10 Tips To Get Your Grill Ready For Summer
Food editor Kristen Eppich dishes on the summer’s hardest working appliance.
With the temperatures rising and the sun shining, it’s time to use our ovens less and our barbecues more. Before we do, there are a few steps we need to take to prepare our grills for a hardworking summer. I reached out to my good friends in the grilling industry to get their top tips to get your grill in shape for the season ahead. They know their stuff, so I highly recommend heeding the advice below. Happy grilling!
Here are Steve Gauci of Napoleon Gourmet Grills’ top tips:
1) Clean the searing grids. Soak the cooking grills in warm water and soap before giving them a good cleaning to get rid of the grease and food crust that has been burnt on.
2) Clean the grease cup. The more you use your grill, the more you will have to clean or replace your grease cup. Before firing up your grill, take out the old and put in the new.
3) Clean the grease tray. Give your grease tray a good scrape with a spatula or putty knife to clean off all the bits.
4) Check for leaks. Inspect your hose and fittings to be sure there are no leaks. Perform a “soap test:” Mix one part water to one part dish soap in a spray bottle. Apply the mixture to all fittings. Make sure your lid is open and all the control knobs are turned off. Turn on your gas – any growing bubbles are a sign of a leak that needs to be addressed.
Weber Grill Expert Chef Michael P. Clive has some more easy tips:
5) Clear the burner tubes of any blockages. Blockage can be anything from spider webs or debris and may prevent the igniter from lighting. Brush the portholes with a stainless steel wire brush in an up and down motion. Do not brush lengthwise across the ports, as this will only push debris from one hole to another.
6) Carefully scrape the inside of the grill with a putty knife. Push the residue through the bottom hole. Remove the bottom tray from under the grill and empty debris in a trash can.
7) Take stock of any rusted or corroded pieces. Call your manufacturer’s customer service to order parts or to locate a dealer in your area that carries original parts.
Russ Faulk, grill master and chief designer for Kalamazoo Outdoor Gourmet give us his tips for grill care:
8) Care for the exterior of your grill: The most difficult part of cleaning your grill is removing the burnt-on food and grease. Start by using a citrus-based or organic degreaser to remove everything that isn’t burnt on. Next, we recommend using powdered Bar Keepers Friend with a jersey knit rag. Be careful to follow the grain direction of the stainless steel to avoid scratches. For real problem areas, a Scratch-B-Gone kit can be used to restore the factory finish. After these steps, rinse off all cleaners, wait for the grill to dry, and then apply stainless steel polish.
9) After each cooking session, run the main burners on high with the hood closed for 10 minutes before shutting it down. This will help burn away drippings and residue on the grilling surface and in the hopper.
10) Always use a stainless steel bristle brush for cleaning your grilling surface. Do not use brushes or scrapers of other metals with the exception of brass. Never use chemicals to clean your grilling surface.