Winterizing your grill is one of those chores that you put off because it signals the official end of summer. However, if you clean and winterize your grill correctly, you can be ready to start grilling as soon as the weather gets warmer or whenever you return to your vacation home. Even if you grill all year round, a yearly cleaning will keep everything in good working order. Your grill will last longer and see many more grilling seasons.
- To start, turn the grill on high for 15-20 minutes, and then let it cool. Then use oven cleaner to remove the grease.
- Clean the grates. Brush the grates off with a grill brush. If you have cast iron or porcelain grates, make sure you use a brush made for those surfaces to avoid scratching or damaging them. Then take a tub big enough to allow the grates to lie flat or a large trash bag, add a capful of ammonia and fill about halfway to the top with water. Set the grates in the mixture and let them soak for two or three hours. The ammonia will dissolve the grease and ash stuck to the cooking surface. Be sure to rinse and dry them thoroughly before placing them back in the grill.
- If you plan to store the grill outside, coat the burners and other metal parts with cooking oil to repel moisture that can build up over the winter and to prevent rust. Then wrap the burner unit in a plastic bag to keep spiders and insects from nesting in the gas tubes during the winter.
- Unhook your propane tank and store it for winter. After unscrewing the supply line from the tank, make sure that the valve is closed. Tape a plastic bag over the grill’s gas line opening to prevent insects from nesting. Then open one of the burners to bleed any trapped gas from the grill itself. Do not store the propane tank indoors, even in a storage shed. A small gas leak can cause a huge explosion if the tank is stored in an enclosed space.
- Clean out the ash on the bottom of your grill.
- Empty the grease trap.
- Fix any problems that exist with your grill. This means that your grill will be ready to go at the beginning of next summer.
- Cover your grill. If you do nothing else this season, spend $20 and purchase a simple cover for your grill. Preventing exposure to the elements will prolong the life of your grill.
By following these simple steps, you can extend the life of your grill and be ready to enjoy the next grilling season. If you find that your grill is beyond repair, come into Friedman’s, and we can help you find a good match for your needs and maybe even a good off-season deal.