Winter is finally (maybe) coming to an end and if you’re anything like us, you’ve been dying to get to grillin’. Perhaps you’ve already shoveled a path to your grill when you needed your fix, but nothing beats the first grill of the spring season!
Before you fire it up, make sure you give your cooker a checkup to prepare you for grilling season.
1. Deep Clean (Inside and Out)
Your first goal when it comes to prepping your grill is making sure it’s clean! Start your scrub down with the grates. Take them off the grill and clean them well with soap and water or with white vinegar and water. Remember, you don’t need to do this all summer long (you don’t want to sacrifice that good grilling flavor), but it is important to start your season off with a good clean. A proper clean will keep food from sticking when you fire up the grill.
Take apart as much of your grill as possible and clean both the inside and outside with soap and warm water using a strong bristled brush. Cover all of your grounds and make sure you pay special attention to areas covered in grease.
2. Check For Safety
Run a maintenance check! Check your burners for any holes. If you see any, replace those burners. Be sure to also look for cracks and leaks in your hoses. Check the resilience of your control knobs and check to see if your temperature gauge works. If the grill handles are loose, tighten them.
Next, inspect your tank and run a leak test. A leak test includes covering the regulator, valves and hoses with soap and water. Turn on the tank and then look for bubbles. If bubbles arise, gas is escaping the hose. You may need to tighten connections OR replace the hoses or tank. Finally, examine any tubes for spiders that like to find a home during cooler weather inside the tubes because the grill hasn’t been being used.
3. Prep the Propane
If your grill lacks a built-in gauge, find a scale to weight your tank. You will need to subtract the TW to gauge the gas inside. A pound of propane produces 21,600 Btu per hour; divide this by your grill’s max Btu output to see how many hours of cooking on high you’ll have left per pound of gas. Always keep an extra full tank on hand.
4. Find Hot Spots
Identify the heat pattern of your grill by covering grates with slices of white bread and run burners on high for a few minutes. Cut the flame and flip the slices to see which toasted most, indicating where the hot spots are. To even out the heat, add grates of hard-anodized aluminum or place indirect-heat food on cooler areas and direct-heat food on the warm ones.
5. (BONUS) Stock Up on Uncle Charley’s
Now that you’ve done the busy work, it’s time to get to the fun stuff. Make sure you are stocked up on your Uncle Charley’s sausage products for tender, juicy, and flavorful meals that were made for your grill. See a full range of our products here and head to our recipe page to see what else you can do with your Uncle Charley’s!
RECIPE: Foil Pack Grilled Italian Sausage and Peppers