So you want to know how to prepare your barbecue for winter? Although it saddens us that you don't plan on grilling all winter long, we get it. They don't call Canada "The Great White North" for nothin'. Canadian winters get ridiculously cold and we sometimes get several feet of snow in one day, but you already knew that. While some brave souls fueled by barbecue are willing to bust out the shovel and clear a path to their grill, we can't expect it everyone (because we do realize not everyone that loves barbecue loves winter).
How To Prepare Your BBQ This Winter:
Clean Your Grill Thoroughly
Make sure that there are no traces of food left behind. Animals seek out shelter and food in the winter months and a dirty grill makes for a perfect den.
How to clean your barbecue:
Step 1: Run your barbecue for about 15 minutes on medium heat.
Step 2: Turn the grill off and wait until it gets just slightly warm.
Step 3: Use a sturdy wire brush and clean off any remaining bits of food or grease on your grill grates, warming racks, and heat deflectors (a.k.a. Flavorizer bars or sear plates).
Step 4: Get rid of your disposable drip pans or drip tray liners and replace with fresh ones.
Step 5: Finish by wiping down the whole barbecue with degreaser to get rid of any traces of grease or oil left inside the cook box, top of the lid, or cart.
Step 6: Wipe off any dust on the outside with soap water, and even use our The Shining stainless steel polish on any stainless steel pieces to make it look new again!
Just like you put on your spiffy parka to protect yourself from the elements, you need to put a grill cover on your barbecue for the winter. Do this once the barbecue has fully cooled down and dried to prevent mould build up. Consider yourself warned - nobody likes a mouldy grill. Make sure the straps are secured, so the cover doesn't blow off and animals can't get in so easily.
It's much more pleasant to spend $50 on a new barbecue cover, than having to spend $1500 on a new barbecue because you skipped this step. Consider yourself warned... again (we're just looking out for you).
Side Note: Although barbecue covers are highly water resistant they are not completely water-proof. This means that if snow or water happens to pool up, it could get through the cover. Water should drip off the cover due to our friendly force of gravity, but we recommend you shake off any heavy snow or pooled water that has stayed on your cover. Also, take a quick look at your grill just to be sure water won't pool on or in your grill.
Be sure to unhook your grill from it's fuel source if you won't be using it. That means closing all the necessary valves on a natural gas grill or storing away your propane tank on your propane grill. Additionally, store your barbecue in your garage or under a covered part of your patio if you can.
Side note: it is NOT safe to store propane tanks inside your garage, shed, or basement. For the winter, store your propane tank upright in a flat, dry, and well-ventilated area that is away from the sun. This could be outdoors and under a porch.
If you have cast iron grates, it's best to bring those beauties inside. Temperature changes outdoors can cause them to crack and moisture in the air can rust them. To store them, season them one last time and put them away in a dry area like a kitchen cupboard or pantry.
Some Winter Grilling Warriors To Aspire To Become: