So you want a durable and long-lasting cover. But do you even know which material is the best for such purpose? Nowadays, a lot of households have outdoor grills and they will surely get a cover after some time. The important part here is purchasing one with the best grill cover material and construction possible. Grill covers protect the equipment from natural elements and damage due to direct sunlight and rain. If it can’t even wick the slightest moisture or stay in place in a windy day, it’s not serving its purpose. You have to be meticulous on the material it is made of.
Since grills are intended to prolong the lifespan of your grill, make sure to get the best piece. Here, we discussed the four most common material used in grill cover production. Check out how it works and if it’s the best fit for the purpose you’re thinking of. Here’s a quick look with the scale of 0-10 (10 is the highest):
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Polyester is the most common of all the four material used for grill covers. It’s lightweight, easy to clean, and affordable.
Since it doesn’t absorb any dirt, it can be cleansed by mild washing or wiping. This material is also quick-drying and doesn’t wrinkle. However, polyester doesn’t offer as much waterproof feature as canvas and plastic. Still, it can withstand almost all outdoor conditions, given that the construction is right. It’s not prone to tears and punctures too.
You can find a polyester cover for as low as $30 for a full-sized grill. Although there are expensive brands, cheaper options are still reliable. Polyester doesn’t crack easily over time as long as there’s no weak coating added to it. It’s the best grill cover material for those looking for a modest bargain of price and quality.
If ever the cover got pretty soiled, the polyester material can be machine-washed or ironed, in some cases.
If you want to protect your grill from rains and snow, the vinyl material will be more suitable than a polyester one.
This one is highly waterproof but there are cases when durability is in question. Always opt for thick versions to ensure that the cover won’t rip during strong winds. Since this is made of PVC, it should be strong enough to last long, but not as extensive as the polyester type.
Vinyl can be cheaper than polyester, though. But it depends on the brand and the construction of the piece. If it’s too cheap, you should doubt the thickness and durability of the product. You might end up buying a replacement if you chose to save more bucks at first.
Anyway, I think with proper maintenance, vinyl covers will work well. It’s even used for car seats that get battered for quite a while.
If durability is the name of the game, the canvas would be the best grill cover material.
It uses the same materials with those of tents and awnings so you’re assured of quality even under direct sunlight and constant moisture. Compared to polyester, the canvas is thicker and heavier. Still, canvas made from synthetic fibers can be lighter and with better waterproof characteristics. Some pieces may come with a special coating to make it durable and long-lasting.
Canvas is the best option if you want an all-around cover. This type of fabric is usually weatherproof and the best for those who are storing a grill outdoors. Prices may vary for canvas covers depending on the consistency and if the fabric is synthetic. Nevertheless, this is one has the longest lifespan option among the aforementioned materials.
Plastic grill covers are rarely used since it doesn’t offer any protection against sunlight.
Although it works well in wicking rain and snow, it doesn’t guarantee to ward off moisture that can build up inside. More often, plastic grill covers are temporary solutions. It’s the option of cash-strapped grill owners who are storing the equipment outdoors for a short period.
Still, this type of material will work. It’s best used for grills stored on a shade or indoors where dust is the only thing to protect against. Plastic covers can last for a long time but it will soon become brittle. Replacement, though, is cheap. Still, it’s not the best grill cover material.
What should you use?
The answer to this depends on what you want to achieve. Do you want to protect your grill from snow? Then use a vinyl one. Are you looking for a cheap option? Contemplate between polyester and plastic. For an all-around pick, I suggest the canvas material. It’s weather-proof and doesn’t get brittle over time.
The option will also depend on your budget. Covers vary in prices regardless of the materials used. Make sure that what you purchase fits your grill size and it offers the protection you need for your equipment. Don’t look at aesthetic factors alone. Be a wise buyer and always opt for quality above all.
The durability of the grill cover material lies in the maintenance aside from its innate characteristics. Washing it regularly will spare it from the damage of accumulated grime. Washing it every three months is advisable to maintain its quality.
When to use each material
If you’re wondering when the best time is to get each grill cover material, here’s a quick rundown based on my experience:
⏩If you’re looking for an all-around material that can withstand any weather condition, I can bet on polyester. It’s a very versatile fabric given proper maintenance. It’s a great option for a year-round cover that’s not demanding too much waterproof features or resistance to chemicals.
⏩Looking for a weatherproof choice? You’ll never go wrong with canvas covers. There’s a good reason why it’s used on awnings and tents. It can repel almost any moisture and it lasts long even under intense sunlight. For me who lives in tropical Puerto Rico, a canvas is the best option to withstand extreme weathers.
⏩Vinyl covers, on the other hand, are tricky options. It comes in different subtypes. But normally, this is great during rainy days as it dodges water and moisture. If you want more protection, opt for thicker vinyl.
⏩If you’re thinking about using plastic covers, I’ll never recommend for you to use it on hot days. It will fry under the sun and leave a plastic smell on your grill. If you’re a bit cash-strapped and you want to prevent rain from ruining your grill, reserve this during rainy months. Lastly, plastics aren’t great for snow as it harbors – and never wicks – moisture.
Things to watch out for
Even if you’re investing on the best grill cover material, make sure that you’re getting an authentic piece. There are tons of knock-off pieces out there. Practice caution and always doubt whenever the price is too cheap. I’m not saying that affordable material is bad, but some thrift shop pieces can trick you into buying substandard pieces.
So here are a few things to avoid: thin fabric, single stitches, untreated polyester, and cheap vinyl.
I want to emphasize the value of double stitches here. I once used a single-stitched cover during a hurricane – not Maria, by the way – and it tore to pieces! A strong material is a no-match to strong winds if it’s a patchwork done wrong.
Given the right material, additional features are must-haves. It gives more value for your money. Here are some that I personally recommend:
If you want to guard your accessories along with the grill, a piece with pockets would be useful. This is a good catch aside from the best grill cover material if you keep losing your grilling equipment. Pockets can be used to store tongs, skewers, gloves, and more.
Choosing a piece with air vents is a matter of preference and consideration on your location. Air vents are great during summer as it adds breathability to your grill. It lets moisture escape the cover to prevent rusting and mold buildup. However, it’s not a good choice during the rainy season. The vents are only enclosed using a permeable mesh. It will let the water in which can cause rusting and mildew.
If you live somewhere in Mount Washington in New Hampshire, the wind is your enemy. Make sure that your choice of the durable cover has straps and buckles to secure it on the grill. Otherwise, it will fly like Aladdin’s carpet until it reaches the neighborhood. If the wind is uncharacteristically strong, I recommend that you tie the straps on a brick or a railing on your yard.
An inside lining can both be an advantage and a disadvantage. If your property has a bad case of rodents and squirrels, opt out of lined pieces. Stick to nylon, vinyl, or polyester interior layers.
If you’re keen to get a lined cover, never choose wool or fleece. These soft materials harbor bugs and mites which will compromise the food safety of your grill. Also, fleece and wool absorbs moisture and hold it for long. What I recommend is PVC lining. This makes the cover less prone to tearing plus it shields the grill from possible scratches.
To avoid overcomplicating things, I only recommend two considerations when scouting for a grill cover:
Don’t skimp on durability even if it will cost you more dollars. An expensive cover that lasts for years is better than a cheap one that will only linger for days. Aside from the hassle of getting a replacement, going cheap isn’t always a practical choice.
Always remember that thicker fabric always has better hold than thinner pieces. Still, keep an eye on the next point:
Durability is important but it should be paired with quality. That means the grill cover would keep its optimal shape even after months or harsh weathers. Don’t use price as a basis for your options. Remember, expensive options aren’t always durable and cheap ones aren’t always dud pieces. What I recommend is that you purchase from a seller or manufacturer with excellent reviews for their products.
No matter how good your grill cover material is, it won’t last long if you leave it sitting under layers of dust, mildew, and dried leaves. Each fabric material will have varying tolerance levels. But under intense grime, the lifespan of the cover will shorten.
The simplest thing you can do is to dust it off at least once a week, once a month if you’re busy as a bee. You should also handwash it to remove the deep-seated dust. Even if your location is pretty clean, outdoor elements will still accumulate on the best grill cover material.
For non-porous materials, a nice wipe would do the job. Just don’t machine-wash these materials to avoid damaging the stitches and the shape of the cover.
As for the sprays, it’s optional. Some homeowners treat their grill covers with an insect deterrent to discourage the pest from harboring inside. This is done if the grill won’t be used for long. However, I don’t recommend it that much as it might raise the issue of food safety.
A grill cover is a must-have if you want to protect your equipment from various elements. It doesn’t have to be expensive. As long as you get the right size and material, it should work as expected. Grill covers aren’t just overrated pieces of fabric made to milk money from avid grillers. It serves an important purpose.
As much as you don’t want to overcomplicate the process of choosing this grill accessory, it’s important that you pay attention to some aspects. The material, for one, is a massive deal breaker. It’s not just your grill at stake here; it’s also your money throwing off the window if you don’t buy wisely.
The best grill cover material is easy to choose. It could be more expensive than the others, but its’ guaranteed to last decades. Did we miss anything on this post? Let us know below!