Well here we are, roughly two days in from what we calendarize as the 1st day of spring! I must say, yesterday sure felt like it as we had some sunshine and temparatures that rose as high as the low 60's! Felt like spring to me and when this weather warms up, we so often rush to start our grills and that wonderful smell of grilled food floods our senses and sends neighbors outside to do the same.
In our haste, have you ever thought what should be done to the grill in order to ensure that its ready for another full season of grilling? Well, here is your "HOW TO" guide when it comes to grill preparation.
Step 1) Turn the grill on and close the lid and get it super hot and burn off the gunk left from the previous year. Let it run for a good 10-15 minutes and as it heats up, old food and residue will burn off the grill making it easier to scrape the remains.
Step 2) Scrub the grates - Remove the charred residue from the grates with a semi-flexible stainless steel brush. If the grates undersides are greasy, remove them and wipe them down with a wet, soapy sponge. Once your finished with the above, be sure to rinse the grates and them dry them off.
Step 3) Attack the Burners - Pricier grills often have burner protectors - V shaped metal guarding the gas jets from food dripping. Remove the protectors, and use a putty knife or something similar to scrape the grease off. If this isn't doing the trick, get some hot soapy water and scrub away. Then as above, rinse and dry.
Step 4) Attack the Burners Part II - Clean the burners with a stainless steel brush using a side to side motion, not a length wise motion. Are the gas jets open or clogged? If clogged, use a thin wire, a close hanger may work to poke a hole through the center of each one. If the holes are rusted, its time to replace the burners. Now remove the burners in prepartion for the next step.
Step 5) Hit the Walls of the grill, also known as the cook box. You want to remove carbonized grease so it doesn't affect the taste of the food. If scraping it off isn't working, agian revert to dish soap and water.
Step 6) Clean it up - Make that grill sparkle on the outside as well. Rub it down and wipe away grease with a dedicated stainless steel cleaner and semi-soft sponge. Warm water works too!
Hope the above useful tips help you make the most of the upcoming grilling season. Now if only we can have mother nature cooperate so that the weather continues to improve then we'll all soon be enjoying the smell of those neighbors grill as well as your own filling the air with that sweet smell that only a grill creates :)
Happy Spring and as always, if you know anyone that you feel would benefit from my blog or find this useful, please feel free to share, thank you! Ben