Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Quick Tips for Cleaning Your Grill

Don't let a dirty grill with crusted-over grates ruin your cookout with "off" flavors and food stuck to the grill. And don't dread the grill cleanup, either. Just follow these quick and easy tips for cleaning your grill, and for making cleanup less of a dirty chore!

*Before lighting your grill, spray your clean grates with a nonstick vegetable oil spray to prevent (or at least significantly reduce) sticking.

*If using charcoal, line the inside of the grill firebox with heavy-duty foil before adding charcoal. That way, when you're done grilling and the ashes are cold, you can simply lift out the foil and discard.

*Make sure you read the manufacturer's cleaning directions before using any cleaning products or abrasives on your grill grates or racks. You don't want to ruin them, after all! Plus, there might be some helpful hints there that are specific to your grill.

*Clean the grill grates or racks after each use. If they fit in your sink, fill it with hot sudsy waterand place the racks or grates in the sink for a good soak. Once any cooked-on food bits or barbecue sauce is soft enough to wipe off, use a wet cloth to clean the grates. You can use a scrubbing pad IF consistent with the directions that came with your grill.

*If the grill grates or racks are too large to fit in your sink, you could use your bath tub OR a large plastic storage bin full of hot sudsy water. If you don't want to do either of those, then try this trick: While the grates are still hot, cover the grates or racks with wet newspapers or wet paper towels. Carefully remove the hot grates and place on a stack of well-soaked paper towels or newspapers, and then cover with another well-soaked stack of papers and let stand while you eat. By the time you're done with your cookout, the burnt-on food or sauce will usually wipe right off with the wet papers or a wet cloth. You can then use crumpled up heavy foil, a scrubbing pad (if consistent with the manufacturer directions) or stiff grill brush for any remaining stubborn spots.

*If you have a gas grill, clean the inside by turning the gas burners to High, closing the grill lid and letting the grill burn for about 15 minutes. Turn off the burners and let the grill cool. Any stuck food particles should be sufficiently burned so that they'll brush off the grates or racks with a stiff grill brush or crumpled up heavy foil. And don't forget to brush out the bottom of your gas grill at least once a year: remove the grill rack, briquettes and briquette rack and then brush out the bottom of your grill.

Keeping your grill clean will not only make grilling easier and more fun -- food is far less likely to stick to clean grates -- but will also ensure your grilled foods taste as delicious as possible, without any "foreign" bits of old burnt food adding odd, unwanted flavors.

Zestfully yours,
Carolina Sauce Company

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