Whether your grill is charcoal or gas, it needs cleaning and maintenance to make sure your barbecue is mouth-watering and your kielbasa doesn’t get too crispy. Plus, a clean grill means a safe family. Did you know that more than 17,000 Americans visit the emergency room each year due to grill-related injuries?
GAS GRILL: First check the hoses to make sure they are properly connected and do not have holes. If you’re unsure, coat the hose with soapy water and then turn on the grill. Spots where the soap bubbles up on the hose need to be repaired. A new hose will cost you anywhere from $15 to $100, depending on the model of your grill.
Fire up your grill for 10 to 15 minutes to burn off any grease that has accumulated. Don’t cook anything, just let the grill’s heat eliminate the grease. Cleaning out grease will make your burgers taste better, and will also prevent potential fires because grease is flammable!
Once the grill has cooled down but is still warm, clean out the remaining grease build-up on your grill with a stiff wire brush and cloth scouring pad. Don’t use a metal scouring pad. It will damage your grill’s finish. If you want to use a degreaser, use an organic one to keep toxic chemicals away from the food you’re grilling.
Clean the burners and make sure they are not clogged with grease. Clogged burners are the reason some grills have hot and cold spots, which will cook food unevenly. Use a wire brush or pipe cleaners to clean the burners.
CHARCOAL GRILL: Clean out the debris that has accumulated at the bottom of the grill. Every time you dump out the coals, also clean the bottom of the grill, which includes ash debris. The debris can make your food taste like ash, and can also cause excess smoke.
Also, make sure to dump out the grease traps on your grill. The grease trap is usually an aluminum cup or aluminum tray underneath the firebox.
Once a year, give the entire grill a bath with warm, soapy water. Take the grill apart for best results and wash the components individually -- as long as it's not impossible to put it back together again, of course!