BBQ Season is Approaching Fast.... Don't be left with raw bugers and no flame to cook them.... Now is the time to fix your Grill!
Don't let your gas grill end up in the trash. You made an investment in your gas grill so it is important to keep your grill running longer. You may keep it covered and clean or put it someplace where it is sheltered when you aren't using it and give it a good washing after every use. Right? Whether you do or do not something is bound to go wrong.
It's better, healthier and more cost effective for you it you know how to make basic repairs of your BBQ grill.
As gas grills become more and more complicated it can seem intimidating to attempt to repair one on your own. Just so you know... the basic design of gas grills really hasn't changed much. While the number of burners may have increased from one to five burners, most all gas grills are a metal box, either stainless steel or cast aluminum. On propane grills you have a tank and regulator. Natural gas grills simply attach to your home gas supply and use the meter as the regulator. The fuel passes through venturi tubes to the control valve and then to the burner. There are many styles of burners from bowtie to H-shape to oval. Above the burner is either a grate that holds the ceramic briquettes or lava rock or a metal plates like Weber's flavorizer bars.
Before you start taking apart your grill, be sure to open the lid, make sure that the fuel tank is in the off position and disconnect the gas. Propane and natural gas can be very bad for you whether there is an explosion or not.
Now you're ready to get to work on your grill. The first determining if it's better to fix or replace. This is pretty much a personal choice. Many of today's lower end grills are much lower in quality than grills built 10 years ago. The drive to keep down cost and bring up profits has lead many manufacturers to take shortcuts. Now you should be able to find parts for most any grill made in the past 10 to 20 years, so unless you have something very old or very unusual you will be able to get the parts you need. The big question you have to ask yourself is, "Does this grill meet my needs?" If the answer is yes then go on and get it fixed up. If the answer is no then you should start looking for a new grill.
When a gas grill is working properly, the flame is evenly distributed through the burners, the flame itself is blue and should heat quickly on the high setting. With all burners on you should not be able to notice a difference in heat anywhere on the cooking surface. If this isn't how your grill is working then you may have a problem.
Venturi Tubes: The venturi tubes connect the control valve to the burner(s) and mix the fuel with air to provide flame. To mix the air into the fuel there is an open gap in the fuel line here that can easily become obstructed. Insects, especially spiders, love this and will move in as quick. The venturi tubes typically have adjustable shutters. You may need to adjust these to regulate fuel flow.
Burners: Burners come in many shapes, sizes and materials made for your specific grill like Tubes, Pipes, H shaped, Cast Iron, etc... Because the burner is inside the grill it tends to get coated in grease and can corrode quickly. Inspect and clean your burner regularly to avoid problems. If the burner is damaged to heavily corroded you will need to replace it. Get the same size and shape of burner but consider purchasing one of a better quality metal if yours isn't top of the line.
Heat Shield: In between the burner and the cooking grate is what we refer to as the Heat Shield, Heat Plate, Radiant, Briquette Tray, lava rocks, ceramic briquettes, flavorizer bars, metal plates and Rock or Lava Grates. The purpose of this gas grill part is to distribute heat evenly to the cooking surface. These need to be cleaned or replaced periodically as they become crusted in burnt grease and food and can create an unpleasant flavor on foods as they age. Inspect your Heat Shield.... If it is broken, heavily coated or simply not creating a sufficient heat distribution, consider replacing it.
Grill produces a lot of smoke: Usually this is caused by a large build up of grease in your grill. It just may need a good cleaning!