Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Getting the Grill Clean and Ready...

Getting the Grill Clean and Ready…
For some of us grilling is a year-round event. But others may not be willing to brave the cold just to have a perfectly grilled steak when its 10 degrees outside. If you are one of the warmer weather outdoor cooks you may just be getting your grill out from the back corner of the garage. Don't just start it up, clean it and give it a little TLC.
We have a few tips that will help you to get your grill back in shape for the outdoor cooking season.

Beginning of the Season
(If your not a year-round griller) Take the grill out of your garage or basement. If you are using a gas grill, make sure there are no spiders or cobwebs under the burner knobs or in the grill manifolds (dislodge any you may find with a slender bamboo skewer). If any of the tiny pinholes on the burner tubes are clogged, unclog them with a pin. Make sure the burner valves turn freely: If any feel stuck, spray in a little WD-40. Check that all connections are tight and that there are no holes or worn spots in any of the hoses. And most important: Follow all of the manufacturer's maintenance instructions.

The Grate
The grate is the part of the grill that comes in direct contact with the food, so it should be clean. Fortunately, this is as simple as bringing it up to grilling temperature when you preheat the grill and then scrubbing it with a dry stiff wire brush before adding the food. The heat loosens any burnt-on scraps and sterilizes the grate, while the brush removes the debris. There's no need to scrub the metal with any abrasives or soap. On the contrary: You season a grate, by using it and brushing it clean (washing is unnecessary). Clean your grill grate twice: once before putting the food on and again after grilling. The latter is especially important when you grill fish. Run the grill until any cooked-on bits of food or oils are burnt off, and then clean the grate with your wire brush. With a gas grill simply let it continue burning for 15 to 30 minutes. With a charcoal grill, you may need to rake the partially depleted coals into a pile to concentrate the heat. (Never extinguish used coals with water. Simply cover the grill and close all the vents and let the coals burn out.) Should the coals burn out before the grill grate is clean, hose it down with water and scrub off any burnt-on pieces with a wire brush. Dry it with paper towels to prevent rusting.
The Firebox: In general, the firebox (the metal bowl of a kettle grill or rectangular box of a gas grill) will clean itself in the process of grilling. Of course, any bits of food that have fallen through the bars of the gate or pools of congealed fat should be shoveled out with a garden trowel.

One thing you should clean often is the catch pan, or drip pan, for grease. In terms of more long-term maintenance, barbecue shops sell heavy-duty grill cleaners you can use for removing a season’s worth of soot.

Article taken from "How to Grill" By Steve RaichlenClick Here to buy this book.

Tools and Brushes for Cleaning

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