With football season wrapped up for the year, now is a great time to give your tailgating gear a refresh. That way it’s ready for when our favorite team takes the championship in the 2022-2023 season. Our tailgate food grills are the centerpiece of any great tailgate. So it’s important that we take great care of them, so they last a lifetime. If your tailgating food grill is looking a little worse for wear after this last season, it may be time for a refresh. Here is our guide to restoring your tailgating grill to like-new.
● Shop Vacuum
● Plastic putty knife
● Dish soap
● Steel brush and/or steel wool
● A small toothbrush or wire brush
● Microfiber towels
● Paper towels
● Wire brush or a power sander with a flap disc
● Optional: Steam Cleaner
Start By Cleaning Out The Pit
The first thing you want to do is get any ash, dirt, or debris out of your tailgate food grill by cleaning out the pit. Start by removing the grill plate, then:
● For Charcoal And Pellet Grills:
Empty out any old briquettes and vacuum out any ash. Then take a putty knife and scrape off any of the build-up in the barrel. Then use a shop vacuum to remove the remaining debris. Mix warm water and dish soap in a bucket. Then using either a steel brush or steel wool, scrub out the inside of the grill. Once all the debris is removed, wipe it out with paper towels until completely clean.
● For Propane Grills:
Disconnect the propane tank, turn off gas valves, and remove the control panel. Then remove the grease catch and any other removable interior parts. Use a shop vac to remove any debris. Then using a putty knife, scrape the sides of the grill and then if applicable, the burner tubes, the heat deflector, the flavorizer bars, the cookbox, or any other interior parts. Once you have removed all the large chunks of buildup, you will then mix dish soap and warm water in a bucket. Using your steel brush or steel wool, scrub the remaining bits off and rinse with cool water. Let dry completely in the sun or a highly ventilated area.
Next Tackle The Grill Plate
With all the sticky sweet barbecue sauce and carbon build-up from your world-famous burgers, the grill plate can really get busted. Start by removing the grill plate then soak it in a mixture of hot water and dish soap. Once all the debris is softened, take a steel wool brush and scrub the plate until clean.
You can also use a steam cleaner. Once the grill is clean, dry it completely with paper towels. Then buff the surface with the microfiber towels for a beautiful clean. If your grill plates are cast iron, once you have finished restoring your tailgate food grill rub them with vegetable oil. Place the grill plate on the grill, turn your grill to medium heat, and leave for 90 minutes. This will season your grill plate.
Any Broken Parts
Next, you will want to inspect all the parts of your grill and look for any damage. If you find damage, you can find replacement parts at any standard hardware store or supercenter.
● For Charcoal Grills:
Check the thermometer gauge and any hardware like handles or other accessories.
● For Propane Grills:
Check the burner tubes, burner shields, thermometer, electric igniter, and propane regulator. Our friends at The Grill Spot have this awesome Anatomy Of A Gas Grill guide that can help.
Clean Up The Exterior
Once the interior of your tailgate food grill is clean and any broken parts are replaced, you’ll want to tackle the exterior. Start by looking for any signs of rust. Using your wire brush or your electric sander with a flap disc, start removing the rust. Make sure to always wear gloves, goggles, and a dust mask when removing rust. Once you have the rust removed, you can then apply a coat of paint.
You can match the current color and make your grill look brand new. You can also get creative and change your grill color if you like to match your team. If you’re a great painter, you can even add a team logo. Make sure that you use a high-temperature paint designed for metal surfaces. Here are some options that work great on grills:
Krylon also has a really helpful guide on how to spray paint a grill. You can find the instructions here. Once the paint is completely dry, then you can begin reassembling the grill.
Don’t Forget The Details
While you are reassembling your tailgate food grill, take the time to address any small details you have missed. Clean the handles and polish them with a microfiber towel. Clean the temperature gauge and knobs using a toothbrush. If any of the text or symbols have worn off on your grill parts, repaint or replace them. It’s the small details that make a big difference.
Store Your Grill Properly For Next Season
Finally, once your grill has been deep cleaned and restored, it’s time to store it for the next year. Start by making sure that your grill is completely dry. Then you will want to put it in a grill cover. If you do not have a grill cover, you can purchase one online or have one custom-made.
Store your grill in a clean, dark, and dry area to prevent any corrosion. Make sure that if you are storing a propane grill, your propane tank is completely disconnected. This will keep your grill protected until you are heading to your next tailgate.
Doing this maintenance now will keep your tailgate food grill in great condition. Not only will it look like-new, but your world-famous tailgating burgers will also taste better than ever. Be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and check out our Amazon Storefront for more tips on our favorite grills, accessories, and all your tailgating gear!
Check us out and we’ll see you at the stadium.