Do you keep your smoker covered when not in use?

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Smoke Blower
Original poster
Feb 14, 2007
Columbus, OH
I have a Chargriller Pro w/SFB. I bought the cover for it. Only $20. I have had the cover for about 3 months. It's already sun faded, then today, I took it off and it ripped like paper. There was no strength left in it. Before I go waste money on another cover, I am wondering if it really is doing any good. I mean, I keep the ash cleaned out, so I am not worried about water accumulated. Also seems that without the cover, that no moisture will hang out on the steel when the cover is in place.

I am thinking in the winter, that I will keep it covered when not in use to keep snow off of it. But in the summer, it would seem better to leave it off.

What are your thoughts?
I have a GOSM and I just use a big ole trash bag and a bungee cord. I cut a little slot in it where the handle will stick out. Why do I want the handle to stick out you ask? Because I live in Philadelphia and if you want to keep any thing here you have to chain it up!!!! So I have my grill and my smoker and 3 propane bottles all chained together. What is this world coming to? What ever happened to honest people? I really miss TX.
I had my grill chained to the house in my old neighborhood and found the chain cut in about 10 pieces in a neat little pile with the lock intact on top and NO grill. This was a really thick chain about 3/8" thick too.
I bought the cover for my Camp Chef Smoke Vault and it seems to be of decent quality. I try to keep it on when not in use.
During the summer months I leave my ECB, GOSM and Char Broil units uncovered. Come winter they all go into a shed.

I am planning on making a shelter with permanent overhead protection, removeable sides, and a brick patio type floor in the near future. The shelter will incorporate an ample work station and other amenities. More later.

Not to mention a couple of cherry trees beside it to honor Scott in KC!

I keep the "big dog" (Smoke-n-Pit) covered but my precious ECB sleeps in the garage. I bought a cover from Brinkman for the "pit" through Amazon. It is very heavy and is lined.
I keep mine covered when not in use for long periods of time (more than a week or two), but they have to stay outside all the time. I have a styrofoam shelter I have it under to protect it them from rain and snow somewhat.
I keep my GOSM and CCSV in the garage. Don't wanna keep my babies in the weather. Wasn't there a recent thread about us being obsessed?
Gee I don't have a garage but the Camp Chef folks did make a nice heavy canvas cover that's lined with some kind of plastic material. Not like the cheesy plastic thing the Brinkaman people made for my ECB.
Outside uncovered. have the small gosm. this is my first season smoking w/ a smoker instead of on the grill. figure it will last outside uncovered about as long as i want it to. Here in CA grills last about 6yrs w/o much upkeep. I will want to upgrade way before the weather ruins it. Even though it will only need a minor cleaning I will be able to justify needing a new one cuz it is thrashed from the weather.
people in texas steal too. i went to my garage one day last year, and discovered my $4000 lunati 0.030 over 350 (with forged pistons, and forged crank) i had in my garage waiting on a re-ring kit, a cam, and my heads to get a valve job gone. also gone was the set of late model (vortex) 350 heads (complete set), engine stand said motor was on, a raced prepped turbo350 transmission, a racing floor jack, a set of headers for my truck, and a few smaller items. i will never recover any of it. i wish i knew who did it.
my smoker is chained to my porch railing with 2 chains and locks.
I've got a cover for my Weber and for my Smoke n' pit. Both are holding up to the weather pretty good. I try to keep them covered as much as possible because they're on the back porch and my landlord needs to replace the roof. I keep getting small bits of shingles falling on the porch.
My CG has the el-cheapo cover on it. It is on its second and most likely last season. So far, I haven't chained it to anything yet, but will be soon.
Mine is covered just to keep it looking nice, in winter it goes in the shed, I was raised on a farm where nothing stood out over winter. Take care of your smoker and it will take care of you.
I think I am going to only keep it covered in the winter. The fire box is rusting regardless, i mean, it gets pretty damn hot in there. It stand to reason the paint is not going to stick around. It's never spent a night uncovered and it's still rusting. If it needs replaced, i'll just replace it...
maybe something...BIGGER!!!
All three of mine are on a deck dedicated to BBQ. Right now they remain uncovered and the old one, an Oklahoma Joe tower smoker, has surface rust on the firebox. I wasn't the original owner and I have yet to cover it or restore it. I traded an old Coca Cola box [that was given to me by a client] for it in 2005.

Plans are to cover the two smokers and the wood box in between with a tin roof to prevent rust in the future, then refinish the smoker's fire box.
The outside of my firebox also started rusting, covered or not. I posted a while back on my cure for it... Plain ol' cooking oil. Here's how:

Sand all the loose stuff off the box and wipe clean. Apply a generous amount of oil with paper towels, wiping it evenly across all surfaces. Fire up the box for a smoke, then during your session, apply another two or three coats while it's hot... BE CAREFUL! (You can use a brush for this)

This is just like curing an iron skillet. As the heat burns the oil, it leaves a coating on the steel and turns black. I retouch it as needed... the rust has stopped!
I have the same grill/cover. I've had mine since late May, and the 3rd or 4th time I took the cover off one of the seams along the smoke chamber pulled apart, about a six inch section came undone. Easy fix, by just sewing the seam back, but seemed like poor construction, and flimsy material. I like it covered, as it's under a tree, and the poo would build up fast

Chargriller warranty on the cover is one year from purchase, but you need proof of purchase, and have to pay shipping to and back from chargriller, thereby, I guess making it a push to send back for a replacement, or just buy a new one. I think if it tears again, I'll probably just use the tarp and bungee method mentioned above.

Also as for the rust...The SFB has had the paint peeling off since I seasoned it. I just wipe off the peeling paint, or brush it off with the brass brush, and spary some PAM on the area of peeling, and as it fires up and cools off, it kinda like seasons the outside. I don't have any rust yet using that method. is reader supported and as an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.

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