Phew, we made it! After a long and cold winter, it is finally spring! For many April showers not only bring May flowers, they also mark the return of barbecue season!
As a matter of fact, since May is such an important month in for grilling nuts, the good people at the Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association have deemed May to be National BBQ Month! So if your grill has been in hibernation over the winter, here is a great checklist to make sure it is in top working condition.
Replace the Grease Trap
Lots of modern grills come with some form of grease collection. If you haven’t replaced the grease trap, now is a great time to do it.
Now is also a time to look and see if there is any way of improving the grease trap. Does the grease tend to pool in the bottom of your grill before falling into the trap? Maybe you can lay down aluminum foil so you can easily collect the grease every couple of cooks and avoid a grease fire down the road.
Give it a Thorough Spring Cleaning
I’ll be honest, I don’t tend to clean my grills enough considering the abuse they get all year round, but I do try to give them a good thorough cleaning every spring.
For my gas grill, I’ll break out the shop vac and suck up any leftover pieces of carbon or built up gunk inside them. For my charcoal grills, I’ll also use my shop vac to suck up any leftover ash or charcoal. Any hard to get out bits will usually come free with a plastic putty knife.
Next, I’ll remove my grill grates and give them a good cleaning in hot, soapy water.
Lastly, I’ll clean the entire outside of my grill with hot soapy water, working from the top down. Then I’ll reassemble the whole works.
Inspect for Damage
Many of us take for granted that when we cook with our grills we are literally playing with fire. In the case of a gas grill, we are playing with fire on top of a 20-pound propane cylinder, just meters away from our home.
Needless to say, it is important to inspect your grill for any damage that has gone unnoticed. Make sure your burners are not rusted out and that the hose that connects the tank to the burners is not torn or broken anywhere.
Then move on to make sure everything else is working as it should. Easy things to overlook are broken hinges, damaged handles, and broken side tables.
If anything is broken, please resist the urge to replace with generic parts from the same place you buy toothpaste. Most modern grill manufacturers have fantastic customer service. You should always call with your serial number and order the correct fitting replacement parts. It may even be covered by your warranty!
Top Up Your Fuel
No matter if you prefer charcoal or propane, you should make sure you have enough; because there is nothing worse than getting your grill ready for spring and then running out of fuel during the first cook of the season!
So take the tank to the closest gas station and get it filled, and make a run to the hardware store for a bag or two of charcoal.
Replace Your Dangerous Wire Brush
If you’re still using a bristle barbecue brush, do yourself a favor and throw it out! The bristles can come loose and be ingested, and if that happens it can result in surgery to have it removed.
Luckily for you, we have the perfect replacement solution: the Juniper BBQ Scraper, a handcrafted product made in Canada. As you use the Juniper BBQ Scraper, grooves will naturally form to match your grate and leave you with a cleaner grill than ever!