Grillmasters: What You May Not Know Already About Grill Prepping for Barbecue Season
Just the thought of the drifting smoke and aroma from the barbecued ribs, chicken and brats emanating from the grill is enough to make anyone yearn for summer! Once the weather breaks, you’ll hit that first 80-degree weekend when you’re ready to break out the grill, but prepping your grill is going to take a little time. Here are the action items to get your grill ready for that first 80-degree weekend, and barbecue season in general:
- First, open your grill, remove any debris that flew in over the winter, and if you didn’t do so already, remove any ash or debris in the bottom of the grill.
- Check around your grill to ensure there are no low-hanging branches or anything that could catch fire with an errant spark, and be sure to remove them from your grill area.
- Remove your grates and soak them over night in soapy water. Give them a thorough cleaning with soap, water and a wire brush.
- If your grates are cast iron, you will need to “cure the ” once again, which means coating the grates with vegetable oil and baking them in your oven at 450 degrees for two hours.
- Once any ashes are removed from inside of your grill, use stiff wire brush and rub down the inside of your grill.
- Check for rust inside of your grill and remove it.
- Check your grill’s air vents to ensure all debris is removed.
- Cure your grates a second time – even if they’re not cast iron metal – by letting your grill cook over the coals for five or six hours, and continue checking on the grill. This will burn off any chemical residue on the grates so that your food is unaffected by those flavors. Also, if your grates are cured properly, the only cleaning you will need to do during the entire grill season is with your wire brush.
- Check on your grilling utensils and grill brushes to make sure everything is in good shape, and replace those pieces that aren’t ready for prime time.