Warm weather means that grilling season is back!
Whether you cook with gas or prefer that charcoal flavor, we’ve got the lowdown on how to get your grill ready for summer! So roll up your sleeves, it’s time to get dirty and get that grill in tip-top shape.
Do a Top-to-Bottom Inspection
If your grill hasn’t been used for months, it’s important to give it a good once-over for any problems. For starters, look for broken pieces and parts, signs of rust, or damage especially if your grill has been outdoors all winter. If your grill has been covered or stored in a garage, then check for bugs and pests that may have crawled in to escape the cold winter air.
Next, check those fuel lines! Look for cracks, holes and other visually obvious damage. After you give it a once over, you can double check to make sure all lines are secure by doing a soapy water test. Try brushing soapy water on the line and along the connections and run the gas. If you see bubbles along the line while the gas is running, tighten your connections or replace the line.
Now is a great time to stock up on propane too! You don't want to be minutes from a starting your big cookout and find yourself low or out of gas!
Clean From the Inside Out
Your grill has a lot of pieces and parts! To get it squeaky clean start by removing debris from the flame tamers (located directly over the burners) with a wire brush. Then remove the flame tamers and check the burners for clogs. Just brush portholes with a stainless steel wire brush.
Insects typically find their ways into burner tubes during the off-season. If tubes are removable, use a garden hose to spray water through the tube or use a long, flexible brush to clean the interior. Make sure tubes are dry before reattaching. Next, check that the grease pan is clean, this is very important and key to preventing dangerous grease fires.
For a charcoal grill, be sure to empty all ashes and unburnt charcoal from the bowl and ash catcher. By removing old debris and ash from your charcoal grill you'll find that new charcoal will burn much easier, letting you achieve a clearer flame, better flavor and perfect temps!
Clean Your Grates
Whether you have rusty grates from sitting unused for an extended period of time or simply have leftover residue from last year, it’s important to start the season with clean grates. (Plus, clean grates make better grill marks!)
For normal build-up on a gas grill, turn all your burners to high for 15 minutes. When your grill reaches these high temperatures, turn it off and start scrubbing. Leftover debris should soften, or turn to ash and can easily be brushed off.
For deeper cleaning, Taste of Home suggests soaking grates overnight in a mix of two cups of vinegar and one cup of baking soda. Any stubborn debris should rinse off with water and a little elbow grease.
You should routinely brush your grates to prevent food and bacteria buildup. If you're finding you're typically left with heavy buildup and debris after a cookout, try spraying your grates with a little cooking spray or lightly brush them with oil. This should help prevent food from sticking and will mitigate any future rust problems.
Wipe Down the Exterior
Once the inside of your grill is good to go, it's time to hit the outside! The best way clean the exterior of your grill is to simply wipe it down. Soapy water is the safest cleaning solution for most grills, but for a deeper clean use a grill-safe stainless steel cleaner, like Boulder Clean's Granite + Stainless Cleaner .
Upgrade Your Grill Tools
Your favorite cooking utensils have probably been outside with your grill all winter. It’s the perfect time to replace your old grill tools and add some fun new ones like a smoker box or cedar planks.