Grill Tips + Tools
Whether emerging from winter hibernation or optimizing performance, spring is an ideal time to clean and prep your grill for the seasons ahead.
Here are some tips and tools to help improve your grill’s performance and enhance your cooking experience:
CLEAR & CLEAN
Clean your grill from the inside out, don’t “burn it off.”
A charred coating in the cook box or on the grates doesn’t add flavor—it just hinders performance and flavor.
Scrape both to remove excess buildup and then clear out the debris, particularly around burners, connectors or other instruments.
Once you’ve cleaned the grates you may also want to oil them, which will prevent sticking and help with future cleaning.
For gas grills, use a stainless steel brush to clean off the burner tubes.
Brush across the portholes to clear all oxidation and debris from the ports.
Spray water through burner tubes where insects like to hide during winter.
Clean out the bottom catch tray and grease pan.
Use a plastic scraper to push all grease and debris into the grease pan.
Remove and replace the pan liner with a fresh one.
Both of the above will help reduce excess smoke and flare-ups.
Eye the fuel lines for cracks and check for leaks.
Perform a leak check when the tank is reconnected and beware of any unusually strong propane gas odors.
Apply a soapy water solution to the connection areas and cracks to identify any escaping gas bubbles.
Inspect the rest of your grill for rust or other damage that needs attention.
Grill problems pop up at bad times so try to stay ahead of the curve to spare yourself from having to make fixes while cooking.
Make sure you have plenty of propane or charcoal on hand.
Propane tanks will be cheaper during the cold months than during the season when everyone wants one.
Two tanks are always better than one. Having a backup allows you to rotate your resupply so that you never run out at the wrong time.
Check your grilling supplies.
A new grill brush is a must. The one from last year is dirty, worn and can already be shedding bristles if used too frequently.
A new meat thermometer is also good idea, so if you don’t have one or don’t have one in good condition then a new one is well worth the money.
Don’t forget tin foil. This is all-purpose grill station staple keeps food warm, protects surfaces, makes cleaning easier and so much more.
Use tongs. Forks will pierce the meat, causing flavorful juices to flow out and the cut to lose its shape.