That shiny, new grill that serves as a testament to your barbecuing abilities won’t stay that way if you don’t take care of it. A grill spends its life outdoors where Mother Nature can wreak havoc on it, leading to rust and shortening its life. You need to protect it with a grill cover.
The best grill cover has thick, waterproof material that is UV resistant. It should have straps and drawstrings to keep it in place in harsh weather. It should fit snugly on your grill and be easy to put on and take off.
This guide will review what to look for when shopping for the best grill cover, so your grill can last for many backyard barbecues to come. Here are some of the best grill covers by category, including one that I put through the test with over a year of use.
- BEST OVERALL: Classic Accessories 55-338-371501-00 Veranda Cover
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Char-Broil 3-4 Burner Large Basic Grill Cover
- BEST WATERPROOF: iCOVER Grill Cover 50in, 600D Heavy Duty Waterproof
- BEST FOR TWO BURNERS: Weber 7138 Premium Cover Spirit II 200
- BEST HEAVY-DUTY: Grillman Premium (58 Inch) BBQ Grill Cover
- BEST FOR COLD WEATHER: Tvird BBQ Grill Cover 30-inch Waterproof Heavy Duty
What to Look for When Buying a Grill Cover
When shopping for a grill cover, there are several critical factors to consider, including size, material, extra features, maintenance, and UV protection.
Size is an important consideration when buying a new cover for your grill. If the cover doesn’t fit, it won’t be much use to you or your grill. You want a grill cover that will not only cover your grill from one side to the other but also hang an inch or two from the ground to provide ventilation to prevent condensation from forming.
Make sure to choose the right shape, too. You want the grill cover to match the shape of your grill, whether it’s a standard gas grill, a smoker, or a round charcoal grill.
Get a proper fit by measuring the grill’s height from the ground to the top of the lid. Then measure the width of the grill from end to end with the sides extended. Use these measurements when selecting a grill cover.
If you’re concerned about proper sizing, you can also shop for a cover tailored to your specific grill. Many third-party grill cover manufacturers design their covers to fit popular grill makes and models.
The material largely determines the quality and expense of the grill cover. Grill covers generally come in three different types of material: vinyl, polyester, and canvas.
- Vinyl covers are waterproof, making them ideal for protecting grills that don’t have the protection of a covered porch or patio. Not all vinyl covers are created equal, though. Look for covers made of at least 12-gauge vinyl, which will better withstand the elements and use. Thin vinyl will crack and get holes more quickly.
- Polyester is a popular material for grill covers due to its durability in all types of weather. Polyester isn’t inherently waterproof, so it is usually chemically treated with a PVC layer that resists UV rays and is impervious to water.
- Canvas is used in high-end grill covers because it is thick, durable, and waterproof. Canvas will keep your grill dry and can withstand intense heat and cold.
Higher-end grill covers include extra features that improve performance and usability. Many covers have air vents or pockets that allow ventilation to prevent rust-causing moisture from building up under the cover. Some grills also have pockets for storing grill tools. Other features include padded handles that are easier to grab hold of when taking off the grill cover or putting it on.
Even heavy-duty grill covers will fail if not properly maintained. Scrub the cover with a mild soap from time to time to remove grease or dirt, then rinse with a hose. Let it dry before putting it back on the grill to prevent trapping moisture inside the cover. Also, clean the grill exterior from time to time to keep it from transferring dirt to the cover.
Unless your grill is protected from the sun by a porch overhang, you’ll want a grill cover that offers UV protection. Many covers feature UV-resistant coatings that extend the life of the grill cover by preventing it from cracking due to sun exposure. A protective coating will also prevent the cover from fading.
Our Top Picks
This list includes some of the best grill covers in their categories that are built to keep your grill shielded from the elements for many years, including one that I tested on my grill for over a year.
This grill cover from Classic Accessories is water resistant and has extra features for protecting your grill. It’s made of woven polyester fabric with a laminated backing and bound seams for durability and water resistance. Integrated vents allow water vapor to escape, preventing condensation from building up under the cover while also preventing wind lofting.
Padded handles make the cover easy to put on and take off, while an adjustable hem cord and attachment straps for the legs ensure this grill cover won’t blow off. One style in this manufacturer’s line features a zippered storage pocket that keeps grill accessories close at hand. With eight sizes ranging from extra small to 3X-large, you’re likely to find one to fit your grill. Classic Accessories also produces the same style cover for outdoor furniture, so you can color-coordinate your patio.
Char-Broil’s grill cover offers plenty of protection for your grill at half the cost of many other grill covers. Its vinyl fabric and sealed seams make this cover capable of enduring wet weather. This 14-mil-thick material resists tears and features a Sun Fade Protective Liner that withstands UV rays.
Char-Broil’s cover comes in two sizes: two-burner and three- to four-burner. The two-burner size measures 52 inches wide by 40 inches tall, while the three- to four-burner size measures 62 inches wide by 42 inches tall. Side straps ensure a tight fit over the grill, while a drawstring on the skirt prevents wind from dislodging it.
With its thick polyester canvas fabric, water-resistant PVC coating, and water-repellent finish, the iCOVER will keep your grill dry. This 600D fabric is heavy duty with double-stitched seams, so it will hold up to wear and tear. It keeps your grill dry inside, too, thanks to concealed vents that allow water vapor to escape and prevent condensation from forming under the cover on the grill.
Adjustable straps hold the cover tight, while padded handles allow for easy removal. This grill comes in seven sizes ranging from 30 inches to 75 inches wide.
Individuals who own one of the popular Weber Spirit two-burner grills will be hard-pressed to find a better shield for their grill than this Weber grill cover. I bought this grill cover for my Weber Spirit grill and subjected it to a year of thorough testing. The results are hard to argue.
Thanks to its UV-protective coating, this cover has not faded, nor has the material degraded, making it worth the higher price tag. With PVC-lined polyester construction, this grill cover has kept my Weber barbecue dry, even through tropical storms. I also love the fit. Unlike universal grill covers that “sort of” fit every grill, the Weber grill cover is tailor-made for Spirit II grills. The cover fits securely around all of the grill’s contours, giving the grill a neat look while ensuring it doesn’t blow off on a windy day.
The Grillman Premium BBQ Grill Cover has quality construction that makes it one of the toughest grill covers you can buy. It’s made of Oxford cloth that’s waterproof and resists tears and UV rays. Strategically placed seams prevent water from getting in, while hook-and-loop straps ensure the cover fits tightly around the grill, keeping it in place on windy days. It comes in six sizes, ranging from 30 inches to 72 inches long, that fit various gas grill brands, including Weber, Char-Broil, and Brinkmann.
For cold-weather climates, you need a grill cover that can take on snowy conditions. The Tvird can take the cold, thanks to a PVC coating that waterproofs it, even when covered in melting snow. The coating also prevents discoloration and staining. The Tvird cover features hook-and loop-straps on the sides and a drawstring on the bottom of the skirt to keep the cover in place in extreme weather. Two large side handles allow you to maneuver the cover easily, and it comes with a zippered storage bag for storing the cover when not in use. This cover is 30 inches long, 26 inches wide, and 43 inches tall and fits many grill brands.
Tips for Buying and Using a Grill Cover
- Don’t choose a grill cover that fits like a glove. A cover that is too tight is tough to put on the grill. It will also stress the cover’s seams and corners, causing the cover to wear more quickly. With this in mind, choose a cover that is 1 to 2 inches wider than the grill.
- Don’t forget to clean the grill cover periodically. This will extend the life of the cover while maintaining its appearance. While you might think a grill cover is purely functional, a worn cover can turn your beautiful grill into an eyesore.
- Consider a grill cover tailor-made for your grill. Many covers fit specific grill models from manufacturers such as Weber, Brinkmann, and Char-Broil. If you own a popular brand of grill, buying a cover designed for it specifically will take some of the guesswork out of sizing.
- For a grill cover to be effective, it needs to be waterproof. Look for grill covers that have fewer seams or that feature high-density stitching or double stitching. Seams are the easiest way for water to infiltrate a grill cover. Seams are also the part of the cover that will fail first.
FAQs About Grill Covers
If you still have questions about fitting or maintaining your grill cover, read on for answers.
Q. How do you keep a grill cover on?
Wind can wreak havoc on a grill cover, causing it to sit improperly on the grill or come off altogether. Look for grill covers with hook-and-loop straps on the sides and drawstrings on the skirt. These will ensure the cover stays in place.
Q. How do you clean a grill cover?
Most grill covers resist stains and water, so you can clean them by rinsing them off with a hose. To remove grease or grime, scrub the cover lightly with mild dish soap, then rinse. Always allow the cover to dry before putting it back on the grill to prevent trapping water between the cover and the grill. Trapped water can cause the grill to rust.
Q. Do grill covers trap moisture?
In damp climates, the cover can trap humid air, allowing moisture to form between the cover and the grill. This is why many grill covers have air vents, which allow moist air to escape. It’s also why the grill cover’s skirt should be a couple of inches off the ground to allow air to flow up into the grill cover.