With May comes the lovely weather—and of course, there’s no time like the present to get ready to grill (and of course, we hope many Laura’s Lean Beef steaks, burgers and roasts are on your grill list for the summer). Take a bit of time to give your grill a going over to get it up and ready and running now.
1. Check the burners and grill racks inside. These parts are easily replaceable (any of the big box hardware stores have grill replacement parts) if necessary. If not, give them a thorough cleaning. Remove the grill rack and wash it with a steel wool pad; rinse it, dry it well, then rub it lightly with oil. Once grilling season starts, I don’t wash the grill grate. I turn the grill on, let it heat up and then give it a good brush with a wire grill brush—any food turns to ash and is easily brushed away.
2. Remove ceramic bricks and remove any old food debris that might have made it through the winter. Replace the bricks.
3. Turn the propane tank on and make sure there are no leaks (rub joints with soapy water - if there are leaks, you will see bubbles. Here’s a detailed how-to from Consumer Product Safety Commission. If you think there is a leak, consult a grill repair person—do NOT light your grill if there are leaks.)
4. If there are no leaks, turn the grill on. Check the burners. Make sure all the holes are open and burning. Turn it off and use a stiff wire brush to rub away any clogs you saw.
NOTE: Apparently spiders like to build nests in the hollow connections from the on/off knobs to the burners—you should run a small brush—built just for cleaning small tubes—into the tubes to knock out any blockages.
5. If you use charcoal, have a metal container nearby to discard ash the day after any grilling. Don’t just dump ash into any old trash bin, as even tiny pieces of smoldering charcoal may cause a fire.
6. Do buy a cover to protect your investment—it’s worth it. If you really want your old grill to sparkle, check out the high-heat resistant paints sold these days. A new coat of paint goes a long way to making it look great again.
When the summer heat sets in, you’ll be happy your grill is ready to go, keeping your kitchen cool.
For more tips and some great photos, check out Serious Eats, or Weber’s Grill blog.