Grilling season may have already begun for some, but for most, the grill makes its grand summer appearance on Memorial Day weekend. While we can’t wait to grill our favorite burgers (medium for me), barbecue, corn on the cob and whatever else excites your appetite, nothing puts a damper on a summer party faster than a grill that won’t light, smokes too much or cooks unevenly.
Don’t get burned, literally. Before turning up the heat, make sure your grill has its annual checkup. Some TLC can go a long way to a stress-free and fun-filled summer cooking outdoors.
Check Your Space
Where are you going to place your grill? On the back deck? Next to the pool? Once a decision is made, you’ll want to inspect the area. Leaves and dirt buildup from the fall and winter can become a safety hazard if not cleared. Also, consider using a tarp or grill mat under your grill to catch any grease or food debris to ensure your space is clean.
A Clean Grill is a Happy Grill
It’s important to check all connections, hoses and burners to ensure they are clean and not in need of replacement. Clean the outside of the lid and bowl using a sponge with a bucket of warm soapy water. In order to avoid rust and streaking, make sure to wipe the exterior of the grill dry. Now, if you’re going to use bristle brushes, always thoroughly wipe down the clean area afterwards to remove any bristles that may have come off during the cleaning process and stuck to the grill.
Be Careful, It’s Hot
“Did anyone check to see if there’s enough gas?” You’ve probably heard that one before. Check to see if you have enough gas or charcoal to get a start on the grilling season. If you’re using a gas grill, make sure the flame is blue with a yellow tip. If the flame is mostly yellow, that’s an indication there’s not enough pressure from the regulator or could mean there’s a leak in the line. To resolve this issue, check the regulator pressure by disconnecting and reconnecting the tank, or put soapy water on the tank, hoses and connectors to check for leaks.
Grab the Tongs!
Make sure all of your tools are clean and in working order. Even if you do not have a snazzy grill utility belt with all of the bells and whistles that would make even Batman jealous, a pair of tongs and a spatula are efficient enough to get the grill party started.
Plan a Trip to the Grocery Store
Seasonings, check! Barbecue sauce, check! Go through your kitchen cabinets, or plan a trip to the grocery store to ensure you have all the necessary ingredients to make your world famous beer can burgers; beer sold separately. You may want to consider buying in bulk if you really know how to throw down on the grill.
Now you’re ready to become grill master of the neighborhood. Happy grilling!