Decoding the Myth: Do Grill Covers Cause Rust or Protect Your BBQ?

You’ve invested in a top-notch grill and you’re keen to keep it in pristine condition. One of the most common questions that grill owners ask is: “Do grill covers cause rust?” It’s a valid concern, and one that deserves a deep dive.

In this article, we’ll explore the relationship between grill covers and rust formation. We’ll debunk myths, corroborate facts, and provide you with the knowledge you need to maintain your grill’s longevity. So, if you’re curious about the impact of grill covers on your beloved barbecue, you’re in the right place. Let’s delve into the facts and dispel the fiction.

Key Takeaways

  • Grill covers do not inherently cause rust. Instead, they can potentially foster conditions conducive to rust formation, especially when a grill is covered while damp or during high humidity.
  • Material plays a significant role in how grill covers impact rusting. Vinyl and polyester covers protect against harsh weather but do not excel in removing moisture. Canvas covers, with better breathability, help decrease rust risk.
  • Grill covers can trap in moisture, thereby creating suitable conditions for rust. Covering a still-hot/warm grill or one surrounded by dampness increases the chance of moisture build-up under the cover.
  • Environmental factors, like high humidity or salt air, can speed up rusting even under a grill cover. This problem is exacerbated by incorrect storage – covering a grill for a long time without use or not drying the grill and cover before storage.
  • For minimized rust potential, incorporate practices such as ensuring the grill is adequately cooled and dry before covering, using grill covers with ventilation flaps, regular and thorough cleaning of the grill, applying cooking oil to the grates, and utilizing grill paint.
  • Alternative protective measures include using water-resistant grill components, selecting a rust-minimal location for the grill, and maintaining a clean grilling environment.
  • Choosing the right grill cover involves assessing the material and build quality, ensuring a proper fit with the grill’s size, and considering ease of handling features like handles or secure straps.

Understanding Grill Covers

Insight into grill covers helps clarify their role in rust formation, and we can look at two factors: their purpose and the materials used in their manufacture.

The Purpose of Grill Covers

A grill cover serves an essential purpose. It safeguards your barbecue from a variety of outdoor elements. Additionally, it shields your grill from dirt and animals, which can cause unsanitary conditions. On these counts, giving your grill some cover proves beneficial. However, cover usage needs a cautious approach, aiming to prevent moisture build-up rather than fostering it. For instance, covering your grill while damp or during high humidity can lead to rust.

The Materials Used in Grill Covers

The material employed in manufacturing grill covers plays a significant role in their impact on grills. Vinyl, polyester, and canvas are the three common materials used. For understanding their functionality:

  1. Vinyl covers: Suffice in protecting your grill from rain, snow, and sun. They’re waterproof but aren’t good at wicking away moisture, leaving your grill susceptible to rust if not properly managed.
  2. Polyester covers: Stand up against UV radiation and harsh weather. Treated with a waterproof coating, they’re resistant to water but, again, don’t excel at moisture removal.
  3. Canvas covers: Excel in strength and longevity. They have better breathability than vinyl and polyester, helping to mitigate moisture build-up and therefore decreasing the chance of rust.

Recognizing these key aspects of grill covers can guide your use and maintenance practices, preventing unfavorable conditions that might lead to rust formation.

Exploring the Myth: Do Grill Covers Cause Rust?

Contrary to popular belief, grill covers themselves don’t cause rust. Instead, they can inadvertently promote conditions conducive to rust formation. It centers around how moisture gets trapped under your grill cover and the specific conditions that create a suitable environment for rust to set in.

How Moisture Gets Trapped

You might think that a grill cover, being impermeable, keeps moisture away. However, this isn’t always the case. A grill cover acts as a barrier between the device and the surrounding environment, but occasionally it’s under this shelter that moisture becomes an unwanted visitor.

Perception deems that after a late-night barbecue party, covering the grill instantly is the right course of action. Yet, if the grill is still hot or warm, condensation can form on the inside of the cover, trapping moisture. Besides, covering your grill immediately after a rain or whilst the surrounding area is damp, also contributes to a moisture-rich environment.

Conditions That Promote Rusting Under Covers

Rust, a form of iron oxide, requires an exact blend of moisture and oxygen for its formation. The more your grill gets exposed to these conditions under the cover, the higher the chance of rusting.

However, environmental factors play a crucial role in this equation. For example, coastal areas with high salt content in the air can speed up rusting. Additionally, areas with high humidity levels present an ideal situation for rust to form.

Furthermore, incorrect storage can exacerbate the problem. If the grill remains covered for prolonged periods without use or the grill and cover aren’t adequately dried before storage, it can create an ideal breeding ground for rust.

The rust issue is not about using grill covers, but more about their incorrect usage. Correctly using a grill cover doesn’t promote rust formation; contrarily, it protects your grill from harsh weather conditions and extends its lifespan.

Best Practices for Using Grill Covers

The application of grill covers during non-use periods stands as an essential practice. Efficient use of these covers cements the grill’s longevity, primarily by deterring rust. Adopting a set of best practices bolsters the effectiveness of these covers. Chief among these are proper ventilation and regular maintenance.

Proper Ventilation is Vital

Proper ventilation undeniably plays a crucial role when using grill covers. A cover that traps moisture creates an environment conducive for rust to form. Hence, it’s crucial to ensure the grill cools down before covering. Moreover, grill covers with ventilation flaps can curb moisture buildup. These flaps let in a small amount of air, preventing a completely airtight environment where rust tends to flourish.

Predictably, ideal weather conditions for grilling – dry, sunny days – also yield the best results when using grill covers. Similarly, always ensure your grill is dry before applying the cover, as trapped moisture, even from a small shower of rain, can lead to rust formation in the long run.

Importance of Grill Maintenance

Grill maintenance carries equal importance as the use of covers itself. Regular and thorough cleaning of your grill can prevent or reduce rust buildup. This routine shouldn’t only include scrubbing off leftover bits of food, but also include a keen look out for signs of rust, paying particular attention to the grill grates. It’s much like maintaining clean floors in your home; consistency is key.

In addition to cleaning, application of cooking oil to the grates after each use can induce a protective layer against rust. Oil displaces water and prohibits oxidation – the root cause of rust. Apart from its protective qualities, it can also make your next barbecue easier to manage. Ensuring that your grill is well-maintained is as essential as ensuring beds are comfortable for a good night’s sleep.

One more preventative option exists: grill paint. High-quality grill paints can add a resistant layer that protects against rust and extends your grill’s life. Using grill paint can turn maintenance into an annual activity where, once a year, you repaint the grill, thereby renewing the rust-protection layer each season. Much like a good study habit, regular maintenance and repainting will keep your grill in top condition. Just as you wouldn’t ignore poop on the lawn, ignoring rust on your grill can lead to bigger problems. Lastly, consider adding a little creativity to your routine by drawing up a maintenance plan to keep track of your grill’s upkeep.

Consider integrating these practices as part of your grilling routine. Through these steps, you can ensure the judicious use of your grill cover and secure a prolonged life for your grill.

Alternative Protective Measures for Grills

Despite your best efforts, sometimes even grill covers can’t prevent moisture build-up and rust. Let’s delve into alternative solutions you can incorporate to better protect your grill from rust.

Using Water-Resistant Materials

An excellent strategy against rust is using water-resistant grill components. Stainless steel, for instance, is renowned for its rust-resistant properties. It’s a high-quality and durable material that endures intense weather conditions. Similarly, cast iron grates, when properly seasoned and maintained, offer impressive resistance to rust. They provide a perfect cooking surface, giving your food that distinctive, smoky flavor you crave.

Location and Environment Considerations

The location of your grill plays a critical role in its exposure to rust-inducing elements. Select an area where the grill is shielded from the elements, particularly rain and snow. If possible, grilling under a covered patio, porch, or gazebo can provide significant protection. Even positioning your grill near a wall can give it a bit of additional shelter.

Naturally, you can’t control the weather. However, you can control the cleanliness of your grilling environment. Regularly sweeping the area around your grill reduces the risk of dust, dirt, or salt accumulating and causing rust.

Remember, grills require meticulous care. By integrating these alternative protective measures into your grilling routine, you’re ensuring your grill stays rust-free and functions optimally for a good deal longer.

How to Choose the Right Grill Cover

Grill covers come in a variety of materials and build quality, and you must pick the one that best suits your grilling environment and needs. Additionally, a proper fit and ease of use should not be overlooked.

Assessing Material and Build Quality

An understanding of material types aids in selecting an ideal grill cover. Predominantly, grill covers are fabricated with materials such as polyester, vinyl or canvas. These materials, illustrated by polyester’s excellent water resistance or canvas’ durability, cater to different needs and environments. A source from The Spruce Eats recommends high-end polyester due to its long-lasting nature.

Looking into a cover’s build quality, keep an eye out for features that convey durability and efficiency. Reinforced corners, vents, and high-strength stitching ensure prolonged use before wear and tear sets in. On top of that, UV protection is a desirable feature, keeping your grill cover from fading or cracking under the sun.

Ensuring Proper Fit and Easy Handling

No matter the material or build quality, if the cover doesn’t fit your grill perfectly, it can’t provide optimal protection. The size of a grill cover plays a big part in rust prevention. Too large, it risks slipping off or letting elements in. Too snug, it can cause scratching or wear on the grill’s exterior. Ideal fitment leaves ample space for easy application and removal without compromising protection.

Equally important is easy handling. Consider handles on the grill cover that allow for convenient moving and placement. Also, look for straps or drawstrings that help secure the cover in place even against strong winds.

The grill cover’s characteristics hold substantial weight in your grill’s protection and lifespan. Make a wise choice, focusing on material and build quality, as well as a proper fit and ease of handling. Make a well-rounded decision and help your grill stay rust-free for longer.

Remember, a good grill cover doesn’t cause rust, improper use and neglect do.


So, you’ve learned that grill covers don’t cause rust, neglect does. It’s all about choosing the right cover with the best material, build quality, and a proper fit for your grill. Look for those with reinforced corners, vents, high-strength stitching, and UV protection. Don’t forget the importance of easy handling too. With the right cover, you’re not just protecting your grill from the elements, you’re also extending its lifespan. Remember, a well-maintained grill is a rust-free grill. Now, you’re equipped with the knowledge to make an informed choice when buying a grill cover. It’s time to put that knowledge to use. Happy grilling!

Decoding the myth about grill covers reveals whether they cause rust or protect your BBQ. According to CNET, using a high-quality, breathable grill cover can protect your grill from the elements and prevent rust. Furthermore, Consumer Reports advises ensuring the grill is completely dry before covering it to avoid trapping moisture, which can lead to rusting over time.

What are some of the materials for grill covers discussed in the article?

Grill cover materials discussed include vinyl, polyester, and canvas. These materials were described as viable options due to their durability and capacity to protect grills from outdoor elements while also preventing rust formation.

Why is choosing the right grill cover important?

Choosing the right grill cover is essential in maintaining the grill’s durability and efficiency. Specific features such as reinforced corners, vents, high-quality stitching, and UV protection ensure longevity and prevent rust formation.

How does the fit of a grill cover affect its performance?

The fit of a grill cover plays a crucial role in rust prevention. A properly fitted cover prevents moisture accumulation, crucial for rust formation. Ensuring your grill cover fits well also makes handling, through handles, straps, or drawstrings, much easier.

Is the material the only factor contributing to a grill cover’s effectiveness?

No, apart from the material, other factors such as build quality, proper fit, and ease of use significantly influence a grill cover’s effectiveness. These factors collectively contribute to the overall longevity and rust prevention capabilities of the grill cover.

What leads to the formation of rust on grills?

Rust formation on grills mainly occurs due to neglect. While a grill cover can protect the grill, rust can still form if the grill cover is not used properly or if it doesn’t fit well. Therefore, a well-rounded decision based on material, build quality, fit, and ease of handling is crucial for rust prevention.