You’ve probably had an aching feeling in your gut since you purchased that new grill. You want to keep it looking beautiful and roasting up those delicious steaks, but what if the rain ruins everything?
Can my grill get rained on or not? The answer isn’t just yes or no; there are many factors like material type of the grilling surface among others at play. For instance, cast-iron surfaces can withstand more moisture than steel ones without getting corroded which is why they’re preferred for outdoor cooking!
We recommend wiping down any wet bits before putting them back onto the grate so that nothing seeps into crevices where food could potentially find its way over time too. If all this sounds confusing don’t worry; just keep an eye out for rust and get your grill cleaned up if you see any trace of it.
Should I cover my gas grill if it rains?
Covering your grill is probably the best thing you can do to keep it safe from rain. No matter what material your gas grill is made of, exposure to moisture can cause it to rust if not cleaned and dried properly afterward. You have a couple options for covering your gas grill during bad weather:
-Insect Screening: fine enough to keep bugs out of your grill, but not too flimsy to let water seep through. It’s also less likely to get brittle in cold weather than regular screen-door mesh.
Plastic sheeting (roll of clear plastic, plastic tarp): The standard method for covering your grill, cheap and straightforward but prone to rips and holes if the winds get bad. Plastic works well because water droplets will bead up and roll right off instead of getting absorbed into material like they would with a cloth cover.
-Terrible idea: using a regular old sheet or towel! Cotton and other natural fibers soak up water like sponges; the last thing you want is your grill sheets getting wet which could cause them to mildew and smell, not to mention leave rust marks on the surface of your barbecue.
You’ll probably want to use multiple layers of protection in case the first one fails. You don’t need to spend a lot of money on fancy covers; black trash bags will do in a pinch! If you’re having trouble looking up plastic sheeting or insect screening, check your local hardware store since it’s pretty common item that should be easy to find.
What happens if my gas grill gets wet?
As for the actual risks of your grill getting wet, we’re going to quickly go over how different surfaces react to moisture. Most materials used in gas grills will rust if left outside and exposed to water; as we mentioned before cast iron is a good exception since it can handle moderately wet conditions. If you’re in a pinch, try and dry your grill as soon as possible to avoid rust forming even if the material is iron since water can get trapped inside crevices and cause corrosion anyway.
Aluminum: This is the type of surface most commonly used on cheaper grills. Aluminum will corrode with prolonged exposure to moisture; it won’t rust, but it will pit and degrade. After some time the aluminum surface may become too pitted to use safely.
Aluminum is a good conductor of heat so there are no disadvantages aside from possible corrosion if exposed to water long enough. It’s also lightweight for easy handling which is an advantage if you have to move your gas grill from one spot to another while it’s raining.
Cast Iron: Cast iron is an excellent grill surface since it’s relatively nonreactive and durable; it can withstand a lot of abuse including the outdoors for quite a while before showing any signs of wear. Some cast-iron grills are even 100 years old!
Rust will form on cast iron if it stays wet for long, but this won’t affect its performance. The real problems will come if a lot of moisture gets trapped inside the cast iron which could cause rust to form even on surfaces that haven’t been exposed yet. If you take your grill in and out often it’s important to make sure no water is left stuck inside!
Some cast-iron grills have porcelain coating on the cooking surface; this is very similar to enamel but it’s made out of iron oxide instead of glass. Don’t use your grill if it has rust or pinhole leaks in the enamel since you might get some iron distributed to your food which is a health concern.
Don’t worry about the rust or pitting itself since there’s no health risk from that.