Grill Cover Buyer's Guide
- Outdoor gas grill with and without a grill cover
75% of Americans own an outdoor grill. If you invest money in a grill, it's also a good idea to buy a grill cover. Grill covers protect your grill from rust, debris and tiny animals that may try to sneak in.
Investing in a suitable grill cover is a lot less expensive than having to replace your grill because it was exposed to the elements. Let's say you buy a middle-of-the-road grill at $1,200. It's nothing super fancy but still an investment.
Even if you purchase a nice grill cover for $100 and it saves you from having to replace that grill just once, you've saved $1,100! That number could easily be higher depending on the type of grill you own and how well the cover protects.
We don't believe you need every accessory known to man to enjoy your grill, though a grill cover is necessary. The price savings are so drastic!
As you might have guessed, not all grill covers are created equal. That's why we've created a guide so you know what to look for in buying a cover or making your own. We'll discuss materials, the kind of fit you should look for, and our top recommended brands.
What is a Grill Cover?
A grill cover is a fitted covering made of a material like canvas or vinyl. It's meant to cover the grill when it's not in use to protect it from weather, dust, and debris. The right covers also discourage animals from building nests in your grill.
- Black Broilmaster grill cover
So, what makes a great grill cover? Here's a list of things you're looking for in a quality grill cover, followed by a list of things to avoid.
Things Great Grill Covers Have in Common
We're sure you'll need a material that offers waterproof protection. Otherwise, what's the point? You didn't get a cover so that your grill could have a wet blanket every time it rains.
Make sure your grill cover meets the following criteria:
- Matches your decor
- Easy to clean and maintain
- Large enough to cover the entire grill
- Straps or a drawstring to secure the cover
- Fitted enough that it doesn't create a spacious tent for critters
- Fabric that is fade-resistant and doesn't crack when left outside
- Bonus points if your grill cover comes with other accessories like grilling tools!
- Padded in certain areas for added protection or for when you want to move the grill
- Mesh vents are nice to help air evaporate and prevent trapped humidity from causing rust
Signs Your Grill Cover Is Not All That It Could Be
- Lack of waterproof protection
- Poorly sewn seams that can rip open
- Fabric that cracks with temperature extremes
- Flimsy or lightweight material that tears easily
- Poorly fitting cover - too tight, too loose, or won't stay on when it's windy
- Sometimes it's just ugly. There's no shame in replacing a grill cover simply because it's an eyesore next to your other outdoor decor.
- Lined with fleece or flannel. Not only is it difficult to keep clean, but your rodent population will also be thrilled with the windfall of nesting material.
When To Use A Grill Cover?
To answer this question, let's list things you might want to protect your grill from. Weather conditions like rain and snow are obvious answers. Other things include harsh sunlight, dust, debris, and nesting animals.
Rust is probably the biggest enemy to the longevity of your grill, especially if you keep your grill outside. You'll want to keep it from getting soaked by rain and snow.
This actually brings up controversy among grill enthusiasts. Some advocate for grill covers any time the grill is not in use, but others claim that using a cover in humid environments will trap moisture next to the grill and encourage rust.
While this particular question might still be open for debate, my suggestion is that the answer lies in getting the right grill cover. If you live in a humid climate, finding a grill cover with moisture-wicking fabric or vents can still protect the grill from getting soaked by rain without sealing in the moisture from humidity.
- Black grill cover fabric
Even if you store your grill in a shed or garage, you should still consider a cover to protect from dust to send a clear message to animals and let them know they aren't welcomed.
How to Use a Grill Cover
Always wait until the grill is completely cooled down before putting on the grill cover. A hot grill could melt your cover or even become a fire hazard. Make sure both the grill and the cover are dry before you put the cover on it. Otherwise, you are just trapping moisture!
- How to pull a grill cover
If you get surprised by a cloudburst that soaks your grill (or the inside of the cover), don't panic. Grills are fairly weather-resistant and can take some exposure. The point of the cover is protection over the long run, not an absolute necessity for every raindrop. If you forget and leave the cover off, just wait until it dries, wipe down your grill with a cloth or towel, and replace the cover.
Types of Grill Covers
Other than bonus features like straps or pockets, your choices boil down to the type of material and the shape of the cover. The shape you need is mostly determined by the shape of your grill (well, duh). Many covers fit a range of sizes, so look for something that will accommodate the size and style of your grill.
- Egg-shaped black grill cover
For example, an egg-shaped grill or smoker will need a different cover shape than a rectangular gas grill with side burners. If you aren't purchasing a cover specifically designed for your particular model, be careful to check the measurements and description so you know it will fit.
Polyester, canvas, and vinyl are common materials for covers. Sometimes the cover is also lined for added protection. Again, steer away from wool or fleece linings and go with something like polyester, PVC, or vinyl.
- Everdure box grill cover
Polyester and vinyl are good at keeping moisture out but aren't always as durable as a thicker material like canvas. They can still be good options though, especially if the seams are well-sewn and the vinyl is on the thicker side.
How To Make Your Own Grill Cover
Unlike most of the products we carry, grill covers can be a DIY project! So while we don't recommend crafting a homemade vent-free fireplace, we're happy to walk you through the basic steps of sewing a custom grill cover. It's a great solution if you have a uniquely shaped grill, or want more control over the fabric options.
You'll need to choose a suitable fabric so it's waterproof and durable. This coated polyester fabric is an example of something that would work well.
You'll also need a sturdy thread and a sewing machine that is capable of sewing through layers of the fabric that you choose.
The basic process starts by dividing your grill into simple sections and measuring these sections to create a form-fitting cover. You're basically upholstering a slipcover, but it's for your grill instead of for your couch.
Try to keep it simple. If your grill has a large grill hood and then a shorter side section, you may want to create separate pattern pieces. However, there's no reason to painstakingly cut out a form-fitting pattern for every handle and knob.
Adding a drawstring along the base or sewing on some straps will help keep animals out and prevent
the cover from blowing off.
Not feeling the itch to make your own? We don't blame you. Thankfully, grill covers are an accessory that is affordable and easy to find. Here are some suggestions of leading brands that we recommend as sources for quality covers.
- Blaze Grills - Blaze grills is committed to making high-quality outdoor kitchens a more affordable option. They offer several different grill covers to suit the different models of grills that they carry.
- American Outdoor Grill - The AOG brand offers a collection of portable and built-in grills made from commercial-grade stainless steel. Their cover options complement the different grill configurations that they sell.
- Broilmaster - Broilmaster has been in the grill business since 1966. Their black cover options include covers for the grill head or full head and cart covers.
- PGS Grills - With over 40 years of experience, PGS Grills offers aluminum, stainless steel, and fully commercial gas grills. They carry a selection of weatherproof covers.
- Everdure - Everdure is known for their gas and charcoal grills that combine technology with aesthetic. They carry full-length covers designed to fit the sizes and shapes that they offer.
Care and Maintenance
This section could be titled "care and maintenance of your care and maintenance product." Seriously though, even though covers are a major factor in maintaining your grill, the covers themselves can use a little TLC to keep them in top shape.
- Cleaning a grill
Hopefully, your grill cover came with instructions on how to clean it. If not, you can google suggestions for cleaning the type of material your cover is made from. Soap and water are usually sufficient either for spot cleaning or for a more thorough wash. (Although, you should avoid water as much as possible with vinyl.)
Stay away from harsh chemicals and make sure your grill cover is completely dry before you put it back on the grill. If you want to go the extra mile, you can spritz on an anti-mildew spray to keep the inside corners or other parts of the cover from harboring fungus.
One last tip is to wipe off any bird droppings as soon as you notice them. You might be surprised how quickly they can damage or stain your cover.
Finally, something that ships via normal parcel post! No need for special freight options or pallet shipments, just order your cover and it will come in the mail. In the unlikely event that your cover arrives with defects or shipping damages, contact the seller or manufacturer so that they can help make things right!
- Shipping and receiving a grill cover
The solution to the infamous rust problem on grills is pretty straightforward. You don't want to keep replacing rusty grills or running a rodent hotel. A cover keeps your grill clean, dry, and ready to fire up again and again. Grill covers are worth the investment!
But, if you're going to have a grill cover, you may as well have one that does its job. Well made, well-fitted, weather-resistant covers are what it takes to help make your grill last.
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