After you buy a new stainless steel gas grill, there’s one more decision to make when you get it home: where to place it? It’s an important consideration, and some attractive spots—near the pool, under a shade tree—are the worst places to put a stainless steel grill.

“Place the grill where you can see the sky,” says Alex Gafford, director of research and development at Char-Broil. “It’s okay to put a stainless grill near your pool for a party; just don’t leave it there. Keep it where it’s at least 50 feet from the pool."

Pool chemicals can cause the surface of the stainless steel to rust, and so can lawn chemicals and tree sap, according to several manufacturers Consumer Reports spoke to, including Napoleon Grills, which makes stainless steel models in the mid- to high-price range. To keep your stainless steel grill looking sharp, says Napoleon spokeswoman Kyla Camick, avoid placing it in these three locations:

Grill Care Tips
Grease, food, and moisture take a toll.

On the Lawn
"Lawn chemicals are very commonly high in chlorides," Camick says. And when stainless is constantly exposed to chlorides—the dust from solid fertilizers or rainfall spatter, for example­­—the chromium in the stainless surface dissolves. (Chromium is an element that's used to help prevent corrosion.) "This permits the iron in the stainless to react with oxygen to form rust," she says. 

Near the Pool
Whether they contain bromine or chlorine, or are salt-based, pool chemicals react with the stainless steel used to make grills in the same way that lawn chemicals do, if not worse. "Their vapor itself is enough to cause the chromium in stainless to dissolve," Camick says. Then rust can form.  

Under a Tree
Tree sap can contain salt and chlorinated content because trees absorb and disperse material found in their environment, causing the stainless steel to rust. "The sap can be incredibly difficult to remove, and if it drops onto a surface, such as the lid, the sap can burn, discolor, and permanently mar the stainless," Camick says.

Before you shop, check our gas grill buying guide and gas grill ratings of more than 130 models.

Should You Cover Your Grill?

A cover can protect your stainless steel grill from chemicals, tree sap, and more, but make sure the cover doesn't trap in moisture.

Manufacturers' advice varies on covers, and your owner's manual offers advice that is specific to your grill—and maybe even your climate. Several manufacturers we talked to suggest a cover with vents. This allows the air to circulate around the grill and helps prevent condensation buildup. Remove your grill cover after a very wet or damp spell, or if you live in a humid climate.

Safety Considerations

When picking a location for your grill, keep safety in mind, too. Ideally, a gas grill should be out of direct wind and at least 10 feet from your house or other structure. And never use a gas grill indoors, in the garage, or in an enclosed space, where it’s possible that a buildup of unburned gas can lead to a fire. Grilling in poorly ventilated spaces can also cause elevated levels of carbon monoxide, which can be poisonous.

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