Today I’m going to show you everything you should do to clean and prep your grill before you put it away for the winter. This will ensure that your grill will be in good working order when you pull it out in the spring and will help increase its total lifespan. This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Spray Nine for IZEA. All opinions are 100% mine.
How to Prepare Your Gas Grill for Winter Storage
What you will need:Stiff Wire Brush (or Grill Brush)
Heavy Duty Cleaner & Degreaser (I recommend Spray Nine Heavy Duty Cleaner, which is specifically designed for tough cleaning jobs )
Vegetable Oil or Cooking Spray
Plastic grocery bag or other thin plastic
BEFORE BEGINNING MAKE SURE YOU HAVE TURNED OFF THE GAS TO THE GRILL AND ALLOWED IT TO COOL COMPLETELY!
Video Tutorial:I created short video which shows me going through all the steps for winterizing my grill. If you aren’t a fan of video, I have a written tutorial below!
Step 1: Wipe down outside Grill SurfacesFor this step I use Spray Nine Heavy Duty Cleaner since it cuts through the greasy smoke residue along with the other dirt and grime that has built up from storing my grill outside in the elements. It is tougher than other cleaners, and meant for industrial strength cleaning. Your grill will need that degreasing ability since most of the residue is going to be baked on and greasy. See what Spray Nine Heavy Duty can do for you.
Using either clean cotton rags or paper towels works best so you don’t scratch the stainless steel surfaces
Step 2: Scrub and Clean Grill Grates and Heat Diffusers
Starting with a wire brush, remove large loose piece of burnt on food and other debris. Next using the Spray Nine Heavy Duty Cleaner, the wire brush and some soft rags, remove any greasy residue and baked on film.
My grill is an infrared style with grill grates that contain hundreds of tiny holes. Before cleaning, the vast majority of them were clogged with burnt on material.
After a good scrubbing and degreasing, you can see they were all completely open.
After cleaning make sure you give the grates a good rinse with clean water and dry them completely.
If you have a grease trap or drip tray, you also want to remove it and degrease it as well.
Coat the cooking grates and burners in a light layer of food safe vegetable oil. This helps prevent rust and corrosion while they are being stored. You can either wipe the oil on lightly with a paper towel, or spray the pieces with vegetable spray.
Step 3: Clean the inside of grillUsing either a brush or a vacuum remove all the loose debris and ash from the bottom of the grill. Then follow up with Spray Nine Heavy Duty Cleaner and a rag to remove any oily residue.
If your burners are removable, you can take them out and place them in a plastic bag to prevent insects from nesting inside the burner holes.
Step 4: Remove the batteries from electronic ignition (if applicable)If you grill has an electronic (spark) igniter, you want to remove the battery. Otherwise the battery is likely to corrode while the grill is being stored.
Step 5: Prepare your Propane Tanks for Winter StorageThe most important winterization step for your grill, is the proper storage of your gas tank. PROPANE TANKS SHOULD NEVER BE STORED INDOORS. Not in your garage, basement, shed or any other enclosed space. Gas tanks can safely be stored outside even at sub-zero temperatures. If you are storing your grill indoors for the winter, you must remove your gas tank and leave it outside.
Never store you tanks near basement windows or window wells (gas is heavier than air and and will find its way into low spaces). Store tanks upright an and away from any air intakes or furnace vents. Even a small gas link from your propane tank can cause a large explosion. If your tank is near empty, you may want to have it filled before storing it. It is better to store your tanks full.
Make sure the tank itself is turned off completely, and then detach it from the gas feed line for the grill.
This prevents any spiders or other debris from getting inside the line. One of the most common reasons for clogged gas lines on grills is insects. You don’t want to leave them exposed over the winter.
Step 6: Cover grill with appropriately sized good quality grill cover (if storing grill outside)If you are going to leave your grill outside all winter, you want to make sure you have a heavy duty grill cover that fits appropriately. The cover should be on tightly, to prevent animals or debris from access your grill. A cover isn’t necessary if storing your grill indoors, although it doesn’t hurt to use one.
With this simple process (it shouldn’t take you more than 20 or 30 minutes) you can bring your grill out next spring and delight in knowing that it should work exactly like the day you put it away. You reduce your chances of your grill corroding or rusting while it was stored, plus you can fire it up and begin cooking right away, since it will be clean and degreased!
For all your heavy duty cleaning and degreasing, Take the Spray Nine Challenge.