Let’s face it. Your BBQ grill hasn’t gotten a lot of attention since last summer. Between the holidays and the bad weather followed by a complete lockdown during the early spring, most bbq grills haven’t been used since last summer. Remember last summer? How easy we had it back then. It was a time when you could just call your friends over and have some burgers and steaks smoking away on the barbie. Now, not so much. But wait! Just because we are quarantined now, doesn’t mean we will be through the whole summer. So, let’s look at how we can get our grill up and running and back into fighting shape for when the time comes. Heck, even if you don’t have a huge party planned for then, cooking on the grill for a simple dinner is a great way to treat the family to a nice change of pace while saving a little on the electric or gas bill. 


Stage 1: Move. Spray. Wipe.

Spiders. Bugs. Creepy crawlies. No matter what they are, they just love invading a dormant barbecue grill. Don’t worry, they will find their way inside, unless you toss your grill out at the end of every summer that is. The best way to deal with these little gremlins is to get the garden hose ready, then you’ll want to move your grill from its winter resting spot and set it in the middle of your lawn. Take your hose and blast the area where your grill was sitting, making sure to get all of the bugs and cobwebs that have built up over the pre-COVID19 months. Then, take your hose to the grill (be careful if it has electronic parts) and spray the whole thing down, top to bottom. Tip it on its side to drain and let it dry out in the sun for a few hours. Sweep up the grill area after it has dried a little bit. 


Stage 2: Burn It.

You’ll want to clear out all of the leftover grease and food debris that has been sitting over the winter to gum up the works. The best way to clear this out (and to sanitize everything) is to blast it with fire. If you have a gas grill, then you’ll want to turn your gas up to high and close the lid. Wait for everything to get to at least 500 degrees and then wait five minutes then turn the heat off. Open the lid and let everything cool down for at least another half hour. 


If you have a charcoal grill, you can do the same thing but just with some fresh charcoal bits. Light a larger than normal amount of charcoal up in the grill and close the lid. Let it sit for about 10 minutes, then spray the charcoal with water to cool off. You can dump it into the dirt first to avoid a steam blowout, but only if you can do so safely. 


Stage 3: Soak And Scrub.

Next, regardless of what type of grill you have, it’s time to clean the cooking area. Take the cooking grill off and put it into a 5 gallon bucket (or similar soaking tub that is large enough). Fill the tub with warm water and about a quarter cup of dishwashing liquid. Let soak for at least an hour and then remove the grill pieces and set them on an outdoor table. Take a grill grade wire scrub brush and scrub the excess gunk off both sides. If you have a lot of buildup, you can toss on a thin layer of baking soda and spray some white vinegar (undiluted) over it to cover so that it forms a workable paste. Continue with the wire brush until clean. Grab your garden hose and spray the Dickens out of everything and then put your grill back together. If your grill grates are cast iron, then you can finish with a light layer of vegetable oil. 


Stage 4: Enjoy.

Now the fun part! Once your grill has dried and is all back together, you’re ready to start cooking! Have fun and try some new crazy recipes this year!