Spring is here which means prime grilling season isn’t far behind! If you’re like most people, your grill has sat forgotten since the end of summer and may not even be clean. Don’t worry, we won’t tell! A few tips and tricks will get your grill ready for a new season of cookouts in no time.
Get Rid of Uninvited Guests
An unused grill looks pretty inviting to bugs and insects during the cooler months, so first things first: get rid of the uninvited guests that have taken up residence since you last used your grill. You can evict most of them by hosing down the grill. Rinse out all the nooks and crannies, making sure you get any abandoned spider webs to prevent future infestations.
Scrub Down All Surfaces
Once you’ve evicted all the little critters living in your grill, you’ll need to thoroughly clean it. If you cleaned your grill before putting it away last year, this will be an easy job. If not, be prepared to give it some elbow grease. With warm soapy water and a stainless steel brush, scrub the outside of the grill, the inside of the lid and the cooking grates. If you haven’t cleaned it in a while and there’s a lot of cooked-on gunk, spray it with a 50-50 vinegar and water solution and allow it to sit for an hour to soften before scrubbing.
Clean the Grease Traps
Now is the perfect time to clean the grease drippings out of the tray underneath the grill. A large buildup of grease in this tray is a fire hazard. Line the clean tray with aluminum foil so it’s easier to clean out next time.
Keep it Clean
It’s not enough to get your grill ready by cleaning it only once a year. No one wants to eat food from a dirty grill, so it’s important to keep it clean throughout the warmer months as well. After cooking on your grill, turn the heat up for a few minutes to burn off any leftover food debris. It works similar to using a self-cleaning oven cycle. Afterward, scrub the grates clean using a stainless steel brush or a balled-up piece of aluminum foil.
Keep it Covered
Keeping your grill covered is the best way to keep it clean and protected between cookouts. Take this opportunity to buy a grill cover. If you already have one, check it to be sure it’s in good shape with no rips or other damage. Cover your grill anytime you’re not using it, especially in bad weather, and you’ll be ready to grill whenever the mood strikes.