Whether you use BBQ covers or not, is a bit of a dividing question among grill owners.
Should you or should you not cover your grill.
If you’ve found the barbecue of your dreams you’ll want to keep it looking its best for as long as you have it.
So a cover seems the natural choice. It stops your BBQ facing the elements alone and gives it the best chance of delivering you years of grilling fun.
But there are arguments for not covering your grill too.
Good BBQs should be able to stand up to the elements enough for you not to worry if it’s left outside and uncovered for a bit of time. Less expensive versions might need a helping hand in maintaining their lifespan.
But over time moisture can collect under covers, actually contributing to the decay. And realistically any BBQ, if left unattended for any period of time, will deteriorate.
Hot and Damp Conditions
When the weather is hot you get humidity. When it’s damp you also get humidity. And keeping your grill covered all day every day except when it’s being used, can lead to that humidity getting trapped between the BBQ and the cover, with no way of escaping.
If your grill can’t breathe, it might start to show signs of corrosion.
The salty air of coastal towns is notorious for its effect on your things. Salt air can damage your property as far as 50 miles inland.
From cars to house paintwork, that salt gets under the skin of it all. It’s the price you pay for the views and proximity to beautiful open spaces.
And your BBQ suffers in just the same way.
Any high-quality grill can handle a little inclement weather. But If you do like to live beside the seaside, it’s especially important to cover it up when it’s raining or if the weather is more extreme, such as snow.
Using BBQ covers isn’t about right or wrong. But how you use it can be the difference between having unwanted corrosion start to appear. So, when it comes to covers, you should have one but not necessarily use it to cover your BBQ 24/7.
Let it breathe and give it a clean over once a month. This last point is especially important when your BBQ is stored in winter months. Even if your cover is vented, humidity can still build up so it will still need to be uncovered on a regular basis.
When storing your grill, try to keep it undercover where possible and away from walls. This is so the air can flow freely around it, which helps with keeping the damp and humidity away.
Choosing a Cover
You can choose from custom made BBQ covers, that is one from the manufacturer designed specifically for your model. Or you can choose one of the many generic covers that exist on the market.
Your custom cover will fit snugly, like a glove. It will offer tailor-made additions such as venting to help air flow when the cover is on and be made of premium material.
Third party BBQ covers are a great choice for a budget, but the fit will be generic. That means gaps where the weather can get in more easily. Or they might be harder to keep in place and you find your cover is more off than on.
The best grill cover materials are made from vinyl, polyester, oilcloth, or weather-proof nylon.
When finding a BBQ cover, start by measuring your grill’s dimensions. You want the cover to be slightly larger than the grill for a good fit. When you drape the cover over the grill, you want it to reach the ground on all sides. Then you gently pull and adjust the cover to fit snugly without being too tight.
Choosing a cover with straps or fasteners helps better secure the cover in place, preventing it from blowing off in windy conditions. Every so often check and readjust your cover to make sure it’s in place and is protecting your BBQ from the elements.
Don’t think of covering your grill as a must do or must not do exercise. Instead, it’s part of the overall ongoing maintenance of your grill.
Cover it, but let it breathe too. Clean it when you use it and give it a clean over once a month or so when it’s in storage.
And don’t panic if a storm takes you by surprise. Your grill can handle a little rain.