Move a Grill

Uprooting your whole life to a new place sure can be a bittersweet experience, to say the least. Apart from the memories you created, you also miss the familiarity of your house, the way it looks, the way it feels, and even the way it smells. For those who own a grill, you know that many a-memories were created on and around that harbinger of scrumptious moments. So when the time comes to move, you want to make sure that you move your grill as safely as possible. If only to create new memories and delicacies in your new home.

But for something as valuable and huge as a grill, the process of moving it safely involves a fair amount of dexterity, composure and even planning. Luckily for you, we’re here to figure out a way to do so in a safe and organized manner. So here’s how to move a grill without having to feel too much of the heat.

The Planning

This is where you arm yourself with the ammunition needed to wipe off every obstacle, gunk, smudge and just about anything else that could get in your way. The best way to go about it is create a checklist of things you’ll need. Ideally, you should be creating one that accounts for the cleaning of the grill and its parts, the packing of the grill and any other supplies or tools you will need to carry this task out.

If this is your first time undertaking a DIY task like this, reach out to a friend, neighbor or family member to lend you a helping hand. It’s best to have some serve as your deputy for your own well being and that of the grill too. One important thing to remember is that you should be planning this a couple of weeks in advance. The idea is to give yourself enough time to buy whatever is needed and even speak to someone for help should it be necessary.

Planning well means also accounting for all the packing supplies you will need. Instead of frantically trying to figure out what you need in the 11th hour, here’s a list you can refer to.

Packing Materials Needed To Pack The Grill For A Move

Moving Blankets

This would serve as the packing material for the larger parts of the grill. Or if most parts of your grill are detachable yet huge, it could just as well help as a padding material for it.

See also: Moving Blankets: Reasons You Need Them

Shrink Wrap

Wherever moving blankets go, shrink wraps almost always follow. They’re very flexible that way! Best part is that you don’t have to worry about the shrink wraps stretching themselves too thin. Plus, they really help holding the moving blanket in place when padding larger parts of the grill. The parts which involve two or more people lifting or handling it.

Bubble Wrap

One of those things you will need to pack the smaller parts. For that matter, bubble wrap would also be needed as a padding material to safeguard the smaller parts. Make sure you have at least 2 different sizes to cover each different part.

Ziplock Bag

You will need these for the little nuts and bolts among other things, depending on the make of your grill.

Corrugated Cardboard Moving Boxes

You will surely need a few of these. And in various sizes, perhaps even shape. Make sure you go through the instructions manual of your grill, understand the nature and size of the detachable parts, and get the moving boxes accordingly. The size should be appropriate for each part of the grill, but the box should be sturdy and in good condition too.

Heavy Duty Tape & Packing Tape

What else would you shut the boxes with? Since we’re dealing with a heavy duty appliance like a grill, it’s only fair that you choose a kind of tape that’s befitting.

Moving Container Boxes

If you feel like certain parts of your grill are really fragile or heavy in nature, you would be better off putting them inside a moving container. These are usually plastic crates of sorts which are known to be much sturdier and durable than a corrugated cardboard moving box. 


See also: How to Pack Your Kitchen when Moving

The Preparation

Your first step of preparation would be to thoroughly clean your grill. Now, the process might be different for the various kinds of grills out there. So we’ll go ahead and share the method to follow for the most commonly used grill.

Cleaning A Charcoal Grill

If you have a charcoal grill, you first need to get its grates cleaned. There’s a good chance you have a long handled stiff wire-brush that you purchased along with the grill. You could always just buy one if needed as it’s easy to find. Make sure you only use a mild dish soap to clean the grates. Another common technique is the one involving a long handled tong with an aluminium foil ball. Basically, you just have to use the ball to scrub the grates clean.

Once you’ve cleaned the grates, remove it from the base of the grill. Next, get rid of the ash that has been sitting at the bottom of your grill. While you’re at it, do check if your vents are choked up and need cleaning too. Next, you should remove all the ash that has clogged the vents. In all likelihood, both the vents and the base would need a thorough bath, but only after you remove the ash and other dirt. It’s better to be methodical here – go step by step.

It is now time to get the base of the grill alongside the cookbox of the grill cleaned. Hope you have that mild dish soap handy. In this case, you will need a regular brush to clean the insides. In case you haven’t worked out in a while, the rigorous scrubbing should help your arms get some form of exercise. Now that the insides are taken care of, use soap and water to wipe clean the outside of the cook box too. You could also use a grill cleaning spray here.

So now that you’re done with the main part of cleaning, there’s just one thing left to do – wipe all the parts off again with a clean and dry cloth or towel. Make sure the outside surface of the cookbox is not still wet. If you have the weather resistant grill cover, you could make use of that after you’re done cleaning. You just need to cover it till you begin the next part of the process, or if you’re planning on starting the next bit after a bit of a break.

Disassembling The Grill

Before you start the process, make sure you have all the necessary tools and equipment in place. If you have a hardware kit, now’s the time to get them to serve you.

Now, it’s extremely important to know that even with charcoal grills, there are infinite variations out there in the market. So whether or not yours can be disassembled would completely depend on the brand and model of your grill. Some grills can be completely disassembled and some partially disassembled. Don’t mess with the parts without fully understanding how your grill works. Make sure you refer to the instructions manual.

With certain charcoal grills, the legs and stand can normally be detached from the main cook box. Even with the cook box, there is the option to disassemble it further, as the base, grates, vents, and the cover can often be detached. Normally, the detachable parts of a grill would be the utensils, racks and grill legs, apart from the others. Of course, that would only be the case if the model of your grill allows you to disassemble the grill with those parts.

Not to sound like a broken record, but make sure you check the instructions manual to understand your grill better. This would ensure you have all the right tools necessary to disassemble. But more importantly, it would also mean you’re not doing anything that can damage your precious grill. Or even worse, injure yourself in the process. If you’ve never done this before, get a helping hand. Better yet, let a professional take the reins of the task.

There are some grills which also come with a propane tank. These tanks serve as the source of the flame for the grill. Be as careful as possible with this step. First and foremost, ensure that all the levers of the propane tank are turned off, if any at all. Once you have taken care of that part, check if there’s any pipe or other part that needs to be detached separately from the cook box. After that’s done, all you have to do is remove the gas tank. 

Disassembling A Kamado Joe Classic

Keep in mind that your grill would quite likely have different parts and processes. But using a Kamado Joe Classic as an example is only meant to give you an idea of the things you have to keep in mind and careful about when disassembling a grill.

Step 1: Remove the wooden side tables which would just be sitting right in.

Step 2: Take out the cast iron vent that is placed on top of the domed roof.

Step 3: Assuming you have cleaned the grilling racks already, it’s time to take it out, in case you hadn’t already.

Step 4: Then, you carefully take out the split heat deflectors. You will find them resting comfortably on the main rack.

Step 5: Once you’ve taken that out, don’t forget to remove the stainless steel rack holder, which also happens to be the main rack.

By this point, you will have disassembled the main parts of the cooking system. Now comes the heavy duty bit.

Step 6: Right at the bottom of the firebox, you will find the cast iron charcoal grate resting easy. That would have to come out too!

Step 7: The ash removal box would quite likely be scooped in. So it’s time to remove that too from the lower air vent. While you’re at it, take out the ash catcher tray too.

Now, the only thing left inside would be the heavy ceramic firebox and ceramic fire ring. If you’re moving for a longer distance, it’s advisable to take these out and not let them stay inside the main cooking box. Ideally, you would have to crate these huge ceramic parts.

Like we mentioned earlier, keep in mind that if your grill is of a different kind and size, you might not even have to go through so many steps or hassles even.


The Execution

Alright then, it’s time to pack. If your grill is kept in the backyard, it’s best to carry out the packing at that spot itself. If you keep it in a garage, then that’s also a great place to get into the thick of things and operate out of.

Grates and Grills

Start by wrapping the grates and grills with a bubble wrap. If your grill has multiple grates and grilling plates, make sure you wrap each of them separately. If you pack them together, they could create friction together and scratch or damage each other. It’s not as much about damage as it is about packing in an organized and careful manner. You should be wrapping it up at least twice over, creating a double layer. Even more if your grates and grills are thicker and the bubble wrap isn’t the large sized one.

After you’re done wrapping each grate and grill individually, seal it up with a packing tape. For additional security, you could always wrap it up in a layer of shrink wrap too before taping it up. After you’ve sealed it, place all of these in one corrugated box. Make sure you’ve taped up the bottom of the box well enough to take the weight. You should also place layers of crumpled up bubble wrap in between each packed grate or grill. The idea is to make sure they don’t shift inside the box and cause any damage to the box or each other.


The packing process will be more or less similar to that of the grates and grills. One important thing to factor in with racks is the exact shape. Some racks are not entirely flat and circular. They could very well have a part bulging out, which is meant to be latched onto an attachment of the cookbox. In this case, make sure you wrap it safely and tightly before taping it and then boxing it up.

Pipes, Bolts, Ash Tray

You could have these packed in the same box itself. For the nuts and bolts, it would be best to pack them inside the ziplock bag first before placing them into the box. If at all you have a separate toolbox, you could always use that too for the nuts and bolts. Pipes should first be rolled up with a bubble wrap, taped shut, then placed inside the same box. The process remains pretty much the same for the ashtray, minus the rolling up part due to its shape.

Miscellaneous Packing

Bubble wrap or packing paper, that’s what you need to pack everything up. You already have the tape so don’t forget to seal it well. Make sure that whenever you’re boxing things, you label them so you know which box contains which parts. The last thing you want is any confusion after you’ve reached your new place and are looking to reassemble your grill.

Propane Gas Tank

Nope. Don’t even think about it. You’re not supposed to travel with these. It is just not safe. Leave it behind and buy a new one after you move if you must. Even if you hire a moving company, they won’t transport this. There’s just a huge risk that’s not worth it at all.

The Cookbox And Other Larger Parts

This is where the need for moving blankets comes into picture. You might be dealing with an object that’s really big, so it’s best you have a friend, family member or neighbor lend you a hand here. Place it on top of a table, wrap it around properly with a moving blanket. You might have to use 2 or more moving blankets to make sure each area of your grill’s cookbox is covered well. Next comes sealing it properly with the shrink wrap. You didn’t think the blankets would stay put by themselves, did you? The heavy duty tapes could also be used as an added precaution.

Once you’ve sealed the Cookbox or the other large part thoroughly, you will have to get it ready to move. Now normally, something this heavy or huge won’t fit in a moving box. Even if it does, the cardboard box might not be strong enough to take the weight of these parts. This is where you turn to the plastic moving container box. We’re assuming you bought it only after taking the proper measurement of your grill’s parts. Or your whole effort would be for naught. An alternative to this would be a wooden crate, but you’ll need experts for that.


Important Things To Remember When Moving A Grill

  • The bigger the grill, the higher the risk of moving it by yourself.
  • If you own a portable electric grill, make sure the wires are wrapped safely.
  • Keep a check on the sharper parts of your grill when packing. They could cause you damage or to the box they might be placed in.
  • Plan the disassembly and cleaning process well in advance. Even in terms of getting a helping hand, make sure you speak to someone in advance too.
  • Refer to the instructions manual as thoroughly as possible. If you have misplaced or lost yours, look up the exact model on the internet and try to find an online instructions manual.

Finally, and most importantly, relocating a grill is no walk in the park, regardless of the type it is. Sure, they are far too valuable, but at the same time, they can be fragile, so it’s best to tread on the path of caution. You could always ditch the DIY route and let professionals handle it. There are many moving companies out there who have all the right tools and expertise to handle packing and moving a grill safely. Make sure you give them all the details about your grill. All the same, take a proper quote from them and compare the rates of at least 2-3 moving services before finalizing one that fits.