Preparing your Grill for Summer

grillSummer is made for grilling. That sizzling sound and backyard barbecue scent is your universal sign to the neighborhood that summer is here. There’s no better way to ring in the season than by preparing your grill for a summer full of succulent barbecue. Just follow these steps to get your grill primed and ready.

The Inside

Get rid of the gunk on grates and burners with a dry no-scratch sponge or a nylon brush. You can even try using an emery cloth or a wire brush on the steel on uncoated parts of your grill. Wash the surfaces with dish soap and warm water, rinse well and dry thoroughly. If the grates are rusty or chipping, consider replacing them with new ones.

The Outside

To get the outside as beautiful as the inside, wipe down both the stainless steel and enameled surfaces with warm soapy water and wipe them dry. To prevent streaks, use a stainless steel cleaner. Make sure it is okay to use with highly flammable objects. If your grill’s exterior took some hits during hibernation, use a high-heat spray paint to touch up surfaces that don’t come in contact with your food. You’ll have the ‘hottest’ looking grill on the block in no time.

Don’t Burn It Off

Whatever you do, don’t try the “I’ll just turn up the gas, close the top, walk away and burn off the gunk” tactic. Instead run the burners on high for five minutes to warm up the residue for an easy clean. Or, fill a spray bottle with equal parts vinegar and water, coat the inside of the grill, close it and let it sit for an hour.  You’ll remove the residue without the heat.

Prep the Propane

For safe, efficient cleaning, make sure your propane tank is turned off. To get your tank ready for the grilling season, start with a leak test. Coat the regulator, valves, and hoses with soapy water. Turn the tank on to pressurize the system. Keep your eye out for bubbles – they are a sign of leakage. Tighten the connections and try it again. If you are still seeing bubbles, it may be time to replace the hose or tank which can be done by a propane gas delivery company.

Control the Heat

To become a real grill master, the key is even heat.  Cover the grates with slices of white bread and run the burners for a few minutes. Flip the slices to see which ones toasted the most, indicating where the hot spots are. To avoid the costly changes of replacing high conductor grates, place your food accordingly. After all, only grill masters can maximize a grill’s potential.

Now that your grill is good and ready, your friends and neighbors will be begging to come to your backyard barbecues.  What are you looking forward to throwing on the grill this summer?

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