It’s that time of year! The warm weather is finally here, your flowers are in bloom and it’s time to get your barbecue ready so that you can spend time outside to enjoy it all! So what do you need to get your barbecue ready? Here are a few cleaning tips that will start you on your way.
Cleaning your barbecue after each use is important but a thorough cleaning should be done once, even twice a year, preferably before and during barbecue season.
1. Cleaning tips for your propane barbecue:
The first step in cleaning your barbecue is to clean the tubes that connect your propane tank to your barbecue. Detach the tubes at both ends and wash them out by using a gentle detergent such as soap and warm water. While the water is running through the tubes, check them for leaks or cracks. If you find any or see any water leaking out, it’s time to replace your tubes. Once the tubes are cleaned and left to air dry (make sure they are dry), re-attach them securely to your barbecue and propane tank.
You’ll want to check other areas of your barbecue specifically where the tubes of your propane tank meet your barbecue. Dirt, dust, cob webs and insects may be resting in this area so you’ll need to clean it to avoid any flare ups when lighting your barbecue. Remember, safety first, grilling and fun in the sun second!
Remove and clean your grates. Warm soapy water and a scouring pad will remove any crust or grease that has accumulated on the grates
. Do not let them air dry, because they can rust. If you find any rust on your grates, be sure to replace them, your food shouldn’t come in contact with rust. Once they are clean, set them aside and check your burners. To do this, you’ll need to fire up your barbecue and check that the burners are working and that the flames are evenly distributed, otherwise it may be time to replace your burners.
2. Cleaning tips for your Charcoal barbecue:
It’s a new year so start fresh and dump last year’s coals! Old coals mean grease build up which can cause flames to flare up and burn food. Before you replace your old coals with new ones, you should thoroughly clean your barbecue by getting rid of any excess grease, crumbs or dust before using it.
You’ll want to use a gentle cleaner, like warm water and dish soap, and a scouring pad is not suggested for this process as you don’t want to damage the base of your barbecue.
So now that you’re barbecue is prepped for the season, why not try out some of our delicious grilled chicken recipes like this beer can chicken or these tropical chicken kebabs.
Here are a few extra tips for keeping you and your family safe during barbecue season.
- Never use a water squirt bottle on a flare-up.
- Keep your barbecue at a safe distance from your walls, windows and especially wooden fences.
If your barbecue doesn’t ignite, turn off the gas and wait a few minutes before lighting it again.
- Keep children and pets at a safe distance from your barbecue.
- ALWAYS Make sure your barbeque is turned off, and completely cooled before covering.
For more detailed instructions on how to prepare a new cast iron grill or to “season” an old one once you’ve cleaned it out here are some more tips from Weber:
- To maintain the wonderful searing/grilling performance of your cast iron grates or griddle, as well as their longevity, some special care is required. As with any cast iron cooking tool, proper seasoning is most important.
- First time use: Before using a cast iron grate or griddle, wash it thoroughly with a mild dishwashing liquid to remove the protective wax coating applied for shipping. Rinse with hot water and dry completely with a soft cloth or paper towel. NEVER ALLOW TO DRAIN DRY and NEVER WASH IN A DISHWASHER. Now season the grates/griddle to prevent rust and sticking.
- Seasoning: A solid vegetable shortening is recommended for the initial seasoning. Spread a thin coating of solid vegetable shortening over the entire surface, including all corners, with a paper towel. Do not use salted fats, such as butter or margarine.
- Gas grills: Preheat grill for 15 minutes, place grates/griddle in grill. Turn burners to medium-off-medium with lid closed. Allow grill to heat grates/griddle for 1 to 1½ hours. Turn all burners to OFF, and leave cooking grates/griddle in grill until they are cool.
- Your cast iron cooking grates/griddle are now ready to use. To prevent rusting, they should be re-seasoned frequently, particularly when new. If rusting occurs, clean with a steel brush. Re-apply vegetable shortening and heat as indicated above.
- Maintenance for every time you grill: Don’t do a burn-off after you grill, rather leave the cooking residues on the grates/griddle to keep a protective coating on the cast iron. Then do a burn-off just before you grill. Brush off charred residues with a steel brush rather than a brass brush.
Thanks to Theresa Stahl, Weber-Stephen Products Co., http://weber.com/