Get Your Grill Ready for Summer
Firing up the grill and throwing on some burgers or steaks is a great way to spend some time enjoying the great outdoors. Since the dawn of time food cooking over a flame has brought people together. To make sure that your gas grill is up to the task, maintaining or even refurbishing it is a must to keep the good times sizzling all season long. A thorough cleaning and inspection of parts on the grill should be done at least once a year — and more often than that if the grill is used year-round.
Time: 1 hour
- Cleaning bucket
- Gentle scouring pad
- Brass bristle grill brush
- Simple Green
REMEMBER – Make sure you wear work gloves and safety glasses. Safety first!
STEP ONE: INSPECT PROPANE TANK AND GAS FITTINGS
Before cleaning, inspect your grill’s propane tank. Tanks have a 12 year shelf life on average. To find out how old your tank is, look for the manufacture date, which should be stamped near the handle. If your gas hose or fittings look compromised in any way, replace them before using your grill! Running out of propane in the middle of cooking is an epic party fail. Who wants a half-cooked steak? Keeping a spare tank on hand will guarantee that you won’t ever have that problem. Be sure that you remember to take a trip to Koopman Lumber to get your propane filled before the party starts or you could be out of propane faster than you think. Remember, tanks older than 12 years must be re-certified or disposed of. Also, tanks showing significant rust need to be recycled. (we can dispose of tanks for you) Because Koopman refills your propane tanks, you will head home with the maximum amount of fuel. The propane exchange programs offered elsewhere may provide under-filled tanks which will run out of fuel more quickly.
STEP TWO: CLEAN COOKING SURFACES
Start by removing both the cooking grates and burner cover bars and looking to see if they’re rusty or have any deep pitting. If so they should be replaced. If they are in good shape soak them in warm water and then clean them with a scouring pad or a clump of aluminum foil. This is also a good time to remove and inspect the warming rack and grease collection tray. A soapy, fine steel wool pad will keep the warming racks and grill basket clean and free of smoke stains and debris. Next, inspect the burners. Then scrub and clean them with a softer, brass-bristle grill brush. Make sure that you are using a side to side motion, not a length wise motion, which will only push debris from one hole to another. Try to minimize the pressure you exert onto your brush when scrubbing, especially if your grill has porcelain cooking grates. If the holes in the burner are clogged, poke through the blockage with a small, sharp tool.
STEP THREE: CLEAN CARBON RESIDUE
Next we’ll clean the cook box (the walls of the grill). Carbonized grease can builds up here that will negatively affect the taste of food cooked on the grill. To protect the grill’s heating elements and connections points, loosely cover them with a big piece of aluminum foil. Then use the grill brush to scrub off the carbon residue from the hood and inside of the grill. Stubborn residue can be sprayed with a degreaser, such as Simple Green. Let it sit for 10 to 15 minutes, then rinse off with a hose. Any remaining build up can be carefully scraped off with a putty knife. Remove the bottom tray from under the grill and empty debris in a trash can.
STEP FOUR: CLEAN GREASE DRIPPINGS
To clean grease drippings on exterior surfaces use mild, soapy water. Never use an abrasive, lemon-based solution or oven cleaner, as it can scratch the stainless steel or remove the paint finish. We recommend using the Sprayway Grill & Oven Cleaner. If you have a stainless steel finish, use an environmentally friendly stainless steel cleaner and a soft cloth to remove fingerprints and give it a nice shine. For porcelain enamel finishes, use a cloth and warm, soapy water. Make sure to let the grill dry thoroughly after you’ve finished cleaning. To maintain a clean grill, it’s a good practice to burn off any food residue left on your grill by turning all your burners to high for 10-15 minutes before grilling. When your grill reaches these high temperatures, food debris will turn to ash, and will then be easy to brush off using a stainless steel bristle brush. Be sure to replace your grill brush regularly. It seems every year someone ingests a loose bristle left from an old brush. Depending on the condition of the grill, you may even opt to add some Rustoleum High Heat spray paint to dress it up and add a layer of protection for the coming season.
By following these simple steps, you’ll have your grill cooking well and looking good, helping to ensure a long life for your grill and lots of delicious meals for you. Koopman has everything that you need to maintain and enjoy your grill, from propane tanks to replacement parts, charcoal to grill brushes, propane refills to grill cleaner; we can help you enjoy your grill year round. Stop in and see us at any of our conveniently located stores, and we are always available online at www.koopmanlumber.com.