There is no better way to spend an evening than grilling and enjoying delicious home-cooked recipes with friends and family. And with the onset of cooler, fall temperatures just around the corner, grilling season is at a climax.
It doesn’t matter the type of grill you are using or how fancy your grill is compared to your neighbors (yes, grill envy is a real thing!), it’s important to keep your grill properly maintained throughout the season. Just a few minutes of effort can have a huge impact on the life of your grill.
Clean the grill grate
Your grill grates will come into direct contact with your food and should therefore be cleaned before each use. Every time you fire up your grill, let the grate heat up for at least five minutes before placing any food on it so that any lingering food remains will be burned off. Then, use a grill brush or scouring pad to scrape off any additional grime.
Oil the grill grate
If you are cooking something that has not been oiled itself, oil the grill grate to prevent the food from sticking when cooking. Wad up a paper towel and dip in a little oil or spray cooking oil on the paper towel, then use a pair of tongs to wipe the oil evenly over the grate. Remember, a little goes a long way here, so be careful not to use too much oil. Keeping your food from sticking will also make it much easier to clean your grate for the next time.
For those of you who are clean-freaks, this may pain you to no end, but sometimes leaving things dirty is a good thing. Never clean your grill grate immediately after cooking; instead, wait to clean it until right before you cook. The blackened remains that encase the grate will help to protect it between cooking and prevent rust.
Clean the grill itself
Much less frequently than cleaning your grill grate is the task of cleaning your actual grill. Wipe the outside of your grill down with a rag and cleaner about once a month to keep it looking nice and shiny. Cleaning the inside of the grill is often unnecessary, because like a good cast iron skillet, grilling over and over will season the inside of the grill and aid in temperature control.
Properly store between uses
This may seem obvious, but using a grill cover is a must if you’re leaving it outdoors. If you don’t own a grill cover, then simply pull the grill inside under a covered porch or garage after using it. There is nothing that will rust a grill faster than being exposed to the elements.
For grills, charcoal, grill brushes, and other supplies to set you up for a successful grilling season, visit your local Stockdale’s.