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You’ve spent years putting away little pieces of paychecks, cooking on a cheap charcoal grill in the backyard, waiting for this day to come- now, it’s finally here. You’ve got your brand new, state-of-the-art grill, and you’re ready to cook. But now that you’ve got the superior equipment, how can you keep it working smoothly? You might be wondering– should a BBQ be covered?
Whether or not you’ll want to keep your BBQ covered will depend on a number of factors. If you live in a humid area, with lots of moisture floating around, you’ll want to keep the cover off. For other areas, a cover is beneficial.
So, how can you determine whether or not to use a BBQ cover? Should you put one on when it rains? What about after it rains? And where should you put a BBQ to keep it safe? This article will discuss all of these questions and more, hopefully answering all of your BBQ-related queries.
Should a BBQ Be Covered?
Without further ado, let’s get right into our main question. When we’re asking ourselves whether or not to cover a BBQ, we’re really asking ourselves what the conditions are like where we live. The big problem with an open grill is that certain elements- water, dust, animals, etc. might get in a grill and cause issues with the machinery.
To determine whether or not you need to cover your grill, you’re going to have to take a look around. Do you live in a humid area or a dry area? Are you near an ocean or a large body of saltwater? How often does it rain in your area?
Let’s go right down the line with these questions- starting with humid areas.
Leave a BBQ Uncovered in a Humid Area
It may seem counter-intuitive, but it’s actually best to leave a BBQ un-covered in a humid area. Despite all the little water molecules floating around in the air, raising the possibility of compromising your BBQ, you’re going to want to let your BBQ sit out in the open.
Humid areas are areas with lots of moisture content in the air. These areas include- Florida, the gulf coast, and other tropical states. You would be smart to keep the grill uncovered in a foggy area, too, just to make sure you’re not putting it in any danger.
So, why do we want to leave our grills exposed to the elements in more humid areas? Well, if you’re putting a cover over your BBQ, you’re letting all that moist air seep in under it. But after it gets under there, it has nowhere to go- thus creating a microclimate that has trouble drying out even when the humidity goes down.
After a long period of time, the underside of your grill cover can become so moist that you get rust and other imperfections, which will harm your grill and could eventually cause it to break. It’s better to leave the grill uncovered and let the sun dry it off.
In Dry Climates- Cover or Don’t. It’s Your Choice.
If you’re living in a dry climate, you might be thanking God right now- and you’d be right to. Having a BBQ in a dry environment is an enormous advantage that lightens the burden of grill upkeep enormously. When you’re in a dry climate, all you need to do is flip the lid down and let it sit.
Keep in mind- not all dry areas have the same amount of rainfall- some dry regions are prone to sudden storms and the like, so you’ll want to watch your weather app and make sure you’ve got your BBQ cover on the ready for any possible eventualities. If it’s going to rain, put a waterproof cover on your grill and leave it there until the rain passes. When the storm is done, make sure to uncover your grill. This will prevent a humid microclimate from forming.
But rain isn’t your only enemy. There is a such thing as too dry when it comes to BBQs. If you’re living in an extremely dry area- prone to dust and sand- you’re going to want to keep it covered most of the time. Dust and sand can cause problems just like moisture.
Bayside BBQ? Keep it Covered.
While living on an oceanside property can be relaxing and stress-free, it does come with its fair share of burdens. Machinery, for example, doesn’t do so well in the salty spray from the ocean.
If you’re living on an oceanside property, you’re going to want to keep your BBQ covered up. Keeping your grill covered up on any given day will make sure that salty, moist air from the ocean steers clear of important machinery and wind-blown sand stays off.
Will a Grill Survive Without a Cover?
The most important thing to remember is that most high-end grills are built to last. In certain conditions, it’s recommended that you have a cover. A BBQ cover can extend the life of your BBQ and keep you grilling for years to come.
But while a cover may help, it’s not always necessary. It may extend the life of your grill, but if it’s just too much of a pain for you to put it on and take it off, your grill will likely be able to withstand a ferocious storm every once in a while.
Grills are made for outside cooking, so manufacturers have to take into account all possible conditions in the outside world. These include- humid environments, rainstorms, thunderstorms, and high sun exposure. This is not to mention the heat from grilling, which it’s built to withstand on its own.
If you’ve got a brand new grill and don’t have a cover for it yet, never fear- she’ll be able to survive a few days naked to the elements.
If you’ve got a lower-end grill or an older grill, however, you’d be wise to take all necessary precautions. That used clunker on OfferUp may have been cheap, but it’s already got some wear and tear on it, and its days are probably numbered. To extend its lifespan, use the cover as we’ve directed.
But are there other ways to keep your grill safe from the elements? And what are the big dangers of an uncovered grill? This next section will discuss the worst that could possibly happen to your uncovered grill, as well as how to prevent disaster by combining grill placement with proper coverage.
Uncovered Grills- What’s the Worst that Could Happen?
While your BBQ will be able to withstand a little humid air, a particularly fierce nighttime storm, or a bit of dust in the works, you’ll want to keep it covered in times of trouble just to extend its lifespan. If not, your BBQ could succumb to any one of the following fates:
Long-Term Rust Damage
For right now, a little rust around the hinges of your grill may not seem like a big problem. But, it signals a chronic issue with moistness and humidity that’s likely to cause some troubles later down the line. Covers prevent this by keeping your BBQ nice and dry in moist times.
While the parts in your grill may be made to withstand Mother Nature’s wiles, they’re not indestructible. After a long period of exposure, everything from wiring to structural elements can decay, making your BBQ’s life a whole lot harder than it needs to be. A cover can prevent this for a time.
If you live in a wooded area, you’re probably aware of the nut problem- woody projectiles raining down from the sky day and night as hungry squirrels and birds try to break past outer husks and retrieve nutrition inside. This can cause dents and other malformities, which will just make your grill look ugly.
Keep Your BBQ in Good Shape With Smart Placement
While that sunny, open deck may look like a spectacular place for your grill, it may also be your grill’s worst nightmare. Bombarded continuously by nuts from above, rain, snow, and sleet, your grill will have a hard time keeping things together.
If you can, find a sheltered space with a roof above and walls behind. This will prevent your grill from taking too much unnecessary damage and keep your machinery operating like new even when the going gets tough.
Combining good placement of a BBQ with an efficient cover will hugely extend the lifespan of your grill and keep you and your family grilling for ages. Just don’t get too carried away- we want everyone to have their fair share of the delicious steaks and sausages we know and love.
All in All
All in all, there’s nothing you can do to prevent wear and tear on your grill, but a grill cover can help. IF you’re in a dry or humid climate, you might want to leave a cover off. In rainy and coastal climates, just leave it in the open.