Not much is better than a quality cut of meat or a juicy pork chop cooked to perfection on your outdoor grill. Most backyard bbq’ers spend considerable time researching the best way to grill a burger or how to grill a salmon steak, but few spend time researching the best way to take care of their grill.
Poor grill maintenance can have a negative impact on your grilled food, but it can also have a negative impact on the longevity of your grill. So, if you’d like to avoid replacing your BBQ grill every season, it’s a good idea to keep it well-maintained. Having your grill in top shape is a necessity if you want your food grilled to perfection every time.
So, how do you properly maintain a BBQ grill? Fortunately, it’s not hard. Here are some of the things you can do each time you grill as well as periodically to care for your grill, whether it is a charcoal or gas unit.
Grill Care – Before You Grill
Some of the steps you take before you grill can make your grilling area safer, improve your experience, and reduce your maintenance time later. Here are a few to put on your list:
- Create a foundation – Place a grill pad or splatter mat under your grill. This is a naturally heat-resistant pad that will protect your patio or deck from drips of grease that might escape your grill.
- Place your grill properly – Any grill, gas or charcoal, should be placed at least 10 feet from your home and in a well-ventilated space. Keep your grill away from dry leaves and other combustible surfaces. And make sure the grill is on a firm foundation.
- Use safe practices – Make sure you store propane outside and never overfill your tanks. Always open the lid before lighting a gas grill. And never substitute anything else for lighter fluid in a charcoal grill.
Grill Care – Every Time You Grill
Create this simple routine every time you use your grill to keep it in top working condition:
- Each time you turn on your grill, make sure you thoroughly preheat it. This disinfects and cleans the grill.
- Get a clean cooking surface by brushing the grates to remove any residue.
- After you remove the last of your grilled food, turn up the heat to high. This burns off all the residual grease and drippings on the grill.
- As soon as the grill has completely cooled, cover it up. It’s a misconception that a grill cover leads to rusting.
Grill Care – Every 10-12 Uses
About every 10-12 cookouts, spend a little extra time on these BBQ grill maintenance tasks:
- Remove the cooking grates and thoroughly clean them on both sides.
- While the grate is off, brush out the inside of the grill and send debris into the drip pan.
- Clean the rest of the area in your grill that is below the grates and above the burners.
- Pull out your drip pan and either clean it out or replace it.
- Put your grate and any other removed parts back in your grill and light it. Let it heat up for several minutes until there is no (or very little) smoke coming from the grill.
Grill Care – Once Per Year
Once per year, maybe when you’re getting ready for the spring season or cleaning up in the fall, perform these annual BBQ grill maintenance steps:
- Remove your grill’s cooking grates and soak them in soapy, hot water.
- Also, remove the grill’s barrier and soak it in soapy hot water.
- Take a brush and clean out the interior of your grill. It’s ok to leave a greasy film on the inside as this protects the metal on your grill from deterioration.
- With the grates and barrier removed, light your grill to see how the burners are working. If the flames aren’t even, you should clean the burners. You can remove the burners from the grill and clean them with a small wire or a pipe cleaner. Once complete, reinstall and test your flames again.
- Next, remove your grease drip pan and clean it out.
- Wash the exterior of your grill, similar to the way you would a vehicle.
- Reassemble your grill’s cooking grates and barrier.
- Light the grill one more time to test everything and dry the internal components.
If you plan to store your grill after this service, you can disconnect the gas supply. Otherwise, it’s ready to fire up again and cook your next meal.
Make Sure You Have the Best Meats for Your Next BBQ
Now that you know how to care for and maintain your grill, it’s time to schedule your next BBQ. Nick’s of Clinton has a 40-foot full-service meat counter that is the centerpiece of our store. We offer only the highest-quality beef, chicken, and seafood as well as daily-prepared gourmet entrees. Visit us today, and one of our highly skilled butchers would be happy to help you select the best product for your next meal or BBQ.