Summer is here, and nothing says lazy summer evenings like firing up the BBQ. Everybody loves barbecues, it’s a basic rule of life. Very few people, however, like cleaning barbecues. But everything enjoyable in life comes at a cost, and BBQ maintenance is a fundamental part of enjoying delicious, grill cooked food.
It’s always going to be something of a chore, but, if you know what you’re doing, BBQ maintenance needn’t be difficult. Follow this guide, get your BBQ maintenance skills down to an art, and you might even enjoy looking after your beautiful grilling machine.
Of course, how you maintain your BBQ depends quite a bit on what sort of BBQ we’re talking about. Cleaning a gas grill involves slightly different steps to cleaning a charcoal fired barbecue. Gas grills tend to have a pretty long lifespan, but one sure way to shorten that lifespan is by neglecting to maintain your grill.
Luckily, there’s not a whole lot you need to do to maintain your gas grill. The most important thing you need to do concerns gas piping. Every month you should check your gas lines for leaks. Simply run some soapy water down the line and check for bubbles. If you see bubbles forming, you know you either need to tighten or replace the line.
The only other thing you should to do is clean your barbecue fairly regularly. With a gas grill, you need to make sure to wipe the grime from your burners. If these can be removed, take them out and rinse them in soapy water, but if not, simply give them a good rub with a damp cloth.
If your gas grill has burner protectors, these should also be removed and rinsed in soapy water.
Grate cleaning is not particular to gas barbeques; unfortunately, all barbeque maintenance necessitates cleaning the grill.
Grate or grill cleaning is essentially a question of elbow grease. Often, you just need to put in the muscle power to dislodge that burned on fat. Cleaning the grill whilst warm help, and making sure that you have a high-quality grease-cutting cleaner is also important.
It can help to heat a pan of water within the BBQ, with the lid on. This steam cleaning method won’t exactly clean the grill for you, but it should help to loosen some of the more stubborn, cached on grease.
When it comes to grill maintenance, there are a few season specific actions you need to bear in mind. It’s a sad, sad day when you finally decide that the time has come to break down and clean your grill ready for winter, but this you must do if you want your barbecue to last. Properly preparing your BBQ for winter storage will ensure that the grill survives the cold season and that the work you need to do in Spring is kept to a minimum.
Start by cleaning your grill as described above. Make sure you give it the most thorough scrub of the year, both inside and out. Now is the time to fix any niggling problems that you’ve had with your grill over the summer. If you have a gas grill this step might be more relevant. Next, you need to store your grill properly. Find somewhere dry to store your grill, but if this isn’t feasible, make sure that you purchase a good quality BBQ cover to protect your precious BBQ from the elements.
If you’ve properly stored your grill over the winter, then Spring maintenance should just be a question of unveiling your grill and making sure that you have all the relevant supplies in order.
Preparing a gas BBQ for the summer grilling season involves a few more steps. First, you should check for leaks, as described above. Next, you should make sure that your propane tank and your batteries are full. Batteries discharge more power in colder weather, so it’s especially important to check them after the Winter. If your igniter isn’t working, it may simply be a question of replacing your igniter.
Finally, good BBQ maintenance depends on having the right tools handy. Don’t scrimp on spending when it comes to BBQ tools – having the right equipment handy will make cleaning easier, and help ensure the longevity of your BBQ.
Worse, using cheap tools, or the wrong kind of tool can actually damage your BBQ. For example, try and avoid using steel tools to clean your BBQ as these might badly scratch the interior. Instead, opt for grill scrapers and scrubbers marketed as “safe”.
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