Get Your Grill Ready for BBQ Season
May is here, and with Memorial Day fast approaching, it's time to make sure your grill is in top shape for the coming season. I asked my husband to share some tune-up tips to boost your grill's performance all summer long. Here are a few of his recommendations.
Whether you use charcoal or gas, remember these points:
1. Start off clean. Get a good citrus-based grill cleaner. A thorough scrub from time to time will prevent build up which can lead to unwanted fires.
2. Replace your grill brush. Chances are you have the same brush that came with the grill three years ago. Throw it out and get a new one. During each use, scrape down the grates after you preheat your grill.
3. Check the legs. Aging grills can become unstable. Take a few minutes to look over the connection points between the grill and the legs. Tighten any loose screws. Check for rust too. Excessive corrosion might mean it's time to go grill shopping.
Are you a charcoal griller? Add these to your checklist:
1. Let it breathe. Charcoal grills need air to work properly. Over time the bottom vents can become clogged or stuck. Clean them as needed and lubricate them with a little vegetable oil to keep them working.
2. Try a lump. Almost everyone turns to charcoal briquettes when it's time to fire up the barbecue, but most don't know about a tastier alternative – lump or natural charcoal. This type is made from 100% natural wood. It burns hotter and cleaner and adds a natural, smoky flavor.
3. Lose the lighter fluid. For around $10 you can get a chimney starter for your charcoal, which only requires two sheets of newspaper to get the coals glowing hot. Say goodbye to the lighter fluid taste, smell and fumes.
Grilling with gas? These tips are for you:
1. Go for a deep clean. Grease and food bits can build up on or under your burners. Remove the grates and burner once a year to get to those hard to reach places. Check the burner for corrosion or plugged holes; clean as needed or replace the burner to re-live that brand new grill experience.
2. Inspect the plumbing. Gas grills are easier to use, but bring added complexity to the patio. Make sure your hoses and valves are in good condition before you fire it up. Should they need replacing, your local hardware store will have everything you need.
3. Got spark? While you have the grates off, check your igniter for spark. If it is weak or nonexistent, make sure it is mounted properly. If proper mounting doesn't help, then it's time for replacement.
Following these tips will ensure that your grill is ready to go this year. Then head to the store for your favorite grillables, be it burgers, steaks or the many vegetables you could toss on.