HOLLYWOOD, FLA. -- Company’s coming and there’s a break in the weather. It’s a perfect time to fire up the grill and save Mom the hassle of cooking indoors for a crowd. But what if your grill decides to take the day off?
If a few weeks (or months) of neglect have caused grease to turn rancid, parts to corrode, or gas jets to plug up with gunk or insects looking for a home, your grilling plans can be extinguished at just the wrong time. That’s why an occasional tune-up for your grill is a good idea.
Good grill maintenance starts with keeping it clean. While the grill is still warm after cooking, scrub the grate with a wire brush or a ball of heavy-duty aluminum foil held with tongs. You can minimize food sticking by lightly coating the grate with oil that has a high smoke point, such as peanut or canola oil or aerosol cooking sprays. Be sure you do this before starting the fire to avoid flare-ups.
Built-up food particles, grease, ashes and soot can not only gum up the works, but they can cause off-flavors in your food and attract unwelcome visitors. Start by discarding ashes after they’ve cooled completely. Clean or change the catch-pan regularly. And take a few minutes throughout the season to give your grill a good washing down with some detergent and paper towels. Build-ups can accelerate corrosion of both parts and the grill itself eventually leading to costly repairs or replacements.
Gas grills need a little extra attention to stay in top working order. Be sure any hoses and connections are in good shape and replace them if needed. Control valves should give you the proper flow to maintain optimal temperatures. Venturi tubes mix your fuel with air to give the right mixture to burn. They can become misaligned and are attractive spots for insects and spiders to set up housekeeping. And burners can become damaged or corroded, lowering your grill’s performance and becoming a safety hazard.
Gas grills usually use lava rocks, ceramic briquettes, or metal shields to protect the burners from drips and spills. They need to be replaced periodically as they become encrusted or corroded.
Taking a few minutes throughout the cooking season to check for problems will result in a more pleasant experience with your grill. The owner’s manual is a good place to start. Most come with recommendations for keeping the grill in top working order. And if you need to replace a part or two, The BBQ Depot is the place to find them. We carry a huge inventory of replacement parts and accessories for virtually every grill out there, and they’re ready to ship, usually within 24 hours.
Of course, if you’re looking at a $100 parts bill for a $90 grill, you probably want to start over with a new one. The BBQ Depot offers a wide selection of new grills from inexpensive portables to complete outdoor kitchens. Take a moment to browse our site. We’re sure you’ll find the outdoor cooking setup that’s perfect for you.