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When I had my house built eight summers ago, I never suspected the wind — and the wind damage — we were in for. We’ve lost shingles, given up siding, and been struck by lighting. For a Toolmonger who likes to grill out, the wind also hit me where it counted — the grill itself. We generally stored it by the fence to prevent accidents, but storms seemed to hit us during the few times we left the grill out on the patio. After purchasing two cheaper replacement grills which both subsequently ended up wind-totaled, last year I decided to buy a new grill and protect it to be sure it’d last.


My final decision was to build a paver stone “one-ton wall.” After checking with the company that installed the paver patio to ensure there was enough base/foundation to hold such a structure, I selected some pavers from the local big box that matched the existing colors and style. I picked them up myself so I’d get good quality pavers versus having to pay extra and returning the ones I didn’t use.

Donning leather gloves and loading up my daughter’s ever-handy Radio Flyer wagon to cart the pavers the 200 feet from the minivan, I found assembly to be a breeze. I simply followed the dummy-proof existing straight patio lines for alignment, then fit the pavers together with landscape adhesive using my ridiculously old, craptacular caulk gun.

Once capped off with some 12-inch by 12-inch step stone-style pavers, the wall was complete. The wall faces directly to the west, where the most damaging winds seem to come from. Plus, it’s the exact spot we loved to park the grill before I built the wall. Now I was able to assemble my new Weber E320 propane grill and leave it on the patio without worrying that wind would knock it over.

In a final effort of grill protection, I procured a Weber grill cover. After a year of use I’m happy to report that there has been no further grill damage, and I’ve had the pleasure of using the grill many times. The “one-ton wall” even helps out as a place to store platters, beverages, and grilling utensils not in use — definitely an added benefit for our patio. And with only the use of my van, a pair of leather gloves, my daughter’s wagon, and some landscape adhesive, it’s definitely a project anyone could do. Perhaps even a paver pavilion is in my future.

What lengths have you gone through to protect your grill? What efforts have failed, and what efforts have worked? As grilling season arrives upon us your words of wisdom could save someone’s most prized summer joy.

 

10 Responses to Protecting Your Summer Grilling Passion

  1. Keith says:

    I’ve found that tight-fitting plastic grill covers can cause moisture to
    condense under the cover and hold it against the grill, accelerating
    rusting.

    It might be better to use a looser fitting cover that is spaced out
    away from the grill and/or one made of breathable canvas,
    rather than plastic, to protect the grill against the elements.

  2. Patrick says:

    I put eye bolts in my old patio and replaced the old base of my grill with 2×12 boards. I then ran steel cable through both. I had it tied down so good I almost left it behind when we moved. It took me almost an hour to get it free.

  3. @Keith:

    That might explain why my stainless (the good kind not the cheap kind) top on my Ducane is starting to rust around the edges.

    I dropped the dough and bought tight fitting the factory cover when I bought the grill, after owning other looser fitting covers. The problem with the loose covers is that they catch the wind and get shredded.

  4. zoomzoomjeff says:

    Mine actually got tossed around in the wind several times last fall and tipped over. It dented the handle, and ripped the gas hose from the grill, breaking the regulator in half. (thankfully the gas valve was shut)

    After I get it replaced, I plan on wheeling it in the garage after I’m done. No cover. No wind damage.

  5. rob says:

    When I bought my Weber, years ago, I also bought their cover. When I opened the box, I was surprised to see there was a 4 inch wide strip of mesh or screen across the front. I called Weber, curious about the purpose it this.
    I was told the reason was to let moisture escape to prevent damage to the finish. I wonder why Scott’s doesn’t have that, unless they changed the model to save money.
    On another note, to keep loose fitting hoods on, I put a couple of grommets at the bottom of the hood and hook a bungee cord to each under the BBQ.

  6. Jesse T says:

    Wind isn’t to much of a problem here in Sacramento CA (unless your within a few blocks of the capitol building), but my wife and I did build an “outdoor kitchen”. I build 3 cabinets out of PT 2x4s and covered them with OSB siding, then we poured concrete counter-tops for each. I took my gas grill off its stand and set it directly on the center counter (which is lower than the other two). I still have to make one more cabinet for the sink, just have to figure out where the sink is going to drain to.

  7. Erich Adler says:

    Rob,
    I have a Weber branded cover with the mesh on the back. It still lets the moisture escape but allows the Weber branding to be shown as a free advertisement to all my guests.

  8. Ben says:

    This post needs some awesome theme music. Like maybe the A-team theme. You now have a BBQ emplacement.

  9. Mac says:

    Great write up! Looks like the beginnings of an outdoor bar to me!

    The Weber covers should have vents to reduce moisture build-up. Mine did. I also bungeed mine at the bottom.

    How’s that E320 treating you? I’ve been waiting a very long time for my Genesis 1000 to give up so I can get one of those Summits! Sadly, it’s going on around 17 years strong, the last 10 or so uncovered and exposed to all the elements of the Northeast. I lost the cover when we moved. I deviously figured I’d not replace it and let the old Weber give way to the new Weber sooner. Still waiting. Only thing of significance I’ve replaced thus far is the burners. (I do use it a lot – at least weekly in the winter, and a lot more often the rest of the year.) Even the original ignition is still rock solid.

    Sorry for the long post.

    Disclaimer: I have no relationship with Weber.

  10. Scott Rupert says:

    The wind is probably the main reason I don’t have a lose fitting cover. In fact, lose fitting covers have flown off my previous grills. When I purchased the Weber cover the depiction on the box did have the mesh sides. I’ll have to wait until I return home to check and see if there is mesh on the sides by the Velcro straps, but I don’t think this one does.

    Ben, you had me laughing for about 5 minutes with the A-Team comment. I’m trying to picture what role Murdoch would have had in the project….

    Mac, we gifted a E320 to Dad about 4 or 5 years ago for father’s day at the lake home, and he has a natural gas Spirit version at home. The fact the E320 stayed together longer than two of my previous grills combined sold me. The higher quality parts, the color, and the “fuel gauge hanger” for the propane tank are all awesome features. I’ll have to take a picture of it when I’m up there in June. Thanks for the compliment on the post!

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