People often forget that grills exist even when the cookout is done, and people who think about the future use the best grill cover for their setup. Grilling at home is one of the best ways to make memories with your friends and family. However, when you’re not using your grill, it can suffer great long-term damage. Exposed to the elements, even the most expensive grills will start to rust, become brittle, and get covered in thick gunk. After a month or two, you have to do a complete restoration before you can use it again.
If you’re here to find the ideal model for your BBQ, read on to find our heavy-duty grill cover reviews and use the buying guide to make a valuable decision and invest in your grilling future!
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What Does a Grill Cover Protect From?
Grilling is fun, and it’s a great occasion to see your friends and family all together. However, you should always be careful about cooking outside.
Health hazards are all around us, and it’s important to take proper steps to protect yourself and your friends and family from unwanted health effects. You don’t want anything falling on your grill, and some of the worst and most common perpetrators are tree sap, bird droppings, dust, and mud. Of course, you don’t want any of these near your food, so you should protect your cooking equipment from it.
Rust, however, is the most pressing issue with any outdoor grill. The bodies of most full-sized grills are made out of steel or cast iron. In most cases, the material comes with a layer of paint, varnish, or a similar finishing coat. In the beginning, this coat does a sufficient job protecting the metal construction, but once it starts to chip, your grill will start to rust sooner or later. This is a particularly big issue with cast iron grills, so these should be covered no matter what. Remember that rust is a big health hazard, and you should never use rusty equipment for cooking.
So, let’s go through the most common issues that cause your grill to start falling out of service.
1. The Environment
The immediate environment of your grill has the most influence on its durability. A grill cover enshrouds your barbecue, limiting exposure to its surroundings.
1.1. The Lawn
Even a stainless steel grill is not safe from rust if you hold it near your grass lawn. That’s because the chloride in lawn chemicals tends to damage the very ingredients that make stainless steel – stainless. This type of steel contains two important ingredients – chromium and iron. Both of these play a role in the rusting of stainless steel. Chromium, the element that helps prevent corrosion, can be dissolved by the dust or splatter from fertilizers. That’s when the iron in stainless steel gets exposed to oxygen, and the result is rusting.
1.2. The Pool
Hanging out with friends and family eating good BBQ next to a pool on a hot summer day is what many people would consider a perfect summer activity. However, your grill may not lead a happy life next to a pool.
No matter if you use bromine, chlorine, or salt-based chemicals, the things you need to use for your pool can often damage your grill. The process is similar to what happens with lawn chemicals – the chromium dissolves, exposing iron (both of which are a part of stainless steel) to oxygen, which then rusts. The problem is that there’s no need for pool chemicals to get in direct contact with your grill to cause damage. Only vapor of pool water is enough to cause irreparable damage.
The natural growth in and around your yard can cause damage to your outdoor griddle grill. The most obvious issues are of course dust and mud. However, you can get rid of these quickly and fairly easily. The biggest enemies of the protective coating on your grill are tree sap and bird droppings. Both can be a drag to clean since they harden and require scrubbing to remove. But tree sap can also cause discoloration and burning of the materials used for the body of your grill, making it far more harmful than you’d expect.
The climate you’re in defines what the biggest enemy of your grill is. Knowing what to expect is one of the most important factors if you want to improve the durability of your grill.
2.1. Humid Weather
If you live in a humid area, you probably have some experience with rust. Whether the weather where you are is hot and tropical, or it’s foggy and rainy, the result is the same – the humidity makes everything fall victim to rust quickly. In areas like this, you should always protect your grill from the rain, but you should also make sure that your cover has sufficient airflow. This is ensured by built-in vents and fabric choices. It’s not easy to keep a grill in perfect condition for a long time in such weather, but it’s not impossible either. You just have to remember to wipe down your grill occasionally and add a coat of good anti-rust spray.
2.2. Coastal Areas
Coastal areas are beautiful, but grills live a hard life near the sea. That’s because salt can damage the material and speed up corrosion. Sea vapor is full of salt, so it can gather up on the surface of your grill as well. You should always cover your grill before rain or snow, and make sure that you wipe the surface of the grill every week or so, to prevent salt build-up from creating trouble.
2.3. Dry Climate
If there’s a place where grills are the happiest, it’s somewhere in the Rocky Mountain area, because of the dry climate. Areas with dry weather are perfect for grills because the chances for rust to form are lower. If you keep your grill out of direct rain and snow, and wipe down and dust and tree sap before it turns to sticky gunk, there’s no reason to cover your grill. However, we still recommend doing it, if only to reduce the amount of work you have to do.
Are There Any Drawbacks of Grill Covers?
Not even a grill cover is foolproof. While they give many benefits, there are also a couple of drawbacks to using a grill cover. Here’s what they are, loud and clear.
1. Can Promote Moisture Build-up
It’s extremely important that you keep your grill away from the rain, especially if it has any cast iron parts, or the protective coating is chipped or damaged. In all of these cases, your grill will begin to rust sooner rather than later. However, not even a grill cover can protect your grill completely.
In fact, in humid conditions, your grill cover may cause moisture to build-up without a way to escape. That’s why it’s important to check under the cover occasionally. If the grill feels wet to the touch, you may need to wipe excess moisture or invest in a higher-quality cover with better air ventilation.
2. After Grilling, You Must Wait before Covering
It’s a fire hazard to cover a still-hot grill, whether you own an offset smoker or a small electric unit. That’s why you need to wait for it to cool down after cooking, and before you throw a cover over it – you don’t want the cover to overheat and catch fire. Depending on the choice of material for the inner coating of your grill, it may warm-up and cool down faster or slower. Get in the habit of going out to put the cover on when you finish your food. That’s usually enough time for the grill to cool down, but you may need to adjust to your particular model.
Best Grill Covers Comparison Chart
Classic Accessories Veranda Grill Cover, Medium
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VicTsing Grill Cover, 58-Inch Waterproof BBQ Cover
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Homitt Gas Grill Cover, 58-inch 3-4 Burner
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Grillman Premium (58 Inch) BBQ Grill Cover, Heavy-Duty
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Kingkong Gas Grill Cover 7553 | 7107 Cover for Weber Genesis
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Texas Gas Grill Cover for Weber Genesis E and S Series
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Unicook Heavy Duty Waterproof Barbecue Gas Grill Cover, 60-inch
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i COVER Round Grill Cover, 39-inch diameter
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Best Grill Cover Reviews
1. Classic Accessories Veranda Grill Cover, Medium
If you’re looking for a functional grill cover that also looks classy, Classic Accessories has got you covered. In fact, you can get an entire set of veranda covers, all following the same elegant beige-brown pattern.
Made out of woven polyester, this model comes in a variety of sizes ranging from XS to XXXL. The width of the smallest model is 38 inches, while the biggest one has a width of 80 inches – so you’ll find a size that’s perfect for your grill. The model is also full of features, including upside-down air vents which don’t allow water to seep in, padded handles for easier setup, a storage pocket for your accessories, and two safety mechanisms including a hem cord and buckled straps. This cover will protect your grill from rain and snow, but over time and with exposure to sun and water, it will start to deteriorate.
- A big variety of sizes makes sure you find a cover with the right dimensions
- Feature-full with padded handles, an accessory pocket, air vents, and two safety mechanisms
- This grill cover deteriorates over time – you’ll get a couple of years of service out of it
2. VicTsing Grill Cover, 58-Inch Waterproof BBQ Cover
VicTsing makes this grill cover – a classic black model ideal for large and medium-sized grills.
In fact, when it comes to sizing, this model has 5 different sizes that can accommodate most commercial grills out there. With the smallest one measuring 30 inches in width, the medium being 58 inches, and the largest being 72 inches wide, you’ll find the ideal model for sure. When picking your dimensions, you don’t have to worry about the depth too much. That’s because the VicTsing grill cover has Velcro straps on the side, which let you tighten the cover as much as you need. This cover is made out of classic black polyester, with a high density of 600D. That makes it weather resistant and quite fit for great UV protection as well. You can expect to get about a year of service before the cover falls victim to the sun and the rain – especially if you live in very sunny or particularly humid areas.
- Comes with convenient features, like side Velcro straps for tightening and a reinforced handle
- It comes with its own carrying bag
- Under strong sun or rain, it deteriorates over time, giving you about a year of reliable service
3. Homitt Gas Grill Cover, 58-inch 3-4 Burner
If you want a classic black grill cover for a medium or large grill, Homitt has got a nice model for you.
Made from a layer of 600D polyester and a layer of PVC, this grill cover provides great protection against the Sun’s UV rays and any type of water, whether it’s rain, snow, dew, or kickback from a pressure washer. This model is quite simple and easy to use. You can store it in the included bag when you don’t need it. It comes with reinforced handles that help you put it on and off without hassle. It also has a couple of safety straps, and Velcro straps on the side, to help you tighten it up to suit your BBQ perfectly. To make sure it fits right, you can choose between 4 sizes: 58-inch, 60-inch, 64-inch, and 72-inch wide. Sadly, the black color of the cover fades quickly in strong sun, but the fabric holds up well against the elements.
- Simple and easy to use model with side Velcro straps for tightening and reinforced handles
- Good fabric choice: PVC lined 600D polyester
- The black color of the grill cover fades quickly
4. Grillman Premium (58 Inch) BBQ Grill Cover, Heavy-Duty
Keeping your grill safe from environmental influences can be very simple. One of the simplest, yet very effective grill covers is made by Grillman.
Made out of PVC lined polyester, this model provides good water protection against anything from a seasonal downpour to thick layers of snow. Not only that, but it also gives you peace of mind when it comes to the Sun’s harmful UV rays. However, the fabric is slightly thin and the color fades quickly under the influence of the sun. Luckily, you don’t have to worry about the durability of this product, since it comes covered with a lifetime warranty and a responsive customer service team behind it. If you’re wondering whether it will fit your grill, there’s nothing to fear since this model comes in 5 sizes: 30, 58, 60, 64, and 72 inches wide. When it comes to features, the company went with a simple design. The cover comes with handles for easy setup, and Velcro straps on the side which help you tighten the cover around your grill.
- Simple, easy to use model with Velcro straps for tightening and handles
- Comes covered with a lifetime warranty
- Somewhat thin material that fades in the sun
5. Kingkong Gas Grill Cover 7553 | 7107 Cover for Weber Genesis
If you want to invest a bit more to get a grill cover that gets you more bang for your buck, this Kingkong model might be just what you need.
This model only comes in one size, which is perfect for any grill between 53 and 58 inches wide. Since this cover is tailored to fit grills, it’s 44 inches high, and has a depth of 24 inches. Once you put it on your grill, you can use the Velcro straps on the side to tighten the cover around the grill, giving it better protection against moisture and any strong winds. When it comes to the fabric choice, this model is made out of heavy duty 600D polyester, lined with a polyethylene coating for improved water resistance. To prevent tearing at seams, the manufacturer included a double stitch design, which keeps your grill cover, and by extension your grill, safe and sound for longer. In fact, the company offers a 36-month warranty on the model.
Along with the cover, you also get a stainless steel grill brush, a pair of tongs, and a cooking thermometer.
- High-quality fabric – 600D Polyester with a polyethylene coating for rain proofing
- Comes with additional grilling goodies
- No sizing options – only one size: 60” x 24” x 44”
6. Texas Gas Grill Cover for Weber Genesis E and S Series
Texas Grill Covers offers this solid model for a very affordable price, so this grill cover might be perfect for you if you’re looking to save up and still get your grill protected.
If you have a Weber Genesis E or S grill, this cover is just perfect because it comes in the exact right size. That’s not to say it won’t fit other brands and makes – in fact, it will fit any grill that has less than 60 inches in width. This is one of the longer covers we’ve seen at 44.4 inches in height, so if you’re looking for a model that will reach the ground and cover your grill entirely – this just might be it. It’s made out of good quality 600D polyester, so it can protect your barbecue from the rain and the sun very well. However, if you live in a very hot area, you may want to look further, because the fabric deteriorates quickly when exposed to hot summer sun for a long time. It may lose its flexibility and become brittle and breakable if the sun is too strong.
As a gift, you also get a pair of tongs and a grill brush with this model.
- A fair-quality model that’s very affordable
- Comes with extra grilling goodies
- Deteriorates in the sun, becoming brittle
7. Unicook Heavy Duty Waterproof Barbecue Gas Grill Cover, 60-inch
Unicook’s grill cover is one of the best deals where you get a well-designed model for the lowest price possible.
Made out of PVC lined polyester, this model serves as a good shield against UV rays, and any type of water including rain, snow, and dew. Even though it’s very water-resistant, the manufacturer made sure it doesn’t trap moisture underneath either. That’s why this model has mesh-covered air vents concealed on the sides of the cover. This way, any moisture that does get inside (whether through condensation from the ground or from dew on the grass) can escape in the form of vapor, helping you avoid mildew. This particular model comes in one size, and it is 60 inches wide. It comes with handles for easy maneuvering on top, and Velcro straps for safety fastening on the lower part of the cover. Overall, this is a good deal for the price, and you can expect a year or two of reliable service from this model. Still, the manufacturer takes pride in the lasting black color of this model, and it’s quite resistant to the sun compared to similar models.
- PVC lined polyester cover comes with air vents on the sides to avoid moisture buildup
- Supposedly fade-resistant, the model doesn’t lose color in the sun
- Not the highest quality and most durable fabric
8. i COVER Round Grill Cover, 39-inch diameter
If you have a kamado grill, you surely want to keep your valuable BBQ out of reach of harmful environmental and weather influences. That’s why you need a round kamado grill cover. We recommend this model by i Cover.
Shaped like a dome, this model was designed to cover the egg-like grills. It comes in two sizes: one with a diameter of 19.5 inches and 32 inches tall for smaller kamado grills, and a bigger unit that’s 39 inches in diameter and 41 inches tall. The cover is made out of 600D polyester and lined with a coat of PVC. This makes it completely waterproof, ready to protect your grill from the adverse effects of rain, snow, and dew, and even pool vapor. This fabric is also dense enough to provide good protection against the sun’s UV rays which can make materials brittle. If you fear that the cover is too wide, don’t worry, because it comes with Velcro straps on the side that you can use to fasten it and keep it wrapped securely around your grill.
- Created specifically for kamado grills, this cover protects your big egg perfectly
- Made out of good fabric: PVC lined 600D polyester
- Even with a big diameter, it can be a bit hard to put on your grill
What Is a Grill Cover?
A grill cover is a simple contraption. It’s a big, tailor-made piece of fabric that does exactly what the name suggests – it covers your grill.
But can’t you just use any old bed sheet or piece of tarp to cover your grill? Well, you could, but that isn’t really the best solution for several reasons.
First off, this large piece of fabric is designed and tailored to fit your grill perfectly. There’s no fear that a part of your grill will stay exposed to the weather like there is with a regular square piece of fabric. A grill cover is tailor-made to fit a particular style of grill, fully covering all parts of your expensive cooking tool.
Not only that, but most grill covers also come with implemented fastening construction, whether straps, Velcro, or bungee cords. These ensure safety, even during thunderstorms and strong winds when your lawn furniture is flying all over the patio.
Finally, grill covers are waterproof. If you put a regular fabric sheet over your grill and it rains – you’ve only helped corrosion develop faster. To keep the body of your grill truly safe from corrosion, the fabric you cover your grill with must be fully and completely waterproof.
Grill Cover Buying Guide
Getting the right grill cover is one of those things that seem very simple at first glance, but there’s more to it than meets the eye. That’s why we decided to make a short buying guide where we will walk you through the most important aspects you should consider before making your pick.
Picking the right fabric for grill covers is half the job. The material you choose needs to withstand the weather you have at home, and protect your grill on top of that.
While most grill covers are made out of plastic or canvas, the particular type you choose should be capable of safeguarding your grill against the weather and the environmental influences. That includes being completely waterproof and provide sufficient UV protection.
Generally, the denser the material, the better. In polyester materials, density is labeled with a number and letter D, which stands for Denier. So, for instance, 600D is a popular fabric choice since it’s a high density woven polyester material. The higher the number, the denser the material. Following that logic, 600D is much denser, sturdier, and more waterproof than 300D.
A huge bonus with any grill cover is the ease of cleaning. Since you should never wash your grill cover in a washing machine, it’s a good idea to pick a fabric that will be easy to clean by just spraying it with a garden hose or pressure washer. The dirt and debris should simply slide down, and you shouldn’t have any lingering water.
The key to a great grill cover is not always in the densest material possible. In fact, denser fabrics leave less room for water vapor to escape, which in turn can cause trouble. If moisture lingers and gets trapped under your cover, it’s going to speed up rusting. That’s why when picking your next grill cover, you should make sure that it has sufficient ventilation.
There are different kinds of ventilation, including special fabrics, cut-outs, and built-in vents. Whichever you choose, make sure that it doesn’t have a negative effect on the waterproofness of your cover. The vent and waterproof layers should work together. In practice, that means that, for example, cut-out ventilation holes are covered and turned downwards, so that water needs to defy gravity to get in.
Naturally, you should look for a grill cover that suits your bbq as well as possible. With grills that have a unique shape, such as offset smokers or kamado grills, it’s beyond important. After all, you want the cover to fit snuggly around your model, so as to provide the best possible moisture protection. Additionally, a snug fit will make sure that your cover stays put during wind and thunderstorms.
Generally, grill covers come in several sizes, all of which are an inch or two bigger than standard grill dimensions to allow easier set-up.
The standard height ranges from 35 up to 55 inches, depending on whether the cover is designed to reach the ground or leave the legs uncovered. The depth of covers is usually somewhere between 20 and 30 inches since outdoor grills tend to be quite slim.
The width is the most important measure that changes dramatically depending on the model of your bbq. The sizes can range anywhere between 30 and 80 inches. A grill cover with a width between 55 and 60 inches should be considered medium size, while anything over 63 is a large size.
If you have a grill with a unique shape, such as the egg-like kamado grill, you should look for specialty covers that are designed to fit perfectly on that particular kind. Remember – you should always go for a snug fit, and the right dimensions are the most important feature that you should get right.
4. Safety Straps
We mentioned that your cover should fit snugly over your grill. However, if you live in an area with strong winds or storms, that may not be enough to keep your grill safe at all times. If you expect that your cover will have to withstand some heavy storms, you should definitely look for a grill cover with safety straps that can hold it well fastened even against the worst calamities.
You can find various types of safety systems, including ratchet straps with clips, bungee cords, or even Velcro straps. All of these work well to provide a secure fastening, so the choice is yours.
Tips for Covering Your Grill
Covering your grill is very simple – and you’ll likely understand how to do it right as soon as you have your cover in front of you. Still, simply covering the grill is not always enough. We have some tips for you that might make your life easier.
1. Wait Until It Cools Down and Dries
Whether you’ve just finished a big batch of delicious barbecue, or you gave your old grill a good wipe-down, keep in mind that you should never cover it while it’s hot or wet. Wait for your grill to cool down after cooking or to get dry after washing before you put the covers on.
2. Clean Any Mess
Whether it’s grease from the food, or bits of mud from the ground, you should always clean your grill before covering it. It’s simple – if you leave it on, it’s going to turn to gunk, and it will be much harder to clean afterward. Besides, isn’t it a dream come true to be able to start grilling as soon as you uncover your workspace the next time you want a juicy cut, without the hassle of scrubbing and cleaning before you can start.
3. Use Safety Straps
If you got a cover that has perfect dimensions for your grill, you may feel that there’s no need to go through the hassle of bending down to fasten the safety straps. However, we strongly recommend going through the trouble to do it. The grill covers which come with straps have that design feature for a reason – and you’ll understand what it is as soon as you see how wild it can get in strong winds and thunderstorms.
4. Wipe Down Occasionally
If you keep your grill covered for a long time, like during the winter, for example, you should give it an occasional wipe-down. Even if your cover has built-in ventilation for vapor relief, you should still stay on the safe side and check the moisture levels under the cover from time to time. If the surface of the grill is wet to the touch, grab a highly-absorbent piece of cloth, and simply wipe it down and return the cover.
FAQ About Grill Covers
1. Should my grill be covered all the time?
Yes. Well, apart from when you’re grilling, of course. Unlike lawn furniture covers, a grill cover is an all-season commodity. Both in the summer and in the winter, the environment is full of things that could have a bad influence on the longevity of your grill. That’s why you should cover your grill as soon as it cools down after cooking, and after you’ve cleaned up.
If you forgot to cover your grill after cooking, don’t fret. Nothing bad will happen to your grill (if it didn’t stand in the rain). Simply clean it up, wait for it to dry, and cover. If your grill did suffer some rain damage while uncovered, make sure to clean it, wait for it to dry completely (this is very important), and cover it with an anti-rust spray, and then use your grill cover once the anti-rust spray coat settles.
2. How should I maintain my grill cover?
Keeping your grill cover clean and well-maintained helps it last longer, in turn keeping your grill in pristine condition as well.
To properly clean your grill cover, you should follow these steps:
- Get rid of large pieces of dirt and debris like leaves and twigs first
- Spray the cover with a garden hose or a power washer to get rid of dust, mud, and other dirt
- Get a soft rag and a bit of soapy water to scrub off the stuck-on dirt like bird droppings, tree sap, and gunk. You should use a mild, non-abrasive soap such as dish soap or a multipurpose cleaner.
- Rinse off with fresh water from a garden hose or pressure washer
- Leave it to dry completely before covering your grill
3. Can I machine wash my grill cover?
The short answer to this question is no. However, that truly depends on the particular grill cover you have. Look for this information in the user manual or on the website of your cover manufacturer.
In general, grill covers should not be washed in the washing machine, because they’re not made to withstand harsh tumbling. However, if you get a higher-quality model, it may not be affected by an occasional machine wash. Still, we don’t recommend trying to machine wash your grill cover, unless you’re ready to get a new one if yours doesn’t hold up. Washing with a garden hose and a bit of soapy water is sufficient.
There are so many things that can dramatically reduce the lifespan of your grill, but luckily, there’s a way to prevent a lot of these adverse effects. Keeping your grill covered keeps it in great condition longer. The best grill cover doesn’t allow moisture from rain and dew to get onto your valuable device. Not only that, but it also makes maintenance a breeze, since it protects your grill from falling leaves, tree sap, bird droppings, and other environmental influences.
We hope that our heavy-duty grill cover reviews helped you find the perfect model for your grill. We gave our best to find the most reliable and durable covers for the lowest price possible. In addition to that, we hope that our buying guide equipped you with everything you need to know about keeping your grill happy and healthy for a long, long life of making awesome BBQ!