Every year, when it starts to warm up, the sizzling sound and the tantalizing bbq aroma reverberates the very fact that it’s time take the cooking outside. As soon as the smells of bbq start to drift across your neighborhood, the urge to uncover your grill and clean up your backyard to make space for some family barbeques on your calendar takes a hit; and there’s no better way to do this by preparing your grill for a summer full of succulent fun. Here are few simple steps to ensure that you do it in the best and easiest possible manner:
1- Safety Check
If your grill has been sitting idle for some time, take it out and inspect its components thoroughly to check everything is in order. Examine the hose for any damage and replace it if you feel it is wearing out. Inspect the burner and gas tubes for any kind of debris, blockage, rust or spider webs. If the burner seems compromised, you know you have to perform a cleaning ritual (step 3). If the gas tubes are blocked, clean these with a pipe cleaner or tooth pick. Check the knobs and scrape off any gunk that is stuck to it to loosen its movement.
2- Clean it up: The outside
To have the hottest looking grill in the neighborhood, wipe the outside stainless steel with soap and warm water. You can also use a non-inflammable stainless-steel cleaner. Once you wipe them dry, move on to see if there are any hits on the exterior while it was stacked in your garage. If yes, use a high-heat spray paint to give it the final touches. Make sure you do this to surfaces which do not come in contact with the food.
3- Clean it up: The inside
In this cleansing regimen, preparing the inside of your grills can be most tricky. To start off, fill a bucket with mild hot water and add detergent/ soap to it. Now remove the grates, metal plates and drip tray and soak them in the water. Scrub the parts with rag or sponge to clean out the burnt residues. Meanwhile, cover the heating element with aluminum foil and use a wire brush to vigorously scrub the underside of the lid and walls above and around the heating element. Once done, remove the aluminum foil and get to the cleaning of the grease (step 4)
4- Clean it up: The grease
The most generic way of doing it is to burn it off. While many people fire up the grill, flip over the briquette, close the lid and heat the grill for 15 minutes, this is just over doing it. The grill can be heated up for only 5 minutes at high temperature which is enough to scrape off the gunk.
Another way of doing this is to fill equal parts of vinegar and water in a spray bottle. Coat the greasy interiors of the grill with this liquor and let it sit for an hour. The grease will come off easily with a wire brush and you’ll be able to remove the residue without any heat. Once done, now replace the components back and be ready for some final touches.
5- Check the fuel stock levels
If your grill is on propane, make sure you have ample supply of it to start off. If it is corroded or rusted, replace it by taking it to your trusted vendor. The leak test is the most important part to efficient cleaning: Coat the regulator, hoses and valves with soapy water then turn the tank on to build a pressure in the system. Now watch closely for any sort of bubbles. If they appear, tighten the connections and do the test again. If the bubbles re-appear, it’s time to replace the hose or the tank.
If on coal, simply replenish the coal supply for a fresh stock so it gives you the perfect aroma and taste.
6- Give it a test run
After the cleaning is done, give your grill a test run. Know where the hot spots are and check if the grill is heating fine. You can do this with pieces of bread or apple slices.