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Can a BBQ Be Left in the Rain?

can a bbq be left in the rain

A BBQ set is an irreplaceable part of every household in the United States. Simply put, Americans adore BBQ. Back in 2018, roughly 75% of adults in the US had either a grill or smoker. Without any doubt, this percentage got significantly higher in the last couple of years.

Preparing food outdoors is pretty easy in the summer when the sun is shining. The task becomes slightly more difficult when you encounter rain. Can a BBQ be left in the rain?

A BBQ can be left out in the rain as long as it is covered. If not, it should be promptly dried before being covered up or stored away. Leaving a BBQ out in the rain, without a cover, is not recommended as it can become damaged over time.

Is It Bad To Leave a BBQ in the Rain?

Leaving your BBQ in the rain uncovered is not something you should make a habit of. Nothing bad will happen if it happens just a few times.

However, going on a trip and leaving a BBQ out in the open can cause a wide array of problems if there. The most obvious problem being that the rain can cause it to rust. If you don’t take care of it immediately, you can easily find your set completely unusable when you get back. 

How Do I Protect My BBQ From the Rain?

When discussing barbecue and grills, there’s a specific question that people ask over and over again, “are the covers necessary?”. People tend to be enthusiastic about this topic. Plus, arguments are coming from both sides. But, we believe covers are a must.

The primary argument for the covers is that they protect BBQs from the negative effects of rain. You can see that leaving your BBQ in the rain is a possibility, but not without providing some cover. Even if it means that you are moving it under a patio.

However, having covers without proper ventilation is a bad idea. The reason is that they can trap moisture and enhance corrosion. Even though the newest generation of grills can withstand all the weather conditions, covers will unquestionably extend the life of the equipment.

We recommend using a heavy duty weatherproof grill cover like this one. It fits a wide variety of grills and is rain, UV, and dust resistant.

Will Rust Burn Off the Grill?

A BBQ set is subject to a lot of different kinds of abuse. The commonest ones are high temperatures, constant exposure to weather conditions, and grease splattering while preparing food. As is the case with all kinds of devices, it is not uncommon for a BBQ set to rust. 

As you can presume, not removing the rust is not safe. For example, it can stick to your food. Of course, it’s not likely that it will cause harm to one meal. But that doesn’t mean that you should risk having problems with your intestinal tract, right?

Therefore, you should clean your set as frequently as possible. According to experts, you should clean it once a month, when it comes to the exterior, and every three months when it comes to the interior. In case there’s rust on it, you should clean it immediately.

Can Electric Grills Get Wet?

Despite electric grill popularity’s surge in the last couple of years, it is not nearly as popular as gas and charcoal grill. According to Statista, only 10% of US households have electric grills. So, there’s a chance that people are not aware of how they should handle these.

But, one thing is for certain, you shouldn’t combine electricity with water. Therefore, you shouldn’t use your electric grill in the rain. You should entirely avoid situations where cords are near water or any other kind of liquid, which makes perfect sense, right?. 

Even though they come with all sorts of protection, you shouldn’t use them in the rain and snow for obvious reasons. Needless to say that leaving it in the rain without shelter is a bad idea. Instead, move it under some platform, at least.

How to BBQ in the Rain

Grilling in the winter is not as uncommon as many people think. 75% of owners grill in the winter. Although rain and snow can discourage you from grilling that day, you can continue. But, there are a couple of conditions you will need to meet. 

  • Place it Under a Covered Area

Placing a charcoal or gas BBQ in an open area of your patio is not a good idea. If you expose it to the rain, you will never be able to fire it up. Instead, place it under a covered area. Not only that it will not be affected by rain, but also, you will be able to achieve higher temperatures

  • Keep Wood or Charcoal Dry

If you use wet cooking wood or charcoal, you will struggle to light it up. We are talking about a mistake many people make while having an idea about barbecuing in a couple of days. They leave it outside, and the chance of it getting wet gets pretty high. Instead, store it in a dry place.

  • Build a Hot Fire

A factor that makes the difference when you grill in the rain is building a fire. The hotter the fire is chances of rain cooling it down get lower. It’s not uncommon for the grill to develop a temperature higher than 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit. So, the fire doesn’t stand a chance.

  • User Remote Thermometer

In case your grill doesn’t have a remote thermometer, you should seriously consider investing in one of these. As its name implies, you will be able to check the temperature without opening it. Thankfully, this is not something that requires a high investment. You can find it for $20 or $30.

Can You BBQ Under a Canopy?

Sometimes, we can see that people get the idea about barbecuing under a canopy tent. Operating any flame under a canopy tent is something you need to avoid. The reason is you can damage the equipment, and more importantly, you can hurt yourself. 

But if this is a necessity for some reason, you should apply all the measures of protection. For example, you should choose a spot that’s far from any surrounding that you can leave you trapped. Also, ensure that the flame will not spread if that happens.

How to Clean your Grill After Use

Thankfully, the time you will need to clean a grill is minimal. At the same time, the payback for all the effort you invest is tremendous. The process is pretty much the same, it doesn’t matter if you clean the newest generation model or a cheap one.

You need to clean it after you use it and create a schedule for seasonal cleaning. That way, you will enhance the grill’s overall cooking performance. It means that you will be able to prepare food effectively and free of any potential contamination that can ruin your food.

When it comes to equipment you will need for this task, you need a stainless steel grill brush, a dish soap, rags, and a stiff nylon brush. Firstly, brush off grates and racks. After that, scrape all the grates and wipe them with a rag. If needed, you should soak the grates and racks.

If you use a charcoal grill, you need to empty ashes every time you use it and clear all the parts seasonally, even when you don’t use it. With gas grills, you should inspect all the parts frequently. You don’t want any kind of malfunction to happen while you grill, right? 

Final Thoughts

The measures of protection you will use for your BBQ heavily rely on the area you live in. But, there are some general things you can do to protect your set. Rain is the most frequent negative factor you will encounter. It’s of the utmost importance to have protection against it.

As long as your BBQ is properly covered with a weatherproof cover, leaving it in the rain should not be a problem.

If left in the rain without a cover, it is highly advised to dry the entire grill before covering it or storing it to avoid any potential damage from the rain.

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