It only takes one sunny, 70-degree day to get Kansas Citians itching for springtime, and if you’re anything like us, you’re probably counting down the days until you can fire up the grill as well. Lucky for you, there’s a few crucial things you can do for your grill while you anxiously wait for warmer weather. Follow these steps below to get your grill ready for spring.
1. Deep-Clean Your Grill
Many think that the charred coating on the grates of your grill adds to the flavor, but after a few months of sitting dormant, you’ll need a fresh start before rebuilding all that flavor for this season. Here’s what you’ll need to get the job done right:
- Emery cloth or a wire brush (only for use on uncoated steel or iron grills)
- Non-scratch sponge or nylon brush
- Dish soap
- Warm water
- Take a look under the hood. If you see any shiny black flakes built up on the underside of the hood, it’s important to remove this burned-on residue in order to reduce the risk of a fire.
- Dry scrub the gunk from your grill grates, burners, and inside surfaces using your emery cloth or non-scratch sponge, depending if your grill is coated or uncoated.
- Next, use warm, soapy water to remove the more stubborn, built up grime and then wipe them down with a wet cloth to remove the filth.
- Lastly, if you have cast-iron or metal grates, we suggest you re-season your grill grates with oil, much like you would with a cast-iron pan. If you have chromed-steel or ceramic grates, there’s no need to do so. However, if after a deep cleaning grates show signs of rusting or chipping, consider replacing these ASAP.
Master Grilling Tip: To keep your grill in tip-top shape, do a quick clean right after cooking. Simply turn the heat on high for five minutes and then turn your grill off. Next, scrub the grates with a grill brush to get rid of the excess grime for a grill that’s ready to go for your next backyard barbecue!
2. Prep the Propane Tank
There’s nothing worse than firing up your grill for the first time and finding your propane tank is empty. Instead, avoid this barbecue buzzkill by checking your propane tank beforehand. You can do this by checking your grill’s built-in gas gauge, or if your grill doesn’t have one, you can use a bathroom scale or purchase an inexpensive grill gauge from your local hardware store to see how many grilling hours you have until your tank is empty.
Helpful Hint: If you tend to forget about your propane tank, or if you have several people in your household using your grill at different times, it’s smart to keep an extra full tank on hand. Just be sure to store it upright in your garage and in the shade!
3. Find Your Grill’s Hot Spots & Fix Them
In order to achieve master grilling status, you must first learn your grill’s hot spots in order to maintain even heat. An easy way to do this is to use the toast test. Cover your grill grates with a layer of bread. Next, run your burners on high for a few minutes and then cut the flame to assess the situation. Flip the pieces of bread over and see which are toasted the most. This is an easy way to indicate where the hot spots on your grill are.
Related Read: The 5 Best Veggies to Throw on the Grill This Season
From here, some grillers choose to note these heat patterns and simply place indirect-heat foods on cooler areas, and direct-heat foods on the warmer ones. However, if you’re looking to even out your grill’s hot spots, we suggest adding grates made of hard-anodized aluminum.