Unless you’re lucky enough to live in a part of the world with a mild winter, or you love to grill, rain, shine or ten feet of snow, you’re most likely going to close up your backyard grill shop sometime in the fall. Spend a little time winterizing your grill by performing some preventative maintenance to help it last longer and perform better. This quick service will ensure that your grill is ready to go when the first hint of spring hits and you’re itching to fire it up again.
Follow these steps to winterize your grill.
Don’t Wait Too Long
Your job will be a lot harder if it’s been a month or more since you last used your grill. If the weather is awful and preventing you from grilling but temperatures are above freezing, mould has started to grow inside your grill and the higher than average moisture level this time of year is feeding your grill garden. If you know the weather always turns in November, plan to throw one last game day hurrah in October, then winterize your grill the next weekend.
Fire It Up
Turn all of the burners on HIGH (gasser) or get a blazing hot pile of charcoal (charcoal grill) going and let it burn for 20-30 minutes. This burns off all the remaining organic matter and grease and will make cleaning easier. If there’s smoke there’s still grease and grime to burn up, let it burn completely. Let the grill cool completely before cleaning.
Disconnect the Grill
Make sure the gas is off, then disconnect the tank from the hose.
Clean The Grill
- Use a heavy-duty stainless steel grill brush to clean cooking grids, Flav-R-Wave and any burnt-on debris in the cook box.
- Disassemble the grill as you go. Brush the warming rack, grids (on both sides) remove the grids, brush the Flav-r-waves, remove them.
- Vacuum out ash and debris left inside the grill with a utility vacuum (don’t use the Dyson!).
- Use dishwashing detergent and hot water to clean all of the external components of the grill.
- Use a grill degreaser and rag to remove the remaining residue, the hard stuck on stuff. Spray down the inside of the grill and all of your grill interior components like cooking grids and the warming rack. Let it soak then rinse completely.
Inspect All Parts
As you disassemble the grill, check each component. Look for rust, deterioration or cracks on cooking grids, the Flav-R-Wave, burners, grease tray, rotisserie, or hose. Inspect the control knobs, handles, cabinet doors and shelves. If you need to order new parts, contact us for OMC replacement components. Always check your warranty first.
Your painted, porcelain-coated or stainless surfaces should all be clean and stain free. The Broil King revitalizer cream is the perfect tool to remove any stubborn staining from your stainless or porcelain surfaces and make them look like new. If there are spots on the exterior of your grill, clean it with soap and water, rinse with water, and dry thoroughly then use the grill revitalizer to restore the natural lustre.
Season The Cooking Grids and Parts
The heavy-duty cast-iron cooking grids in Broil King grills are built to last when properly maintained. Season the cooking grids with any vegetable oil to protect them against rust over the winter, season them well as oils also dry out over time. To defend your cast grids completely from moisture-related rot, wrap the grids in packing paper and store them indoors over the winter. Vegetable oil all of the internal steel parts as well like the Flav-r-waves and burners, this will prevent surface rust from forming.
Reassemble The Grill and Cover
If you want your grill to be ready when you are next spring, reassemble everything except the gas tank (and grids if you’re bringing them inside).
The best way to protect your grill and ensure it lasts many years is to use a high-quality grill cover that is specifically made for your grill model. When your grill is clean and seasoned, cover it up and secure the closure tabs.
Tip: your grill needs to breathe, the right cover should not extend all the way to the ground or completely seal in the grill. It needs room to allow moisture out.
Store The Grill
If you have space, the best place to store your grill is in a garage or a shed so that it is completely protected from the elements. Store the gas tank in a well-ventilated area outdoors; never store the tank in your house, basement, attic, or attached garage. Freezing temperatures are not a problem for propane tanks, don’t be afraid to store them separately from the grill.
When you’re ready to grill next spring, give your grill a thorough once over to make sure no critters have nested in it during the winter. If there is a nest, remove it before lighting up your grill.
When reconnecting the gas tank, perform a leak test. A leak test should be performed every time the tank is disconnected and reconnected (so every time it is refilled/replaced). If your grill is connected to your natural gas line year-round, a leak test should be performed once a year to make sure all of the connections are tight and sealed.
How to Perform a Leak Test:
1. Extinguish any open flame or cigarettes in the area.
2. Be sure that gas supply valve and appliance valves are “off”.
3. Prepare a soap solution of one part water, one part liquid detergent.
4. Open the propane or natural gas supply valve slowly.
5. Brush the soap solution on each connection, including the tank, the quick disconnect coupling, and on each connection between the orifice and control valve.
6. A leak is identified by a flow of bubbles from the area of the leak.
7. If a leak is detected, close the gas supply valve, tighten all connection and retest (Step 4).
8. If the leak persists, contact our customer service department for assistance.
9. Do not attempt to operate the appliance if a leak is present.
Broil King Is Here To Help
If you need help or run into problems winterizing your grill, we’re here to help! Never try to repair a damaged or malfunctioning regulator, hose, burner, or control valve. Contact Broil King customer service at 1-800-265-2150 for replacement and warranty claims.