Grills! Grills! Grills!

bbq meat dropWith spring right around the corner, fair-weather only BBQ-ers will be dragging their   appliances out from storage.  And like many, they’ll simply crank it, light it, and proceed without any tune up.  Most people who never do any BBQ maintenance are usually the ones who can never understand why there’s always flare ups and everything burns before it cooks.  Even if one is a year round Q-man (or Q-woman) , setting aside a few minutes once a year for a scheduled maintenance will not only safeguard against any future mishap, but may also improve cooking skills.

                  The first step of BBQ maintenance  is to turn off the tanks, disconnect, then remove them.  Open the lid, remove the grill and all of the lava rocks or bars. (The next step varies depending on the make and model of the BBQ.)

                  On the bottom of the main body will be either  one or two flat burners or, s- shaped venturi tubes.  Either way they also need to be removed.  If there is excessive rust and the holes in the burners or tubes have merged together in more than one spot, it’stime to replace them. If the holes are still intact, a wooden toothpick can easily clean out each one . ImageAfter wards a gentle  knock will  remove any  loose rust.  A wire brush and shop vacuum can be used to clean the outside of the burners and the inside of the BBQ’s body.  It’s also important  that cobwebs, which may have formed during storage,  are removed, otherwise they can disturb the flow of natural gas or propane.

                  Return  the burners and  lay down the bottom grate. If the lava rocks are full of grease and are crumpling apart they too should be replaced, otherwise they may not retain the heat needed for ideal grilling conditions.  Lava rock and bars can also be washed  in detergent if they are still in relatively good condition. Rinse thoroughly before resetting them back on the grate,  and always place them  in an evenly spaced pattern.

                  After reconnecting the gas and before igniting, drench the hoses and connections with soapy water . Turn on the gas but do not ignite. If the hoses are old and cracked with holes and are in need of replacement, or,  if the connection is loose, the soapy water will bubble as a warning.

                  The last step deals  with  the  dirtiest part of the BBQ, the top cooking grates.  One way is to clean them is with an oven degreaser .  An easier method is simply return the grates to their proper position and cover with aluminum foil, shiny side down.  Ignite the Q, close the lid and let it burn away at high. After about twenty minutes, turn off the burners and lightly brush away the remaining ash.

                  Taking the time once a year to tune up the BBQ may not only improve cooking skills it will most likely extend the life of the appliance.

                  Happy grilling.

til the week ends



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