Time to Get Your Barbecue in Shape for Summer

Thursday, March 22, 2012 @ 09:03 AM
Lee Phillips

Before your first barbecue in the new summer season (though we think you should be cooking all year round!) you need to do a few health checks as well as give it a thorough clean, a couple of hours out in the garden on a warm day now will mean that your barbecue runs as new throughout the cooking season. Here are a few tips to help you along the way.

Step One:

Remove all the cooking grids, grates and burners (where possible) then inspect and clean any build-up of grease on the inside of the oven with a sturdy bristle brush. Using a suitable cleaner, scrub the inside and outside of the oven and then rinse with water, take care when cleaning the outside areas so as not to scratch or mark the BBQ, your better to use a standard dishcloth or washing up sponge.

Never use oven cleaners on your barbecue, they are very corrosive and will damage the components and may also dis-colour the finish.

Step Two:

Inspect all the burners making sure there are no holes rusted through at any point. Should any holes be visible get on to your manufacturer or the barbecue centre to get new parts, never use the BBQ with damaged burners. Clean out any clogged ports using a toothpick, never use metal parts to clean the ports as they can damage them, this will lead to irregular heat and the burning of more gas. Check all ignitor contacts to ensure they are not corroded or loose and remove any debris from the electrode. Check the venturi tubes (these are where the gas and air a drawn through) clean them with a brush, Spiders in particular love to nest in these tubes, if not cleaned regularly the nest and other debris will cause a blockage and in turn damage.

Step Three:

Check the cooking grids and make sure no welds are broken and brush off any stuck on residue. If you have cast iron cooking grids, season them with a good quality cooking oil to help stop food from sticking, this will also prevent rusting.

Step Four:

Inspect the gas hose and fittings, gas hose will only have a 1 or 2 year life. To check the hose pinch it between your fingers and look for cracks, this will be the first signs of wear, from there mix a solution of water and washing-up liquid and brush or sponge all over the hose and fitting joints, then slowly turn on the gas, if you see bubbles or foaming at any point along the hose it’s time to replace, if there are bubbles at the clips then check they are tight and re-test.

Step Five:

Finally check the condition of your control knobs, thermometer and handles, these are all small items that can be replaced easily on all good barbecue makes, changing these if any are broken or damaged will make cooking control easier and more accurate, it can also bring your barbecue back to life!

All these checks can be carried out at your leisure on a weekend afternoon, no need to rush through it, so relax and look forward to the first grill-up!

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