Spring is the beginning of a beautiful grilling season. Gone is the harsh chill of winter, leaving us only with afternoons of sun and steaks on the searing grill top. Prepping your grill for the season ahead ensures you’re ready for anything and everything a barbecue can throw your way.
Even if you stored your grill safely and used grill covers throughout the idle months, it’s still wise to give it a good scrubbing before using it. Start off simple by gathering the necessary supplies:
- Bucket of warm water
- Soap or cleaning solution
- Scrubbing sponge
- Wire brush
- Paper towels
There’s a good chance a layer of leftover residue might be present from last grilling season. Wipe down the exterior parts of the grill with your soapy rag before moving to the interior in order to remove any grease splatters under the lid and on the grate.
Once you remove any splatters or stains, use a specialized cleaner to give your grill luster and shine. When it comes to the grates, a wire brush is strong enough to remove the charred remains of any food or rust that may have accumulated in cookouts passed.
Finish your clean sweep by wiping up any other debris with the sponge. Sponging helps to prevent food residue from accumulating when you fire up the grill. And while you’re at it, take off your outdoor sofa and loveseat covers, table/chair set covers, and sectional covers move right into a deep cleaning of the furniture as well!
What’s My Line?
Checking your line regularly is crucial for grill maintenance and safety. If you find the line to be compromised by tears or rips, it’s vital that you take care of the situation and save yourself the expense of having to buy a new grill altogether. Make sure to do the same for any burners. You don’t want any holes risking your backyard barbecue dreams of going up in flames.
Finally, examine the nooks and crannies of your grill for any vermin that might’ve taken up refuge during winter. If you find yourself playing unwitting landlord, be sure to call your local animal control service to ensure they’re relocated to a more suitable home far from your grill and sectional covers.
Another task for a grill master to tackle is taking apart the grill and recognizing each element as well as its designated function. By doing this, you’ll have the reassurance that all mechanisms are not only present and accounted for, but are in working order for the season ahead.
Inspect each element and give it a thorough clean with a soapy rag before putting all the pieces back together. This is an especially crucial step when it comes time to test your grill. Before you get ahead of yourself, however, stop to observe one last detail.
Did you forget the grease trap? The feature responsible for collecting the fatty waste of the grilling season will require some attention. Take the time to not only clean out the grease pit with the help of custom tarps for deck protection but to replace it completely. This ensures that you will have a clean and healthy grill for warm spring nights.
Testing your grill for any leaks of gas or heat (in the case of charcoal models) is perhaps the most important step to take when preparing for spring barbecues. As you connect propane to the grill, make sure that the tank’s gauge is turned into the OFF position before hooking the line. Remove the safety cap from the tank and connect it.
Turn the hand wheel slowly to the left, setting the valve to the open position. The clearest indication of a propane leak is smell. If you smell something with an odor similar to rotten eggs, then you have a gas leak on your hands. If you don’t smell the gas, then you may not have a leak, but you should keep in mind that not all gas leaks emit an aroma.
If you notice your tank is emptying more quickly than normal, that’s a surefire sign of a leak. Calling a grilling or propane professional to your home is the best way to handle a grill that’s leaking gas. Do not attempt to fix the leak yourself or use your grill while it is compromised. Gas leaks are a delicate issue and can be very dangerous if not dealt with by an expert.
Frequent rain showers are a staple of springtime weather in most parts of the country. Having a plan in case of surprise spring showers will help immensely if the forecast happens to call for rain on the day of your barbecue.
A great idea for uncovered decks and patios are canopy tents. Canopies keep you warm and dry while the rain patters its roof. Placed properly, your grill’s smoke will be pulled outside the canopy, leaving you and your guests to enjoy a good rainstorm without getting soaked.
Before the storm rolls in, preserve the integrity of your backyard dining area with the help of grill covers, sofa and loveseat covers, and even custom tarps that will keep your spring plants protected. The steaks may not sizzle that day, but you can rest easy knowing that your grill and other outdoor accessories will weather the storm.