Preparing your BBQ
It’s that time of year again – barbecue season. While you pull out your barbecue and dust off the cover, here are a few
quick tips to help you get it in shape for the months ahead.
Breaking out the BBQ for the first time in many long months brings with it a certain thrill, one that can instantly be
dampened if the grill has rusted since its last use. Cast iron grates rust the easiest and must be kept coated with oil to
prevent oxidation (Rust) you’ll need to thoroughly clean a rusted grill before you ignite the charcoal or turn up the gas.
Most barbecue manufacturers recommend that your barbecue be cleaned thoroughly at least once a year. This is on top of your
usual cleaning after every use.
- Remove the grates and wash with hot soapy water.
- Wipe down the connections, lines and lid (inside and out) with hot soapy water.
- Remove old or dirty lava rocks and replace with new ones.
- Check the burner. If it looks good visually, light the barbecue and make sure it is supplying an even flame. If not, then
replace it. Most burners only last about 2 seasons, depending on how often you use your barbecue.
- While the grates and lava rocks are out, clean up any grease or ash that may have accumulated on the bottom of the barbecue.
- Check your fuel supply.
- Clean the tubes that supply gas to the burner. Bugs, dirt, and grease can clog them over the winter and prevent full gas
supply from coming through. Check your owner’s manual for the recommended cleaning technique for your grill.
- Check your cleaning brush, barbecue mitts and utensils. If any are worn or dirty, replace with new tools.
- Reconnect and replace all parts and fire it up to see that its working well and is ready to grill.
Seasoning your BBQ most important
When you purchase a new barbecue they come with grills made of stainless steel, porcelain or cast-iron. Stainless steel
and porcelain are slightly easier to maintain, but in our opinion nothing beats a traditional black metal cast-iron grill.
If you purchased a cast-iron grill you will want to take some preventative measures to make sure your grill lasts a long time
and doesn’t rust. The steps you are about to follow are called seasoning your grill.
When you first get your grill, wash the grill with warm soapy water and then dry it with paper towels. Make sure you don’t
let it drip dry as we want to make sure we’ve removed all moisture. Next take a paper towel or old dish cloth and some
vegetable oil (I use nut oil), and coat your grill with a light coat of oil. The oil adds a protective layer to the grill
as well as prevents food from sticking to it.
After you’ve coated your cast-iron grill, place it back inside your barbeque and heat your barbeque up on medium temperature
and allow the grill to heat up for 20-30 minutes. You have officially seasoned your grill!
If you used your barbeque prior to seasoning don’t lose too much sleep over it, because it is never too late to do it.
Seasoning your grill after having used it for a while unseasoned is better than never seasoning it all and will go a long
way to increase the life of your grill.
Another thing you should make sure you do immediately after you have finished cooking, is to take a wire brush designed
for barbeques and clean off any carbon debris left from your food. You should do this while the grill is still hot as it makes
removing the excess carbon significantly easier.
Another quick tip, although it isn’t 100% necessary is each time prior to cooking, I take some olive oil and an old dish cloth
and wipe over areas on the grill that look a little dry. Make sure you have the burners off when doing this or you could catch
yourself on fire! Again, applying the oil on the grill will not only help prevent your grill from rusting, it will also
make your food stick less to the grill resulting in much nicer grill lines!