Grill Care Guide
Grilling is an amazing way to cook so it can be a good idea to whip out that grill anytime for an excellent, great meal whenever you get the chance. However, just like with anything else if you don’t take care of something you use all the time then it won’t last very long. With a grill, it can be even worse because they can deteriorate over time just by nature of their home being out in the elements. That is why it is essential to take good care of your grill so that spectacular setup you spent your money of lasts just as long as you do. Grills are not like most cooking gear they have a time when they are best used and a long hibernation, so you need to be properly informed if you are going to keep the beast strong.
If you don’t make taking care of your grill a priority then pesky issues can start popping up that will threaten your overall cooking experience. Poor maintenance can lead to a lower overall grill grilling temperature, food sticking to the grates, uneven heating or even a catastrophic failure. Grills are made to be relatively safe, but nothing is worst than having some fresh food prepared and ready to go, and your grill won’t start. Thankfully taking good care of your grill is not too hard of a task and if you read along and follow these tips maybe the flavor of summer can last forever in your home.
If you just follow these steps once a month or so you should be well on your way to a long-lasting grill.
Cleaning the Lid:
The lid is one of the first places where excess dirt and soot can build up, and it can become an issue over time if you let it linger. You can wipe the outside of the lid with a paper towel. Make sure you use the proper cleaner that goes along with the material of the lid. For example, stainless steel cleaner for stainless steel and glass cleaner if your lid is porcelain coated. Remember to buff with the grain not away from it, and while a paper towel should suffice a microfiber cloth is the best way to go.
Clean the Side Tables:
Your side tables are extremely convenient whether they contain an extra burner or not. You probably want to clean them after and possibly before every use since they will be the surface that holds your food before all the bacteria gets cooked away. You don’t want any excess materials from the last meal infringing on you current dishes splendor. You should use a micro fiber towel here and stainless steel cleaner if it applies. For plastic, some mild dish detergent will suffice.
Cleaning the Cookbox:
The cook box is the hub from which everything is created so it is also the most important part of your grill to keep in good shape. It may seem like a monster of a task, but it should be relatively easy. All you have to do is after you are done using the grill wait until it is cool. After it is safe to touch you can remove the grill grates and flavorizer hoods if your grill has any. Once they are removed, you will need a stainless steel grill brush to handle all of the extra grease and debris. As long as you do not let too much build up over time this should be an easy job, sweep all of the excesses into the bottom tray and you can wipe it all away so your clean grilling experience can be renewed.
Burn Away the Extra Residue:
The great thing about cleaning a grill is that heat is a natural ally. That is best to be done before you start grilling though it does not necessarily need to be done every time. That is also not an excuse to not attempt to wipe away any residue you can after you are done the grilling. Anyway, this is quite simple all you have to do is turn your burners up to high for around fifteen minutes. After that just brush away the residue with a stainless steel brush. Make sure are very careful though as the residue will still be hot as well; however, it should come right off nice and easy.
Cleaning the Heat Vents:
Some grills call these the flavorizer bars or the flame tamers, but regardless of the name you need to clean them from time to time. Most of these pieces are made to vaporize the juices of your food, so their high heat and design make it, so they don’t need to be cleaned as often. You will find these directly over the burners on some gas grill models, and they should be cleaned with a stainless steel brush. Make sure you don’t use oil on them though as that can lead to flare up or something worse.
Clean the Venturi Tubes:
While you are messing with the burners and vents, you might want to clean the venturi tubes that mix the gas and the air. These can fill up with muck over time or become home to creatures in the offseason. All you need to do here is a wash with soapy water taking a thin brush to clean any excess in the holes.
Checking the Burners:
There is nothing worse than burner issues as they are the life force of your grill. However, cleaning them properly will differ depending on the type of burner you have. Tube burners, U-shaped burners, flat and cast burners should be checked regularly to make sure you don’t have any debris in their ports that could lead to a premature end for your grill. All you need to do is brush them with a dry wire brush. Make sure you have a clean port area because that is where the flame is going to come from. If you have anor rotisserie burner, you need to take a bit of extra care. They can be fragile. So, a wire brush won’t cut it. You should turn these burners up to high heat for at least ten minutes and then use tweezers to pick away any large debris.
Cleaning the Grill Grates:
A properly cleaned grill grate can make the difference between a delicious perfectly cooked meal and a grand royal mess of stuck on food and inconvenient uneven heating. You need to make sure that you buy the proper wire brush for your grill grates as using the wrong material can diminish your grates overall lifetime. Grill grates are the first thing most grillers will replace, but that does not mean you should refrain to put the time in so you aren’t replacing your grates every year. Make sure your burners are off and then brush them and your grill stone if you have one. Grill stone requires no water after you apply oil on the grates. If you are using a charcoal grill, clean it while it is hot using a brush and some water as a steam cleaning system to streamline the process. For chrome wire or cast iron grates apply vegetable oil after you are done the cleaning. Porcelain coated grates should not require any oil as long as the porcelain is still there, though coating before cooking can help in the long run.
Inspect your Fuel Line:
You should make sure that you check out your fuel line whenever you start your grill but every month or so you should make a more thorough investigation. For this, all you need to do is brush some soapy water along the connections. What you are looking for is if bubble form while the gas is running. If they do, then you have a big issue, and you might need to either tighten the connection or replace the line.
Checking Your Propane Levels:
Most propane tanks nowadays have some gauge so you can tell when you are running low. Here is a tip if you end up in a situation without a gauge. Pour some warm water down the side of your tank. It won’t mix with the gas, so the point where it starts to fill cold is your current fuel level.
In the Offseason
The tips above will keep your grill running well year-round, but for those who are not fortunate to live in an area where grilling can be done all year, there are steps you can take to make sure your most obedient family member is ready when you call for it. Grills are not too needy so getting a nice tarp or specialty covering will do wonders for shielding your grill against the elements. As long as nothing can get in grills are surprisingly resilient with just this basic form of coverage. Make sure you store your grill at least ten feet away from your house, and the propane is kept in a secure position. Other than that as long as you follow the guidelines above the rain, sleet, or snow is merely pebbles to a well cared for a grill.