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“Can I Use My Grilla Grill in the Rain?”

It’s Raining, It’s Pouring…Your Grill’s Still Roaring. Unexpected Rain Can Interrupt Your Smokin’ Feast.
Here’s How to Handle.

Every once in a while Mother Nature will come over and ruin even the best laid plans. That can certainly be the case when you’ve planned a long slow cook with your Grilla, Silverbac, Kong or Primate and the rain clouds come to the party. That of course spawns the question: Should you use these grills in the rain?

Grilling in inclement weather depends on a bunch of factors, like the intensity of the storm or the type of grill you own. Let’s take a look at our best tips for grilling in the rain based on the Grilla Grill smoker that sits in your backyard, patio or deck. Have a gas Primate grill? You’ll find out soon how to tackle grilling in the rain with gas, too!

Rainy Day Grilling With the Kong

You’re aching to grill on the Kong with every fiber of your being. But the meteorologists are actually right, and storm clouds are on the horizon. What’s a pitmaster to do?

Stop worrying. The Kong will be fine. Since it’s ceramic and doesn’t have electronics, you don’t have to worry about rain. Just be sure you aren’t getting too much wind pushing through the vent at the bottom or too much rain through the vent at the top.

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Grilling With Wood Pellet Smokers in the Rain

The Grilla and Silverbac are a different story, however. We do not recommend exposing any pellet pit to direct rain for a few reasons. First, of course, is the electrical components. While they likely will not be damaged, it is best to keep them dry as possible.

Secondly, the pellets. Pellets when exposed to water can swell which can then cause jams in the auger mechanism that feeds them to the fire pot. We also recommend keeping your pellets stored in a sealed container to keep any accidental moisture from getting on them. The pellets stored in the hoppers of the Grilla and Silverbac are well covered but always take precautions.

So, can you use a smoker in the rain or will you have to head indoors to whip up a meal? You can, but only under limited circumstances when your pellet smoker isn’t at risk of exposure to direct rainfall. For instance, if you can shelter your electric smoker in the rain effectively with a large tent or under a generous patio overhang, you’re probably not going to end up with a soggy grill. 

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Handling a Gas Grill When It Rains

Does grilling in the rain with a propane-based or natural gas-fueled grill like the Primate make sense? It does, as long as you take some precautions.

Gas grills aren’t hooked up to any electric outlets, so you don’t need to worry about getting electric components all wet when it rains. Nonetheless, gas grills like the Primate should be cared for properly in all adverse weather conditions. 

To begin, you’ll want to do everything possible to keep rain on the outside of your gas grill. You can do this by protecting it with a heat-resistant tarp, potentially backed up with some kind of a wind barrier. Many people use their Primates in an area that’s fully or partially covered, so you might already have a bit of protection. Just remember that wind can make rain go sideways — and into your grill if you’re not watching.

Next, you should protect the insides of your grill from the rain by not looking at your food cooking all the time. On very rainy days, it’s a good idea to consider making dishes that can stay on the grill or griddle for long periods of time. This allows you to avoid opening the lid and exposing the inside of your Primate to whatever nature has in store.

As a final note, you may want to keep tabs on the temperature of your gas grill. We’ve built our primate with double-walled insulation to keep heat in, even when the thermometer dips outside. However, not all gas grills have this kind of advanced technology. When it rains, it can get chilly. So monitor the cooking to ensure everything stays on course for a fantastic finish.

Now, let’s say that you’ve done everything you can to keep your Primate gas grill and griddle bone dry, but it still gets wet on the inside and stops working as intended. Just follow a few simple steps to get your grill running again:

  • Turn off the gas supply to the grill.
  • Remove any food and cook it inside in your kitchen right away.
  • Wait for the gas grill to cool down.
  • Begin taking out all the removable components in your gas grill. 
  • Dry all the components and the interior of the gas grill by hand.
  • Keep the grill open and shielded from rain to promote additional drying.
  • Put everything back together when the Primate is completely dry everywhere.

At this point, your Primate or other gas grill should be all ready to fire up again! 

Tried & True Tips

Having said that, have I cooked in the rain with the Grill and Silverbac? Or even the Primate? Absolutely. The competition world treats us to all sorts of fun variables when cooking. I always carry a couple 10×10 pop ups with me and have even covered the hopper and electronic areas of pellet pits with garbage bags in really bad storms. Even if I’m home, I’ll jump into gas grilling in the rain when the mood for a super-heated seared steak strikes.

Under normal circumstances the weather cover on your back deck or patio will provide plenty of protection from the elements. But if you are cooking and Mama Nature shows up, I recommend getting the grills under some form of cover and out of the direct rain as soon as possible.

Five Tips for Grilling Safely in the Rain

You can’t 100% rain proof a barbecue unless it’s under a shelter, so definitely consider investing in a special grill tent. But if not, you can stay dry while grilling and still get a great result with these five tips:

  • Keep an eye on the temperature: The coolness of the rain may affect the temperature of the grill. Be sure to check periodically to ensure your heat is on. Just don’t open the lid too often, whether you’re using a Kong or Primate.
  • Stay under an umbrella: Unless you have an assistant, you can’t carry an umbrella and do your pitmaster duties. But you can always make use of a patio umbrella with a sturdy base to shield you from the rain.
  • Watch out for the wind: Strong gusts will probably not knock over your electric smoker in the rain or wind, but they could mess with a pop-up tent shelter, umbrella or canopy. Stay on top of windy conditions to avoid problems. 
  • Go for the pre-cook: Dying for a good sear courtesy of your Primate gas grill despite nature’s rainy wrath? Cook your meat most of the way through inside, then use your Primate grill to give it that final tasty touch.

Forget about staying in the kitchen when it gets a little damp. Can you grill in the rain? Sure! With some planning, you can conquer the humidity and have a barbecue feast on your Silverbac, Kong, Primate or Grilla.

Post Updated May 2021

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