Memorial Day is right around the corner and you know what that means…time to get grilling!
But unless you’re one of the rugged few who braved the cold to grill during winter, chances are your grill could use a tune up before your fire it up. Follow our five easy steps to make sure you are ready to go in time for the official start of summer.
#1 Start on the outside.
If your grill spent winter hibernating in a garage or shed, it’s gathered a healthy amount of dust and dirt. Give it a thorough scrub down using a bristled brush and warm soapy water or grill-specific cleaning products.
#2 Bugger off.
With protection from the elements and leftover bits of food and grease for sustenance, chance are insects, or other critters, called your grill home when days and nights turned cold. They’ll need removing, as will anything they may have left behind.
#3 Bye bye build up.
Unless you diligently scraped off last summer’s gunky build up before storing your grill, surprise…it’s all still there. In addition to being aesthetically unpleasing, it’s also a potential fire hazard. Use a hard brush to clean all around the inside of your grill, including under the lid and grates. For gas grills, use something sharp, like a skewer, to ensure burner holes are unclogged. To remove gunk from your grates, shut the lid and turn all burners to high for 10-15 minutes. For any gunk that survived the burn off, scrape off using a grill brush and cleanser and then rinse with water. For the true cleaning underachievers who failed to empty their grease pans at the end of last season, do so now.
#4 Safety first.
To check for leaks and cracks, put soapy water on your hoses, regulator, and valves, turn on the propane tank and look for any bubbles. Replace tubes as needed, make sure all connections are tightened, and be sure your temperature gauge works property. If charcoal or briquets are your fire-starters of choice, make sure any left over from last season are still clean and dry. If not, toss them out and buy new.
#5 Tools of the trade.
Consider investing in new grilling tools if yours look like they’ve had a rough winter. Basting brushes that weren’t properly cleaned at the end of last summer likely need to go; likewise, any tongs and other stainless tools that may have picked up some rust.