Storing Your Gas BBQ
1 Clean the Grill Thoroughly
The first step is to clean all cooking surfaces thoroughly. This includes removing any food particles, grease, and ash that may have accumulated on the grates, burners, and other parts of the grill. Use a BBQ brush and scraper to remove any leftover food, and then wipe down the grates with a damp cloth.
Next, remove the burners, heat plates, and any other removable parts from the grill. Clean them thoroughly with warm, soapy water and a sponge. Rinse them off and allow them to dry completely before replacing them. This will prevent any residual food or grease from attracting pests and insects during the winter months and looking like a science experiment when you get your BBQ out in Spring.
2 Check for Leaks
Before storing the BBQ, it is important to check for any gas leaks. Do this by applying a mixture of soap and water to the gas connections and hoses. If you see any bubbles forming, this indicates a leak. Turn off the gas supply and tighten the connections. If the leak persists, replace the faulty parts before storing the grill. All good BBQ companies should have a range of [quality parts available](https://www.gasmate.co.nz/products/category/bbq-accessories/all-products).
3 Cover Your BBQ
No matter whether you are in warmer places like Northland or the Coromandel or down in Otago, winter weather is going to be harsh – either heavy rain in the north or snow in the south. One of the most important steps is to cover your barbecue properly. This will protect it from the elements and prevent rust and other forms of damage. Look for a [high-quality, weather-resistant bbq cover](https://www.gasmate.co.nz/products/category/bbq-covers) that is designed to fit your barbecue.
4 Store the BBQ Indoors or Undercover
Like the other valued members of your family, you want to keep your BBQ safe and warm inside. This can be in a garage, shed, or any other covered area that is protected from the elements. If you do not have access to indoor storage, consider building a simple structure to protect the BBQ from the rain and snow.
5 Keep the BBQ Dry
If you must store it outside, it is important to keep your BBQ as dry as possible. Moisture is the enemy of metal and can cause rust and other forms of damage to the grill, hood, valves and handles. Make sure the cover is tight-fitting to prevent rain and snow from getting in. You can also place a moisture-absorbing product, such as silica gel packets or a bucket of dry rice, inside the grill to help absorb any moisture.
6 Remove the Gas Bottle
Before tucking your BBQ into hibernation for the winter, remove the gas bottle and store it separately in a cool, dry place. This will prevent the tank from rusting and potentially causing a fire hazard. Make sure the valve is closed tightly, and cover the tank with a protective cap.
7 Check the BBQ Regularly
This is easy as there will be times you want a bit of one-on-one time. Even if you have taken all the necessary precautions to store your BBQ properly, it is still a good idea to check on it regularly. This will ensure it is in good working condition and that there are no issues that need to be addressed, such as water pooling or pests of mould. Remove the cover and inspect the grill for any signs of rust or damage. Check the gas connections and hoses for any signs of wear or leaks. This will help you catch any problems early and prevent them from becoming more serious.
A little love in Autumn and a few checks over Winter will ensure when next summer comes, your BBQ will remain in great condition and ready for you to cook up a storm and impress family and friends.