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Outdoor Grill Storage: 3 Ways to Prep Your Grill for Storage

Many homeowners don't keep their outdoor grill in storage during winter, and sometimes they forget to clean it as well. Here are three reasons why and how to winterize your grill.
Grill outside covered in snow

3 Ways to Prep Your Grill for Storage

An outdoor grill is an excellent addition for backyard entertaining or preparing large quantities of food on a Sunday night to enjoy the rest of the week. But while homeowners get the most use of their grill during the summer months, what exactly do you do with it in winter?
Most homeowners leave their grill outside all year, whether it's for lack of space or out of sheer convenience. But before you decide to just leave your grill outdoors at the end of barbecuing season, you need to keep a few considerations in mind.
Whether you decide you want outdoor grill storage or not, here are three significant reasons why you need to clean your grill and ways to do so.
Birds in a bird bath

Critters and Wildlife

Animals and wildlife, such as mice and birds, have been known to make homes and nests inside dormant outdoor grills, especially over colder winter months. The grill's lid offers a dry roof while the charred leftover bits of food act as a winter stockpile. If you don't intend to put your outdoor grill into storage, you can prevent unwanted critters by cleaning the interior.
  • Clean the grates, Flavorizer bars and burners using a grill brush, and use a putty knife to scrape troublesome spots caked on the interior.
  • Push all the loose bits of debris into the slide-out grease tray and the disposable drip pan, emptying it into the trash.
  • For charcoal grills, take a brush and putty knife to the grates, but this time, push the debris into the ash catcher.
Following these steps will ensure your outdoor grill is free of as much grease and food residue as possible, which means your grill won't be appealing to critters.
If you do find a leftover winter nest when you open up your grill for your first outdoor feast, don't panic. Simply clean out the nest (as well as any scat or items left behind) and run the grill on a high setting for 15 minutes to decontaminate.

Mold Growth

Dried food particles can create mold growth just as they can attract rodents and wildlife. While mold growth doesn't occur at below-freezing temperatures, you're sure to grow some fuzzies during the last few weeks of fall and beginning of spring.
To prevent mold from growing, you need to use the precautions listed above. Brush the grates and take a putty knife to hard surfaces to clean the grill's interior. Mold feeds off organic matter, so any leftovers and grease will ensure problems come spring.
If you do find mold inside the grill, scrape it off and then turn the grill on high heat for 15 minutes to bake off any remaining bacteria.
Grill under grill cover that is soaked in rain water

Metal Corrosion & Oxidation

Grease and food residue left inside your outdoor grill throughout the winter months can trap moisture. And this moisture can create significant issues, such as corrosion and oxidation of metal components. Over time, this can cause irreparable damage to your outdoor grill, so it's one critical reason you need to take the time to clean your grill before putting it into storage.
As a result, you should also invest in a grill cover if you haven't already! Grill covers can protect your grill inside and out, adding an extra protective layer against the elements.

Safe Outdoor Grill Storage Tips

Most homeowners intend to keep their grills outside all year long. Even during winter, some homeowners use their grills to cook dishes for Thanksgiving dinners and throughout the holidays. Still, bringing your grill indoors, even if inside a storage shed or tucked under an awning, can ultimately extend its life.
If you have a propane grill, be sure to leave the tank outside for safety purposes. Also, make sure to purchase a grill cover to keep the exterior surfaces clean, especially if the grill is stainless steel.
Grilling and entertaining outdoors is a wonderful way to enjoy quality time with family and friends. If you want to be known as the chef who cooks and invites everyone over at the spur of the moment, you need to keep your grill clean, spotless and in working order.
Take a look at Abt's outdoor grills for sale. Don't know whether to go for charcoal or propane? Check out our ultimate Outdoor Grill Buying Guide to learn which one is best for your cooking style.

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