Summer Survival Guide

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Grill Maintenance


You've mastered your grill skills, but to keep your barbecue in top condition, you've got to maintain your grill. That means stocking the right tools along with keeping it clean and protected from things like charred food, grease and weather.



You don't need fancy gadgets to grill like a pro. Just these 3 basic tools.


A rust-proof metal grill brush with a long handle to apply proper pressure. $7, by Weber


A spatula with an offset handle to keeps hands at a safe distance from the heat. $14, by Mercer


A sturdy pair of spring-loaded, stainless-steel tongs.
$5, by Update International


The Grate


If you want proper grill marks on your meat (and don't want an ashy, burnt taste on your food) you need a clean grate. And it's much easier to clean when the grate is hot. Burn off any food residue left on your grill by turning all your burners to high or placing the grate over hot coals for 10 minutes before grilling. Any food debris turns to ash, which easily brushes off using a grill brush.

To prevent food from sticking, lightly brush the clean grate with a paper towel that's been coated in an oil that can take high heat like Canola, grape seed or peanut oil.


Cleaning & Protection

Once the grill has cooled completely, wipe up spills with a damp paper towel. Grease and salt will accelerate corrosion of the metal.

For charcoal grills, discard ashes after they have completely cooled. For gas grills, brush all excess grease and debris from inside the cook box into the bottom catch-tray. From here, it will be easy to clean out or replace.

Since most grills are left exposed to the outdoors, a water-resistant cover will keep it clean and rust-free. Covers are available in all shapes and sizes.


Safety Tips

Be sure to open the lid before lighting your gas grill.

Any grill should be at least 10 feet away from your house and any other flammable materials. Never fire up a barbecue in an enclosed area.

Keep your propane tanks sheltered from direct sunlight.

If your grill has a grease pan or collector, remember to check it before each session, as it can overflow and cause a mess or worse, catch on fire.