Warm weather is here, which means it’s time to break out that grill for the summer. Grilling is typically a simple task. But there are precautions to take before firing up the grill that’s been sitting on the deck all winter. Here are some cleaning tips to prepare your grill for those juicy steaks and shish kabobs.
Cleaning Your Grill
- Do a safety check – First things first. Inspect your grill for any debris or abnormalities that could lead to safety issues. Propane users – check your hose for any leaks and be sure it is securely fastened to the propane tank before you turn the gas on. Brush soapy water along the connections. If bubbles form when the gas is running, you will need to tighten your connections or replace the hose.
- Burn off the gunk – Turn up the heat (or light coals), close the lid, and leave it for 10 to 15 minutes. The high temperature will make cleaning easier.
- Scrub the grates – Remove charred residue from the grates with a stainless-steel brush. Remove them and wipe them down with a wet, soapy sponge. Then rinse and dry them.
- Clean the burners – If your grill has burner protectors, remove and scrape them with a putty knife. If necessary, scrub with soapy water. Then clean the burners with the stainless-steel brush, using a side-to-side motion, which prevents debris from falling into the burners’ holes. Inspect the gas jets. If they are clogged, use a wire hanger to poke through them. If the holes are rusted, the burners need to be replaced.
- Hit the walls – Scrape the walls of the cook box with the putty knife and remove carbonized grease so it doesn’t affect your food’s flavor. You may want to break out the soap and water routine again for this step, depending on the extent of your grill’s grime.
- Give it a rubdown – Your inaugural BBQ calls for a shiny grill. If it has a stainless-steel finish, wipe it down with a dedicated stainless cleaner and a semisoft sponge. Warm water works for other finishes.
Keep Your Grill Running Smoothly
Once you have finished spring cleaning, you are ready to enjoy the season. However, you may want to keep a few more tips in mind to prolong the life of your grill.
- Keep it covered – This one may seem obvious, but when grilling daily or several times a week during the summer, you might be tempted to leave the grill cover off. Make sure you cover your grill every day to keep moisture out.
- Don’t clean the grill gate every day – You might think it is a good idea to clean the gate after each use. Actually, cleaning the grill gate throughly can leave it more susceptible to rust and wear and tear. Give it a good brushing when you finish grilling, but don’t try to make it spotless. The next time around, fire it up and let the burners take care of the excess, which you’ll easily be able to scrape off with your brush.
- Charcoal users: empty your ash every day – If you let ash build up and gather moisture, you’ll have a large, lumpy mess that will be difficult to clean. Keep a metal bucket near your grill and empty the ash into the bucket after each use.
- Store it safely – Be sure to store your grill in a garage or shed where it won’t be exposed to the elements, and get it indoors before the first snowfall.
Our cleanup crews at Intek have dealt with fire restoration jobs for fires that could have been prevented with a few precautionary measures. Be safe with your grilling and have a great spring/summer season. Feel free to contact us should any major issues arise as you perform your annual spring cleaning chores. Contact us for jobs large and small – mold remediation, furnace and duct cleaning, water damage restoration and more.
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(Source: Jamie Purviance, author of Weber’s Time to Grill.)