It’s the time of year to get outside and fire up the grill. You may not realize how much abuse your grill takes, from grease and debris in the summer months to snow and ice in the winter. We have created this easy-care guide on How to Maintain Your Gas Grill so you can get the most out of your grill and make sure that it lasts for years to come. The key is proper care and maintenance, and if done routinely, there won't be a need for a lot of elbow grease.
We have put together this guide so that you know how to maintain your gas grill from start to finish properly. This guide will give you everything from cleaning tips during the season through winterizing and storing for next year. By following these steps, you will lengthen the lifespan of your gas grill for many summers of fabulous backyard feasts.
We have separated the grill maintenance process into four phases:
- Spring Setup & Maintenance
- Before and After Each Use
- Ongoing through the Season
- Storage and Winterization
How To Maintain Your Gas Grill: Spring Setup & Maintenance
It's springtime, and the last snow has come and melted, so it's finally time to fire up the grill for your first cookout of the year. Let's make sure it is in tip-top shape, and nothing contaminates your food while on the grill. If you grill year-round, then you will want to be doing these steps periodically.
- Examine the inside and clear away any debris, accumulations, or spiderwebs, which can cause a severe flare-up if they ignite.
- Reconnect your propane tank, open the valve, and test for gas leaks. Using a mixture of water and dish soap, spray the flexible gas line and connections looking for bubbling. The bubbling indicates a possible leak and needs to be eliminated by tightening connections or replacing them.
If replacement is required, be sure to test the newly installed parts with the soapy water mixture. Safety is paramount when working with natural gas or propane to keep your home and family safe.
How To Maintain Your Gas Grill: Before and After Each Us
The greatest danger to the lifespan of your grill is a lack of common maintenance. With the grill set up, following these steps before and after each use will keep your grill maintained and safe.
- Brush your grates after a 15-minute preheat before you start grilling. By heating the grates, any debris remaining is softened, melted, and quickly wiped away.
- Once cooled, examine and clean the drip pan to avoid flare-ups and reduce substantial buildups. If done often, it should wipe away easily with some soapy water.
- Check the inside of the grill cover for smoke and grease deposits. Wipe away with soapy water as needed.
Regularly practicing these tips will make most of these contaminants wipe away easily, requiring minimal scrubbing.
How To Maintain Your Gas Grill: Ongoing Grill Maintenance Through the Season
Besides cleaning the drip pan and brushing the grill grates after each use, a few other items need to be inspected and cleaned from time to time. How often depends on how much you use your grill and what types of food are being cooked.
- Remove the grill grates and clean the barriers (sometimes called radiants or burner covers). Consult your user manual on how to clean your particular kind of barriers.
- Wipe the inside of the grill from any noticeable splatterings or grease spots.
- Use a grill cover between uses. It's a simple way to keep your grill cleaner, especially in dusty climates. Most manufacturers sell matching waterproof, breathable grill covers for their grills.
- If you live near the ocean, don't use a grill cover because it will trap the salty moisture in with your grill. Instead, wipe down the exterior and interior before use.
In general, consistent cleaning of these components once a month is adequate. However, if you are an avid griller and grill burgers and other fatty meats a couple of times per week, your grill will require more maintenance.
How To Maintain Your Gas Grill: Storage and Winterization
If you live in colder climates and don't plan on grilling during those months, it is essential to clean and store your grill correctly. The worst thing you can do is leave it out to endure the rain, wind, snow, and ice.
- Do a thorough wipe down of the exterior and interior of your grill. In general, soapy water is enough. For more difficult grime and grease, consult your user manual for cleaning directions that won't damage your grill.
- Disconnect and close any propane tanks.
- Most manufacturers recommend putting your grill in a warm, dry place and covering it with its original cover.
- Store propane tanks in a shed or detached garage, but never in your home.
Practicing a little maintenance will go a long way in protecting your investment and enjoying your grill for years to come. It is also easier to practice these tips rather than tackle a once-a-year deep clean. For more cleaning tips, check out our guide on how to clean your stainless steel gas grill.