Come spring, most of us light up - our grill, that is.
Before you light that match or turn on the gas in the spring, stop and think. That grill has been sitting out in the yard for six or seven months accumulating dirt, insects, and rust.
Just as you wouldn't fry an egg in a dirty frying pan, you wouldn't throw a juicy steak on a dirty grate. Would you? I didn't think so.
Here's the best way to clean a grill and get it ready to glow for another season.
Here's how to clean a grill:
Never use and oven cleaner on your grill. It can damage the finish, plus it's a bad idea to put a caustic substance on the grates where food's going to go.
If you're like most people, you've got a trusty, much-used gas grill sitting on your patio or deck. And if you're like most people, gas grill cleaning isn't something you've done you since you bought it. Are you crazy? You're really going to light up a tank of propane without checking things out first? I didn't think so.
Here are some tips for gas grill cleaning before you fire up this summer. Spread newspapers under your work area to protect your patio or deck.
Shut off the gas at the tank and remove the tank. (Follow directions in your owner's manual for removing the burner and pulling the gas or venturi tubes off the gas lines.)
Clean off any external dirt or grease with a cloth dipped in soapy water. Wipe the grill dry.
Spider nests and grease can clog ports (or gas connections.) Remove clogs with a toothpick, wire, or paper clip. Clear the venturi tubes with a non-wire bottlebrush.
How to clean a grill grate? Remove the grill grates (or grids) and briquettes, and set them aside.
Wash the burner grates and drip pans with soapy water and a plastic scouring pad, and then set them aside. Cover the gas openings at the control panel with plastic bags and/or aluminum foil to keep them dry. Then clean the inside and outside of the grill with a brass bristle brush and warm, soapy water.
Rinse it with a garden hose, and then wipe it dry. Remove the plastic/foil covering on the gas openings. Check the hoses for leaks or cracks. Make sure that there are no severe bends in the hoses.
Hook up the propane tank. (If it's dented or very rusty, do not use it. There could be a leak. Replace it immediately.)
To keep your gas grill in top-grilling shape, after each use close the lid and turn the heat on high for 15 minutes. Scrape the grates with a wire grill brush.
If the grates are cast iron, season them with oil. Clean the grill every six months, or at least at the beginning and end of the grilling season. Cool and wash with warm soapy water.
Turn off the gas at the tank and remove the propane unit. Clean the tank with warm, soapy water and wipe it dry.
If you store your grill outside, replace the propane unit and cover the grill. If you store your grill inside, keep the tank off of it.
Store the tank outside (away from kids and dryer vents) in an upright position. Cover gas line openings with plastic bags to prevent bugs and spiders from nesting there.