Outdoor grills take a beating. They face constant exposure to the elements, and propane grills can get as hot as 600°F when in use. Proper grill care is essential to stave off corrosion and equipment malfunction.
Gas grill maintenance is, fortunately, pretty straightforward. This article will review how to maintain a grill so you can enjoy family cookouts all summer long.
Outdoor Grill Maintenance and Usage Tips
1. Set your grill in a proper location.
The placement of your outdoor grill is important to consider. For safety reasons, your grill should be at least 10 feet from your home. You also want to choose an open and well-ventilated space to allow smoke and gas to quickly dissipate.
Be mindful of nearby fire hazards. Don’t set your grill near dry leaves or other combustible materials. Keep your spare propane tank in another location.
Also ensure that your grill is stable. Set it on an even, level surface so that all four legs of the grill are in firm contact with the ground.
2. Clean your grill grates.
Regularly cleaning your grill grates will help them last longer. Resist the impulse to scrub the grates with a grill brush immediately after cooking something. The grease and food residue will stick to the brush, and it’s unlikely that it will all come off the grate anyhow.
Instead, preheat your grill to 500° – 550°F for 15 minutes before you begin to cook. The high heat will scorch any lingering bits of food, and what doesn’t turn to ash will be easy to scrape off.
Occasionally, you can get a deeper clean by washing the grates with soap and water. Clean the grates as described above, then allow them to cool completely. Wash the grates in your kitchen sink with some warm soapy water. Determining how often to clean grill grates in this manner is dependent on how often you cook and what you cook. Once every five to ten uses or so is usually sufficient.
3. Remove accumulated grease and ash.
All outdoor grills have a grease trap to catch drippings and bits of food that fall through the grates. After each use, wait for the grill to cool and retrieve the grease trap. Scrape the accumulated grease, ash, and food residue into the trash. If the material in the tray is liquid or viscous, you can blot it up with paper towels before disposing of it. Never pour grease or fat down the drain.
Neglecting to clean the grease trap can attract racoons and other animals. It also increases the chances of a grease fire the next time you fire up the grill.
Note that some grills use disposable traps made of aluminum. It’s a good idea to have a few replacements on hand.
4. Clean interior surfaces.
You might notice flaky residue on the inside surface of your grill’s lid. These flakes almost look like paint chips, but they’re in fact deposits of carbon and scorched grease. Use a grill brush or scraper to remove these deposits so they don’t fall onto your food during cooking.
Also, periodically wipe down the A-shaped heat tents or flame tamers that cover your grill’s burners. Do this by first removing the grill grates, then bring the grill to high heat for 15 minutes. Use a grill brush to scrape residue off the heat tents. After they’ve cooled, you can wipe them down with a cloth or wash them with some soapy water.
5. Wipe down the exterior.
Keep the exterior of your grill clean, too. Wipe up drips and splashes quickly, and use soapy water to clean up surfaces that could be contaminated by bacteria. Be sure to wipe away any moisture quickly—especially if your grill is stainless steel.
Use an appropriate cleaner to wipe down the lid, knobs, and prep surfaces. If you have a stainless steel grill, use a stainless steel cleaner. If you have a porcelain grill, glass cleaner is a good option. Apply your cleaner with a paper towel or microfiber cloth. Never use harsh cleaners or abrasive pads because these will tarnish or scratch your grill’s finish.
6. Use a grill cover.
Use the lightweight polyester cover that came with your grill. Wait for the grill to fully cool before replacing the cover. Bear in mind that moisture can still find it’s way beneath the cover even if it’s properly secured. If you experienced high levels of humidity in your area, or if there was a substantial overnight temperature swing that generated condensation, remove the cover to mop up any accumulated water.
7. Perform a thorough inspection regularly.
Adequate grill maintenance also entails regular inspections for signs of wear and tear. Scan the entire exterior for signs of rust or corrosion. Check the nooks and crannies under the grill to confirm insects or rodents haven’t moved in. Confirm that the valve is firmly secured to the propane tank.
You should also check the fuel lines for leaks whenever you change the tank, or perhaps more frequently if you don’t use your grill very often. Do this by first opening the propane valve, then use a spray bottle to spritz a mixture of soap and water on the fuel lines. If you see soap bubbling up, you’ve just discovered a gas leak. Shut off the valve and do not use the grill until you’ve replaced the faulty fuel line.
How to Effectively Maintain All Your Home Equipment
Maintaining an outdoor grill is simple enough, but managing all the necessary maintenance tasks that come with homeownership can be overwhelming. It’s a tremendous amount to think about.
A home warranty can lighten the load. A traditional warranty covers repair costs for malfunctioning appliances and systems, but Liberty Home Guard also provides a variety of home maintenance services. At practically a moment’s notice, we can arrange for gutter cleaning, pest control treatment, septic tank pumping, and much more. Call us at (866)-931-1806 to learn more.