The sun is emerging here in the great northwest and while we are busy looking for the sunglasses we haven’t used since last year, we dream of all the delicious food we are going to cook on our barbecues this year.
Did you stash away your barbecue like you did your sunglasses? Then it’s probably time to give it a thorough tune up and spring cleaning.
If you have a gas barbecue you want to make sure it is safe before standing in front of it for a full day.
- If your barbecue uses a propane tank, take off the tank, clean it and look for any signs of damage or wear.
- Check the valve and hose for
leaks by sloshing – cover the valve with soapy water while it is on and look for bubbles. If bubbles appear, immediately get the valve or hose replaced.
- Check the ignition switch to be sure the grill is lighting properly.
An even flame is important for the barbecue experience. If you want to check whether or not your grill burns evenly, cover the grates with slices of white bread and run burners on high for a few minutes. Cut the flame and flip the bread and you will see which areas of your grill get the most heat and where the cool spots are. Knowing your grill you can utilize the cooler areas for indirect-heat food.
Most experts agree that your barbecue should be thoroughly cleaned once a year, aside from your regular cleaning after each use. Here are some tips for the tougher areas:
Baking Soda: Make a paste of ¼ cup of baking soda and ¼ cup of water. Use a wire brush to apply the paste to the grates. Let it dry
for 15 minutes and wipe it down with a dry cloth. Make sure you burn the grill on high for at least 15 minutes to get rid of any residue before placing your food on the barbecue.
Plastic Bags: If your grill is a big mess
after a big barbecue, take the racks off and spray them with oven cleaner. Then place them in garbage bags over night. The following day the goo should wipe right off – just make sure you keep your head out of the fumes when you open the bag!
WD-40: WD-40 is good for just about anything, even to make your barbecue look like new again. On a cool grill generously spray it with WD-40, wait a few seconds and then scrub it down with a wire brush.
Make good use of your barbecue this season!