Written by Terry Smith
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UK’s best bbq covers that are heavy duty from small to large tested personally
This article was last updated on December 15th, 2021 at 2:29 am
I just wrote an article about how to clean and restore your bbq which I did, and then subsequently bought a new charcoal bbq (after deciding I wanted to stand over a grill looking far less ropey – that and the sheer embarrassment of testing lumpwood bbq charcoal on video with it 😀 but I did start thinking – I need a bbq cover to reduce that kind of effort again next year. (edit note, a couple of years have now passed since I wrote this and the review is updated from personal testing). The best bbq cover in combination with a bbq shelter might well get me a couple of years extra out of my bbq is the trend of thought. That kind of thinking came about as I dropped a fair few quid on a grill worth looking after this time 🙂 and why not?
I spend all my Summer on the bbq so a good one that has variable height for the charcoal and the CRUCIAL beer opener was a must 😀 Despite not being my best bbq cover, the Tvird BBQ Cover was the one I bought and it came down to money 🙂 – there’s actually quite a few things to consider so feel free to look at my what to look for when buying a bbq cover guide as it may help a little too
So I decided to rate and review the best bbq covers based on strength, ease of cleaning, how easy it was to fit over my bbq, how well it actually stayed on in a gust, and then value for money as a side thought. You might be surprised to learn the best bbq covers in the UK do not cost much at all…
Best bbq covers – editor picks:
Best bbq cover overall: Unicook Barbecue Cover, Heavy Duty
Best heavy duty picks: Unicook Barbecue Cover, Heavy Duty, Grillman Premium BBQ Grill, Heavy-Duty Barbecue Cover, and Tvird BBQ Cover have all proven to last a couple of seasons now from my testing.
Best large cover: Grillman Premium BBQ Grill, or Unicook, as well as Tvird BBQ Cover are all top picks
Budget: BEEWAY is the cheapest by far but you can’t ignore the mix of quality and value from the Tvird BBQ Cover – It’s the one I now personally use on my bbq.
Best for smaller compact bbq’s: AWNIC BBQ Cover Barbecue Covers Waterproof Heavy Duty – they have other sizes when you follow my link which may help to know.
What to look for when buying a bbq cover
There’s not much to buying a bbq cover, especially since most have ditched the old zip type that used to rust and seize up whilst still not protecting the bbq from rain! You don’t need much, essentially one that fits well, doesn’t fade easily, won’t just blow off in the wind, doesn’t tear, and is priced sensibly around those core principals. That’s how I pick the best bbq cover.
Strength of the material – heavy duty or does it tear or rip easily?
You won’t be surprised to learn that bbq covers come in different grades, some are heavy duty like the Unicook Barbecue Cover, Heavy Duty Waterproof Outdoor BBQ Gas Grill Cover, others you might liken to a plastic carrier bag. Some are woven like those mega heavy duty rubble sacks we’ve all used for clearing bricks and mortar. Others are just a thin PVC. In this article we select only covers that will take a beating. The very cheapest we’ve left out, no one wants to be buying a bbq cover three months later – how frustrating would that be! The Tvird below is a into season two now and holding up very well from my personal testing:
DO NOT put your cover on whilst the bbq is still warm!
I know, so obvious but how often you manage to do this when you’ve had a few too many beers and you’re packing up for the night. Don’t be hasty – make sure the gas bbq is fully cooled, and in the case of charcoal bbq’s make sure that the embers are out completely. It’s my preference to put a hose on my charcoal before bed – I don’t like sleeping with a fire even slowly burning down.
Large bbq covers are fine but they must fit
Make sure you pick a nice large bbq cover that’ll not scrape easily when lifted on the bbq. That said, you don’t want it flopping around loosely. This will actually increase the likelihood or damage to your cover in windy conditions. Take a tape measure out before buying if necessary, better that than buying twice! There’s no point getting a huge bbq cover for a little Smokey Joe weber for example:
Cleaning bbq covers with a hose or cordless pressure washer
Without question you need a bbq cover that’ll clean up with no trouble at all. If you can’t hose it down and give it a light scrub then it’s no good. Why? Because if the surface grabs that much muck it won’t be water proof. Water and dirt both need to slide off. I use my petrol pressure washer on low setting if I have it out anyway and remember to blast it. If not, I’ll definitely get my cordless pressure washer out as it’s ample. On a side note, you can use it to clean your bbq as well – very effective:
1. Unicook Barbecue Cover, Heavy Duty Waterproof Outdoor BBQ Gas Grill Cover
Why is the Unicook Barbecue Cover by pick for the best bbq cover? Easy. Finally someone bothered to install air vents. Furthermore they hid them up well enough so that moisture couldn’t get through as well. You know what happens with a bbq cover that doesn’t breathe? Mould. You will come along, probably about now in March if the weather breaks and we get some decent sunshine to find a nasty, mouldy looking bbq. You question was it even worth putting a cover on the bbq at all? Air circulation reduces this problem massively and Unicook have that on point.
It’s the usual Oxford fabric with vinyl coating you would expect from any decent heavy duty waterproof cover – I must admit, even I’m surprised how well this holds up agains the sunshine. They claim to have some type of anti UV additive – it certainly seems to be working as the colour holds much longer than cheaper covers. You can easily expect to get a good few years out of this cover with kids and pets factored into that too!
Now don’t get me wrong, it claims to be ear resistant. But that’s only to a point. If you scrape it hard against a sharp edge then that goes out the window. If you’re careful about how you lift this over the bbq and the grill is cooled right down then you can expect some decent service out of this cover, no question on that. The material feels woven in the hand, not nasty thin plastic carrier bag material. I’m not trying to lower your expectations either, just trying to point out the obvious really. My personal experience of using this cover is that on high ground as we are where we catch the wind, it takes a right beating. It’s held up perfectly without tearing. Something I can’t say for the last cheaper one we bought a couple of years back.
2. Grillman Premium BBQ Grill, Heavy-Duty Barbecue Cover
The best bbq cover is the Grillman Premium BBQ Grill, Heavy-Duty Barbecue Cover. Let’s keep this simple, these guys offer a lifetime guarantee – go on, beat that….the competition don’t really stand a chance when these guys are ready to lose money on the odd failure a few years down the line. Be sure your bbq is well cooled before placing a cover. This goes for all covers. It’s about the only way you’re going to break this cover and not be covered (no pun intended :D). That kind of proven customer service warrants my purchase no question. These guys have produced a range of bbq covers that ensure they have you ‘covered’ no pun intended :D. The material is a heavy duty PVC that shows no signs at all of ripping or tearing easily. Here’s a look at one two seasons in:
The best bet is to measure or get the dimensions of your bbq and select one slightly oversize in my opinion. This way the fit is loose enough that it’s easy to pop the cover on too. Given they have straps to tighten the cover this is absolutely no problem at all. You might argue a tighter fit give a more sleek and stylish look, I’d argue a tighter fit gives a higher risk of tearing on a sharp edge if your bbq does indeed have them. Personally it’s performance over looks for me 🙂
The hook and loop straps are what set this apart from the competition for me. As long as you tighten up your cover enough it’s going to be practically impossible to lose one in the wind. Just slide your strap through the loop and then tighten, it secures against the velcro which is known to hold well even in a serious gust of wind.
I definitely prefer this model over the type that need to be zipped up – that just adds another moving part that can fail. Another handy feature if the Grillman bbq cover range is the colours – Black, Grey, or Tan. Personally I prefer the Black but nothing stopping you follow your garden colour scheme.
If I were to pick faults in the cover then I would probably say you get the odd failure and a few discoloured which is covered by their guarantee. Otherwise, you pay a bit more, and get much more. A solid buy and definitely up there with the best bbq cover in my opinion.
3. Tvird BBQ Cover, Barbecue Cover Waterproof Heavy Duty BBQ Grill Cover -Oxford Fabric Waterproof
I picked the Tvird BBQ Cover as my second choice as it is a direct enough match to my top pick above and despite not being my top pick it is the one I have on price :).
It’s the same material without the lifetime guarantee but happens to be half the price – so pick your poison :D. I’ve got to tell you it really is a 50-50 here. Do you buy once for a lifetime guarantee or buy twice and question how long ‘a lifetime guarantee’ can actually be reasonably reclaimed against. No one is going to take back a bbq cover the dog scratched or you melted because the grill wasn’t quite cooled down properly – an easy mistake to make when you’ve had a few in the evening 🙂
This bbq cover will fit most bbq’s – it looks like they paid particular attention to the dimensions of Weber and Char Broil.
This bbq cover uses the same hook and loop method in the first pick and comes with a draw string at the base. I actually prefer the draw string as this practically guarantees you won’t find this flying around the garden like a kite 🙂
It’ll clean up nice too. You could use a powerful petrol pressure washer but I wouldn’t bother. My cordless pressure washer is plenty powerful enough to clean it up. Generally speaking the only mess I clear is the odd bird dropping and some dirt around the base where it’s rained and water splashes back at you.
It’s not without it’s flaws though, if you buy the wrong size cover it’ll look like a loose tarp. That will also mean the straps don’t fit as they should and then gives you a chance of it blowing off in the wind if the draw string did actually fail somehow. To avoid problems you definitely want to measure and make sure the size is about right. Other than that this bit of kit works well protecting the bbq and easily deserves second spot for best bbq cover.
4. BEEWAY Barbecue Cover
Are you a bargain hunter? If yes, the BEEWAY Barbecue Cover is probably the pick for you. It’s cheap and pretty decent value for money in the sense it will hold up long enough that you feel you good your money’s worth. Generally the cover works well. I suspect there’s a problem with the odd cover as if water lays on the cover and perhaps seeps through given the number of complaints I’ve seen in this regard. Overall though it’s a good strong cover for the money and well priced. You have to accept the price point and realise you get what you pay for…
With that point out the way, the velar straps and draw strings works great. Assuming you buy the right size cover then you’re all set – no bbq cover kites flying around the garden ! 😀
The guarantee no quibble is 60 days – a far shorter period than my second pick with a lifetime guarantee, but again it goes back to price. You get what you pay for. I would easily expect you’ll get a good couple of years from this cover even in the harshest of weather.
5. AWNIC BBQ Cover Barbecue Covers Waterproof Heavy Duty
We’ve talked extensively about large covers, the best small bbq cover in my mind is probably the AWNIC. This is built with heavy duty material. It has one super cool advantage over the competitors and that’s the buckles. These buckles are super strong – just like you get on your bags for school. Combined with the drawstring these make a superb wind resistant bbq cover. This was pretty much designed to fit BBQ’s like the Weber Smokey Joe – and pretty much any of the round compact bbq range – put a tape measure on it though, anything over 2ft needs a careful eye as the max that’ll fit well is 28 inches.
It also benefits from an anti UV damage covering. Essentially you’re getting a high quality bbq cover for much less money than the top pick. This works out great if you have a smaller bbq.
It stands to reason AWNIC covers are excellent quality. They design coverings for all garden furniture. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know that covering both fabric and actually keeping it dry is far more difficult than a bbq that is less likely to be damaged by water seeping through…all in all a great buy.