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Winter Storage Tips for Built-in Gas Grills

Your built-in grill is the centerpiece of your outdoor kitchen and a fantastic asset to the value of your home and outdoor space. But if you live somewhere that gets cold and snowy in the winter, how can you ensure your grill stays in great shape for next season?

Unlike freestanding grills, you can’t easily roll your built-in grill into the garage or shed for the season, so you’ll need to go through a few more steps to prepare it for winter storage.

In this guide, we’ll walk you through the tools and steps required to prep your built-in grill for winter storage, from safely removing the fuel source to ensuring anything that can cause moisture damage or attract pests is effectively cleaned out.

If you’ve never winterized a grill before, this may seem like a lot of work. But going through these winter storage tips for built-in gas grills now and getting your built-in grill ready for winter is a part of taking good care of your investment and getting the most use out of it in the warm summer months (no matter how short they might feel).

Keep reading to learn how to prep your built-in grill for the winter and ensure it’s ready to go next spring!

Why You Need to Winterize Your Built-in Gas Grill

Critters & Wildlife | Mold Growth | Metal Corrosion & Oxidation

Why winterize your grill? There are a few different reasons, but it all boils down to one thing: taking good care of your grill so it can take good care of you when you’re craving grilled deliciousness next spring.

Preserving the lifespan and performance of your built-in gas grill goes beyond regular cleaning after each use—it includes crucial seasonal care, especially winterizing before the colder months set in.

But why is this so important?

Winterizing your grill helps protect it from the harsh weather conditions of winter.

Although built-in grills are designed for outdoor use, they are still susceptible to damage from extreme cold, snow, ice, and even the freeze-thaw cycle which can lead to cracking and other structural damage.

Properly cleaning and covering your grill can minimize the risk of weather-related damage. But don’t worry, with our winter storage tips for built-in gas grills, we’ve got you covered.

Here are the top reasons why you need to winterize your grill once the temperatures start dropping.

Critters & Wildlife

Pests can become a problem during winter. Your grill is a cozy, secure space for more than just smoked chicken and burgers — insects, birds, rodents, and other wildlife are known to choose unused built-in grills for their homes for the safety they provide during colder months. A built-in grill can provide a perfect hiding place.

A thorough cleaning before winter can help deter these pests, keeping your grill in good shape for the next grilling season.

A rodent nesting in a gas grill during winter

Mold Growth

That same grease and food debris that may look like a “vacancy” sign to local wildlife can also grow mold in the milder fall or spring months.

Mold thrives in damp, dark environments, making a closed grill during the wet winter months a potential breeding ground. Mold not only poses health risks but can also be tough to eliminate once established.

Deep cleaning as part of the winterization process is essential to ensure your grill is clean and mold-free the next time you bring it out to cook.

Metal Corrosion & Oxidation

Winterizing your grill is crucial in preventing rust and corrosion. Moisture is a common enemy of metal, and winter tends to bring more damp conditions. Any food and grease left behind can also attract and trap moisture, leading to corrosion and oxidation of your grill’s metal components.

That corrosion is a one-way ticket to serious damage that can shorten your grill’s lifespan and even make it unusable next spring, so be sure to really clean out all of the gunk before covering it up for winter.

By thoroughly cleaning your grill and applying a protective layer of cooking oil to the grates, you’re helping to prevent the formation of rust.

Required Materials for This Project

To winterize your grill, you’ll first need to grab a few household items to ensure the job is done right. Don’t forget to follow all of our winter storage tips for built-in gas grills and to make sure your backyard kitchen investment lasts for years to come.

Here’s a list of everything you’ll need:

  • Stainless Steel Grill Brush: This is necessary for scrubbing down the grates and removing any stuck-on food particles or residue.
  • Soapy Water and Sponge: Warm soapy water is great for cleaning the exterior of your grill. A sponge can help you reach all the nooks and crannies.
  • Stainless Steel Cleaner: If your grill has stainless steel parts, this will help give it an extra shine and a protective layer.
  • Cooking Oil: A light coat of cooking oil on the grill grates can help prevent rust from forming.
  • Soft Cloth: This will be used to apply the cooking oil to the grates.
  • Baking Soda: Used as a moisture absorber, baking soda can help prevent dampness inside your grill.
  • Small Bucket or Pan: You’ll need this to hold the baking soda.
  • Plastic Bags: To wrap up the grill’s burners and protect them from moisture and pests. (You may need a screwdriver to remove the burners before wrapping.)
  • Tape: To secure the plastic bags around the burners.
  • Grill Cover: A grill cover is vital for protecting your grill from winter weather. Choose a cover that is waterproof and fits your grill snugly.

*Optional: If your grill is part of an outdoor kitchen, a tarp can provide additional protection by covering the entire area.

How to Winterize Your Gas Grill

Perform a Maintenance Check | Disconnect Your Propane Tank or Natural Gas Line | Deep Clean That Grill | Lock Out Moisture With Cooking Oil | Wrap Your Burners | Wrap the Gas Line and Orifice | Check Your Control Knobs | Remove the Battery From the Ignition System | Remove Rotisserie Motors | Clean & Polish the Exterior | Spray the Exterior With White Vinegar | Don’t Forget to Cover

Now that you have your supplies, you’re ready to winterize your grill!

We recommend doing this whenever temperatures start to fall in your neck of the woods, but before they dip below freezing for the first time.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you through the process.

Perform a Maintenance Check

Before you start the winterizing process, do a thorough check of your grill. Look for any signs of wear and tear, such as rust or loose parts. Take a close look to make sure all of the parts, like the cooking grates, gas line, burners, heat plates, control knobs, and exterior, aren’t showing any signs of deterioration.

If you find parts that are damaged or deteriorating but still replaceable, have them fixed or replaced before you winterize your grill.

Disconnect Your Propane Tank or Natural Gas Line

Next, you’ll need to disconnect your grill’s natural gas line or remove the propane tank, depending on your grill’s fuel type. For safety, you should always follow your grill manufacturer’s instructions at this step.

If your grill uses a propane tank, remember that these should never be stored indoors in your house, garage, or shed. If you don’t plan on keeping your propane tank under your grill or elsewhere in your outdoor cooking space, be sure to pick an outside spot where it can sit upright away from heat sources like your dryer vents.

Deep Clean That Grill

Next up is a deep clean to remove any food debris and grease that can lure in wildlife and lead to corrosion.

This process should go beyond your typical grill cleaning. Using your grill brush, you’ll want to remove all the grease and buildup from your cooking grates, burners, and flame tamers. We suggest removing the cooking grates during this part, if you can, for easier access to the components that sit under them.

If there’s any debris sticking to the grill’s interior, like the walls or the underside of the hood, scrape that off as well, then brush all of the bits into the grease tray or drip pan. Finally, empty your drip pan and clean it with soap and water.

Once the interior of your grill is spotless, you can move on to the exterior with your soap, water, and sponge. Dish soap is an especially handy tool here since it can cut through any grease and grime that has built up over the summer.

Give your grill another once-over to ensure you haven’t missed any dirt or debris, and then you’re ready to move on!

Lock Out Moisture With Cooking Oil

Once your grill is clean, you’ll need to coat the burners, grill grates, and other metal parts with a thin layer of cooking oil. This helps protect against rust and will ensure your grill is ready to go once spring hits.

You can use a rag, paper towels, or a spray to do this, just like you would when seasoning your grates. Be sure to use an oil that won’t go rancid, like coconut or palm can.

Wrap Your Burners

If you don’t plan on using your grill over the winter at all, you’ll want to wrap your burners with plastic wrap or plastic bags to make sure spiders and other critters can’t crawl inside.

If you’ve taken your burners off the grill, we recommend leaving them off and just placing them on the grates after you wrap them, so you don’t get a melty, plastic-y surprise when you go to fire the grill up in spring.

Wrap the Gas Line and Orifice

Next, wrap your gas line and the orifice that fuels the burners with bags as well, for the same reason you wrapped the burners up.

Check Your Control Knobs & Coupling Nut of Your Regulator

We’re still on pest patrol in this step — take a look at your control knobs and the coupling nut on your regulator to ensure they’re insect-free as well.

Make sure that all control knobs are in the ‘off’ position and that the coupling nut of your regulator is disconnected.

Remove the Battery From the Ignition System

If your grill’s ignition system uses a battery, remove that next to avoid it corroding or becoming unusable over winter.

Here’s how to do it on most gas grills:

  1. Make sure the grill burners are off and the appliance is cool.
  2. Turn the gas valve handle clockwise to shut off the gas supply.
  3. Unscrew the battery compartment cover anticlockwise and take out the old battery.

When it’s time to put in a new battery, just reverse the process.

Remove Rotisserie Motors

The same goes for your rotisserie motor — if you have one, now is the time to remove it and store it away.

While many manufacturers will tell you rotisserie motors are waterproof, it’s always a smart move to take it out and store it indoors for the winter so it’s guaranteed to work next year.

Clean & Polish the Exterior

Now it’s time for the outside of your grill to get the same deep cleaning treatment you gave the inside! Wipe down the exterior using dish soap and a damp cloth to remove any food drippings, grease, or other residue that could cause corrosion or attract pests.

Now is the time to use the stainless steel cleaner as well.

Do not use an abrasive cleaner here, as tempting as it might be, since these can scratch away at your grill’s gorgeous finish.

Spray the Cleaned Exterior With Undiluted White Vinegar

Give your clean grill a final spray down with white vinegar to prevent the possibility of mold growth over the winter. This also helps to disinfect the grill and protect it from rust. After spraying, let it dry completely.

Don’t Forget to Cover Your Grill

Once your grill is completely dry, protect all of your handiwork with a waterproof grill cover. If you don’t already have a cover, do your diligence to ensure the cover you buy is the right size and shape for your built-in grill.

For a built-in grill, you’ll want to choose a weatherproof cover that can keep out snow, ice, and rain but still allow for some breathability to prevent trapped moisture and mold growth.

If your built-in grill is part of an outdoor kitchen, consider using a tarp to cover the entire kitchen area for added protection.

Final Thoughts on Our Winter Storage Tips for Built-in Gas Grills Guide

Caring for your built-in gas grill is a year-round commitment, and this guide aims to equip you with all the information you need to tackle the challenging winter months.

We’ve covered the ‘why’ and the ‘how’ of winterizing your grill, stressing the importance of this process and providing a comprehensive, step-by-step guide to make the task manageable.

Winterizing is not just about ensuring your grill survives the winter—it’s about keeping it in optimal condition, ready to deliver excellent results when the grilling season arrives. It’s about preventing rust, deterring pests, avoiding mold growth, and extending the overall lifespan of your grill.

The materials required for winterizing are relatively simple and straightforward, and most are likely already in your home. By spending a little time and effort now, you can avoid more significant issues down the line.

With the winter storage tips for built-in gas grills and steps in this guide, your grill will be ready for winter storage and — more importantly —in great shape to start grilling again once temperatures warm up in spring.

Remember, your grill is an investment—one that brings joy, delicious food, and cherished memories with loved ones. By taking care of it, you’re not just maintaining a piece of equipment but preserving a key part of your home and lifestyle.

If you have any questions about winterizing your built-in grill, send us an email or leave a comment below, and we’ll do our best to get you an answer.

Cheers,

Pat G.

Next Steps:

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DisclosureAt The Grilling Life, I am committed to researching and writing thoughtful, informative and editorially independent reviews of the best products for your outdoor cooking needs.  If you like what I do, you can support me through my chosen links, which earn me a commission.  This allows me to continue sharing with you my love for all things barbecue.  Your support is truly appreciated.

Patrick Ginise

A backyard warrior, certified carnivore, lover of good whiskey, grill master and I’m Living The Grilling Life!

I have a passion for cooking with live fire and smoke, no matter the weather. I’m a real person just like you, who loves outdoor cooking and BBQ. Food, fun, and time spent with family and friends are what it’s all about! It is my mission to take my passion and knowledge for outdoor cooking and all things BBQ and share this expertise in techniques and grilling equipment with you. In other words, Living The Grilling Life!

I have personally tested over 150+ Grills and Smokers and hundreds of grilling thermometers, temperature controllers, grill brushes, grilling tools, fire starters, and other BBQ products.