The 10 Best Grill Covers
You Invested In A Grill – Protect It
When you walk out into a snowstorm, at a minimum you make sure you’re wearing a winter coat, gloves, and a beanie, right? If you’re fortunate enough to have a garage, I assume you opt to park your vehicle inside instead of leaving it out in the elements all night long. Your own health and the well-being of your valuable possessions are important, so why would you treat your classy new grill any differently?
Sure, you may have purchased an undersized portable grill for versatility and flexibility, but many of these less bulky options can still cost a pretty penny. Besides, there’s no logic in allowing any piece of equipment to weather away outdoors when a simple, reliable solution like a grill cover is so readily available. A grill is not a smartphone; very few people want to replace it every two years with the newest model.
A quality cover is the first line of defense between your barbecue and the forces of nature. Now, you may be thinking: “I don’t live in the Midwest or the Northeast with their harsh winters, so why waste my money on a grill cover?” Rest assured, that line of thinking will get you into trouble. You’re protecting your grill from more than snow, sleet, and high winds.
Moisture is one of the primary culprits behind a corroding barbecue. This means a humid climate – or any area of the country that’s susceptible to frequent precipitation, for that matter – can be hazardous to your grill. You should do whatever you can to avoid prolonged exposure to water, which will speed up the deterioration of your equipment.
For those of you who live in a coastal climate where harsh weather is infrequent, I wish I could say you’re in the clear. Unfortunately, there’s one particular troublesome issue here: the ocean. The salty air in these areas can lead to the buildup of salt residue, which will only shorten the life of your grill. When you’re seasoning meat, salt is acceptable; any other time, keep it away from your grill.
One Size Fits All? Not So Much
Just as humans and motor vehicles come in a variety of shapes and sizes, a wide array of grill designs is available, as well. Prior to making the purchase, you must make sure the cover you’ve selected will properly accommodate the grill you own. You wouldn’t buy a small raincoat for an NFL linebacker, you can't store an RV in a cramped, one-car garage, and you certainly don’t want to end up with a standard barbecue cover for a charcoal grill.
People have technically been grilling since they discovered how to use fire to cook food. However, you can trace the design of today's modern grills back to the 1950s, when George Stephen of Weber Brothers Metal Works got fed up with open-top cookers that often led to inconsistent results. From there, the good old-fashioned charcoal grill burst onto the scene.
The classic kettle design warrants its own special cover, and it's likely what comes to mind when you think of a charcoal grill, but that’s definitely not the only option. For example, a square-shaped charcoal grill will require a different cover than a standard kettle. A cart model looks like a gas grill and even includes similar features, but it’s powered by charcoal and will require yet a different cover.
For convenience and consistency, many people today opt for gas grills. These come in a range of sizes – from small, portable models to industrial grills for restaurants – and typically follow the rectangular cart design with a hinged lid, a cooking grid, and wheels. Some have side tables and others include additional heating surfaces, all of which you must consider when shopping for a cover.
Infrared grills utilize a heated ceramic tile to cook food via infrared radiation, while hybrid grills cook using both charcoal and natural gas or propane. As with other charcoal and gas models, if you simply make sure your grill and your cover are compatible, you’ll be good to go.
The Better It’s Built, The Longer It Lasts
Even if you cover yourself head-to-toe in insulated layers of cotton and wool, you’re bound to feel the effects of inclement weather or sub-zero temperatures if you spend enough time out in the elements. The same goes for your grill, and by extension, your grill cover.
A cover doesn’t only protect your grill from harsh weather and moist air. Sunlight can warp metal and lead to corrosion. Insects and rodents may mistake your grill for a new home, and you’ll be responsible for evicting them. You’ve heard of acid rain, right? Let's just say that acid rain and metal surfaces don’t get along very well.A quality cover will defend against these things for the long haul.
Vinyl, polyester, and canvas are popular and effective materials to consider. Vinyl is highly resistant to moisture, which you now know is a grill’s mortal enemy. Polyester covers are lightweight, versatile, and a bit more aesthetically attractive. They also tend to dry quickly, which is useful in humid areas. Typically the most heavy-duty option, canvas is very resilient when it comes to fire and weather, making it a wise choice for a grill that remains outdoors.
When it comes to durability, consider a couple of key attributes. What is the cover’s lining made of? PVC and nylon are good options, as these materials make the cover more resistant to tears and fading. They also facilitate easy cleaning and drying, which reduces the risk of mold, mildew, and insect issues. You should also examine the weight of the fabric. A thick cover, while slightly more cumbersome, will last longer and better resist the heat from the grill itself.
Does the cover include air vents? Remember, a model that allows moisture inside is basically worthless and a cover that traps moisture inside does more harm than good. The only way moisture should travel is out. Does the cover feature straps and pockets? While not essential, straps come in handy for securing it tightly in place while pockets are useful for storing accessories.