Stuck over which BBQ cover is right for you? What if your chosen model doesn’t come with a lid? What if you want a multi-functioning cover instead of a bog standard one? Well you’ve come to the right place!
When it comes to finding the ultimate grilling equipment the humble grill cover is not to be overlooked. To many, it might just seem like a lid to keep the rain off. To the BBQ professional it is a necessary instrument with which you protect your investment. The cover keeps your BBQ safe, secure, and protected from damage…as well as out-of-sight of devious eyes!
Why is a Grill Cover Important?
You need a cover for your BBQ grill for various reasons, but arguably the most important of these isn’t taste, flavor or juiciness – it’s longevity. There is a prevalent and pernicious rumor out there that a BBQ Grill Cover will cause your BBQ to rust – but this simply isn’t the case! In actual fact the opposite is true!
If you have a grill made out of anything other than stainless steel or cast aluminum then it needs to be covered when not in use. If they aren’t covered then there is a higher chance of rust than if they are. This is particularly true of iron grills as they will oxidize over time when exposed to the elements. It isn’t just rainwater that is to be feared either; corrosion from acid rain is more common than you would think, lawn treatment chemicals can corrode the metals, as can weed killers and other agents used in your garden.
To correctly utilize your cover place it over your already-cooled grill after each use and leave the BBQ covered.
Safety gets its own special mention here because when you BBQ often and you have a large family you are already aware of the extra care you need to take when the grill is hot and cooking… but you may not have considered the security of your grill when it is not in use. Children have a tendency to get into everything, and coals that haven’t completely cooled yet are one thing you don’t want their little fingers getting to.
A BBQ Grill cover can be lockable and can prevent coal spillage if the whole contraption is accidentally knocked over. It can also be a great place to keep your cooking equipment stowed away against prying hands.
For more information on BBQ safety see this article, by Quicken Loans.
Lid or Cover? Don’t get confused!
While it is perfectly acceptable to cook while you have your grill lid on it is not acceptable to cook while the cover is on! The cover makes up the exterior fabric which protects your standing barbecue grill from the elements, but you absolutely shouldn’t cook while it is in place or you are likely to start a fire – worse, if your grill is gas fired!
To cook with your grill lid on, on the other hand, turns the BBQ from a grill into a traditional convection style oven – except that it retains the smokey flavors of the BBQ while it cooks. According to this article by Epicurious there is one golden rule to follow. Checking the thickness of the food and covering the BBQ when cooking any foods more than ¾ inch thick ought to give you the tastiest results every time.
Choosing the Perfect Grill Cover For You!
Weber, one of the biggest names in BBQ (period), claim ownership of the modern version of the BBQ grill cover. They cite invention in 1952 by George Stephen when he made the first Weber Kettle. Some other big names include the usual grilling suspects: Char Broil, Yukon Glory and Texas – as well as some unknowns who specialize in electrical equipment like Urbn Gear and Homitt. Garden Home Outdoor have a few in the top ten lists, as does the Amazon Basics range. We will attempt to cover the best of their products below.
Just to make things easier on you we have ranked the previous brands in order from most to least expensive!
Price of a Grill Cover
Of course your price will largely rely on the material that you choose. For those that want heavy duty, fully waterproof and totally tough covers you can expect to pay between $30-$70 (using Wallmart prices). If you just want the grill protected and are willing to go with a cheaper, less durable fabric then you should be able to pick one up for less than $20.
BBQ Cover Materials
BBQ Covers can be made from all sorts of things. The older, earliest and more traditional simply relied on using the lid to cover the cooking surface… nowadays we know that even rain can be corrosive to exposed metal! To this end you will find that may barbecue covers are made from waterproofed materials such as polyester.
Unfortunately polyester is still flammable and so other materials are used in its place on a fairly regular basis. You should not be surprised to see the more safety conscious opt for a canvas cover, even if it soaks up the rain rather than allows it to slide off. The best choice by far is to opt for a vinyl cover. It is not as flammable as the polyester and is more rain proof than a canvas cover.
Size is a big aspect when choosing your ideal grill cover. You need to know the dimensions of your grill before you go shopping – otherwise you might end up with a product you can’t actually use. Covers are available in all sorts of sizes so you should be able to find the right fit for you, just make sure you have those measurements before you leave the house!
Lining or no lining?
A BBQ grill cover with an inner lining will work extra hard to protect your investment. It is more likely to be rainproof and will last for longer than one without a lining. In much the same way as a jacket; the lining helps protect against wear and tear. Just be sure that any lined covers have an air vent to allow the safe dispersal of any trapped heat.
Most – if not all – BBQ Grill covers will have an air vent in them. They may have more than one; or they may not close all the way around. This is simple physics and is nothing to be alarmed about. For safety reasons you should always make sure your polyester BBQ grill cover has air vents in the fabric.
Straps and Ties
Some BBQ grill covers come with straps for ease of use, others come with ties rather like you might find on the inside of a tent. More commonly your cover will fit snugly around your grill and be secured with the aid of a strip of Velcro. Very rarely do we see button-on covers nowadays.
Just like all things – only the high end models have the perk of storage pockets. Most have them on the inside.
BBQ Covers are mainly available in black or neutral colors but can come in other colors too. We researched the most colorful below for those of you who want a little backyard flare!
More To Think About…
As ever, we are not done yet. There are a few other things to think about too. When buying a BBQ cover consider the maintenance and upkeep of it. If it has an inner lining then it is likely to be machine washable – and not all covers are! Machine washable makes a big difference come BBQ season… especially to any members of the neighborhood watch.
As well as upkeep you must think about the wear and tear the cover is likely to see. Do you BBQ often or will it be left for long periods of time? If so, you may need a heavy-duty cover for all weathers. How is the weather in your state? This is another important consideration. If the weather is particularly prone to storms and wind then a cover with straps is essential so your investment doesn’t blow away.
Storage is a final thing to think about. Do you need to store your BBQ specific cooking tools under there? If you do, and some of them are electrical, then that cover needs to be fantastic.
As with most things in life: you will get what you pay for. IF you go for a cheaper, flimsier material it is more likely to tear and less likely to last very long. It is also unlikely to be washable or stand the test of family BBQ season.
Where to Buy your BBQ Cover?
While Amazon and Ebay both have a huge range and compete for the top spot of online seller – you can also pick your BBQ grill cover up directly from an individual manufacturer’s website. As well as buying through brand Wallmart and Costco both have affordable options and sell their own makes.
Of course we have our top picks in BBQ grill covers already planned out. From the most colorful to the most luxurious – read on to meet your match!
Best Waterproof (Small): The Masterbuilt 30” Smoker Cover
Measuring at 16.9 x 18.1 x 30.9 inches this is a good cover for a more compact grill. Masterbuilt are a big name in BBQ and have a whole range of other grills and accessories behind them for you to choose from. This particular cover is a high grade, dense polyester that keeps out rain and chemicals alike. It has a polyurethane inner coating just to add to the waterproofing.
Best Waterproof (Large): The Homitt Gas Grill Cover in 58”
Not only is this a huge cover – but it has been specially designed to be versatile, fitting almost every kind of BBQ Grill. It comes with Velcro straps for extra security, 600D Oxford canvas that will protect for years, is tear resistant and will repel water. As an added bonus it doesn’t need machine washing; just a good hose down once in a while.
Best Lightweight/Portable: The Char-Broil 2-Burner Custom Grill Cover
Although this is made to fit a specific model, we love the shape, the design, and how rugged and rough it all looks. This doesn’t get put in the washing machine; this repels dirt like nothing we’ve seen before. Best of all, this model comes with heavy duty vinyl that won’t tear or let in water; and for such a tough material it weighs only 3 pounds… brilliant if you want something portable.
Most Luxurious: The Weber 7107 Genesis Grill Cover
Although designed to fit around Weber grills this meter-squared design will fit almost any big grill. Not only is it a large size but it also includes 100% durable polyester material, a storage pouch to keep your belongings safe and Velcro straps to protect your asset. If you want to go big or go home in BBQ, you tend to make it a Weber.
Best Value for Money: The Yukon Glory 7573 Premium Grill Cover
Although technically made as a cheaper alternative to Weber, Yukon have a cheaper alternative to just about every size, shape and make of grill cover. We particularly like this model for the free apron and 3 year extended warranty for an affordable rate. We also love the 100% vinyl finish of this cover, it should last for a good few years to come.
Most Colorful: The Super-Sized Barbecue Cover by KoverRoos
OK, so it is also the biggest! This colorful range from KoverRoos is a great way to perk up your outdoor space! It comes with a storage pouch, tough, durable fabric and in a range of colors for you to choose from. It carries a large price tag but it is well worth the money for those with monster grills!
With so much to choose from in the BBQ Grill Cover world you would be forgiven for being a little confused. We hope this guide has made things at least a little easier for you! If you found it helpful please bookmark us and come back to visit with all of your BBQ related questions.