This post was originally published on May 27, 2015.
Summer nights are the perfect time to gather with friends and family, and fire up your grill. In addition to a savory menu—think chicken, burgers and hot dogs—a great cookout requires the right tools.
But, as the warm weather starts to fade and the leaves begin to fall, it’s time to start thinking about how you can store and prepare your grill for next season.
Properly store your grill equipment using these tips to ensure you’re ready for summer cookouts next year.
Designate a Place for Tools
There are specific items necessary for grilling. During the off-months, consider storing the following until they are needed again next year:
- Extra charcoal or a second propane tank (depending on your grill)
- Lighter fluid
- Fire extinguisher
- Meat or cooking thermometer
- Kitchen timer
- Non-stick cooking spray designed for grilling
Stay organized by keeping grilling tools, such as utensils, cleaning supplies and spare parts, in one place. There are several ways you can do this:
- Install a pegboard in your garage, and hang utensils.
- Store everything in a sealed container, such as a Rubbermaid tote.
- Mount kitchen cabinets in the garage.
Pair Together Ingredients
Keep items like marinades, spices and rubs together in a basket or container. Depending on how often you use them, these items can be stored in your kitchen or with your other grilling supplies. Remember to check dates to ensure no items will go bad when being stored for next year’s festivities.
The most important part of storing your grilling equipment is to properly clean it after each use, especially before putting it into storage for the season. Keep the below in mind while cleaning:
- ALWAYS wait until the grill has cooled before you start cleaning.
- Use a wire brush on the grates to scrub away buildup.
- When dealing with tough grease, use oven cleaner or grease-cutting dishwashing detergent.
- Keep the grill unplugged and covered while not in use.
- After a period of storage or minimal use, check for leaks and deterioration.
Do a thorough cleaning before storing away for the season. Check for rust, and examine the regulator, hose, burner parts, air shutter and venture/valve section carefully.
Protect Your Grill in Storage
As fall and winter approach, find a sheltered place to store your grill. A garage or shed might be a good option. However, if these areas of your home are already occupied, consider a self-storage unit. With a self-storage unit, you can keep your grill and designated equipment safe and out of the way when not in use.
All these tips will help keep your BBQ essentials stored and ready for the next summer.
How do you store your grilling equipment in the fall and winter months? Share with us in the comment section below.
Image Source: Mondgesicht