As warm weather approaches, it’s time to uncover the gas grill and take it for a test drive. Here are a few tips to help you get your gas grill prepped and operating safely and efficiently for the entire season.
A clean grill is a happy grill
Don’t just “burn it off.” Clean your grill from the inside out using a sponge and soapy water. A charred coating on grates doesn’t add flavor — it’s just dirt that hinders cooking performance and the formation of grill marks. When prepping your grill, spray water through burner tubes where insects like to hide during winter, and empty the grease pan to prevent fires. If your using an older grill, take the time to check the fuel lines for cracks or leaks (Try the soapy water test, See below). No matter the age of your grill, taking the time to keep your grill in peak form is time well spent.
Season your grill for better performance
Before you use your grill, spray the grates with a high-heat cooking spray like canola oil while the grates are cold. Then, turn the grill on to medium heat for about 10-15 minutes until the oil burns off or starts to smoke. That’s it. Some grates have a porcelain enamel on them that doesn’t require seasoning, so check your grill’s manual and avoid any unnecessary effort. Seasoning will help keep your grill rust free.
Gearing up for grilling success
Invest in a good pair of tongs to flip the meat and veggies. Tongs are much easier to use than a spatula as the food can’t slide around and fall through the grates as they do with a spatula. Tongs also discourage you from flattening the meat with the spatula, which dries the meat or using a BBQ fork which enables those flavorful juices to escape. Don’t get caught without an extra propane tank on-hand. Nothing is worse than running out of fuel with a half-cooked bird on the grate.
Grilling safety do’s & don’ts
10 Tips to keep your summer grilling season safe and stress free
- When refilling the cylinder ask your propane supplier to check for dents, damage, rust or leaks.
- After filling or exchanging, take the cylinder home immediately and keep your vehicle ventilated during the trip.
- Always use or store cylinders outdoors in an upright (vertical) position. (never store spare cylinders near the grill).
- After connecting the cylinder to a propane gas grill use a “leak-detection solution” (a 50/50 mixture of water and liquid soap) to check connections for tightness.
- Always make sure the grill top is open when lighting the grill.
- If you suspect a gas leak turn off the gas supply valve immediately.
- Keep children and pets away (3 feet) from the grilling area and never leave the grill unattended.
- Do not smoke while handling a propane cylinder.
- When not in use, turn off grill burner controls and close cylinder valve.
- Grilling provides more opportunity to enjoy the great outdoors from the comfort of your own backyard. Use these helpful tips to help you enjoy a safe and happy grilling season.
(Typical grill owner cooks outdoors an average of (22) times during the barbecue season. According to the Propane Education & Research Council (PERC), 84% of gas grill owners say it is important to follow basic safe grilling tips when using a gas grill, yet only one-in-three (35%) say they know a great deal about them.)
The “Soapy Water Test”
Try this simple 7-Step way to check for propane leaks in-and-around your grill
- Begin by making sure the valve of your propane tank cylinder is closed.
- Pour some dish detergent in a bowl of water or a spray bottle.
- Using the spray bottle or a sponge, apply the soapy water to the entire hose assembly, including the tank’s valve and regulator.
- Open the valve of your propane cylinder without turning on your grill. This pressurizes the hose.
- Check the entire line running from the gas cylinder valve to where the hose attaches to your grill. If there is a leak, you’ll see bubbles forming – and you might even smell rotten eggs.
- If you see bubbles or smell rotten eggs, shut the cylinder valve immediately. Do not use the cylinder until the leak is fixed, or until the cylinder is replaced.
- If there ‘s no leak, simply rinse off the assembly with clean water.
Be sure to check for leaks this way at the beginning of the season, and any time you replace or refill your propane tank.
Outdoor propane is for more than just the “backyard” grill
The uses for “outdoor” propane don’t stop with simply grilling your favorite burgers or ribs.
Propane flame lighting fixtures are popular can be placed in a variety of spots on your patio or walkways. This adds a great look to your landscaping and can provide lighting for your outdoor, evening activities. Whether it’s a grill, outdoor lighting, a custom project or a complete outdoor kitchen, the team at Colby & Gale 207-563-3414 is ready to provide you with the professional service, installation and propane supply you need to power all of your outdoor products.
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