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What to know about BBQ tool storage: How to store your outdoor grill this winter

Everything you need to know about winterizing your BBQ tools and grill

An outdoor barbecue grill is a faithful summertime companion. It’s the centerpiece of many an outdoor soiree and a fun and healthier alternative for everyday family dinners. However, when the winter weather moves in, those days of patio fun and sun can seem pretty far away. But don’t leave your grill out in the cold. Proper storage can extend the life of your investment and make sure it’s in top shape once warm weather comes around again. This goes for bbq tool storage as well.

Take a look at these simple steps for safeguarding your barbecue grill and your grilling tools. No matter what kind of grill you have, you’ll be flipping burgers in no time with these helpful tips once spring has properly sprung.

Cleaning winter grill

How do I winterize my outdoor barbecue grill?

Most outdoor garden barbecue grills are mobile and can move around easily. However, some grills are a more permanent part of a large patio or outdoor kitchen. Some of these are connected to a dedicated gas line or surrounded by brick or stone.

If you have a stationary outdoor grill, you can still follow these tips, except, of course, for the ones that involve moving the unit.

These tips include:

  • Start with a good deep cleaning. This not only keeps your grill in good shape but helps keep bugs, rodents, and other critters away. Turn all burners on as high as they’ll go and let it run with the lid closed for about 15 minutes. Once the grill is completely cool, scrub each grate thoroughly with a grill brush or a balled up wad of aluminum foil.
  • If you have a propane tank, shut off the gas, unfasten the burner, disconnect the gas tubes, and remove the tank.
  • Coat the burners and other metal parts with cooking oil (cooking spray works great), which helps repel moisture and prevent rust.
  • Inspect other internal components and clean as needed with a wire brush.

Looking to winterize your smoker? These steps work well for barbecue smokers too. If you’re using a pellet system, make sure to remove and thoroughly clean it.

Winter grill covered in snow

How do I store my barbecue grill during cold weather?

Whether you’re storing your grill indoors or out in the elements, you can do so safely while protecting your unit. Check out these tips and apply them to your own storage strategy.

  • Is your grill staying outside this winter? Turn off the propane tank but leave it connected, then cover the entire grill with a protective cover.
  • For those storing their grill indoors, leave the tank outside. Even small gas leaks pose a serious explosion hazard in enclosed spaces, including garages.
  • Store disconnected tanks outside in an upright position and away from dryer vents, furnace vents, and similar areas. (Also, keep away from places where children play.)
  • Wrap the burner unit in plastic wrap or a plastic bag. This is another good way to keep pests out of your unit.

If your neck of the woods has milder winters, keeping your outdoor grill indoors won’t be as important. However, storing your grill inside can give you a distinct advantage over the elements in harsher weather. Even if you don’t have the room to bring your grill indoors, consider placing it in a shed or even under the overhang of your roof.

Grill tools hanging

How do I store barbecue tools?

When it comes to storing barbecue tools, there are a few simple rules to follow that keep your spatulas, tongs, forks, and brushes looking clean and pristine.

  • If possible, it’s best not to store barbecue tools outside. Bring them indoors and set them out of harm’s way, be it in your garage, a safe drawer, or another space in your house where kids and pets can’t reach them.
  • Many tools come with their own storage cases or containers (hopefully, you saved it!). This will provide ideal storage for your utensils.
  • Looking to save space? Hang your tools from hooks in the garage or kitchen, or store them in an old toolbox.
  • As with the grill burner, wrap tools in plastic wrap or a plastic bag to keep moisture and other elements out.

Outdoor grills can be a perfect cornerstone for your patio, pool party, or your next Tuesday night at home with the family. Taking good care of the unit is like taking care of any investment — it may take a bit of time and elbow grease, but your shiny, pest-free grill will be a welcome sight after the dreary winter months.

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Scott Harris
Scott Harris is a freelance writer based near Washington, DC, with more than a decade of experience covering health…
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