11 Hot Tips to Make Your Grill Last

Burger Barbecue


Cheapism is editorially independent. We may earn a commission if you buy through links on our site.
Burger Barbecue

Don't Flame Out

There's nothing like firing up the grill when the weather starts to sizzle. Since grills are meant to be investments that last for years, knowing how to properly store and maintain a grill is essential for getting top value. Many tips for extending the life of your grill apply to gas and charcoal grills, with a few differences when it comes to cleaning and repairs. Whichever type you have, keep it in top shape by following these guidelines.

Related: The Best Grills Under $300 

grill with son

Use It

Like any machine or appliance, your grill will stay in best working order if you use it regularly. Firing it up habitually will also provide ample opportunity to test all of the parts and help you spot problems while they are new and easily fixable.

Related: Finger-Licking Barbecue Sauce Recipes

grill cover

Cover It

Covering your grill between uses can extend its life considerably. Even though the exterior materials are strong, the natural elements wear them down over time. Keeping grills safely out of the way of rain, pollen, and even wind-blown branches can add years to durability and keep a grill looking sharp. 

For more great cooking tips and recipes, sign up for our free newsletters.

garage storage

Store It

During the off season there is no need to have your grill outside and exposed to the elements, even if you live in an area that does not get regular snow and ice. Carving out a small space in the garage or shed will keep a grill in top shape for when grilling season rolls around. 

cleaning grill
Sergei Telenkov/istockphoto

Clean It

Stuck on buildup can become a permanent messy problem if not dealt with soon after use. Cleaning a grill regularly helps keep all the parts working well and gives you an opportunity to make sure it is safe and functioning optimally. Depending on what kind of grill you have, gas or charcoal, there are easy-to-follow steps for keeping it clean.

grill brush

Use a Brush

Keeping grill grates clean not only extends the life of a grill but also improves the quality of everything it does. Investing in a grill brush to use after each session is essential for grill maintenance. Good options cost around $15 from hardware stores. 

grill with foil
chee gin tan/istockphoto

Use Foil

If scraping a grill with a brush after each use is too much work, or simply unrealistic, consider using aluminum foil as a barrier. Placing a layer of foil between the grates and food makes for instant, easy cleanup. You won't get the same effect of grill marks, or as much flavor from charcoal, but the basic cooking and flavor remains the same.


Related: Recipes and Tips for Grilling Fish This Summer

Essential Grill Tools

Get Accessories

Having the right accessories for your style of grilling will allow you to use a grill to its full potential and protect against using it in the wrong way. From thermometers to heat-safe mitts, there are plenty of inexpensive toys to make the experience even better and keep the equipment in good shape. 

Related: Grilling Accessories You Didn't Know You Needed

grill maintenance

Keep All Parts in Good Condition

Especially when it comes to gas grills, regular checks on all of the parts are important. A grill may be able to function even if one or two parts are damaged, but that will lead to potential danger and a quick degrading of the overall unit. Rather than wait until the unit falls apart, spot check routinely for what might need less expensive repairs. 

Related: Take This Quiz to See How Much You Actually Know About Grilling

prep grill with onion

Prep with an Onion

An old grill master trick is to use an onion cut in half and dipped in oil to lubricate grates before adding food to the hot grill. This helps prevent sticking without burning up a cloth or squirting on too much oil.


Related: Money-Saving Tips for the Backyard Grill Master

rust on grill
backyard grill

Dedicate a Spot

If grilling is a significant part of your backyard entertainment, it's worth setting up an area  dedicated to it. Chemicals from pools, lawns, and even natural elements from trees can all be harsh to the exterior of grills. Setting up a small area of concrete to host it is an easy DIY project that will help the equipment last longer. 

Related: Grilled Ice Cream Sandwiches and More Unexpected Recipes for the Barbecue