Summertime is coming to a close, but don’t put those grills away just yet. Football season is right around the corner! Whether you are going to the game or hosting a party at your home, a tailgate without a barbecue is just not complete. Before you fire up the grill and get ready to ‘WOW’ your guests with your award winning wing recipe, remember, the secret to great grilling is a clean grill.
Your grill has probably worked hard all summer long and could use a good scrubbing before another season of grilling, so here are some quick steps and tips on how to clean and properly maintain your grill:
Before you start make sure your grill is off and has cooled down. If you have a gas grill make sure to disconnect the propane tank before beginning. Fill a bucket or pan with warm soapy water. Remove grates and place them in the warm soapy water to soak.
If you have a charcoal grill remove the coal grate and brush out the insides. If you have a gas grill, remove briquettes, lava rocks or metal flame shield to expose burner. Clean out ash and residue around the burners. When you are finished make sure the burner is in place and did not shift during cleaning. Cleaning the burners is important, because they can accumulate grease and food leading to uneven temperatures along your surface.
Use a wire brush and a little soapy water to gently scrub the inside surfaces of your grill. If you have a gas grill, brush off briquettes, lava rocks or wash metal flame shield in warm soapy water. Remove any particles from grill and reassemble.
Remove cooking grates from water and brush clean with wire brush. After you have brushed grates spray it down with cooking oil. This prevents your grill from rusting and ensures a long life. Then put grates back on grill.
Allow the whole grill to air dry after cleaning. Once you grill again give an extra five minutes of heating time to make sure any cleaning residue has burnt off.
*This type of cleaning should be done after every 8-10 uses
Tips to properly maintain your grill
- Keep your grease traps clean. Grease is highly flammable and can cause a fire or heat up all surfaces including the handles.
- For charcoal grills it is important to dump all used charcoal or ash after each use. After dumping remains clean inside with a wire brush. By keeping the bed of your grill clean, you will cut down on excess smoke and bad flavors
- Regular cleaning makes the job easier. Routine brushing of the grates with a wire brush prevents food and bacterial buildup. After each use you should soak your brush in hot soapy water. Then hang brush upside down to dry. Drying the brush naturally ensures the bristles will last a long time. If bristles from your wire brush start to fall off, it is time for a new brush. Fallen bristles mixed with food is dangerous if ingested.
- Keep your grill in good shape by properly storing it when not in use. Grill covers are great investments for protecting all types of grills from inclement weather.
- Replacing your grill parts is important. And many manufacturers come with a lifetime guarantee on certain parts. Save your book and any warranty information.
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