Grills come in different shapes and sizes. So in order to protect it from outdoor elements, you should get a cover that suits it like a glove. An extra large outdoor grill cover is a must-have if you got a large patio BBQ grill. You simply can’t take chances on makeshift covers that can be blown away during a windy day. Here are two of the best picks I recommend:
|Montana Grilling |
Gear 90” Cover
|Smoke Hollow 79” |
Aside from cleaning and regular maintenance, grills will last long with the help of a suitable drape. However, it’s a bit challenging to find one that can be as large as 80 inches or so. You may consider getting a smaller grill, but buying a large one has some benefits too.
Advantages of large grills
The bigger the better as what most grillers would say. A large grill lets you cook more food in one batch. If you keep hosting backyard parties or you’re cooking for a lot of people, you definitely need a bigger cooking surface.
Also, most large grills come with combo functions. It could have a smoker or a burner on the sides. Since it has 2 or more features in one, you no longer have to purchase another appliance. As a grill master, a combo grill is a value for money. You’ll never know when you have to cook something aside from BBQs and usual sausages.
A large grill is also a great addition to your patio. Instead of letting a large space sit empty, you can place a large grill that everybody in the house can use. It’s like adult’s favorite corner for whatever occasion.
How to maintain a large grill
Since it’s larger, grills like these could be a challenge to maintain. You always have to check for damaged parts and grime. Cooking in full force will leave grease, food bits, and ash on your equipment. It’s imperative to scrub and clean right after you finished cooking. Leaving ash on the firebox will make the metal corrode.
Basically, these are things I do to maintain my large grill:
1. Check for leaks
Most of the time, hefty grills are powered by both charcoal and propane gas. Make sure that you check for possible leaks on the gas hose. If you spot a tiny damage on the hose, have it fixed right away. Leaking gas spells trouble since one spark can trigger a massive ignition or worse.
The trick here is to wipe the gas line with soapy water. If you see the formation of more bubbles, there’s gas leaking from the hose. Your line might be loose or you have to get it replaced.
2. Always clean the grill
It’s impossible to keep your grill functional for years if you won’t clean it right after every use. The combination of grease, ash, and food bits is a recipe for rust and bacteria buildup. Aside from damaging the material of the grill, it will also smell bad. It needs no further explaining that such a thing isn’t exactly where you want to cook your food.
3. Cover the grill
No matter how hard you clean it, your grill will catch dirt outdoors. Dust, rain, snow, and other grimes may pile up on the cooking surface if you don’t cover it with a thick fabric. During stormy days, strong winds may blow just about anything to your appliance. The cover will be the first line of defense against these elements. It would cost you a few more bucks, but it’s worth it.
Below, I reviewed 2 extra large outdoor grill cover picks. Check which one suits your appliance best:
Top 2 Extra Large Outdoor Grill Covers
Montana Grilling Gear 90” Waterproof Premium Cover
The Montana Grilling Gear cover isn’t your typical drape. It has a special inner flow vent handles that are engineered to let the air in and ward off rain and snow. This part maintains the balance of relative humidity outside and inside your covered grill. With that, condensation and rusting are prevented. Your grill will also be mold and fungi-free while you store it.
This cover is also 100% weatherproof, thanks to its tough combination of polyester and vinyl fabric. The seams are sealed with a waterproof tape to ensure that the moisture is off your appliance. It also underwent cold crack treatment to make the material pliable even on freezing temperatures. During the summer when intense heat causes fading, the PTC treatment will ensure that UV rays won’t damage the material. This is a perfect cover for all seasons!
The Montana Grilling Gear covers come with a side buckle to fasten the material into your grill. It’s very easy to put on and off due to the plastic vents that also serve as the handle. As for storage, the two D-rings on the top area allows it to be hung anywhere.
As much as it’s large, the warranty is also generous. This drape is covered by Montana’s five-year limited warranty. In case you spot manufacture defects, you can call them so you can send it back for a refund or a replacement.
What could be done better:
The material is a little thinner than most covers I’ve seen, but for me, it really doesn’t affect the protection it gives to BBQs. For those who want more weight, the light and soft nature of this cover could be a small issue.
Smoke Hollow 79-Inch Grill Cover
If you have a Smoke Hollow grill models like PS9500, S9900, 8500, 6800, 3500, 6500, TC3718SB, TC3718, and so on, this is the perfect cover to buy. It’s a form-fitting cover that’s constructed to accommodate even the damper on the lid.
Aside from that, this Smoke Hollow cover is made from rugged and heavy-duty polyester with a PVC lining and a canvas exterior. There’s also a cold-backing interior that prevents the cover from cracking when exposed to freezing temperatures. This makes the cover waterproof and UV-resistant. It’s also strong enough to withstand tearing and environmental damage.
Although this cover is 79-inches wide, it can fit combination models of up to 84 inches. It can fit other grill models similar to hollow, but it may not properly slip like a glove on the protruding damper sock.
Unlike the Montana cover, this extra large outdoor grill cover from Smoke Hollow may start fading after an intense summer or two. Still, it holds pretty well considering that it’s way cheaper than the first option.
The good news here is that the cover is solid and a bit heavy. I also like the shell-like texture and feel which makes it look like a very tough drape. If you want the best bargain for price, quality, and appearance, you’ll never go wrong with this one.
What could be done better:
Overall, the Smoke Hollow cover is a nice pick. However, it would be a bit better with side vents for more breathability. But for snow and rain use, I have nothing to complain about.
When (and when not) to cover your grill
So here’s one thing you should know: when and when not to cover your grill. It’s a default move to cover your grill against moisture and intense heat. Some grill masters recommend that you uncover the grill during humid days. They are afraid that the humidity will be trapped inside and cause mold and fungi buildup. That can be true to some covers, but not with the Montana Grilling Gear drape I have here. It allows air circulation inside so even if it’s hot, the humidity stays off the interior.
If you prefer covering the grill during humid days, I suggest that you give it a good wipe every day if you’re not going to use it frequently.
For those leaving in coastal areas, covering the grill is very important. The salt particles from the sea will go airborne and will travel for kilometers.
As you know, salt is a leading cause of rust. If this accumulates on your steel grill, you can expect corrosion in a matter of weeks. It’s best to use an extra large outdoor grill cover to get all bases sheltered.
Lastly, don’t cover your grill if it’s still hot from use. Your large fabric drape will sustain burns and the interior waterproof backing will be damaged.
Cleaning guide for large grills
Before you park your large grill on your yard or patio, it’s important that you clean it first. Since it’s large, there’s also a bigger space for bacteria, critters, and other elements to harbor. Cleaning will ensure that the cooking surface stays fresh and your grill is ready for use right away.
Here are some of the steps I take before storing your large grill combo:
1. Scrub the grates well
Instead of brushing it the way you used to be, go an extra mile and give it a few more minutes of scrubbing. Make sure that all the food bits and charred meat are removed from the grate. If not, it will rot on your grill and become a host to decomposition-related bacteria.
Scrape the bottom part as well. Remove the layers of burned charcoal and ash. Once this is done, set the grate aside and wash the burner protectors. These parts get very dirty as it shields the burner from the grease oozing from the food. You should never drape with an extra large outdoor grill cover unless it’s cleaned properly.
2. Clean the burners
After removing the first layers, it’s now time to wipe the burner clean. You shouldn’t take the risk of disassembling this part if you don’t know how to put it back. Just use a sponge soaked in soapy water to clean it. Don’t forget to rinse with fresh water after that.
3. Remove the ash and gunk
For combo grill with charcoal-powered surfaces, make sure to remove ash remnants and other gunk. This part can get really filthy together with the grease that has blended with the residue. Use a scraper and try to remove the large chunks. If you cover your appliance without removing the ash, it will start to cake and solidify like cement.
4. Clean the drip tray
Never, ever, forget to wash the drip tray every time you cook. This part catches the grease and other sauce from the food. If you leave this untouched after cooking, the drippings would spoil and smell bad. Not to mention the bacteria buildup, this is very unsanitary. Covering your grill directly without cleaning this part is like breeding a rotting bomb.
Cleaning the extra large outdoor grill cover
Your grill cover takes the beating of all environmental elements. From light rains to heavy snow and dust, it gets pretty soiled. It’s just right to protect the cover that protects your grill. It’s not a hard task, anyway. Giving your grill cover a nice wipe or wash is important to keep it durable. Here’s what you should do:
1. Water and soap
Yes, as simple as water and soap. Using a hose, drench the cover and apply a little detergent soap. I prefer mild formulas to avoid damaging the color and coat of the cover. After that, rinse the fabric gently. Don’t use power washers.
2. Scrub if need be
Since this is a large cover, it may catch more dirt than usual. Use a scrub to scrape off deep-seated dirt and then rinse it with water. Take note that even though your grill cover is pretty pliable, it’s never a good idea to toss it to the washing machine. The material isn’t meant to be crumpled; otherwise, the inner lining might crack.
3. Air dry
As much as you want to get the cover ready for use, don’t expose it to direct heat just to dry it up. Just hung the cover on your clothesline and let it dry outdoors. After that, your cover is ready for another season.
Looking for an extra large outdoor grill cover? I hope you like these options here. Let me know if you have suggestions!