BBQ 101: General Maintenance Tips for your BBQ

Cleaning your BBQ ensures optimum performance and safety. Please take the time to read and perform the following care and maintenance TIPS.

Basic Maintenance Regime for Your BBQ:

Perform the steps below at the start of every season when removing your BBQ from storage, and at least twice during the BBQ season (more if you use your BBQ year-round).

  1. GRILL HOUSING
    • Remove the warming rack, cooking grates, flame tamers, and burners. Use a plastic scraper to loosen build-up, food residue and ashes inside the grill housing and lid. If you are using a wire or brass brush, ensure that the grill has COOLED, to avoid damage to porcelain finished parts.
    • Remove the debris with a spatula or similar tool. If necessary, wash the inside of the grill housing (firebox) with a mild soap and water solution, and rinse with clean water.
    • Flush out any remaining debris with a garden hose and wipe the inside of the grill housing with a clean cloth.
    • If you are still unsatisfied with the appearance of the inside of the grill housing, high-temperature paint may be used to restore the look of the firebox (Armor Coat Heat Black Paint or Krylon BBQ Black Stove Paint).
    • If white oxidation spots are apparent on castings, wash them with mild soap and water.
    • Rinse and wipe with a cloth dipped in cooking oil to restore luster.
  2. DOUBLE BURNERS & TUBE BURNERS:

    Signs of maintenance and assembly issues include; the smell of gas, yellow burner flames, low heat, uneven grilling, flash-back or Grease fires

    • Remove Double burners
    • Use a grill brush to remove surface debris.
    • Clean the burner port holes using a wire or paperclip to unclog the ports. Be careful not to damage or enlarge the port holes.
    • Using a flexible Venturi cleaning brush, clean the interior of the burner. Shake any loose debris out of the burner, through the gas inlet.
    • Using a cotton swab, remove debris from the valve gas jets
    • Re-install the burner. Ensure that the burner is properly seated over the valve gas jet.
  3. HEAT DISTRIBUTION PLATES
    • Remove and clean heat distribution plates every other time you BBQ. If you are cooking for a large number of people, cleaning should occur immediately following cool down.
    • Use a grill brush to brush away any buildup from your heat distribution plates.
    • Clean away all remaining debris with mild soap and warm water.
    • Dry thoroughly.
    • Re-install
  4. COOKING GRATES

    a. Porcelain Coated Cast Iron Cooking Grates:

    Seasoning cooking grates improves cooking performance, prevents damage and deterioration due to moisture and humidity, creates a non-stick surface for cooking, and extends the life of your cooking grates.

    To season and restore your Porcelain Coated Cast Iron Cooking Grates.

    • Remove cooking grates and brush away build up using a BBQ Grill brush
    • Wash the cooking grates with a mild soap and water solution.
    • Rinse thoroughly, and dry with paper towels, or shop towels.
    • Important: Never soak or let soapy water sit on the grates for any length of time.
    • Ensure grates are dried thoroughly.
    • Coat entire grate, front and back, sides and each rod with vegetable shortening. DO NOT use salted fat such as margarine, butter or any non-stick cooking spray.
    • Place grates in either your conventional oven or BBQ for 15-20 minutes at 275-300 to complete the seasoning process.
    • Once completed, the cooking grates must be allowed to cool down.

    By seasoning your cooking grates several times in a season, the pores are permeated with oil, which will prevent water from penetrating the grates and causing early degradation of this part.

    b. Stainless Steel Cooking Grates:

    Stainless steel cooking grates are durable, provide excellent heat retention and offer trouble free maintenance.
    Stainless steel cooking grates will become discolored with an orange/brown coloring at first use due to extreme heat.
    This is a natural occurrence, and does not in any way affect the composite, nor does it affect cooking performance.

    Maintenance Tips:
    • Prior to preheating the barbecue, remove all build up from cooking grates using a barbecue grill brush
    • Always prep cooking grates with a light coating of vegetable shortening or vegetable oil
  5. EXTERIOR SURFACES

    ALL MATERIALS including stainless steel and black or silver painted parts can become stained, soiled and corroded by dirt, pollution, deposits from inappropriate cleaners and especially grease. To protect the appearance and integrity of the surface, routine cleaning is essential. Contaminants vary greatly in their effect on appearance, corrosivity and ease of removal. It may be necessary to identify the contaminant or experiment with various cleaners in order to resolve issues including the removal of free-iron contamination.

    • Do prolong the service life of your BBQs exterior parts with frequent cleaning and maintenance
    • Do test all cleaners on a small inconspicuous area to ensure that it is beneficial for surfaces
    • Do use a soft clean cloth, rag, or sponge when cleaning surfaces to avoid scratching finish
    • Do use one of the following methods of cleaning:
      • Warm water and Mild soap solution to remove all contaminants.
      • Vinegar and water solution
      • Orange glow stainless steel cleaner
    • Do remove dirt and contamination immediately to avoid permanent damage to stainless steel or painted surfaces, do to rust and corrosion
    • Do thoroughly RINSE OFF ALL CLEANERS, with clean warm water and DRY COMPLETELY with a soft cloth.
    • Do not use any chloride-containing detergents.
    • Do not use any abrasive cleaners.
    • Do not use ordinary carbon steel brushes, steel wool or scouring pads as they may leave particles embedded on the surface which can lead to rust
    • Do not use bleach or cleaners containing bleach. If accidental contact occurs wash immediately with baking soda and rinse thoroughly.
  6. STORING YOUR BBQ

    When storing your BBQ for the winter or long periods without use, you should do the following:

    • Perform cleaning and maintenance of parts as outlined above.
    • Remove igniter battery to avoid corrosion
    • Remove all parts such as burners, flame tamers, and cooking grates that can deteriorate as a result of moisture damage.
    • If storing the BBQ indoors: the propane cylinder MUST be removed and stored outdoors, in a well ventilated area.
    • When storing your grill in a garage, you should place a piece of cardboard underneath your grill to protect from concrete moisture damage
    • If storing the BBQ outdoors: the propane cylinder valve must be turned off. Cover the barbecue. DO NOT under any circumstances store the propane cylinder in the garage or near any heat source. Use a grill cover to help protect your grill from the direct environment (i.e. rain, snow, animal droppings, etc.). However, please keep in mind that this does not completely protect your grill from moisture.