The ABC’s of Gas Grill Storage
Some lucky people live in climates where they can use their grills year-round, but if the approach of winter means the end of this year’s cookouts for you, it’s time to think about storing your grill.
Quality gas grills are a pleasure to use, but they are also an investment that needs to be protected. There can be quite a few steps to making sure your grill is properly cared for, but take it one step at a time and you’ll have everything sorted before you know.
A Is for Assemble
Take about an hour to assemble your supplies. For this step you’re going to need your owner’s manual, a brass bristle brush, a soft cloth, sandpaper, warm, soapy water and a towel. Now move to the next step…
B Is for Briquettes
B is, in fact, for briquettes and cooking grids. These can both get quite greasy after use, so you want to get rid of that grease before you put them in storage. Turn the briquettes over so the greasy side is facing the burner. Keep the cooking grids in their regular place, then light the grill and keep the lid closed. Set the flame to high and leave it for 15 minutes – this should be long enough for the heat to burn the grease off the briquettes and grids.
After everything has cooled off, remove the briquettes and grids and use the brush and the soapy water to clean off any remaining grease. Rinse, dry, and set them aside while you move on to the next step.
C Is for Clogs
You now need to clean the burner and tubes because if they are (or get) clogged with food drippings, they can short out the igniter flame. (And you really don’t want to short out your igniter flame.) While the grill is in storage, spiders and insects sometimes “move into” the gas tubes (aka venturi tubes). Between grease and wildlife, you grill could become hard to start and/or have an uneven flame the next time you try to use it, so be sure all of the components are clean.
Turn off the gas at the tank if you haven’t already done so. Following your owner’s manual, unfasten the burner, slip the gas tubes off of the gas lines, and remove the whole unit. Use the soft cloth and soapy water to clean the unit. Be as thorough as possible and try not to leave any accumulation of dirt or grease behind. Dry the unit and use the toothpicks to clean the gas ports. Clean the gas tubes with the soapy water, too, and set everything aside.
D Is for Damage
This is damage that you’re going to try and prevent. Before you start to clean the housing of the grill (which will help prevent build up of grease and any corrosion) make sure that you cover the gas orifices with aluminum foil to keep the water out. Use the brush and your soapy water to clean the housing both inside and out. Now rinse it, towel dry and remove the foil.
Now is the time to check your grill’s paint for any chips or other damage. Most grills won’t rust, but if the paint is chipped, moisture can get in and weaken them. So when the grill is cool and dry is the time to prevent this by sanding any damaged areas you find until you have a white, shiny patch. Then using a primer and some “high-heat” paint, touch up the sanded areas.
E Is for Everything
Put everything — burner, gas tubes, igniter — back together.
F Is for Fuel
Check the fuel supply to make sure there is no rust or dents on the propane tanks. If there are, you’re going to need to immediately replace them.
G Is for Goodnight, Grill
Where are you going to store our grill? If it’s a fixed outdoor grill then it’s going to have to stay where it is, and you can keep the propane tank there and connected to it. Make sure you put a protective cover over it. If you keep it inside during the winter then you’re going to have to disconnect the tank and leave it upright outside.
Now it’s time to check the owner’s manual to make sure you disconnect the tank properly. To keep bugs out, tape plastic bags over the gas line openings of the grill. Make sure you store the tank in a cool and shady place that’s away from dryer and furnace vents and not close to pet’s or children’s play areas.
H Is for Happy
This is what you’ll be when spring comes around and you suddenly get the urge to start grilling – you’ll be ready to go!