How to Keep Your Grill Cooking All Summer Long

Nothing announces the arrival of summer like firing up the grill. Unfortunately, nothing sours a summer party faster than a grill that won't light, smokes too much, or cooks unevenly. Grease, marinades, and sauces wreak havoc on gas burners, while charcoal grills suffer the corrosive properties of charcoal.

Grills of all kinds, from simple kettles to stainless steel restaurant-grade infrared grills, require maintenance to ensure that they perform and last.

Here are 3 tips to keep your grill in shape.-Sal Vaglica, This Old House

Don't miss all of our expert advice on grill maintenance on THISOLDHOUSE.COM.

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1. Inspect the Chassis (Cart or Frame)
Grills with welded joints or connections with pop rivets can rust. Scrub rust off with a stiff wire brush or coarse steel wool, apply a rust-inhibiting primer, and paint the grill's exterior with rust-resistant metal paint. Keep fasteners tight to ensure the base is stable and safe. Replace damaged grill appendages, like wheels, handles, or any other part of your grill, by contacting the manufacturer.

Did you know? You can use dish soap or a mild detergent to clean cast aluminum grills, and Simple Green all-purpose, biodegradable cleaner for stainless steel ones.

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2. Clean the Burners
Cleaning burners keeps the unit working at its best. Burner ports can fill with grease and close up, leading to hot and cold spots on the grill. While the unit is cold, use a stainless steel wire brush or flexible pipe cleaner to remove the gunk from a traditional gas burner. The flames should be distributed evenly throughout the burner after a good cleaning. Brush off any ash that accumulates on infrared grills, and be sure to keep the glass clean.

Did you know? Running the grill for 10 minutes on high after cooking also helps keep the ports free of build up.

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3. Keep it Covered
Protecting a grill from the elements is the easiest way to preserve it. Covers should have a cloth inner lining to draw moisture away from the metal. A simple plastic sheet holds moisture in, creating a humid environment around the grill, which can lead to rusting. Use a canvas, cloth, or vinyl cover that fits the grill appropriately.

Did you know? UV rays tend to beak down cheaper, generic covers.

See more advice on maintaining your grill at THISOLDHOUSE.COM.

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