How to prep your grill for the summer
It’s officially the first day of summer! The weather is finally getting warmer, the days are longer, and here at NIKU Farms, we’re getting excited to fire up the grill and get cooking. But whether you’re just pulling out your grill for the season, or you’re a diehard, barbecue in two feet of snow type, it’s never a bad idea to spend some time prepping your grill before you start planning your next cookout. Here are some tips for getting your grill into top shape for the season.
Do a top to bottom checkup:
For a charcoal grill, scrape out any ash and unburned charcoal from the bowl and ash catcher, which will allow your new charcoal to burn much easier. Also check that the metal vents open and close, and grease them with WD-40 if necessary.
If you have a gas grill, start by removing debris from the flame tamers (located directly over the burners) with a wire brush, and then remove the flame tamers and check the burners for clogs. Insects often make their homes in burner tubes during the off-season. If the burner tubes are removable, use a hose to spray water through them or use a flexible brush to clean the inside.
Make sure the tubes are dry before reattaching them. Next, check that the grease trap is cleaned. Make sure to check the pan before the season starts and after every few cookouts to make sure it doesn’t overflow and start a grease fire. For easy clean-up in the future,
It’s also important to check the fuel line. Give the line a visual check for any cracks first, then try the soapy water test. Use soapy water to wet the line and around the connections. If you see bubbles while the gas is running, tighten your connections or replace the line.
Make sure your fuel tank is full (and consider buying a backup tank), or that you have enough charcoal.
Turn on the heat and get scrubbing:
For your gas grill, turn your burners on high for 10 to 15 minutes with the lid closed to turn any leftover debris to ash. Make sure to turn your burners off before you start scrubbing them, though!
While a good wire brush will work well to get your grates spotless, there have been concerns about loose bristles detaching and getting into your food. As an alternative, try balling up some tinfoil to about the size of an orange. Hold the ball with tongs to safely clean the grates.
As another, more natural alternative, try using an onion. Cutting an onion in half and scrub the grates with the cut side down, using a barbecue fork to keep your hands safely away from the hot grill. Add a little spray on oil to the cut side if you want to oil your grates at the same time!
If your grates need a deeper clean, remove them and soak them for a few hours to overnight in a 2:1 solution of white vinegar and baking soda. This should work to remove any hard-to-remove debris, and a good rinse after soaking should get them sparkling clean again.
Clean the Exterior
Now that the inside of your grill is cleaned up, it’s time to clean up the outside. Use soapy water to clean the exterior of your barbecue. If you require a deeper clean, use window cleaner for porcelain-coated steel lids, and stainless-steel cleaner for stainless steel lids.
Check Your Grilling Tools
Make sure your grilling tools are clean and in good working order. Check that your basting brush is clean, your grill brush isn’t worn down, and that all of your tools are ready to go for your first barbecue. Consider a few new tools for the season, like a perforated basket for grilling veggies, or a cedar grilling plank.
Treat Your Guests to Pasture Raised Meat from NIKU Farms
It’s time to spoil yourself with high quality meat from NIKU Farms. All of the farms we work with raise their animals completely on pasture, with no antibiotics, no added hormones and non GMO. Not only can you see the difference, but the taste is not comparable at all. Take a look at our packages available that include everything from Grass Fed Beef, Pasture Raised Chicken, Grass Fed Lamb, Grass Fed Bison, and Pasture Raised Pork.
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