3 tips for maintaining your grill
Regular maintenance of your outdoor grill is essential for a successful cookout. It doesn't matter if you have a BBQ island or a small charcoal grill, you need to routinely clean off the grates. Food buildup is not always friendly to the next meal you're trying to make. Your chicken or fish will stick to the burnt pieces on the grill and leave delicious bits of the meat behind, adding to the mess. You can avoid losing valuable pieces of your meal by following a few tips for maintaining your grill.
- Scrape before cooking
Wiping down your grate is important, but so is determining when to scrub it off. Some people think it's best to clean the grate as soon as the food is served. However, this creates several problems for you and your guests. First, it's going to take some time to remove the food particles from the grill, during which your guests will have to wait for you to finish. You'll miss out on quality mingling time and your food will get cold. Food particles can also help protect your grate from rust, so wiping it clean right after use can expose the metal to weathering.
It's best to scrape off lingering food bits before you start cooking your next meal. You can get your grill fired up and when it's ready to cook the food, take an extra minute to clean the grate. This is the best time because the heat will loosen the caked-on food, which will make it easier to remove. Scraping the grill beforehand will also help prevent your grill from smoking too much as your food cooks.
Serve your guests perfectly cooked food and avoid losing flakes of meat by regularly cleaning your grill grate.
- Use the right tools
A wire barbecue brush is commonly used with most grills and is a popular cleaning tool of choice. The metal bristles work well when you're trying to dislodge stubborn pieces of debris, but there are a few reasons you should actually avoid this instrument. For starters, the metal barbs eventually bend to the sides, which makes cleaning the surface of your grate difficult. The more important reason you should refrain from using this tool is that it could be bad for your health.
As the brush gets old, the metal bristles start to break down and detach, leaving metal pieces behind on the grate. Avoid this cooking complication by utilizing alternative cleaning tools, such as a barbecue stone or a wooden scraper.
- Clean under the grate
Maintaining a good grilling surface is important and so is cleaning the area under the grate. If you have a charcoal grill, regularly dispose of the ash that collects at the bottom of your grill. For a gas barbecue, frequently clean the pan under the grate. Grease and pieces of food often fall through the grate when you're cooking, and leaving this at the bottom of the grill is an easy way to start a fire and ruin your meal.
Keeping your grill clean will ensure you have a successful cookout the next time your friends come over for a barbecue. Remember, when it comes to outdoor entertaining, safety is important for having a good time.