Serious tailgaters know the importance of a tailgating grill. The tailgating grill is the centerpiece of every great tailgate. It’s where you gather, talk about the game, and of course, eat a lot of delicious food. Tailgaters also invest a lot in their grills and need to protect that investment. Caring for your grill will ensure that it works great every time and protects your investment in game day fun. Here is a guide to helpful grill maintenance to ensure your tailgating grill works great for years to come.
Why Good Grill Maintenance Is Important
Tailgating grills experience a lot of wear and tear. Transporting your grill can shake the parts loose and cause dents and scratches. Also, if you store your grill incorrectly it can develop corrosion that can impact how it works. Finally, if your grill isn’t properly cleaned, it can clog and stop working. Worst of all though, if your tailgating grill gets damaged, your food isn’t going to taste as good. Great tasting food is a must for tailgates.
Read The Manual
The best advice for caring for your grill we can give is to read the manual. I know we all like to toss manuals into a filing cabinet and forget about them. However, the manual will tell you everything you need to know about caring for your specific grill. The manual includes everything from how to store, how to clean, and in some cases, how to replace parts as they wear down. If you tossed your manual, don’t worry. Oftentimes, manufacturers put the manuals right online. So simply Google search the grill’s make and model and with a little digging, you should find it pretty easily. You can also contact the manufacturer directly and have them send you a digital copy.
Get The Right Tools
One of the most important parts of maintenance is cleaning. You will need to make sure that you invest in the right tools to clean your grill. If you are cleaning a grill, you need a good wire brush with a scraper that can remove stuck-on food particles. We love the Lynx Grand Platinum grill cleaning brush. This wire brush has all the attachments you need to get into tiny nooks and crannies, but also has a steam feature to help you clean your grill quickly. If your grill contains a griddle, you’ll also need griddle cleaning tools. This Blackstone eight piece griddle cleaning set has everything you need.
Pick The Right Cleaning Agents
Once you have your tools, you’ll also want to grab a cleaning agent. Now most degreasers will remove all the gunk from your grill. However, since you are cooking food on the grill, you want to make sure you use something nontoxic. There’s a great list of safe cleaners on Good Housekeeping you can check out. You can also make homemade grill cleaner with items that you can find in your pantry like vinegar, salt, and lemons. These are great because they do a wonderful job of cleaning the grill but you know they are safe. Our favorite method however is to steam clean the grill. You can buy a steam cleaner specifically made for your grill or you can just use your household steam cleaner.
When Is The Best Time To Clean A Grill?
Now that you have all your tools ready, it’s important to know when to clean your grill. The best time to clean your grill is right after you’ve finished cooking your food. While the grill is still a little warm, it’s easier to remove all the build up food. Make sure the grill is safe to the touch before cleaning though. It’s also a good idea to thoroughly clean your grill before loading it in your vehicle. This will help you avoid any stains on your trunk’s upholstery. You also want to always deep clean your grill before storing it. This is especially important if you live somewhere with extreme weather like heavy rains, snow, or hot or freezing temperatures. This will prevent corrosion and damage.
Polish And Shine
A good way to keep your grill not only performing well, but looking brand new is to polish. Polishing will give your grill a beautiful sheen, but it will also protect it from damage and corrosion. Polishing can be done with a microfiber cloth and some grill polish. However, if you really want to get a sheen, use a buffer tool. We love this video that gives step by step instructions on giving your grill a deep polish. It’s a good idea to give your grill a deep clean and polish twice a year. You’ll also want to do it before you put it in any kind of longer term storage like over the winter.
Grill Storage Tips
Properly storing your tailgating grill will keep it alive longer. First, you’ll want to thoroughly clean your grill. The cleaner the grill the better. If you have a charcoal grill, make sure to empty out all the ash and bricketts before storage. If you have a propane grill, make sure to disconnect the line and store the propane tank outside. The best idea is to store your grill indoors with a temperature and humidity controlled room. However, you can still safely store it outside if you invest in a proper grill cover. Also check any areas where pests could live and remove any if you find them. Spiders often make nests in the knobs of grills. Finally, check on your grill regularly to make sure no pests have made it their winter home.
Taking these steps will keep your grill ready for action whenever it’s time to head to the tailgate. Cleaning, regular maintenance, and proper storage will ensure that your grill lasts a lifetime.
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