Well, now that we're officially past the holiday season it's time to look forward to the next best time of the year, grilling season! With grilling season comes the warmer weather, the smell of charcoal, and the sizzle of proteins. Another thing that comes is the dreaded spring cleaning, barbecue included.
We decided to run some of our top tips, tricks and steps to help you get through your annual spring grill cleanup. Whether you grill all year long, or wrap it up like your first child to protect it from the rigors of winter, these tricks will have your grill looking and feeling like new again.
1. Hose & Connections
First item on the docket is making sure your hoses & connections are all still running safely and properly. With the gas off, turn your burner knobs open and closed to make sure nothing is seized. If everything is turning smoothly, next perform a soap or leak test on your grills hose & connections.
Older hoses can crack from the cold rigors of winter, and sometimes small critters like to bundle up in your barbecue and nibble on your hose. By spraying leak detector on your hose & connections, and fill the hose with gas (with the burners closed), you'll see any potential leaks from rising bubbles.
If you see a visible leak, you'll want to get that changed out ASAP to make sure you're grilling safely.
Next up is your burners, be sure to make sure all your ports are clear for an even cook. The best option is to remove each of your burners and dump out whatever soot and food debris has fallen in over the past year. Next, use a wire brush or scraper, and poke the burner ports to clean any potential blockages. Some companies such as Napoleon include a burner cleaning kit that has a small tool for this, now's the time to use it!
Side Note: Do not use anything that could break and get lodged in a burner port (A toothpick for an example).
If you're starting to notice some ports looking larger than normal, or the burner is feeling a little flimsy, it may be rusting through and you might want to look into replacements.
Moving onward we look at our grills, our foods "tanning bed" if you will. Again, using your wire brush here is a great tool to scrape off anything that may be stuck on from your last cook. If you haven't used your grills in awhile, it may be a good idea to burn it off to make sure to remove any potential mold. If you're finding your grills are looking a little extra rusty this spring, you may want to look into some replacements.
Side Note: If you have cast-iron grills, you'll want to do your yearly seasoning here to prevent future rusting.
4. Flavorizer Bars & Cook Box
Next up on the list, we have your units flavorizer bars and cookbox. They could have some pretty caked on grime from last years cooks. A great tool to use is a scraper kit to remove any caked on debris. This helps prevent flare ups and grease fires. If your flavorizer bars are starting to look a little "holey", or rusted you can search for some replacements here.
5. Grease Management System
Last, but certainly not least is your grills grease management system. Depending on your grill, you may have a large pan that funnels down into a small aluminum tray, or some units just feature this small tray. If you have the large pan, that scraper kit previously mentioned is great for removing all that grease.
We always recommend starting with a new aluminum drip tray, and monitoring it every so often to make sure it's not too full. This is another grease fire prevention tool.
Hopefully this list gets you up and running for spring time, or at least highlights some parts on your grill that may need replacing (it's never to early!). If you have anymore questions, feel free to call or stop by any of our 5 locations across Canada to speak to one of our barbecue experts. We have 2 Locations in Alberta with our Calgary North and Calgary South stores. 3 Locations are throughout the GTA in Burlington, Oakville & Etobicoke, Ontario.