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I'm happy to say it's time to pull your backyard grill out of storage! But before you start cooking up a storm, there are a few things you can do to ensure that your grill is shipshape. Follow these tips for tuning up your outdoor grill just in time for the summer season.
Clean the Grates
The grates on a well-used backyard grill are usually covered with a charred coating, so the first step is to remove the grates from the grill and use a dry nylon brush to get rid of as much of this coating as you can. Next, wash the grates with regular dish soap and water. Be sure to rinse them completely so no soap residue is left behind. If you see areas of rust on your grates, it's a good idea to replace them.
Clean the Grill's Exterior
After a long winter in the shed or garage, your grill is likely to be covered in dirt and dust. Use a sponge, dish soap, and water to remove dirt from the exterior of your grill. After you finish, dry it with a soft cloth. The crevice tool on your vacuum cleaner is helpful for removing cobwebs and dust from the base of a grill.
Inspect the Propane Tank for Damage
If you have a grill that runs on propane gas, it's important to inspect the tank after several months in storage. You can find leaks in your tank by putting soapy water on its hoses and valves. After turning on the tank, look closely to see if any bubbles appear. If you see any, it means there is a leak. Try tightening the connections and repeat the test. If you see bubbles appear again, you need to replace the item that has the leak.
Check for Loose Parts on Your Grill
Lift the lid of your grill to see if the handle is secure. If it jiggles, you need to tighten the connection. Also, if you have a grill that sits on wheels, roll it around the patio to make sure the wheels are in good working order. This is the time to tighten loose screws and address any issues with the structure of your grill.
Evaluate the Condition of Your Grilling Accessories
Another tip to follow as you prepare for a summer of grilling is to check all of your grilling accessories. Look at your grill brush to see if its bristles are clean and intact. Test your meat thermometer to make sure it's providing an accurate reading. I like to lay out all of my grilling accessories on a table to get a close look at each one.
Stock Up on Grilling Necessities
Finally, if you have a charcoal grill, check to see if you need to pick up a bag of charcoal briquettes. Also, make sure you have a bottle of lighter fluid and long matches for lighting your grill. Alternatively, if you have a propane grill, check the level of gas in the tank. Most importantly, look in your freezer to check on your supply of burgers, steaks, and hot dogs!
Thanks for reading. - Alan