After many parts of the country experienced a cold, snowy winter this year, the first thing on everyone’s mind is finally being able to shed their oversized coats and enjoy the warmer temperatures that comes along with spring. Grilling is a year-round activity, but spring offers all the grilling enthusiasts a reason to freshen up that stainless stallion for another season of epic cookouts. Of course, every grill master will tell you that with great power comes great responsibility. While many of you have spent the winter months grilling like it’s business as usual, the cold weather may not have been conducive to spending time cleaning and preparing your grill after each use. That’s why we recommend doing a bit of spring cleaning and making sure you’ve got all the tools you need to get back into the swing of things.
Tune up your grill, read the instructions on your grill’s owner’s manual, and start the peak-grilling season off with a bang by following these helpful tips!
1. Check Your Tank for Leaks
Safety should be your number one priority when you’re grilling, and a safe cookout begins with a proper inspection of your tank. Learning what to look for before you fire up your grill can make the whole operation run a lot smoother, so you’ll need to pay close attention to the details here. Begin by thoroughly checking your tank and the hose that connects it to the grill for any damage. Just like a car or home, the older your hose gets, the more susceptible it is to the elements. If you notice your hose is brittle, don’t take any chances. Make sure to replace it immediately.
When it comes to the tank itself, there’s a tried and trusted method to finding out if it has a leak. After you’ve checked your hose and reconnected it to your tank, make a soapy solution in a small spray bottle and apply it on and around the tank valve area. Be sure to keep your grill turned off while doing this. After applying the soapy water, open the valve and check for additional wear and tear on the hose. If bubbles begin to form around the valve or hose, that indicates there’s a leak. Even the tiniest of these leaks can cause a lot of trouble, so be sure to close the hand wheel and disconnect the tank from the grill. If you’d like to dispose of your tank, give Blue Rhino a call at 1-800-258-7466 and we’ll be able to guide you on how to do so in a safe manner. You can also get your safety-related questions answered by our Propane FAQs page, or by following the steps on your grill’s owner’s manual.
2. Freshen up Your Grill’s Grates
Have you ever left your grill unattended after a cookout and come back to see all the debris leftover on the grates? If you haven’t spent the past few months grilling, it would be a wise idea to make sure your grill is in pristine condition before you decide to throw a slab of ribs on there. Cleaning the grates of your grill is a practice you should get into the habit of doing after each cookout and just before firing up the grill to cook your next meal. The routine may require some effort, but it’s a very simple process. Start by cranking your burners to high and closing the lid for about 15 minutes. When you reach that point, turn the burners off and let them cool slightly. While the grates are still warm, brush them off with a sturdy grill brush. Make sure to use a little elbow grease for some of those hard to clean pieces of debris, and finish things off by wiping down the grates with a clean paper towel or rag once the grill has cooled slightly. If there’s not much improvement, place the grill grates (and side burner if you have one) in a large bucket of hot and soapy water, and let them soak. Just like dishes, the gunk will come right off afterwards. Remember, consult your owner’s manual if there’s a step or process you’re unsure about!
3. Cleaning the Most Forgotten Part of Your Grill
There’s arguably no element more important to a grill than its burners. Without the heat that comes from that location, the grill would practically be useless. So, why don’t more people spend time cleaning off their burners? The simple answer is that burners are easily forgotten because they sit underneath those large grates. All of us have been guilty of seeing a piece of food fall through the cracks of the grates and onto the burner without remembering to clean it up when the cooking is done. Well, now’s your chance to make amends. Safety is important to consider before jumping head first into this task. Prior to removing the burners, turn the gas tank valve so that it’s closed, and switch off the knobs of your grill. Next, disconnect the gas tank and consult the grill owner’s manual on how to remove burners. Clean the venturi of each burner in a side-to-side motion with a small bottlebrush to avoid pushing debris further into the tube. Clean any clogged ports with a stiff wire or paper clip, making sure to not increase the size of the holes. If there is damage to the burners, like cracks or holes, be sure to replace those parts accordingly.
4. Getting Your Grill Nice & Shiny
Everyone remembers that feeling of when they first purchased a brand new grill. Just like a new car or new shoes, a new grill has a distinct look to it. In the right conditions, the sunshine bounces off the lid and gives you that sense of pride. After time though, the outside of the grill can start to look a little out of shape. No one expects their grill to look the way it did on day one, but getting it to have its signature look back will do wonders for you. The secret to achieving that new grill aesthetic is to use a cloth and a mild dishwashing detergent, or baking soda mixed with water, to shine the exterior of your grill. You can also use a special formulated spray grill cleaner, such as a citrus-based cleaner. Then, rinse it and dry with a soft cloth. For stainless steel, use a non-flammable Stainless Steel Grill Cleaner (exterior only). Spray on and wipe with a lint-free cloth with a side-to-side motion with the grain.
5. Choose Blue Rhino for Your Next Cookout
Put a little spring in your grill’s step by getting a fresh tank! The ultimate goal of spring cleaning your grill is to get it in tip-top shape for all the cookouts you plan on having, and as we say around here, you can’t have a barbecue without Blue Rhino! Exchanging your empty tank is as easy as finding the closest location carrying Blue Rhino on our Propane Finder. Just a few clicks and you’ll be ready to feast on some delicious grill-friendly foods soon!
With warmer weather on the horizon, it’s important you tend to your grill now so you can make the most of it later! There’s a breath of fresh air that comes with spring, and fine tuning your grill is one of the best ways to bring in the new season. And speaking of fresh – don’t forget to check out our recipes for any and every occasion now that you’re back to your grilling ways! Enjoy the spring, Rhinos!