Caring for your grill
A clean, well-maintained grill will improve the flavor of all the food you cook and also help prevent grease fires. So before you sizzle those first steaks of the season, follow these tips:
- Examine the propane tank. Heavy rust, dents, or greenish-orange corrosion are signs that you need a new tank. On grills without a fuel gauge, disconnect the tank and stand it upright. Pour hot water onto the tank and feel it. The cool area lets you know how much gas is left.
- Check for gas leaks. Mix a small amount of dishwashing liquid and water in a spray bottle. Spray the soapy solution over connections and along the hose. Turn on the tank. Bubbling means you need to change a part or fix a loose connection.
- Focus on the firebox. Grease and food that fall through the grates often collect in the firebox. So periodically clean the drip pan and remove the grates and burners and clean the firebox. Check the owner’s manual for the appropriate cleaning solutions.
- Clean the grates. Clean them before cooking and right after, too. Use a stiff wire brush to clean both sides of the grates. Porcelain-coated, cast-iron grates require a nylon brush. Do not use soap. Just before you cook, oil the grates. Fold two paper towels into a tight pad and dip in a bowl of vegetable oil. Use tongs to draw the pad across the grates.
- Remove grease. Use mild, soapy water and a sponge to wipe the grease from painted exterior surfaces, then rinse. Do this again right after you’ve finished cooking. Eliminate stains on the lid by gently using a nylon pad dipped in soapy water. On a stainless exterior, use a soft cloth or sponge. Do not use harsh cleaners. Apply a grease-cutting solution, followed by an all-purpose cleaner. Finish by applying stainless polish.