With the “unofficial” start to summer this weekend I am changing things up a little and talking BBQ! If the weather co-operates this long-weekend I expect many of you, like me will be flipping and grilling! Last week’s amazing temperatures may have had you flipping burgers but have you done a good cleaning and safety check on your BBQ lately? If not it can always be done and here are a few good safety tips and important things to consider to ensure your BBQ is safe and your meals taste amazing.
We clean our ovens and stove tops on a regular basis, your BBQ grills are no different they need regular cleaning. The best tools to use and have available for regular cleaning are:
- Brass wire brush
- Pail of hot water
- Dish soap
- Tube Brush – BBQ Venturi Brush
- A 1/16” drill bit
- Drip Trays
- Stainless steel cleaner
- BBQ grill cleaner
- Fine sandpaper
Start with the burners. It is easier to detach the burners and take them out of the grill for a very thorough cleaning. Use your tube brush to get into and through the burners. This helps to snag out any blockages then brush the tops of the burners using a brass wire brush.
Once the burners are cleaned, check all of the burner ports to ensure that they are opened. If some are closed with food particles you can use a 1/16” drill bit to open them.
Plates and cooking grills that are seared and look like they have seen better days should be washed with hot soapy water. Simply brush the top side of your cooking grills with a little oil to re-season them. Hot soapy water works wonders on the cast base and sides of the grill and to remove grease splatters on the outside of the grill. If you have porcelain lids a thorough washing is fine, for stainless steel lids everyday stainless steel cleaner should have them back looking like new in no time. Brushing the cast aluminum with a little olive oil, this helps restore the luster and prevent oxidation.
Now to scrape the grease, use a spatula scrape it from the inside of the base towards the drip pan. Once you are done scraping, remove the drip pan wash it with hot soapy water and if you have a tin foil grease catcher now is a good time to replace it.
Inspect all hoses and feed tubes
Your BBQ is sparkling clean. Now do a good to visual inspection of all hoses and feed tubes on your grill. You want to look for any crimps, scratching and or punctures, if you detect any of these, it is time to replace the hoses. If you are not comfortable replacing them, contact your nearest Outdoor/BBQ store and they can assist with contact.
Do a complete leak test of the grill
You should do a leak test if the BBQ has not been used for an extended period of time or if you are changing any components on your grill.
What should you check?
- All propane cylinder welds, hand wheel, and connections
- Regulator and propane cylinder connection
- Natural Gas Hose and connections
- All hoses and connections between the manifold, side burner and propane cylinder
If you are comfortable doing so here are a few simple steps on how to perform the test.
- Extinguish any open flame or cigarettes in the area.
- Be sure that gas supply valve and appliance valves are “OFF”.
- Prepare a soap solution of 50% water, 50% liquid detergent.
- Open the propane or natural gas supply valve slowly.
- Brush the soap solution on each connection, including the tank, the quick disconnect coupling, and on each connection between the orifice and control valve.
- A leak is identified by a flow of bubbles from the area of the leak.
- If a leak is detected, close the gas supply valve, tighten all connection and retest (Step 4).
- If the leak persists, contact a professional gas service provider
- Do Not Operate your BBQ if a leak or suspected leak is present.
Check all ignition parts
Your BBQ is clean and safe. The final check is the ignition, is it lighting properly. Battery ignitions, it’s a new bbq season why not change them and start with fresh ones. Check all electrode leads and ensure the tips of the electrodes are clean and have no grease or rust build up on them, if they do you can use the fine sandpaper to clean them.
If reading about leaks and ignition checks has you a little worried or apprehensive, don’t be a hero, reach out to a qualified gas technician to have it checked. Your peace of mind will thank you and when friends and family are over you can enjoy your favourite BBQ recipe.
Speaking of recipe, here is one of my favourites!
Grilled Maple Pork Chops
6 tablespoons maple syrup
6 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon coarsely ground pepper
4 boneless pork loin chops (1-1/2 inch thick and 12 ounces each)
- In a small bowl, whisk syrup, vinegar, salt and pepper until blended. Pour 1/2 cup marinade into a shallow bowl. Add pork chops; turn to coat. Cover and refrigerate 1 hour. Reserve remaining marinade for basting.
- Drain pork chops, discarding marinade. On an oiled grill, cook pork chops, covered, over medium heat or broil 4 in. from heat until a thermometer reads 145°, 13-17 minutes, turning occasionally and basting with reserved marinade during the last 5 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.
Serve them with roasted potatoes and vegetables off the grill and your favourite salad, enjoy!
Wishing you all a Happy and Safe