A grill is a major purchase, one that many people spend time researching and make carefully. Naturally, you want to protect your grill, which begs the question, “do I need a grill cover?”
A grill cover is not necessary, but having one will extend the grill’s life by protecting it from the weather, bugs, animals, and help keep it cleaner. The most common reasons for not using a grill cover are its added cost and the inconvenience of needing to remove and replace it after use.
In this article, I’ll deeper into the pros and cons of grill covers and other factors that might sway your decision whether or not to use one!
4 Reasons You Should Use a Grill Cover!
First, let’s cover why it’s a good idea to use a grill cover. Some of these reasons might be obvious, but others are less so!
1. Protect the Grill and Its Parts
A grill cover protects all of your grill’s mechanisms and parts from Mother Nature, precipitation in particular. There are many metal parts on your grill that could potentially rust if they aren’t kept dry (at least for the most part).
Leaves and pine needles from trees, sap, pollen, dust, and dirt are just a few of the things to which you need to limit your grill’s exposure.
Finally, if you or your neighbors plan to fertilize the lawn or use other chemical products, those can get into your grill, as well.
2. Keep Your Grill Looking Nice
That shiny exterior won’t stay shiny and new for long if it gets covered in water spots and dirt!
You can and should deep clean your grill periodically, but save yourself time and energy by covering it when not in use.
Similarly, a grill cover can not only keep your grill looking nice but feeling nice as well. If you keep your grill in direct sunlight, a cover can prevent the handles and knobs from getting too hot, making it easier when you want to start cooking.
3. Keep Out Critters
A grill cover will help keep bugs and especially bees and wasps out of your grill. After all, the last thing you want is to turn on your grill and then be suddenly swarmed by angry stinging insects.
In addition, it can protect your grill from other animal contamination, including bird feces or nests. I saw a mouse come crawling out of mine once, and I don’t know if it was my mind playing tricks on me or not, but the food definitely tasted a little off that meal!
Dog owners might also be familiar with the appeal of a dirty grill or a full grease tray. If your dog (or other animals nearby, including mice) has access to your grill, a cover might help keep them off and out.
4. Better Tasting Food
At the end of the day, properly caring for your grill means that it will keep working like new, yielding the best culinary creations possible.
A grill cover can give a major assist in that process. What’s more, you certainly don’t want your food contaminated with dirt or pollen, either.
If you’re going to use a grill cover, make sure you do so properly. Otherwise, it kind of defeats the purpose.
Drawbacks to Using a Grill Cover
While there are plenty of benefits to using a grill cover, there might be a few things that make you think twice about whether or not you need a grill cover.
1. An Additional Expense
A high-quality grill isn’t cheap and while a grill cover can extend the life of your grill, a cover is an additional expense.
Depending on the particular model and manufacturer, you’ll find that most grill covers range from $25 to $100.
2. Not Ideal For Humid Climates
This is one situation where a cover might cause more harm than good!
If it’s been particularly humid and moist outside, a grill cover can trap that moisture inside the grill, allowing bacteria and mold to grow.
Unless you use your grill often, you’ll need to remove the cover every few days for a few hours at least to allow the grill to dry out and breathe.
3. They’re Kind of a Hassle to Take On and Off
Even the best grill covers on the market are typically large and a bit cumbersome. Sometimes, you want to get cooking without taking extra steps.
In that case, the grill cover gets in the way. In addition, the cover itself will need periodic care and cleaning. Or you can never clean it and just replace it every couple of years 😉
What Happens if You Don’t Cover Your Grill?
The short answer is, your grill may deteriorate faster and need to be replaced sooner.
Let’s look at some other consequences:
- More time spent cleaning the grill to remove dirt, water spots, and other things that the cover would have kept away.
- You risk corrosion or rust of the metal elements.
- Risk of damage to the electrical mechanisms.
- Your grill will be better ventilated.
Most of these things can (and eventually, likely will) happen if you cover your grill. They will just happen slower if you have a grill cover.
Is It Okay for a Grill to Get Rained On?
Grills are designed to be used and stored outdoors, so of course, it is okay for them to be rained on without a grill cover on them. That said, you take some risks by letting the rain fall directly on your grill.
If you’re not going to use a cover, we recommend disconnecting and properly storing your gas source when not in use. Otherwise, a bad rainstorm could damage the parts and cause a dangerous gas leak.
Rain and moisture can flood the inside of your grill, which will be a huge pain to clean up the next time you want to use it.
Finally, there’s always a chance that rain could fall torrentially or even become hail in particularly severe weather. In that case, your shiny grill exterior may get dented and damaged.
It’s important that the moisture that a grill cover traps inside to properly dry so you don’t get mold in your grill. Be sure to uncover your grill for a little while once the weather is calm again to allow it to dry fully.
What About the Winter?
We strongly recommend using a grill cover in the winter. Since you’re likely to be using your grill less frequently in the winter, the cover keeps it clean and protected without having to think about it during longer stretches of non-use.
Keep in mind that winter can be a particularly damp and wet time; be sure to periodically uncover the grill to allow it to dry and check for damage.
A cover may eliminate the necessity of storing the grill somewhere indoors or under shelter, freeing up space in a garage or shed.
The great thing about using a grill cover for the winter is that, if you live in a snowy region, all you need to do to use the grill is take off the cover and all the snow with it, so you can get grilling faster.
What if You Forget to Cover Your Grill?
If you forget to use your cover, it’s typically not that big of a deal.
We’ve mentioned a lot of reasons why using a grill cover is a good idea and the risks of not using one.
But if you forget to cover the grill for a few days or even a week or so, more than likely, you won’t see any damage, especially not long-term damage.
Quick Tips for Buying a Grill Cover
Here are a few tips for buying the right grill cover for your needs:
- Check your grill manufacturer’s website. Chances are good they make a cover for your model.
- Read some product reviews to find the right cover for your particular climate. If you live in the northeast, you need something that’s good in the snow. If you live in the southwest, though, you’re probably looking for something that protects your grill from intense sunlight.
- Double-check your grill’s dimensions.
- Think about the long-term.
So Do I Need to Use a Grill Cover?
I love my grill cover and I recommend that any grill owner use one. If you want to keep your grill working, looking new and delaying the day when you will eventually need to replace it, it’s a good idea to use a grill cover.