is always hard to decide when it is time to put the grill away for the winter as we all hope for just one more nice day. Even though it is much easier to just stick the grill in the garage and forget about it, by taking an hour in the fall to winterize your grill, you will save yourself time and money. Best of all, your grill will be ready for a barbeque on that first warm spring day!