It's Barbeque Season - Information You Need to Have About Your BBQ - July 14th 2010
As the warm weather sets in, gas and propane bbq's are fired up for the summer grilling season but before getting started it's important to ensure your barbeque is in fine working order:
ASSEMBLY - Take special note of every bolt hole illustrated on your assembly instructions. Proper placement will ensure it goes together right the first time. Also, over tightening your hex-bolts as you assemble will result in a squashed look to your bbq frame. Snug is good enough.
ALWAYS READ the safety and operating instructions before you begin to use your grill. Important topics include: Clearance of your bbq to combustibles, leak testing, positioning of your wave sear plates, cleaning your grease tray and sear plates to avoid dangerous grease fires and positioning of gas supply lines to avoid melted hoses and hazardous gas leaks.
ALWAYS REMOVE your warming rack before operating your rear burner. The intense heat of a rotisserie burner will surely destroy the warming rack.
PROPANE MODELS! Always have all valves in the OFF position before you turn on your propane tank. In addition, turn your propane valve open SLOWLY. Failure to follow either of the above will result in the regulator locking out at low BTU and therefore low heat. If your bbq is not getting hot enough to cook on properly, this may be your problem. To reset the regulator disconnect it from the tank for approx. 5 minutes, reconnect, and follow the correct procedure.
If you are looking into purchasing a new BBQ, here are a few tips:
- A minimum 10-year warranty backed by a shop offering licensed gas technicians and parts in stock. Some better grills even offer lifetime warranties on key features such as burners and housings.
- Cheap stainless is about as good as thick tinfoil. 304 grade stainless steel on the burner and heat distribution plates are essential.
- The cart of the grill must be able to withstand the elements. Ensure that the cart is galvanized or solid 304 stainless.
- A rear burner is one of the most important features found on today's BBQ.
Tips to prolong the life of your BBQ:
PREHEAT YOUR BBQ AND CLEAN YOUR GRILLS IN ONE EASY STEP!
It is recommended to always preheat your BBQ with all bottom burners turned on high for 8-12 minutes prior to cooking.
A. Cooks off all the grease left behind from the last time you grilled, draining it towards the drip tray and preventing flare-ups.
B. Prepares your cooking grills to sear and seal in the juices of the meal you are about to cook.
C. It also cooks off the oils that bind the crud to your grill so all you have to do is remove the excess build-up off your grills with a WOODEN HANDLE brass brush or rod grill brush. Allow stainless grills to season to a black finish to prevent sticking. Scrubbing them back to silver is a waste of effort and conditioning. Once you have preheated your grill you may select your cooking zone and temperature to grill your meal to perfection!
GENERAL CLEAN UP: 2-3 times a year it is recommended that you give your BBQ a thorough cleaning and service your burners. Heat your BBQ with all bottom burners turned on high for 8-12 minutes. Next, allow the housing to cool to the point that it is safe to touch, yet still warm enough that the grease and build-up looks wet or melted. Then simply remove your cooking grills, sear plates, and disposable grease tin.
Place a catch bucket under the area where your grease tin was and scrub your housing down with warm/hot soapy water and a nylon scrub brush. Use a good dish detergent with degreasing qualities such as Sunlight. Wipe off any excess water and you are ready to go.
BURNER MAINTENANCE: When performing a thorough clean-up on your grill 2-3 times a year it is recommended that you service your burner. Scrub over the ports and burner surface with steel wool or a small steel brush. Then clean the build-up from your burner holes by poking them clear with an unfolded paperclip or welding tip cleaner. Unlike low quality burners that develop larger holes and "Great Balls of Fire" as the burner erodes, heavy quality burners maintain their integrity. However, oxidation still builds up on the surface of the burner affecting performance. No burner can survive the harsh environment of heat, grease, sauces, and moisture without requiring regular maintenance.
IGNITOR & ELECTRODES: Because of the harsh environment it is expected on all barbeques that the electrode and collector box of your ignition system may have to be replaced in 2-5 years if they erode or fail to perform. They are inexpensive and easy to replace.