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With summer finally in full swing we are enjoying one of the greatest rituals of the season, OUTDOOR GRILLING! Lets face it ladies, this often means the man of the house is finally doing more of the cooking and the outdoor grill greatly reduces our time spent in the kitchen, especially when it comes to clean up. If your significant other is like most men then he probably preaches the theory that the more build-up of grease on grill the better the food tastes. Unfortunately, lack of proper grill maintenance will shorten the useful life of your grill or cost you more time and money in replacing parts.
If you've noticed that your grill isn't quite firing up and burning like it use to then it may be time to refurbish it. It's actually quite simple and inexpensive to service it yourself. Since your grill has served you so well all summer long don't you think your old faithful summer friend deserves a little TLC?
Before you can clean and/or replace some of the old dirty grill parts, you need to take old faithful apart, but before you even start dismantling the grill MAKE SURE THAT YOU TURN OFF AND DISCONNECT THE GAS!
After you are certain you will not create your own summer fireworks display you can start taking apart your grill. The first part to go is the grill plate. Most grills these days come with porcelain-coated grates that clean up easily with an abrasive pad and soap. If your grates are corroded or you have chromed grates it's easier to buy new ones available at any home center for about $20.00 for porcelain coated, or for the serious outdoor chef, upgrade to cast iron grates. If you already have cast iron grates, clean and remove any rust with steel wool or a wire brush and just like a cast iron pan, re-season them before you use them. To do this simply coat the grates with vegetable oil, pre-heat the grill, return coated grates to grill and set the temperature to medium, close grill and cook for one hour.
Next remove the rocks, rock grate and drip bar. If the rocks are more than a few seasons old buy new ones. These days you have a variety of rocks to choose from including seasoned hardwoods, charcoal, flavored briquettes, and lava rocks. Ceramic Briquettes cost about $5.00 for a bag of 60 and Lava Rocks cost about $3.00 for a 6 lb bag.
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