The key to great grilling lies in the preparation. And part of your prep should include grill maintenance. Whether you’re investing in a brand-new grill or you’re relying on an old faithful one, there are essential steps you should follow to ensure your grill is squeaky clean. Follow these six steps for a sparkling grill through multiple seasons.
1. Learn the Right Methods for Your Grill Type
You might prefer a grill with grates or a large, flat top. Some grills use charcoal, while others use gas. For a charcoal grill, allow it to cool before brushing out the charcoal and ash. Then use a stiff wire brush to clean the grates and wipe with a cloth and vegetable oil to prevent rust. Use mild dish soap to clean the inside and outside. When cleaning flat-top grills, begin cleaning the surface while still hot. Spray the top, then carefully wipe down.
2. Time for a Deep Clean
If you haven’t cleaned your grill in a while, a regular cleaning session may not be enough to restore it. First, try soaking the grates in vinegar and baking soda to loosen the grime. Cover stainless steel grates in aluminum foil while heating the grill for 15 minutes. Then allow it to cool before scrubbing. Also, you can try burning the food off on porcelain grates before scrubbing with a soft nylon brush.
3. Brush Basics
The type of brush you choose can make your maintenance easier or harder. A softer brush will do the trick for cast iron or porcelain grates. You should avoid stiff wire bristles for these types of grills. For stainless steel grates, wire bristles are ideal.
4. Tips and Tricks
Stay safe and serve tasty food without unwelcome additions—wipe down surfaces after you have scrubbed them with a wire brush. Sometimes the wires can come loose and remain behind in the grill. And while flat tops clean up best while still hot, you’ll want to allow other types of grills to cool down quite a bit before you clean.
5. Stay Under Cover
Many people love using their grills as often as possible. But it’s wise to use a grill cover sized for your grill in between uses. The cover can protect it from the harsh sun and sudden rain showers, and the normal wear and tear that daily weather brings. You don’t want to go through the trouble of cleaning your grill just to let the weather undo all that careful work.
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6. Check Before Cooking
Even if you cleaned it after using it last, it might take weeks or months to use it again. It’s good to wipe the entire grill down before firing it up again. If you are bringing the grill out after long storage, check all the connections. Next, look for rusted areas, failing welds, or other structural issues. If the grill has seen better days, it might be time to invest in a new model.
Taking care of your grill will ensure it stays sparkling and in excellent working condition for years. You’ll be grilling delicious food for friends and family on a grill you can be proud of year after year.
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