Spring Maintenance: How To Get Your BBQ Ready for Grilling Season
Spring is coming! The snow is thawing and trees are budding, and that means one thing – grilling season is here!
It can be tempting to fire your grill up as soon as it’s been freed from its snowy prison, but after sitting idle through the cold winter, your grill will appreciate a little TLC before you stoke the flames.
Running a few simple tests and doing a thorough spring cleaning can extend the life of your grill and improve the quality of your food. Here’s how to get your BBQ ready for grilling season:
Test for Gas Leaks
Gas leaks can be caused by something as simple as a loose connection or a damaged gas hose. To check your grill for gas leaks, follow these steps:
- Mix a 50/50 solution of soap and water.
- Brush the solution onto your gas hose and any connection points.
- Open your gas supply. If there are leaks, you will see bubbles forming at the source of the leak.
- Close the gas supply.
What To Do If You Have A Gas Leak
If you see bubbles, determine where they are coming from:
- If they are coming from the hose, replace the hose
- If you see bubbles coming from a connection point, disconnect and reconnect your hose to make sure things are fitting properly and that connections are not cross-threaded. Run the test again. If you still see bubbles, tighten the gas hose and regulator. You can tighten the regulator and gas tank using your hands, but you should use a wrench to tighten the gas hose and manifold.
Check Your Burners
During the cold winter months, spiders like to make a warm and cozy home in your grill’s venturi tubes. These tubes supply heat to your burners, and if spiders or other insects have infiltrated your grill, they can obstruct the flow of gas and cause uneven flames or even flashback fires.
Common signs of a blockage in the burner are:
If you find a blockage in your venturi tubes, you can clean them out using a special venturi brush.
Before you light your grill, remove your burners and inspect and clean them. Here’s how to remove your burners:
Make Sure Your Batteries are Full
Batteries discharge more power in colder temperatures, so be sure to test your igniter’s batteries before you start your grill for the first time.
If your igniter isn’t working, the solution may be as simple as replacing the battery If a new battery doesn’t get things going, check that the electrodes are secure at the back of the igniter button and the ignition module, and that there is no damage to the igniter wires.
Check Your Propane Tank
To check if your propane tank is full, place it on your bathroom scale. A full 20 pound tank will weigh between 37-38 pounds, while an empty tank will weigh closer to 18 pounds.
Clean Your Grill
Your grill needs a thorough spring cleaning before you light it up for the first time. Here’s how to clean your BBQ:
- Scrub the cooking grates, heat plates, and warming racks with a grill brush, then wash with warm, soapy water. Dry thoroughly. Apply a coating of vegetable oil to your cooking grates to create a non-stick coating. This is especially important for cast-iron grates, which will rust if you don’t protect them properly.
- Remove the grease tray and wash with warm, soapy water.
- Wipe down the inside of the grill cabinet to remove any food particles or other debris.
- Rinse the outside of your grill with a solution of vinegar and water. For tougher spots, use a specially designed grill cleaning solution.
Once your grill is in tip-top shape for grilling season, there’s nothing stopping you from creating culinary masterpieces all summer long.
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