Gas Grill

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  • This laundry aid is also an effective disinfectant, but be careful.


  1. Keep your gas grill covered when it’s cool and not in use. In just about every climate, doing so will retard rust formation inside as well as outside the grill body. Covering the grill also protects it from windblown soils and dust.
  2. Stainless steel care. More and more often grills are using stainless steel hoods and trays. Basic maintenance involves applying a light detergent solution, rinsing and wiping dry. If streaks remain on the surface after a thorough cleaning, a little bit of vinegar added to hard rinse water will help neutralize dissolved minerals.

    The British Stainless Steel Association Web site says, “Rust marks or staining on stainless steels is unlikely to be the result of corrosion to the stainless steel itself (similar marks may also be found on porcelain and plastic sinks). These marks are likely to result from small particles of 'ordinary' (non-stainless) steel from wire wool or scouring pads becoming attached or embedded in the surface. In [a] damp environment ... these iron particles rust and cause staining. Rust marks may be removed using non-scratching creams or alternatively using an oxalic acid solution, where iron particles have been embedded in the surface.”

    Avoid rust staining of stainless steel by not leaving non-stainless steel items such as steel wool pads or cooking utensils lying on the stainless. Surface contact with these will cause contamination that can range from light brown markings to severe pitting.

  3. General tips. Keep the cooking surfaces lightly greased, either with meat fats or with a non-stick cooking spray, to help keep rust at bay.

    A wire or brass brush is indispensable for clearing stuck-on food bits from the cooking surface. Different cooks have their preferences on when to do this – some say it’s best just before cooking; others insist on doing it right after grill use. While the food might come off a little more easily right after cooking, high temperature is the key either way. Use tongs to turn over the grate occasionally to remove food scraps from the underside, where they tend to hang just out of reach of the brush. Don’t worry about disinfecting the cooking surface, since high heat will do so quite effectively.

  4. Safety checks necessary. Perform a safety check on gas-supply components before the start of each cooking season. Replace the flexible gas hose (between the gas bottle and burner control valves) if its jacket is cracked or appears to be brittle. Next, mix up a few ounces of water and hand dishwashing liquid, and then brush the solution onto both the hose and all gas fittings, which are made of brass. Soap bubbles indicate gas leaking out. Replace the hose if it fails the test. Disassemble any leaking fitting, wind about three turns of gas Teflon tape around the male threads and then re-assemble the fitting. Gas Teflon tape is sold in hardware stores and home centers (note: this is special Teflon tape available for gas piping where appropriate; a liquid compound may also be used where appropriate). Repeat the soapy water test when finished.

    Spiders have a habit of building nests inside the venturi tubes, which are located between the control valves and the burners. The tubes mix gas with air; webs and egg colonies interfere with the mixing process and can block the flow of gas altogether. Clear the debris away with a pipe cleaner or small wire brush.

    Burner orifices need occasional cleaning to work at top efficiency, which is indicated by a bright blue flame (in the shade) or an invisible flame (in bright sunlight) any time the grill is hot. If the burner flames are mostly orange, allow the grill to cool completely and remove the cooking surface, lava rocks (if any), fire grate and burner assembly from the grill basket. Use a length of narrow wire, or a straightened paper clip, to clear debris from the burner. Use a wire brush to remove loose corrosion from other areas on the burner surface. Finally, vacuum along the orifices with a crevice tool to remove any loose dust or debris from inside the burner assembly.

  5. Degrease lava rocks. To burn away built-up grease from the lava rocks found in most gas grills:

        • Turn the completely cooled rocks over.

        • Place aluminum foil sheets over the cooking grate.

      • Light the grill, close the cover and let it run at maximum temperature until the grill stops smoking, up to a maximum of 30 minutes.

    Aluminum foil helps intensify the heat for more effective cleaning. Caution: Heating the grill for longer periods may warp the grill body, particularly if it’s made of aluminum. Scrape any residue off the insides of the grill body once it cools completely. The inside surfaces of most gas grills are straight, so it’s easy to scrape away accumulated fats and foods with a putty knife or similar metal tool.

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