GET YOUR GRILL READY FOR BBQ SEASON AFTER WINTER!

Grills on a patio

It’s been a long, grueling winter and if you’re not a hardcore griller, your barbecue has probably been hibernating for months. However, before you head to the butcher and grab some wings or steaks, there are some simple steps you should take to get your barbecue in top grilling conditions. Let's get to work!

1. HAVE YOUR CLEANING SUPPLIES READY
You wouldn’t cook in a dirty kitchen, so why would you grill on a dirty BBQ? Whether you have a Traeger, Weber, or Big Green Egg; Ace On The Lake has the tools and tips you need to get your BBQ in shape for the season!  In order to sanitize and deep clean your grill, you will need the following products: a metal brush for cleaning your burners and grill sides, a small pail of hot water, dish soap, a scrub brush like Grill Rescue to use on food surfaces, a venturi brush, a 1/16” drill bit, and replacement grease cups (if needed).

2. GIVE YOUR BBQ A SCRUB
The cleaning supplies listed above will help clean every nook and cranny of your grill.

●     Start by removing the cooking grids and sear plates.

●     Use the spatula side of your Grill Rescue brush to scrape grease from the inside of the base all the way down towards the drip pan. Remove the drip pan and give it a good washing and be sure to replace the tin foil grease catcher. You can use hot and soapy water to clean in here too.

●     On a gas grill, it is easier to detach the burners and take them out of the grill for a very thorough cleaning. Pass a long, skinny, flexible brush, such as a venturi brush, through the burners on a gas grill to clear any blockages then brush the tops of the burners using a wire brush - only use a wire brush on your burners, NEVER use a wire brush on your cooking grids!  Once the burners are cleaned, check all the burner ports to ensure that they are open. If some are blocked, you can use the 1/16” drill bit to unblock them.

●     If you have a Traeger  or other pellet grill, once you remove the grill plates you’ll want to remove the drip tray and the upper heat deflector.  Use a shopvac to remove all ash and drippings from the bottom of your grill. Open your hopper and vacuum out all the pellet dust. Check below the auger and make sure you don’t have a buildup of sawdust.  Reassemble the heat shield and drip tray.

●     The kamado grills, like Big Green Egg, are the easiest to clean! Simply remove ash using a shop vac or by using the Ash Tool  (or a different poker) to separate the ashes from any remaining charcoal (and to evenly spread the charcoal). Then use the Ash Removal Pan (or another tool) to remove the ashes easily, and without making a mess, from the EGGs ceramic base via the draft door. Don’t use any soaps or cleaners on the inside of your egg!

●     Sear plates and cooking grids should be washed with hot soapy water or put into the dishwasher and run on a gentle cycle. Hot soapy water works wonders on the base and sides of the grill and to remove grease splatters and discoloration. The same goes for our porcelain enameled and powder coated ones. Use a soft cloth or your Grill Rescue brush to touch up any tough spots with soapy water and some elbow grease!

3. INSPECT ALL HOSES AND FEED TUBES ON GAS GRILLS
Once your cleaning is done it is a good idea to visually inspect all hoses and feed tubes on your grill. Look for any crimps, scratching, and punctures. If anything is damaged, have it replaced right away. The helpful hardware folks at Ace On The Lake  will be happy to help you with this.

4. DO A COMPLETE LEAK TEST OF GAS GRILLS
A leak test should be performed any time your grill has been in storage for a prolonged length of time or when you are changing any components on your grill.

5. CHECK ALL IGNITION PARTS
Once your grill is clean, reinstall the burners. Replace the batteries behind the ignitor button if you have battery powered ignition. For battery ignitions, it is a good idea to replace old batteries with new ones. If you have an electric ignition system, double check all electrode leads and ensure the tips of the electrodes are clean. Make sure that they have no grease or rust build up on them. If they do, you can use fine grit sandpaper to gently buff them.

You are now ready to get grilling! What is the first thing you're going to grill up?