MAY 29, 2015
During the winter we all hunker down inside with the heat cranked up and the kitchen smelling of cozy home cooked meals – stews, soups, roasted chicken…. Yes, those things are yummy, but I am SO over them for now. I want fire and coals and delicious meat smelling smoke (or zucchini smelling smoke if you are a vegetarian). Grilling is about so much more than yummy food. Barbecue night brings instant ambiance and excitement. It brings us outside not only to cook, but hopefully you take advantage of the warm weather and set your table outside. Cut a couple flowers off your bushes and set them in a simple vase or even in a glass. Outside tables are not fussy – in fact they are equally lovely with no embellishments; the beautifully grilled food is enough “decoration” in my mind. With so may summer nights ahead of us we have to consider grill maintenance as well – it’s all fun and games until you have a grill night planned and you are out of charcoal/propane. Here are some tips to keeping your grill in tip top shape:

grillCHARCOAL GRILLS

ASSES GRATE CONDITION Are the rungs getting thin/broken already? If so, it’s time to replace it with a new, shiny (not for long) grill grate usually available at a local hardware store.

CLEAN THE GRATE Give the grill grate a soapy water and metal brush wash to start off the season. For the rest of the season you can rely on a grill brush or crumpled up tin foil (it works like a dream) to clean the grate before for each use. Make sure the grate is hot before cleaning it to get off old grease.

REPLENISH SUPPLIES I think this goes without saying, but at the beginning of the season and regularly throughout the summer check your charcoal (and if you use it, accelerant) supply.

Empty the Ashes Some of us may forget the ash bucket is there. It is tucked in all nice and easy to miss…until there are so many ashes it start pouring out the sides! Make sure you keep the ash trash empty. It won’t affect the grill’s performance if it is full, but it’s messy and who wants ash spilling all over the deck? Don’t be a slob!

GAS GRILLS

CLEAN THE BURNER AND TUBES Remove the briquettes and cooking grates, and detach the gas tubes and burner. Clean the tubes with warm, soapy water and towel dry. Wipe the burner clean with a damp cloth. Towel dry the gas ports on the burner, then clean out each one with a toothpick (this is getting serious).

CLEAN THE COOKING GRATES. First it’s wise to burn off the grease. Do this by flipping over the briquettes, closing the lid, and heating the grill on high for 15 minutes. Next, cool the grill after burning off the grease. Remove the briquettes and cooking grates and scrub the grates with a grill brush and warm, soapy water. Towel dry, then replace, along with the briquettes.

STOCK FUEL LEVELS. Again, this should go without saying, but you need to check and replenish your propane or natural gas supply as necessary. Corroding and rusted tanks should be recycled; return your tank to a propane supplier or check local listings for tank recycling companies.

That’s it! We’re ready to make some yummy food and lots of memories! Enjoy the season of delicious, charred meat (or veggies).

Shelter Island Property Management

Light the Grill and Start the Night Off Right

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