Here comes the sun! After a crazy spring, it’s nice to feel the heat of summer finally setting in. And one thing that really brings the heat is my backyard grill. It’s essential for the great outdoors, don’t you think?
So before you kick off the summer parties and outdoor grill outs, it’s important to make sure your equipment is ready for the fire. Keep reading for a list of tips to prep your grill and maximize the heat this season…
1. Safety first, folks! You want to wear a pair of work or safety gloves to avoid injury during the cleaning process (these are essential tools in my book). And when you’re doing a thorough cleaning of your grill, make sure all the dials are turned off and disconnect the propane tank when the grates are warm. Carefully remove the grates and metal plates, then let them soak in a bucket of hot water and dish soap.
*Note: You should be cleaning your grates after every use to remove any charred leftovers. If you have cast iron or stainless steel grill grates, simply scrub them with a stainless steel wire brush, and if your grates are nonstick, opt for a safer brush with stiff plastic bristles. To keep cast iron grates in top shape, lightly brush them with oil after they’re completely clean. Your grilled eats will taste better!
2. Don’t be fooled by what’s under the hood. You might think the paint is peeling under your grill, but it’s actually a danger zone of baked on smoke and grease. First, protect the heating parts with a piece of foil. This will collect any debris that falls from the hood and walls. Use your grill brush to scrub the underside of the hood and walls, the wipe with a damp paper towel. And to prevent this buildup during the summer, be sure to wipe down the inside of the grill lid with a damp cloth after each use.
3. Burners can collect bits of food and grease too. Make sure your burners are cool and scrub them with your grill brush. To prevent fires, you want to make sure there’s no grime or clogs, so if you can unfasten your burners, lift them out and wipe them out.
4. The drip pan is going to be filthy. Remove it and shake off any leftovers into the trash. Let the drip pan soak in your bucket of hot water/dish soap. After everything has soaked for a bit, remove the grates, metal plates and drip pan from the bucket and finish scrubbing them with your grill brush. Give them a rinse with your hose and put them pack in their proper places.
5. Don’t forget the exterior. If you have the manual, refer to it for some good options to clean the outside of your grill. Typically, you can use stainless-steel wipes to clean the exterior and any inside cabinets, but some models require a softer solution like a damp cloth with soapy water. Check the manual to be safe!
Regardless of your grilling personality, these cleaning tips are going to help improve your grill and your game! Stay tuned for more BBQ posts this season.
Do you have any grill cleaning tips to add to this list? Share your ideas in the comments below.
All photos courtesy of Stephanie Todaro