For everyone in a cold winter weather climate, let’s have a show of hands. How many of you have opened up the lid of your outdoor grill after not using it for three months or so, and found evidence of chipmunks, squirrels, mice or spiders having called squatter’s rights? Yeah, I think it’s fairly unanimous.
There’s a way to prevent the unwelcome residence of vermin in your grill. Winterize it. Taking a little time to clean your gas grill thoroughly and seal it, will not only keep out the critters, it will keep it rust-free and ready to go in the spring.
For a propane gas grill, it’s a good idea to burn off any food that is dried on the grates, so heat the grill to high and let it cook off the grease and dried on food for about twenty minutes. While the grill is still hot, use a wire brush to scrape off any remaining residue. Then let the grill cool down completely.
Unhook the propane tank, but never store the tank indoors. Even small gas leaks into a closed area can create an explosive situation.
Now it’s time to take the cooled grates and wash them with soapy water. You can use oven cleaner on hard to clean areas, but be sure all soap and oven cleaner are completely rinsed off. Allow the grates to dry completely. At this point, check your Owner’s Manual. Some manufacturers will recommend spraying the grates with some cooking oil to prevent rusting, others will not. If you can’t find your Owner’s Manual, check the Total Home Supply website’s Outdoor Living Grills section to see if we carry your model. If we do, then click on the Manuals & Guides tab for a downloadable file.
Take out the lava rocks, if they are really grease covered, you might want to think about replacing them. Remove the burner, the tubing, the drip pan and the hoses. Clean all the pieces, and check for wear and tear. If anything looks worn or cracked, start making a list of parts to be replaced.
If you wrap your burner, tubes and hose in a large plastic bag, you can be certain that you won’t have an issue with spiders and other bugs clogging up the lines when you ignite the grill in the spring. Now you can clean the inside of the lid, the outside of the grill, the side burner and the stand with hot soapy water. You may also need a degreaser to make the cleaning a little easier. Rinse well and let dry.
After all the pieces have dried, cover the grill. The best option is to then store the grill indoors, or at the least, a place where it is out of the elements. If it’s not possible, be sure to seal the vent holes and gas line hole with plastic, to keep your furry friends from nesting.
A little TLC goes a long way in keeping your propane grill in top condition. A little elbow grease in the fall ensures the first spring BBQ will be a success.