Cleaning and preparing your grill for the barbecue season - FOX 18 Quad Cities News and Weather

Cleaning and preparing your grill for the barbecue season

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It’s that time of year when friends and family gather together to celebrate the onset of summer with barbecue lunches and outdoor dinner parties. Central to these celebrations are the charcoal and gas grills you use to sizzle your family’s hotdogs, hamburgers, chicken and ribs.

However, without a proper cleaning of your grill, buildup and grease will keep you from attaining the succulent flavors in your foods that your appliance is capable of producing. A clean grill also helps prevent flare-ups and grease fires. Here are three important steps to returning your grill to perfect grilling status - which could lead to your crowning as the neighborhood grill master:

* Preparing: On a charcoal grill, remove any ashes left over from last season and dispose of them in a noncombustible bin. Remove the cooking grate and set it to the side. If you have a gas grill, first ensure that the propane tank is turned off. Then, unfasten the gas tubes and burners and remove the briquettes and cooking grates.

 * Cleaning: For charcoal grills, start by spraying both sides of the lid and the fire box with a degreasing product. Zep Commercial sells a Heavy-Duty Foaming Degreaser that cuts through grease, dirt and grime and leaves aluminum and steel shining in seconds with just a wipe of a cloth.

On a gas grill, wash the unattached gas tubes and clean out the gas ports on the burner with a toothpick. Then reattach the tubes and burners. Cleaning the grill’s cooking grates is the final and most essential step to the process because they most affect how well your food is cooked.

For both charcoal and gas grills, grab the cooking grates and take advantage of the Heavy-Duty Foaming Degreaser’s spray to get into hard to reach areas. Let the foam penetrate grease buildup and then rinse, wipe clean and place the gleaming grates back in their original position.

* Stocking: Pour a generous amount of charcoal into your charcoal grill and check your propane or natural gas reserves to see if your gas grill needs a replacement tank. Corroded or rusted propane tanks should be exchanged for new ones by your local supplier. It’s always good to keep extra supplies like cooking fuel and degreaser on hand in case you begin to run low.

With the successful completion of these steps, your grill will be barbecuing food like never before. Be sure to repeat this process at the beginning of every summer to start the grilling season right. Zep Commercial Heavy-Duty Foaming Degreaser is available at Home Depot, Walmart and independent hardware stores nationwide. For more tips on keeping your other appliances in great shape, visit

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