Barbecue Grill Maintenance & Accessory Guide

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The backyard grill is a great way to cook healthy and nutritious meals during the summer months without heating up the kitchen. Your grill will last for many years as long as the grill is cleaned and receives some regular maintenance.

Always Clean the Grill After Each Use

One way to easily keep a barbeque grill clean is to keep it clean while it is being used and to do some quick cleanup as soon as the food is removed from the grill. Always use a grill pan or aluminum foil while grilling. This will catch any juices or bits of food that may fall while cooking. Some manufacturers suggest seasoning the cooking grates before the first use to create a non-stick surface and extend the life of the grates.

After the food is removed from the grill grates, let the grill cool down slightly and then use a stiff wire brush on the grates to clean off any food residue. If the grill has stainless steel grates, use a brass wire brush. Use stainless steel brushes on cast iron grills.

Here’s how to clean grease and baked on foods off of grill grates:

  • Cover the grates with a clean piece of aluminum foil.
  • Heat the grill for 10 to 15 minutes on high heat to turn the caked on grease into a white powder.
  • Brush off the powder with a cleaning brush.
  • After the grill has cooled off, wipe down with a moist cloth.

Before putting the grill away until the next use, do some final cleanup:

  • Empty the ashes from a charcoal grill and wash the compartment that holds the ashes.
  • Turn off the propane tank and make sure the gas is turned off.
  • Clean the outside of the grill with a soft cloth, warm water and mild dishwashing soap.
  • Wash glass parts with warm water and ammonia.
  • Make sure the grill is dry before putting it away.

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Perform Periodic Maintenance

Periodic maintenance will help prevent any problems with your barbeque grill before they happen. Charcoal grills should be checked regularly for heat damage from hot coals and for tiny holes that can become larger over time.

Gas grills also need to be checked before each use. Make sure gas lines are not twisted or pinched.

Burners should be inspected on a regular basis. Look for corrosion or any other type of damage. When inspecting the burners, look at the following:

  • Check the burner assembly for corrosion damage.
  • Look at the seams along the edges near the burner ports for corrosion.
  • Use a pipe cleaner to clean clogged gas holes.
  • Tighten legs and shelves to keep the grill stable and steady.

Storing a BBQ

Before putting the barbeque away in a corner of the garage for the winter, put a cover over the grill. Purchase a sturdy cover that will keep the grill dry, rust-free and away from outside elements such as leaves and dust. By keeping the grill clean while it is in storage, dirt and other particles cannot get in and clog the burners.

Here are a few more tips to follow before storing a barbeque grill for an extended period of time:

  • Remove the igniter battery, burners, flame tamers and cooking grates.
  • Store the propane cylinder outdoors in a well ventilated area.
  • When storing a barbeque on concrete, place a piece of cardboard under the barbeque.

Accessories for a BBQ Grill

There’s a world of food that you can cook on a barbeque grill and a collection of accessories will make your grilling experience even more incredible. One of the mandatory accessories for a barbeque grill is a good set of grilling tools. Tool sets come in all types and sizes. A good grilling tool set should include a fork, spatula, tongs and a grill brush. Other tools that may come in handy include skewers and a thermometer.

The master griller may want to invest in a rotisserie, a rib rack or a grilling basket:

  • Rotisseries are helpful when you want to roast a piece of meat instead of grilling it.
  • Rib racks make it easy to grill ribs, chicken parts. Just slide the ribs or drumsticks in between the racks and start grilling.
  • Grilling baskets are perfect for those meats, such as fish, and vegetables that can easily fall through the grill grates. Put the food inside the basket, close it up and set it on the grates.
  • If you like homemade pizza, try out a pizza stone.

A barbeque grill is the perfect accessory for any home or garden. It is the centerpiece of the family picnic and a kitchen replacement in the summertime. Keep your barbeque grill around for many years with some easy preventive maintenance measures. And, if in doubt about how to care for your grill, consult the owner’s manual.

Last Updated: May 27, 2012
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About Coletta Teske Coletta Teske has 25 years' experience in tech journalism, as well as home and gardening topics. She has freelanced for Fortune 500 companies such as Boeing and Microsoft, published more than two dozen computer books for Prima Publishing and Macmillan, and worked as a freelance correspondent for West Hawaii Today. Coletta has been an avid gardener since she was 2 years old. While living in Hawaii, she achieved a lifelong dream of becoming a certified master gardener.

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