Should I Cover A Grill When Not In Use? (Read This First!)

Using A Grill Cover When Not In Use

A grill is a great investment that most people take a lot of time researching to make the best choice.

However, when it comes to storing the grill after use, there is one question that people often debate.

Should a grill be covered when not in use or can a grill be left outside without a cover?

So, are grill covers necessary?

Grill covers are not necessary since grills can withstand harsh weather and still work. However, a grill cover will extend the lifespan of a grill by protecting the grill’s components from harsh conditions. Grills that are covered will last longer and operate better compared to uncovered grills.

Depending on how nice your grill is and how often you use it will largely determine whether or not your grill should be covered.

However, covering a grill will never be a bad thing. In fact, using a grill cover will protect the grill from rain, snow, and critters which will ensure that the grill does not rust or stop working as fast as a grill without a cover.

Now let’s cover the pros and cons of covering a grill when not in use.

Reasons To Cover A Grill When Not In Use

Although placing a cover over the grill is an extra step after the grill has cooled down, there are some benefits to using a grill cover:

1. Protect The Grill From Rust and Debris

Generally, grills are made of metal that can rust when exposed to rain and snow. Even though most grills have a protective coating, any exposed metal will start to rust which will shorten the lifespan of the grill.

So placing a grill cover on a grill will ensure that the grill is protected from any harsh weather.

Not to mention, grill covers will also prevent debris such as pollen, sap, dust, and leaves from getting into your grill.

Once you’re ready to use the grill, simply remove the grill cover which will remove all the debris and leave you with a clean grill ready to cook.

2. Keep Critters Away

An uncovered grill can become the perfect home for critters such as bees and wasps. The last thing you need is to plan a BBQ and be greeted by an angry swarm of bees and wasps.

Not to mention birds and other animals may start nesting in the wide open and protected space of a grill.

In order to avoid having to remove angry bees or clear out a nest from your grill before using it, place a grill cover to keep the critters out in the first place.

Having to clean a grill before using it is incredibly frustrating if all of your friends and family are waiting for you to fire up the grill.

So once again, a grill cover ensures that the grill is ready to be used once the cover is removed.

3. Keep The Grill Looking Nice

Uncovered grills that are exposed to sunlight and harsh weather conditions will start to visibly look worse.

The paint will start to fade or even chip. Not to mention water spots and debris can leave permanent stains on the grill.

Cleaning the grill can remove some of these marks but using a grill cover will ensure that these marks do not even get created in the first place.

4. Protect Electrical Components

Depending on the type of grill you have, there may be electrical components inside that should not be exposed to water.

All pellet grills have electrical components to control the temperature and even some gas grills have electrical starters.

So in order to make sure the electrical components do not get damaged, the grill should be covered when not in use so that water does not damage or break these electrical components.

5. Better Tasting Food

Keeping the animal debris and feces off the grill will ensure that the food is not being cooked with dirty fuel. Not to mention keeping the grill grate free of debris will also ensure that the food tastes the way it should.

So use a grill cover to ensure the food tastes as you expect versus having a funky flavor.

Drawbacks Of Using A Grill Cover

Given all the benefits of using a grill cover, it’s almost mind-boggling that everyone does not use a grill cover. However, there are some drawbacks to using a grill cover that we’ll cover below.

1. Additional Expense

The main drawback to using a grill cover is that high-quality grill covers are not cheap. Depending on the make and model of your grill, a grill cover can range anywhere from $25 to $100.

Some BBQ enthusiasts have reported that they will place a tarp or other covering on their grill to protect it from the weather. So there are ways to still cover the grill without getting the brand-name grill covers.

2. Not Ideal For Humid Climates

In humid climates, covering your grill can cause more harm than good!

A grill cover can trap moisture, thus creating a humid environment where rust or mold can grow. So in humid environments, grill covers should be removed every few days to allow the grill to dry out.

Generally, grill covers can be used in other climates but in humid climates, the grill should be stored in a dry area such as a shed or garage.

3. Incovenient

Some of the grill covers are large and heavy, making them cumbersome to remove whenever you want to BBQ.

Now whenever you want to fire up or store the grill, there is an extra step of adding or removing the grill cover. Not to mention grill covers will last longer with regular care and cleaning so it’s another thing to maintain.

However, it is better than the grill cover takes the beating of the harsh weather and sunlight versus all that damage hitting your grill.

Generally, a grill cover is a lot cheaper to replace than getting a brand new grill.

When Do I Have To Use A Grill Cover?

Covering your grill when not in use is not a must, but it is a good idea.

Here are some of the cases when you should invest in a good grill cover:

  1. If your grill is exposed to harsh weather elements – if the grill is exposed to bird poop, rain, dust, and snow, you should consider using a grill cover to extend its useful life. Exposing the grill to harsh weather conditions causes rusting, affecting the quality of barbequed foods.
  2. Seasonal use – grills used regularly do not need to be covered especially during fair weather months. However, if you store your grill for an extended period before using it again, using a grill cover is recommended.
  3. The built quality of your grill – cheaper grills are made on low-quality materials (aluminum, steel, and chromium oxide), making them prone to rusting. If the materials used are low-quality then the grill will deteriorate faster when left outdoors. So any grill whether cheap or expensive should be covered to prolong the lifespan of the grill.

Features To Consider When Selecting A Grill Cover

Buying a high-quality grill cover is a good investment when protecting and extending the lifespan of your grill.

So take your time to research the qualities of a good grill cover, where you can buy one and their average cost. Here are features you should keep in mind when selecting a grill cover:

  1. Venting – to avoid trapping moisture which can cause rusting, selecting a grill cover that has vents to improve air circulation is an important feature for humid climates.
  2. Material – vinyl is a popular grill cover material, but there are other options, including canvas and polyester. Canvas is ideal because its UV resistant, water repellant, and durable. On the other hand, polyester is tear-resistant and waterproof to solvents, oils, and other chemicals. Remember, if your grill is exposed to the sun most of the time, buy a grill cover that is UV resistant.
  3. Cost – grill covers vary depending on the material used, quality, manufacturer, and quality.
  4. Cover size and ease of putting it on and off – research online to get reviews from other users. For instance, grill covers with handles are easy to remove. While you can estimate the size of the grill cover to buy, you can measure the size of your grill to avoid making a mistake.

Final Thoughts

So is purchasing a grill cover a good investment?

Yes, a grill cover is a good investment. If you invest money to buy a good quality grill, you should consider purchasing a grill cover to protect your investment. Remember, you have to maintain the grill cover by cleaning it.

You can hose it down with mild soap and then wait for it to dry. After cleaning the cover, consider cleaning the grill to avoid transferring dirt to the inside of the grill cover.

Always follow the owner’s manual to get specific directions.

Finally, since numerous websites sell grill covers, take your time to do thorough research, compare the prices, and read reviews to purchase a top-notch grill cover.


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