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Getting Your Grill Ready, Monmouth County


As of March 20, Spring has finally arrived in Monmouth County, NJ. Warmer weather makes getting outdoors after a long hard winter a welcome change. How can you make sure your gas or charcoal grill is ready to fire up? With a few simple maintenance steps, and the right tools, you will be ready for spring grilling and add years to the life of your BBQ!

Your gas grill

If you have a gas grill, first disconnect the propane tank (for safety) then check the parts. Has anything rusted through? You only want flames coming out of the burners, and nowhere else, so take a good look. Get your hands on it to feel for weak, rusted or loose connections. Look for clogged gas jets, too. A clog can be cleaned with a metal barbecue skewer, paper clip or wire brush – just try to pull out the clog rather than pushing it back into the jets.

The next step is to give it a good cleaning. Pull off the grates and scrub them down with a bucket of water and good grease-cutting dish soap (don’t use cleaners that you wouldn’t want near your food) and a scouring sponge or wire brush. Some people will even throw those grates in the dishwasher, and that’s not a bad idea either, but you still have to scrub. A dishwasher is a machine, not a miracle.

So now that your grill looks nice and clean, fire it up! This will burn off the last little bit of cleaners and whatever’s still stuck on there. Leave it going for about 20 minutes or so. If your propane is running out on your gas grill, this is a great time to find out, and not when you have in-laws coming over for dinner In fact, unless you remember for sure that you just replaced the tank the end of last season, I’d say go ahead and replace it now.

Your charcoal grill

Charcoal grills are easier to maintain, but they still need some attention. First, dump out the ash and debris left over from last season and scrub the insides with soapy water – and don’t forget the top. Get out the garden hose and rinse everything inside and out. People are always taking pictures during cookouts and barbecues, and you don’t want to see your dirty grill on Facebook, right? Towel-dry or air-dry and put everything back together.

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