Published: July 10, 2016
Sponsored Content By: GrillSpot.com
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Grilling season is in full swing, and the only the thing that can stand in its way is the scourge of all backyard grillmasters – a busted BBQ.
Giving your BBQ a quick mid-summer tune up is a simple way to protect it from major repairs down the road and keep it in top shape all season long. Don’t worry, a mid-summer tune up is no sweat!
If you’ve had your grill for a season or two, it may need a more thorough check-up. Stay tuned for our troubleshooting tips at the bottom of the post!
Tools You’ll Need
You’ll need a few simple tools to complete your mid-summer grill tune up:
- A wire-bristle grill brush. It helps to have one for your cooking grates as well as your venturi tubes.
- Cooking oil to re-season your cooking grates
- Soft, clean cloths
- Paper towels
- Warm, soapy water
- Grill cleaning liquid (optional)
Tuning Up Your BBQ
A mid-season tune up doesn’t take all day. If you’re new to grill maintenance, take a look at our Anatomy of a Gas Grill infographic to get your bearings. Better yet, save it as a reference so you can always locate each component on your grill.
Once you have a good understanding of your grill’s anatomy, follow these steps to keep your BBQ in peak condition:
- Scrub the cooking grates
Heat up your grill till it’s screaming hot, then scrub down your cooking grates with a strong wire-bristled brush to remove any cooked on grit and residue. Turn off the heat and let your grill cool off.
Once your grill has cooled down, brush your cooking grates with cooking oil. This will help deter rust and prevent your food from sticking to your grill while you cook.
- Empty your grease pan
Your grill’s grease pan collects fat and drippings from your food. Empty and clean your grease pan regularly throughout the summer – it’s easier to empty and clean when it’s not completely full.
3.Check your ignition switch
If your BBQ doesn’t click at all when you try to light it, chances are the electrodes are not properly attached or your igniter’s battery is shot.
To check if your igniter is malfunctioning, remove and reattach the wires to the igniter box, making sure all the connections are secure. If this doesn’t resolve the issue, swap out the battery for a new one. If that doesn’t work, you should replace the igniter altogether.
- Check for fuel leaks
Apply soapy water to your BBQ’s fuel line using a cloth. If bubbles develop, there’s a leak in the fuel line. In this case, try tightening the connectors. If this doesn’t help, you may need to replace the regulator or NG hose.
- If you have a gas grill, check your propane tank
Nothing is less convenient than running out of propane halfway through grilling. Make sure your propane tank always has enough gas to get you through your meal. Or get a Magnetic Gas Level Indicator!
- Scrub down your BBQ, inside and out
Clean out your BBQ’s internal tubes using a venturi brush. Spiders and insects like to take up residence in these tubes, which can cause blockages and even flashback fires. Unexpected problems like these are easy to avoid if you clean out your tubes a couple of times throughout the summer.
Once you’ve cleaned your grill’s internal components, wash the outer body with warm, soapy water or a specialized grill cleaner. You can also buff your grill’s lid and body to make it really shine. Use a glass cleaner to buff porcelain grills, or a stainless steel cleaner for stainless steel grills. If you have a stainless steel grill, buff with the grain for optimal shine.
- Treat scratches and rust
It’s normal for your grill to sustain a few nicks and bumps during its lifetime. Make sure you treat any scratches or touch up painted surfaces with heatproof paint to prevent further damage or rusting.
Wait – My BBQ is Malfunctioning!
If you suspect that one of your grill’s internal components isn’t performing properly, it’s time to take apart your grill. Don’t panic! Dismantling your BBQ and inspecting parts like heat plates or your igniter is simple.
Here are some common grill issues and how to fix them:
Uneven Heat Distribution
If your grill is heating unevenly, you may be have a burner blockage or malfunction. This is an easy fix – learn how to replace your gas burner.
If your flames are higher than normal, unevenly distributed, or if your grill’s control knobs are hot to touch, your burners may be blocked. Another sign of blocked burners: flashback fires.
If you’ve noticed any of these grill “symptoms”, clean out your venturi tubes immediately and consider replacing your burners.
Show your grill some love this summer! A mid-season tune up can keep your grill game strong all summer long.
If you discover any parts that need replacing or if you’re in the market for some fun grilling accessories, head on over to GrillSpot.com to find the right part for your grill.
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