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How the heck do you DO that?

Get your grill ready for barbecue season!

June 3, 2011
By EMILY DOMINICI - The Scene , Times Leader

If you are anything like me, then you really enjoy the smell of a good cookout in the summertime.

Whether it's hotdogs and burgers, or salmon and steaks, it is my opinion that the smoky flavor of grilled food tastes the best! Now that the rain has subsided and the sun is shining, it is the perfect weather to get grilling.

I understand that there are some "extreme grillers" who grill year-round, through the cold, rain and snow. Most of us, however, restrict our grilling habits to when the weather is favorable. Hence, many probably need to get their grills ready for the barbecue season! These tips from will get you grilling in no time!

Step 1 - De-spider

Chances are over the past few months, some spiders have taken up residence in your grill. Don't be worried about this. Use a paint brush to knock down the webs, making sure to get all the nooks and crannies. They also like to nest inside the venturi tubes, located between the control valves and the burners, so pipe cleaners would be handy in getting them out.

Step 2 - De-rust

Inspect for any rust on the grates, which commonly happens during the winter. If the rust is severe, you may want to consider measuring and purchasing replacement grates, as you don't want rust on your food. If it isn't too bad, try cleaning them by using a mixture of cream of tartar and peroxide and scrub the grate. Spray with cooking spray when finished.

Step 3 - Check hoses

Do a safety check on the gas supply hoses. Replace the flexible gas hose if it is cracked or brittle. If you are not sure, use the dish soap test to check: mic a little soap and water and brush it on the fittings and gas lines so see if any bubbles form, which would indicate a leak.

Step 4 - Clean trays

If you have trays on the bottom of your grill, remove the grates and take the trays out to clean them. If you have a grease overflow, wipe it off too.

Step 5 - Remove grease build-up

Fat from foods actually helps keep the grates from rusting, but it can be built up over time so it is necessary to get rid of some. You can use a grill scraper for this or try heating up the grill and putting water on the scrub brush, allowing the heat from the grill to create steam.

Step 6 - Check flame

Check the color of your flame, which should be bright blue. If it is orange, use a wire or paper clip to clean and remove any corrosion around the burner.

Step 7 - Clean outside

Finish by giving the outside of your grill a nice bath. Formula 409 easily removes grease and grime, or use hot soapy water and a sponge to wash down, then rinse with hose.

Now that your grill is ready to rock and roll, all you need is some good food to cook and perhaps some good company to share it with.

Dominici may be reached at



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