A day out on the water can be the perfect way to decompress after a stressful week at the office. Of course, you’re not the only one who feels this way.
Even if you have a quick and easy launch, chances are the marina or landing will be a zoo by lunch time! Rather than fight through a scene out of a zombie apocalypse movie, many boaters will pack some type of lunch to le them stay out on the water and out of the chaos.
Unfortunately, cold sandwiches and grab bags of chips can get old in a hurry. This draws many boaters to invest in a quality boat grill.
Quality Materials And Features To Look For In A Boat Grill
Water and iron have long been enemies since the early formation of the Earth. While saltwater is more likely to cause corrosion, even spray from a freshwater inland lake can rust up a cheap, unprotected grill.
To answer this serious concern many marine grill manufacturers will turn to commercial grade stainless steel. Not only does it have an attractive gleam, but the stainless steel also has superior resistance to rusting and corrosion.
At the same time, stainless steel grill grates tend to last longer than their chrome-plated cousins. Though it does tend to be a little bit sticky, especially with lean meats like pork chops and skinless chicken.
The next step up from stainless steel is porcelain-coated cast iron grill grates. This is arguably a little rare in this niche, as cast iron tends to significantly increase the weight of what is essentially a portable grill. However, the porcelain coating is virtually non-stick, and the heat absorption of the cast iron helps with heat distribution and searing.
Marine Grill Convenience Features
It’s also worth bearing in mind that there are certain convenience features that come in handy when moving and cleaning a portable marine-grade grill.
A latching lid with a cool-touch handle is a definite feather in a grill’s cap. It gives you the ability to confidently close the top, and potentially store loose grill tools inside. Even if you’ve let the flame inside thoroughly cool down the grill the sun beaming on an exposed metal handle can get it uncomfortably hot.
A pull-out drippings cup or tray is also a very nice feature. It lets you pour off any messy material before moving the grill. It can also spare you from some accidentally ugly and hard to clean stains on the boat carpeting.
Mounting Brackets For Marine Grills
Things can get pretty choppy, if not downright rough out on the water. Even if you pull into a sheltered bay, something as simple as the wake caused by a passing boat can jostle around a boat grill at a moment’s notice. Just like motorhome and RV grills, there are a fair number of portable boat grills that rely on some type of mounting bracket to securely attach it.
Some are relatively sophisticated for a saltwater boat, while others are simple enough to clamp down on the square rail of a pontoon boat. Double-check the boat manufacturer’s specifications and the grill manufacturers specs to see which mounting bracket will work best for your set up.
Choosing The Right Fuel Source For Your Boat Grill
By and large, propane is the fuel of choice for the vast majority of boat grills. Many simply hook up to an easily portable DOT 39 1-pound propane cylinder. Though if you prefer you can switch it over to a regulator to accommodate a larger 25-pound liquid propane tank.
There are some boating enthusiasts and anglers who will bring grills with them to make a shore lunch. The advantage here is that you’re back on stable, dry land and don’t need a mounting bracket. Some will insist on a charcoal grill or one that can safely burn wood.
Remember To Clean And Maintain Your Boat Grill
Like a lot of other portable grills, boat grills don’t see the same level of activity as the grill living on your deck or patio at home. Many people get into the bad habit of simply stowing the grill after they are done using it and forgetting about it until the next time you want to take it out. This is especially true for boat grills that remain in one of the boat’s cargo compartment throughout the summer season.
The problem here is that lingering moisture, burned on debris on the grill grates all have a knack for promoting rust and corrosion. If you go more than a week or two without pulling the grill out and cleaning it, chances are good that corrosion could start to affect the metallic components. This is even more likely to be an issue for boat grills that have to live in a saltwater environment.
Even if you don’t always have the time to clean the boat grill while you are out on the water, it should be on your “To Do List” when you get back to shore. Then you should also double down on this best intention by including the boat grill in your list of winterizing duties when it comes time to store the boat away at the end of the year.