While some people grill year-round, others prefer to store their barbecue over the winter and bring it back out the following summer.
If you are among those who do not use your barbecue during the winter, follow these tips to winterize it properly as part of your winter preparations.
Clean your barbecue properly
Before storing your barbecue for the winter, the first step is to take it apart and clean the parts. First clean the grills and burners with a degreaser and rinse with water. Then clean the grill chamber with a degreaser and use a brush to thoroughly clean the sides and remove any residue. Then rinse out the grill chamber with water.
Take the opportunity to check the condition of the burners. Once you have cleaned the various parts, it is a good idea to reassemble the barbecue and turn it on high for about 15 minutes to eliminate any remaining residue.
Storing your barbecue
Once you have cleaned your barbecue, there are two ways to store it:
- Store your barbecue inside, without a cover and not attached to the propane tank.
- Cover your barbecue and leave it outside, with or without the propane tank attached.
The important thing is to store your barbecue in a dry place. For example, if you store it inside, you can store it in a heated garage. If you store it outside, it is best to store it on a patio or deck. Avoid storing it on damp ground like grass. If you choose to store your barbecue outside, take the time to brush off the snow a few times during the winter to avoid accumulation.
What about the propane tank?
Whatever the season, you should always store your propane tank outside, making sure the valve is off. Make sure the propane tank is stored in an upright position, and always keep it well out of reach of children.
Most propane tanks are good for 10 years. Once the tank has expired, it should be taken to an ecocentre or a propane retailer. It should never be thrown in the garbage because it could explode.
Tips for opening your barbecue
In the spring, make sure your barbecue is in good condition so you can start the summer off on the right foot. At the beginning of each season, it is important to clean and check your burners, hoses and tubes.
Next, to make sure they’re airtight, cover your hoses and attachments with soapy water. If you see any bubbles, be sure to patch the leak before you use the barbecue.
To use your barbecue safely and prevent the risk of outdoor fires, take the following precautions:
- Never barbecue indoors or in a small space.
- Leave a minimum of one metre (3 feet) between your barbecue and any combustible materials such as siding, deck, fence and plants.
- Place your barbecue on a stable surface.
- Avoid moving your barbecue when it is in use.
- Always open the lid when starting up your barbecue.
- Always stay close to your barbecue when it is in use.
- Clean your barbecue’s drip tray regularly to avoid grease fires.
For more information, check out our barbecue fire prevention article.
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