BBQ grills can be a large investment, and some grill models can range anywhere from a few hundred dollars to thousands of dollars. So it makes sense to take the necessary steps to safeguard your grill and your investment.
Some people don’t really care much about upkeep and maintaining a cheap grill, but if you spent a few thousand dollars on a grill, you might want to read these simple tips to keep your grill in tip-top shape. Let’s get started!
Hear are 7 simple tips to keep your grill in top shape
1. Keep it clean
I cannot emphasize enough how important it is to keep your grill clean. A clean grill is a happy grill. It doesn’t matter if your grill is a top-of-the-line Blaze or a budget Z Grills; if you don’t clean and maintain it, its lifespan will be shortened.
For example, let’s say that you cook often and you leave food residue all over the grill. Grease fires caused by greasy trays can produce filthy black smoke that can contaminate food, but more importantly, grease fires can damage your grill’s coating and ruin food. Once the coating on your grill is damaged, the material can start to rust.
Grease fires can get out of hand quickly, and I have seen people lose their grills to these types of fires.
Also, keeping the grill clean makes sure that it works the way the manufacturer designed it to. Grills that are dirty need more fuel to run. When this happens with pellet grills, when the fire pot is full of ashes, it needs to burn more pellets to keep the temperature stable, wasting more fuel and working harder.
I recommend doing a basic cleaning on your grill every time you use it. We wrote a nice guide on how to clean your grill, which can teach you how to do both, a deep cleaning and routine cleaning of your grill.
2. Don’t use harsh chemicals
Sure, it’s easy to spray down your grill with trendy cleaning products, but the reality is that you can do the same with soapy water, vinegar, and other natural products. Sure, you might have to apply more elbow grease, but soapy water will be more gentle, help maintain the finish of your grill, and keep chemicals away from your grill.
I like to use soapy water to clean the exterior of my grill and remove any grease splatters and grease spots. I use a good microfiber cloth to get the job done.
3. Protect the exterior and finish of your grill.
Cleaning the exterior coating or finish of your grill is not enough. Go the extra mile and protect it. Protecting the exterior of any grill is easy and simple. I like to use vegetable or spray cooking oils on my grills. I simply wipe the grill with an oily rag to create a protective layer of oil that keeps rust away.
This is important, especially after using soap water, as the detergent in the water removes oil and lubricants. I do this often, at least once a week, as I cook on my grill almost daily.
4. Don’t use wire brushes
For a very long time, it was believed that the best method for cleaning grills and grill grates was to use hard metal bristle wire brushes. But this couldn’t be further from the truth! Wire brushes can damage porcelain-coated grates, removing the coating and leaving the raw metal exposed on the grates and rusting away.
Wire brushes also pose a different issue because the metal bristles can come loose and become stuck on the grill grate, then transfer to and end up in your food. You can have a bad day if you consume these small metal bristles.
I like to use a simple aluminum foil ball to scrape the grates and a wet rag. But you can also look at brushes like the Fire Rescue Brush, which is made out of kevlar and uses steam power to clean the grates.
There are also plastic brushes and other natural products you can use to clean your grill grates.
5. Use an Appropriate Grill Cover
This is perhaps the most overlooked item in every grill-owning household. However, a good grill cover can protect your grill from the elements, harsh UV rays, and the sun. If you don’t grill often, it’s best to keep the grill covered.
Something a cheap grill cover will help extend the lifespan of your grill and even keep pests away during long storage periods when you are not using the grill.
6. Use good fuel
Always be sure to use good fuel. Although this may not seem important to some, it is. For example, if you are using cheap charcoal in your kamado grill, you will end up with more ash buildup, which then means you have to do more cleaning. If you do not clean your grill properly, it will not perform as intended.
As far as pellet grills go, using good pellets will help keep the auger and firepot working as designed. Cheap pellets tend to clog up the auger screw, which puts extra strain on the entire system, shortening the life of your grill.
7. Avoid extreme heat
This may seem paradoxical, but please hear me out. Preheating your grill is an effective method for bringing all of its surfaces up to temperature, cleaning it, and preparing it for cooking. However, increasing the heat to its maximum and leaving it there for extended periods of time can cause damage to the grill, including warping, and paint damage.
Therefore, whether you are preheating your grill or need to sear a steak at a high temperature, you should not do it for too long. This may not be an issue if you have a high-quality grill, but it is with cheaper grills.
I hope you find these simple tips useful. Every bit helps when it comes to maintaining your grill and extending its useful life. After all, we like using our grills and want to be able to cook without having to fight it first.