Summer is just around the corner, and that means we’re jumping feet-first into grilling season! To make sure that your grill (which has probably been collecting dust for the last few months) is in tip-top shape, check out our quick-and-easy tips for making sure it’s ready to fire up all summer long.
1. Clean the Grate
A clean grill grate is key to successful grilling. If your grate is clean and free of any burnt-on cheese or crusty barbecue sauce, then your food will release better and have more distinct grill marks. The best way to clean the grate is to take it off the grill and give it a thorough brushing with a stainless-steel bristle brush. Next, take a rag and wipe down the grate to make sure there are no broken-off bristles left behind. If you can avoid it, do not use any soap. Soap will leave residue behind and potentially taint the flavor of your food.
2. Restock the Propane and Check for Leaks
We’ve all been there. We’re all geared up to grill and then realize that the propane tank is empty. Or we don’t have enough charcoal. Now is the time to stock up! While you are swapping out your propane tank, this is also a good time to check your propane hose or your gas line for any leaks. Here is an easy how-to video.
3. Clean Out Your Grill
A clean grill has better airflow, which makes it hotter and more efficient. If you have a charcoal grill, scoop out any lingering ash or briquets. For a gas grill, clean out the grease trap (a paint scraper is a good tool for loosening any stubborn grease). Then, to make life easier on yourself, line the trap with aluminum foil for this season. Future You will thank you! Lastly, check the inside of your grill lid. If there is any peeling or residue, use a coarse sponge to clean it out. This will prevent any clinging gunk from dripping down onto your food while you’re grilling.
4. Take a Test Drive
Confirm that your grill is in working order by firing it up before you need it. Turn it up to HIGH heat and let it run for 15 to 20 minutes with the lid shut. This will also burn off any remaining residue that could cause flare-ups later on. It’s a good idea to do this a few more times throughout the summer, based on how frequently you grill.
5. Season the Grate
When you fire up your grill for your first cookout, give the grate a nice seasoning. Our favorite way to do this is by taking a halved onion and skewering it on a grill fork. Dip the cut side in a neutral oil like vegetable or canola and then scrub the grate with the onion. This will add flavor and make sure your grate is clean and ready to use.
Dennis Schneider says
Those are good tips. On gas Weber grills, they recommend cleaning the grill by covering it with aluminum foil, lighting it, closing the lid and let it burn for 15 minutes or so. It works kind of like a self cleaning oven and all the oil and grease and “stuff” are turned to ash that can be easily wiped off or sprayed off with a hose. We enjoy your show a lot.