Cover your Gear

Why Cover my Outdoor gear?

One question we often receive is: “why cover your outdoor gear?” It’s a good question, why should you cover a grill, boat, patio furniture, RV, car, etc.? For that matter, why should you cover patio furniture or anything really, in a dry climate? Will the rain cause some kind of damage to my gear; it’s meant to be outside, right?

Want to know about a specific category of covers? Check out these posts:
Patio Furniture Covers
Lawn and Garage and Lawn Equipment Covers
Car Covers and Truck Covers
RV Covers
Boat Covers
UTV, ATV, and Snowmobile Covers
Golf Cart Enclosures and Covers

Already past convincing and want to know how to measure for a cover? Click your category:
Patio Furniture Covers,
Lawn and Garage and Lawn Equipment Covers,
Car Covers and Truck Covers,
RV Covers,
Boat Covers,
UTV, ATV, and Snowmobile Covers,
Golf Cart Enclosures and Covers

Great reasons to protect your outdoor furniture, equipment, and gear with a cover. Covers:

  1. Protect from water damage
    Covers help limit water accumulation directly on the product, especially when the cover has water resistant or waterproof qualities.This can help prevent rust and corrosion. Additionally, standing water and moisture can lead to mildewing.*

    1. *Mildew (and mold) are fungi  that occur due to the interaction between water and organic material. Covers are only able to help limit this and require some cleaning and ventilation, so that organic elements that have made their way onto your gear don’t have a chance to grow.
  2. Keep out dust and debris
    Wind can blow dust, dirt, and debris against your gear, causing weathering and scuffing. Covers are a layer between your gear and the elements.
  3. Protect from damaging UV rays
    Direct exposure to UV rays can cause fading and material deterioration. Covers, especially those with UV treatments, can block some of this light, increasing the longevity of your product at its current exposure level.
  4. Prevent pests
    Animals and insects will make a home anywhere. Covers can’t fully prevent them from nesting in your furniture and gear, however they can deter the discovery of these hidden places by making it more difficult for critters to find their way in.
  5. Provide for savings
    All of these factors lead to you spending less time dealing with avoidable problems with the assets that enable your favorite outdoor activities. Investing in a cover can reduce your time and cost spent on maintenance/repair, likely reducing the frequency at which you need to replace your furniture, car, boat, RV, etc.
  6. Reduce cleaning time
    By protecting your gear with a cover, you will not have to spend as much time cleaning your outdoor equipment at any given time of the year.
  7. Maintain your yard’s aesthetics
    Covers provide a tidy, and pleasing look to your outdoor space.

We believe that covers are a great investment for the future of your outdoor gear. We love getting outside to enjoy our yards and nature with friends and family. That time together is a huge part of what people love about their patios, boats, RVs, and vehicles. Saving time not sweating the small stuff (like cleaning and avoidable deterioration) is a benefit that’s hard to talk down. Regardless of your cover use or disuse, we hope that you are able to find time to care for your gear so that it’s there when you really want to get out and enjoy the experience.

 

Cover your Gear

12 Grill Tips/Tricks

 

It’s National Grilling Month, and what better way to kick off a fun month of grilling than to put some quick grill tips and tricks to use. Let the grilling begin!

1. Clean your grill and grate with a grill brush after preheating

This tip sounds like a no-brainer, but to achieve optimum grill cleanliness, run your grill brush over the grates after preheating. That way, the heat will have already begun to loosen the grit and grime that’s been stuck on your grill since your last cookout. As Chris Allingham, a blogger on Weber grills, also attests to: “There’s zero chance of forgetfulness. If you burn-off after cooking, you go into the house and enjoy your meal, only to realize 30 minutes later that your grill is still glowing cherry-red-hot out on the patio.” Our Senior Graphic Designer, Dorik Downing, also suggests an alternative to a wire brush, which has potential safety concerns. Dorik’s grill brush of choice is the “Ultimate BBQ Cleaning Tool,” a brush made from red oak that forms to the shape of the grill grates.

“What I like the most about it is that I feel like my grill is still ‘seasoned’ because the formed tool does not harshly scrape the grill like a wire brush would. A few swipes with the tool and it’s grill time!” – Dorik Downing

Additional tip: For a deeper clean, remove your grates and soak them in a bucket of soapy water before cooking.

2. Oil your grill with a paper towel soaked in vegetable oil, or use an onion

Avoid investing in cheap sprays that can cause flare-ups on the grill, and instead, simply use a paper towel soaked in vegetable oil on your grill grate. Once the towel is soaked, take a set of tongs and coat the grate entirely to prevent sticking. This tip is cost-effective and easy, making for efficient grilling and zero chance of your meat, vegetables, or seafood sticking to the grill.

You could also clean your grill grate with an onion. Amanda Perry, our Marketing Specialist, recommends this technique: “While the grill’s still hot, take a freshly halved onion, stick it on a fork, and use the cut side to rub residue off the grate. The oils in the onion will take care of most, if not all, of the grit without the elbow grease. They’ll also season the grill and add some flavor to your next meal, too.”

3. Keep a spray bottle nearby in case of flare-ups

Flare-Ups can be a scary and sudden side-effect to using a grill spray on your grill or can simply be caused by grease dripping down into the grill. While some flare-ups are small and contained, one simple trick to dousing larger flare-ups when they do occur is to keep a spray bottle filled with water nearby.

4. Invest in a grill mat

A grill mat will help reduce staining from grease that could splatter or drip out of the grill. Even if you have a drip pan, there is still a risk of grease or oil escaping the grill and staining your patio. Investing in a naturally heat-resistant grill mat could ensure a greater longevity to your patio surface.

5. Try additive-free lump charcoal

For those grill masters that favor charcoal grills, consider trying additive-free lump charcoal, a more environmental-friendly substitute to normal briquettes (which normally contain wood scraps, sawdust, coal dust, sodium nitrate, borax, and additional additives). We also recommend avoiding lighter fluid altogether when lighting your grill, as it releases volatile organic compounds (VOCs) into the air, which can leave unsanitary residue on the food you’re grilling. Our Senior Graphic Designer, Dorik Downing, recommends 100% Lump Charcoal, which he uses on his Kamado Joe grill.

6. Line kettle basin with aluminum foil

By adding aluminum foil to the interior of your kettle grill, you will easily be able to dispose of the charcoal ash after grilling, as opposed to having to clean out the interior of the grill later.

7. Use a chimney starter to light charcoal

Using a chimney starter to light your charcoal in either a grill or a smoker is an efficient way to get the coals hot and avoid lighter fluid. Here’s a walkthrough on how to use a chimney starter and some basic safety tips. We recommend the Weber 7416 Rapidfire Chimney Starter since it holds more charcoal than other chimney starters and is rust-resistant.

8. Limit the times you open a grill or smoker to check the progress of your food

The more you open a grill or smoker, the more inconsistent the heat levels in your grill will be. For a gas grill, opening the lid too much can cause lower cooking temperatures and slower cooking time. For charcoal grills, opening the lid causes your food to actually cook quicker since the oxygen from the air makes the coals hotter. Bobby Flay, chef and TV host, recommends to “stop playing with the food when it is on the grill. Leave it be. Let your meat or chicken or fish or veggies form a crust and naturally release from the grates. Only flip it once so the burger or fish doesn’t fall apart.” As the old saying goes, “if you’re looking, it ain’t cooking!”

9. Let your food come to room temperature before grilling*, and then let it rest ten minutes after cooking.

Wolfgang Puck, chef and restaurateur, says that “Allowing the meat to come to room temperature is one of the most important parts of grilling that home cooks often forget. This will lessen the steak’s cooking time and help perfect an evenly cooked piece of meat. If the steak is cold when you put it on the grill, it will overcook the outer part of the meat, drying it out while you wait to cook the internal part of the meat to the desired temperature.” Also, letting the meat rest after cooking for about ten minutes will ensure the redistribution of the juices and ultimately a better flavor.

Additional tip*: Don’t leave the meat out at room temperature for more than an hour in case bacteria begin to grow.

10. Add some oil to your favorite dry rubs

Heather Thomas, our Ecommerce Marketing Specialist, recommends coating a dry rub lightly with olive oil to “…seal in the flavors during the marination process and lessen spice loss while flipping. In my experience, it also has the added benefit of changing up the texture of cooked meat to be a bit crispier on the outside and juicier on the inside, especially when combined with fresh garlic.”

11. Use a Dutch oven or a large pot with a lid when transporting your cooked meats inside

Brad Dorcik, one of our online merchandisers, recommends this tip to keep your cooked food “moist, juicy, and warm until it’s time to chow down.”

Sunbrella BBQ Grill Cover

12. Throw a grill cover on!

What better way to protect what you love most than by covering it? Adding a grill cover to your grill reduces the risk of your grill rusting, as well as protects it from weathering and damage from UV rays. We recommend these products for optimum protection from the elements and an enjoyable grill experience. Also, check out one of our earlier blog posts on how to measure your grill for a cover.

Consider putting these tips and tricks to the test for any fun, outdoor grill experience you’re planning for the Fourth of July, and for the rest of national grilling month. Happy grilling!

12 Grill Tips/Tricks