Clean and maintain your garden kitchen properly with our step-by-step guide. From cleaning to maintenance repairs, learn how to optimize your propane grill.
Few things are as annoying as a gas grill mitt breaking mid-season. It can completely derail the grilling season for you and can even mean weeks, maybe months, until you’re back up and running.
One of the best ways to avoid this is to give your grill a quick overhaul during mid-season. Just like with a car or bike, regular care and maintenance can help protect your beloved grill from the effects of wear and tear.
It will keep your grill in top condition all summer long and protect it from major repairs in the future.
Fortunately, this is very quick and easy. Once you know how to do it, you’ll never look back.
One thing to keep in mind is that once you’ve had your grill for a few years, it’s worth checking it out more thoroughly( source ).
What do you need
- A wire bristle grill brush (ideally you have two, one for the grates and one for the tubes and interior of the grill)
- Cooking oil
- Dry paper towels
- Warms soapy water
- A soft cloth
- A venturi brush
How to tune your gas grill
If you still have the manual that came with your grill this can be helpful as a good understanding of the internals of your grill WILL come in handy as you go along. If you don’t have, you can usually find one online fairly easily.
Clean grill grates
A good cleaning will not only remove accumulated dirt and grease from your grill, but will also help protect it from future wear and tear. This is especially true when cleaning cast iron cooking grates.
With the cooking grates in place, heat your grill to a temperature. Turn off the grill and safely(wearing gloves!) remove the grates from your grill.
Scrub them with your wire bristle brush, removing as much food debris or burnt oil as possible.
Apply cooking oil to the grates with paper towels. This step will help season your grill and protect it from the effects of rust and general wear and tear.
Allow the grills to cool and dry.
Empty the drip tray
Many grills have a drip tray(sometimes referred to as a drip tray) to remove greasy fat from meat while grilling. Not only does this make cleaning your grill easier, but it also reduces the risk of flare -ups during grilling.
It’s an excellent feature, but it can add up pretty quickly and is definitely way too easy to do when it’s only half full. Take the opportunity to do so while tuning up your grill.
Try the power button
With the gas off, check the power switch on your grill. If it doesn’t click the first time, it’s very likely that the igniter electronics or circuitry has failed.
Most of the time the simplest solution is to simply switch the batteries in the system. If that doesn’t work, you need to test the connections between the wires and the ignition box.
If neither this nor putting in new batteries works, you may need to replace the entire ignition system.
Check lines or tanks for leaks
Natural and propane gas grills differ here. I’ll start with gas first.
If you come across repairing a bicycle inner tube, then here you come across the concept.
To test your grill’s fuel line for leaks, clean it with a little soapy water and a cloth. If bubbles appear, there is likely a leak at that point.
In this case, tighten the connections to your grill and try again. If the problem persists, the regulator or main hose may need to be replaced.
On a propane grill, check the propane tank for leaks or a loose connection.
Also, if you are using a propane grill, make sure you have an adequate supply of propane. There’s nothing more annoying than staying reading in the middle of cooking.
Check out my guide to natural gas grill reviews
Cleaning the grill chamber
Use a venturi brush to clean the inner tube of your grill. Lots of things, like grease or even insects, can easily get in here and cause clogging, so make sure to clean them well. Venturi brushes are pretty cheap and easy to find online, so I highly recommend getting one(so on amazon).
Clean all the inside parts of your grill as best you can with some soapy water, your grill brush and a cloth.
Then wash the outer cover of the grill with soapy water.
If your grill has enameled grates, I recommend using glass cleaner. This helps maintain the quality of the grids without protecting the enamel.
If you have stainless steel grates, you can use soapy water or a special stainless steel cleaner.
Allow the individual parts to dry properly before replacing the grill parts.
Fix common issues
It is not uncommon to experience problems with your grill, especially after a year or two of integrated use. Fortunately, some of these are easy to solve.
Ignition – If your grill is having problems with its ignition system & YOU may be dying batteries or replacing the entire igniter. Test each one individually before realizing the problem. Replacement batteries and lighters are fairly easy to buy, especially from well-known brands like Weber or Char-Broil.
Heat Distribution: Modern gas grills have gotten stronger and better at providing good heat distribution across their surface. If your regret grill is having problems with cold spots with poorer heat distribution, you may have a blocked burner or even a burner malfunction.
Clogged burners are easy to clean, as demonstrated by this how-to guide by Char Broil.
If your burner is broken, you need to replace it. Luckily, this is a lot easier than you think. Check out this guide.