Warm weather means grilling season is FINALLY here! After a long, dreary winter, we’re sure you’re itching to get outside, fire up the grill, and get cooking! We know you’re in a hurry to grill those burgers and ribs, but there’s a few steps you should take to get your grill summer-ready. That’s why we’ve compiled this handy checklist to get you started! After you’ve knocked everything off the list, you’re left with the fun part – cooking! If your brain is a little rusty after those long winter months of eating soups and casseroles, don’t worry! We also have a handy grilling recipe section where you can find some truly awesome recipes. Let’s get back to grilling!
Gas Grill Preparation
Did you forget to winterize your grill back in the fall? It happens! You might be excited to start outdoor cooking again, but you must, must, must clean your grill after months of sitting idle. Here’s how you do it on a GAS GRILL:
- On a cool grill, brush or scrape off built-up carbon on the underside of the lid. Then, brush the grates to remove leftover food (you don’t want to be tasting steaks from last September)!
- Using a clean brush, clear the burner tube ports of rust and debris by brushing across them, not down the length of the burner.
- Use a scraper to chip away any built-up debris along the sides and bottom of the cook box. Push all the debris into the slide-out grease tray, then clean out the tray.
- Here comes the safety portion of the preparation! Be sure to inspect all hoses for cracks or abrasions, and leak check all gas connections (including LP tanks), using a soapy water solution. To leak check, dab a mixture of dish soap and water on all connections. With the control knobs off, turn on the gas. If bubbles form, there is a leak. Now is the time to call customer service about your grill, because you do NOT want to use it if there’s a leak!
- Don’t forget to clean the outside of your grill, too. You can use a little grill cleaner like this, or some soap and water.
- Last but not least, how are your tools and grill cover looking? If your tools are looking rusty and your cover looks like it’s been through a tornado, might as well splurge and get some new stuff, too!
Charcoal Grill Preparation
- On a cool grill, brush or scrape off built-up carbon on the underside of the lid.
- Brush the cooking and charcoal grates to remove the leftover debris from your last grilling session (we hope it hasn’t been sitting there for 6 months, but hey, it happens)!
- Use a scraper to chip away any difficult debris on the inside of the bowl. Push ashes and debris into the ash catcher.
- Do not forget to empty the ash catcher – ashes left sitting in the ash catcher can promote corrosion.
- Clean the outside with a grill cleaner like this one from Weber® to clean the outside lid and side tables.
- Inspect your grilling tools and cover to see if they need to be replaced!
Now your grill is cleaned and ready to go! These steps take a little time, but it’s better than discovering the meat you’ve been slow cooking all day tastes like last year’s hot dogs (or worse). One more tip before we go – check under your grill for any creatures that might’ve created a cozy little winter vacation home!
Happy grilling, and be sure to peruse our grilling section for some tasty ideas!