Did you know that roughly 72 percent of U.S. households have a grill? That means more than 200 million people can enjoy one of summer's greatest activities: grilling on the patio. If you're one of the millions of lucky Americans who take advantage of "grilling season" (mid-May through mid-September) there are several things you can be doing to ensure that your grill is properly cared for so you can grill up delicious flavors all summer long.
Know Proper Maintenance Techniques
First, you should regularly check for propane leaks throughout the summer by running soapy water along the gas line and connections. Bubbles indicate a leak that can be fixed by tightening the connection or replacing the line. Second, to maintain your grill it's important to keep it covered when not in use. If you can't find a grill cover, try to keep it stored in a location where it will be safe from the elements to avoid rusting. While thorough cleanings are essential for increasing the lifespan of your grill, quick, regular cleanings are also important and should be done after every use. Make sure you brush down the grates and wipe down the exterior with a wet rag or Windex.
Deep Clean Your Grill Annually
If you are a seasonal griller, experts recommend deep-cleaning your grill once or twice every year. If you grill year-round, however, deep-cleaning should be done every few months. Keep an eye out for gunk build-up to know when your grill needs to be cleaned. Between veggies falling through the grates, marinade splattering on the hood, and burger grease coating the burners, it's fairly easy to determine when your grill is ready for a hearty deep-clean. When the time comes, follow these instructions for quick, effective grill cleaning.
Give the grates a hard scrub with your grill brush. Even if you are meticulous about brushing the grates before and after use, you should begin every grill-cleaning session by using a little extra force to make sure you get off all the chunks of charred veggies, meats, or fish. Don't be afraid to use the brush's metal scraper to tackle those super-stubborn spots. Once you've thoroughly scrubbed the top side of the grates, remove them from the grill and repeat the necessary steps to ensure the bottom sides of the grates are equally scrubbed.
After removing the grates, you'll likely notice the grime built up on the burner protectors. These protectors are designed to keep grease and other matter from clogging the actual burners and tend to need the most attention when cleaning. Remove these protectors and place them in a bucket with warm, soapy water. After letting them soak for a few minutes, take a kitchen sponge and give them a good scrub. The grime should come right off.
While the burner protectors are drying, remove the actual burners and rinse them with soapy water. If your burners are difficult to remove, take a damp sponge and give them a thorough wipe-down. Even though they are protected, you'll be surprised at the amount of grime that you remove.
With the grates, protectors, and burners all clean, it's now time to tackle the biggest step of grill cleaning: the bottom plates. Remove these underneath plates - they should pull right out. Using your grill brush, scrape and scrub off big chunks of char. Depending on the level of grime your grill has, you can use the sponge and soapy water to remove even more dirt, though this is not essential for the cleaning process. While these plates are out, use your grill brush to scrape away any chunks and debris from the bottom tray. Most of these trays are easily removable, allowing you to dispose of loose grime by simply tossing it in the trash. If you can't remove your tray, use a vacuum to remove the debris. Again, you can use your soapy sponge for an added level of cleaning if desired.
With all grill elements clean and dry, it's time to re-assemble your grill. Carefully replace the bottom tray, and slide in the plates. Cover the burners with the clean protectors and secure grates in their prospective areas. With your grill in tip-top shape, it's time to get the rest of your patio perfect for summer get-togethers. Visit RST Brands today to see how you can spruce up your patio and create your ideal outdoor living space.