There’s nothing quite like firing up the BBQ Grill and enjoying some juicy steaks, ribs, hamburgers or other food with family and friends. Whether you’re planning a barbecue as part of a holiday celebration with your loved ones or just want to get some good food ready so you and your friends can enjoy the game, a good grill is key to many of life’s simplest and most enduring pleasures.
But novice bbq users and experienced grill masters alike can all tell you one thing: The cleanup operation after a big barbecue can be quite serious. You simply can’t afford to ignore proper cleanup. Fat, charred meat and other remains will inevitably build up on your grill as you use it. And if you don’t clean those things off carefully, not only will you not be able to able to cook meat as thoroughly as before but whatever you do cook just won’t taste as good.
A bbq grill is like any other machine. Over time, it deteriorates. It requires maintenance to keep it functioning at its peak. To keep your grill in top working order, we’ll give you a few indispensable BBQ grill maintenance tips. We’ll also tell you a bit about some of The Original Flame’s best bbq grills and how to keep them in tip top shape.
Threats to Your BBQ Grill
To know how to keep your grill functioning at its best, you first have to know your enemy. Here are some of the most important things that can damage or degrade your grill:
- Grease Buildup: This is probably the most obvious threat to your grill’s integrity. As you cook, fat and grease will drip off each and every piece of meat that you place on your grill. Enough grease buildup can prevent your grill from heating properly by blocking flames from rising in crucial areas.
- Ash and Food Residue: The threat posed by ash or built up chunks of food is much the same as that posed by grease. When not cleaned properly, bits of ash or leftover food can slip into nooks and crannies on your grill and prevent it from working to its potential.
- Rust: Rust can especially become a problem for your grill after a few years. If grates start to rust, they may become brittle or impart a foul taste to any of the meat you cook. Rusty burners won’t be able to communicate heat properly. If the exterior begins to rust, this may hamper your ability to do things like turn knobs.
- Weather: Bad weather — particularly very cold, wet or humid weather — can damage your grill. Prolonged exposure to humidity will cause rusting and very cold weather may cause parts of the grill to freeze, become brittle or crack. Grilling in cold temperatures can also make heating more difficult.
Some General BBQ Maintenance Tips
BBQ grill maintenance tips can be broken up into two basic categories — those related to cleaning and those related to storage. Here are some important things to remember about each of these.
As a general cleaning tip, we recommend always pre-heating your grill before cooking anything. If any grease, ash or leftover food from the last time you cooked happens to be stuck to any part of your grill, heat will tend to loosen these things. It will then be easier to scrape them off with a good grill brush. Pre-heating also disinfects your grill.
Additionally, we recommend briefly turning up your grill to maximum heat just as soon as you’re finished cooking. This will again cause grease, ash and food to drip off the grates and will make everything easier to clean.
When you clean your grill, be sure to hit all of the important areas by scrubbing with a brush and using grill cleaner spray to remove debris. The racks or grates will be where you’ll find most of the grease or ash, but you should also thoroughly scrub the barriers, which are the metal plates between the grates and the burners. Much of the grease that drips off the grates will find its way onto the barriers. We strongly recommend thoroughly cleaning the entire interior of your grill at least once a year.
To prevent rusting, cover your grill as soon as it has cooled down. When covered, the interior is better protected from the rusting and other damage that weather can cause.
If you happen to notice that flames are unevenly distributed when you flare up your grill, this is a sign that you need to clean your burners. To do this, remove the burners and pass a wire or pipe cleaner through them. For good measure, you may also want to tap the burners a bit to force out any accumulated debris.
When cleaning grates, burners or other removable parts, we recommend soaking them in soapy water for a few minutes and scrubbing them if appropriate.
Cleaning your grill’s exterior is pretty simple. Just wipe it down with a sponge or towel, as you would a car. Soap and water should be enough for this, but especially stubborn stains may require cleaning spray.
There are also a few storage-related BBQ maintenance tips that you could never forget. Always be sure to store your grill in a cool and dry place. High humidity will cause rusting, and extreme temperatures can either crack or warp parts of the grill. Regularly coating the grill’s metal parts in cooking oil is another excellent way to prevent rusting over the long term.
If you decide to store your gas grill indoors during the winter, you should disconnect all of its propane tanks. Then tightly cover the grill’ gas line with a bag or a piece of tape to prevent insects and other unwanted things from getting inside.
If you decide to store it outside, you may keep your propane tanks connected, but you must be absolutely certain that they have all been shut off. Outdoor storage also means that you’ll have to cover the grill with a tarp or other covering to protect it from the weather.
Our Grills and What They Can Do For You
Now that you have some idea of how to keep your grill in good working order, let us tell you a bit about our grills. The Original Flame Inc. is a major BBQ supplier in Peterborough and the Kawartha Lakes area. We offer the following two main grill brands:
- The SABER Grill: SABER BBQ grills are a great way to affordably turn your backyard into fantastic kitchen. Known for their longevity, precision design and reliable ability to heat everything evenly, SABER grills can left you cook everything from a giant steak to a vegetarian dish. Learn more about them here.
- Kamado Joe Ceramic Grills: Kamado Joe Ceramic Grills are an excellent portable option that you can take with you to cook meat on the go. Because Kamado Joe grills are small, they are relatively easy to clean and maintain. We offer a wide variety of different models and accessories for each of these grills.
Having the perfect grill is a wonderful thing. The pleasure of using it and tasting your own handiwork is even better. But without proper maintenance, these joys are fleeting at best. The Original Flame can help set you up with the grill of your dreams. But with our BBQ & Grill maintenance advice, you’ll be able to make — and keep — that dream a reality.