Cooking on the grill is one of the best parts of warm weather. Learn how to clean and maintain it properly, so you get the best from your grill year-round.
There is much debate as to which type of grill cooks better: Charcoal or gas. One thing that they have in common is that they are not difficult to clean. To maintain a gas or charcoal grill you will need a wire brush or grill stone, rags or paper towels, cooking oil and some cleaning supplies.
Routine brushing of the cooking grates prevents food and bacteria buildup. Wire brushes and grill stones are generally used to clean off the surfaces.
After you have cleaned the cooking grates, spray them with cooking oil.
Always replace your grill brush if you have any concerns about the bristles.
Several times throughout the year, it's smart to dismantle your grill and give it an extensive cleaning. If you have a gas grill, disconnect the propane tank before beginning the process. Then, soak the grates in soapy water or grill grate cleaner and scrub. Stubborn deposits may require a brush or steel wool.
Flame tamers and burners can be cleaned at this time too. Use a putty knife to scrape the bottom of the firebox and remove any cooking debris and grease. This will help your grill cook more evenly and reduce the potential for grease fires from accumulated grease. After all the components have been cleaned, dried and reassembled, turn on the grill and let it run for 10 minutes on high. This will allow any residual cleaning supplies to burn off.
It's also a good idea to check the chassis for rust. Rust easily comes off with a stiff wire brush or a steel wool pad. Rust areas can be painted with rust preventative paint to further preserve your grill. The joints, connectors and fasteners should also be inspected to ensure they aren't corroding. And re-tightening fasteners, replacing grill appendages (wheels, knobs and handles) and checking hinges is a good idea.
High temp paints should be used for any areas that get hot.
Grill surfaces are made out of different materials and require different cleaning methods.
To keep your grill in tip-top shape, follow these tips:
Since most grills are left exposed to the great outdoors, you should always cover your grill. Grill covers are available in all shapes and sizes.
If your grill sits on pavement, place a tarp or a grill matt underneath it to catch debris, grease and food.
Replacing your grill parts is important. Read and keep your instruction manual and warranty. The instruction manual will explain how to order replacement parts.
Give your grill a thorough cleaning at least twice a year. Or if you grill frequently, a good rule of thumb is every five to 10 uses. Not cleaning a dirty grill can shorten the life of the grill.
Clean the venturi tubes. Venturies are the tubes that mix air and gas and feed to the burners. They need to be clear to work properly. The tubes make good homes for spiders and insects during the off-season. Even a small blockage can become a fire hazard. Remove the entire burner/tube assembly and clean with soapy water. Clean the holes with a wire brush, paper clip or small piece of wire. Replace when dry and ensure the venturi tube is properly aligned with the gas valve.
Never place a grill in a garage, breezeway, and carport or under any surface that is flammable. Keep your grill at least 10 feet from the house.
When storing LP containers, always store upright in a secure position. And never store them in your car.
Make sure the venturi is in place either by sight or with your fingers. Not having the venture tube placed over the gas valve can be dangerous if the grill is lit.