5 Tips for Weatherproofing Your Pellet Grill

Spring is an exciting time of year for the pellet grilling community! We can finally do some grilling without dealing with biting cold winds. Unfortunately, the arrival of Spring also marks the arrival of harsh weather conditions such as frosts, thunderstorms, and hail. Our grills are built to withstand these extreme conditions, although why invite damage if you can avoid it? Here are 5 tips for weatherproofing your pellet grill against the elements in order to keep it in tip-top shape.

1) Use A Grill Cover

The first and easiest way to protect your MAK Grill from the elements is to buy a MAK Grill Cover. These durable covers are made from Spectraloc marine vinyl which means they’re both UV and mildew resistant. They’re also anti-microbial and come with a 3-Year “no fade” warranty.

2) Store Your Grill In A Covered Area

It’s always a good idea to store your grill in a covered area with a durable floor (avoid packed dirt floors as they can become muddy with runoff rainwater). Storing your grill on a deck or patio, inside the garage, or in a shed is a good way to make sure you avoid damage from hail storms, floods, or extreme mud. Hail has the most potential for dinging up your grill so if you see a hailstorm in the forecast, make sure to store your grill someplace safe, even if it means rolling it into your living room. (Fun Fact: the largest recorded hailstone was as big as a volleyball!) Also, avoid grilling during lightening heavy thunderstorms.

3) Clean Your Pellet Grill Regularly

Keep your grill clean on both the inside and outside. Make sure to regularly sweep excess dust into the ash cleanout, dump your firepot, empty your grease drawer, and keep your grates and FlameZone components free of food chunks and grease spots. These cleaning habits will improve the longevity and usability of your pellet grill. Make sure you don’t de-season your grill by cleaning it too thoroughly. You can find the full recommended cleaning schedule in your owner’s manual, but here are a few quick tips for keeping your grill running smoothly:

  1. Empty your firepot every 3-5 uses.  (The residual ash will need to be dumped out to avoid having the ash cover the igniter and interfere with the pellets catching fire.) All our grills have a removable firepot to make this task much easier.
  2. Scrub your thermocouple with a bit of steel wool (until it is shiny) every few weeks.
  3. Clean out all of your vents & grease chute at least 2-3 times per year, to keep the air flowing freely.
  4. Keep an eye on your grease bucket or grease drawer to make sure they don’t overflow.

4) Keep A Clear Path To Your Grill

If you live in a snowy environment, keep a path shoveled to your grill. This will keep it usable, and also reduce your frustration and desire to kick a 235-lb. stainless steel cooker in the shins. If you’re doing a little cold weather pellet grilling, resist the urge to open the lid. When you’re lookin’ you’re not cookin’! Use the MAK meat probe to monitor your progress so that you can stay in the warmth of your home. If you want an even more hands-free approach, look at our MAK Mobile wireless options.

5) Protect Your Pellets

Aside from the grill itself, it’s also important to maintain your pellets! Store them in an airtight container under your grill cover. You don’t want water or other moisture getting into your pellets as they’re made of compressed sawdust. Wet pellets become jelly-like and when they dry out, they harden. If you have pellets in your hopper or auger when this happens, you’ll probably end up having to chip them away little by little. If you won’t be using your grill in the next 3-4 weeks, empty your hopper.