Barbeque Maintenance Tips

When purchasing your barbeque grill, think of it as an investment rather then just another item for your outdoor entertainment. You should expect this item to become a large part of your outdoor activities for many years to come. But like any other investments, proper maintenance and care is needed to ensure that your barbeque grill will work for you for many years to come. While some maintenance and cleaning is specific to the type of barbeque grill your own (gas, electric, charcoal or smoke barbecue grill), the majority of maintenance that should be carried on does not change from grill to grill.

Step 1- Gathering The Necessary Items

You will need some common household items on hand when it comes time to clean your barbeque grill.

Brass wire grill brush
Steel wool pads, preferably that contains soap already.
Mild dish soap
Sponge or dishcloth
Spray cooking oil
Dry baking soda
Aluminum foil

Step 2- Brushing Your Grill Off

The first thing that should always be done to your grill is a routine brushing. Using your brass wire grill brush (or other brush suitable to your type of grill) you should brush off all the surfaces. By routinely brushing your barbeque grill, you will prevent any type of buildup. If buildup from food is left to long, it can become increasingly difficult to remove.

Step 3- Spray Cooking Oil

Once you are sure that your grill is free of all buildup and debris, and that your grill is completely cooled off, you will want to spray it down with a light layer of cooking oil. Spraying it down with cooking oil will prevent your barbeque grill from rusting. It is especially important to make sure your barbeque grill is completely cold, as spraying cooking oil on a hot surface may cause the oil to heat up and ignite, which could be potentially dangerous to you and your barbeque grill.

Step 4- Use Baking Soda and Aluminum Foil on Your Grill

Baking soda is a very nice cleaning and polishing agent. Once you have removed any extra debris and buildup, lightly scrubbing your barbeque grill with baking soda will give it that extra shine, similar to the day that you brought it home from the store. This can also be used on handles and knobs to remove any extra buildup that cannot be taken off with a wire brush.

Aluminum foil can also be used to keep your grill looking nice. Gently rub the aluminum foil on your grill, and you will notice that it removes grim and buildup.

Step 5- Clean Your Racks

The racks in your grill are especially important as this is where the food touches when it is cooking. You will have to use the wire brush to remove as much buildup as possible. Once you remove as much as possible, start washing the racks with dish soap. If the racks are really dirty, you may also want to use the steel wool pads. Be sure to completely rinse off all soap and residue before cooking on these racks again.

Step 6- Preventing Problems

The majority of problems that arise from barbeque grills comes from lack of cleaning and maintenance. That means if you notice something does not seem quite right with your barbeque grill, chances are it can be fixed with just a simple cleaning. Even if you clean it, and still find that it is having problems, at least you saved yourself the potential embarrassment of taking it to a professional only to find out all it needed was to be cleaned.

Finally, one method of preventing problems with your barbeque grill is protecting it from the outdoors. Covers are available for grills in all shapes and sizes, so chances are, you will find one that fits your grill. If you have a cover for your barbeque grill, then all you will ever need to do is do the regular maintenance listed above.

Barbequing: An American Tradition

No matter if it is the 4th of July, or just another day in the summer, chances are someone in your area is barbequing. Barbequing has become a standard American tradition for families. The reason as clear as to why, not only does the food that comes from barbequing have a taste that is unmatched by other cooking methods, but barbequing presents a reason for families to gather together. Some on my most memorial experiences happened outdoors at one of my families many get-togethers.

Planning A Barbeque

First, no barbeque would be complete without guests and proper outdoors weather. Plan ahead of time, checking with your potential guests for scheduling conflicts and issues. Finding a date and time that is suitable for everyone should not be to hard as long as you everyone enough advanced notice. Alternatively, be sure to check the weather for that type of year. If you live in a climate that cannot be predicted, then you may want to have a backup plan just incase unusual weather comes. You cannot predict things like rain and thunderstorms ahead of time, but you can make sure that you hold you barbeque during the time of year that will be pleasant to your guests. A barbeque in cold weather may hold more negative memories of trying to keep warm rather then good memories of family and friends.

Barbequing has been around since early cavemen figured out that food tasted great after being cooked on an open fire. Perhaps one of the main memories attached to a family barbeque is what was on the menu that day. Barbequing opens a whole array of types of foods available. The type of foods you serve should largely depend on your crowd and the event in which you are celebrating. With the wide range of possibilities, you are sure to find at least a few items that will please your crowd.

Make sure that you prepare ahead for your barbeque. 12 to 24 hours before you plan on beginning the party, make sure to thaw, prepare, and marinate the meat you will be cooking. Once you have the meat stored away, soaking up the marinate, then you must start thinking about what types of side dishes you will be having. If you want a completely tradition barbeque, you may want to stick with traditional sizes. Traditional barbeque sides include potatoes and potato salad, baked beans, and coleslaw. Your traditional condiment bar should include pickles, relish, and onions. These foods are typically severed at barbeques because they are easy to prepare and store until the event happens. You may want to cook other items, but any barbeque is complete with just the items listed above.

A themed barbeque may present more opportunities to hold a festive event. With a themed event, you can splurge on the atmosphere and decorations. Matching tablecloths, napkins, and plates can be found at any local store. You can also match your décor to the party. For example, a luau could simply be creative colored utensils, leis, and Tiki torches, all of which are extremely cheap. You can even reuse the Tiki torches later!

Your party area should be set up before guest arrive. It only takes a few minutes to get everything ready, but the reaction you get from your arriving guests may make you feel like you were preparing and decorating all day. Depending on the situation, you may or may not want to have the food already cooking on the grill. The smell will surely be inviting if you start cooking ahead!

Summer Grilling – The Perfect Barbeque

Summer time is the perfect time for barbequing. Not only is the temperatures perfect for outdoor activities, but often the children are out of school, and families are traveling for their summer vacations. Today in America, it is unheard of for a family to go a full summer without having or attending a barbeque cookout. Today, over 90% of families attend a barbeque at least once a year.

Summer is indeed the perfect time to plan a barbeque party. It is important to remember certain things when barbequing to ensure that your party goes flawless.

Grilling Do’s and Don’ts

1. Always start with a completely clean grill. The amazing fish that you cooked last week was indeed tasty, but unless you want a hint of fish with your hot dogs, you need to clean your grill before cooking. It is recommended that you clean you grill each and every time you use it. Wait until it cools down, and then clean the surfaces with baking soda and the racks with grease fighting dish soap and water.

2. Before you begin cooking, spray your cooking area with a nonstick cooking spray. This will prevent your meat from sticking when you are rotating or removing it. If your meat sticks and tears, you will lose a large amount of juice, and your meat may dry out.

3. Never place food on the grill until the temperature is correct. The fluctuation in temperatures will cause your food to dry out or burn. If you are using a charcoal grill, make sure that the coals are completely gray before putting the meat on the grill. This will allow the temperatures to level out, and the majority of the lighter fluid to burn off.

4. While marinating before you cook will add flavor, covering your meat in barbeque sauces before cooking will dry your meat out, and may even cause it to burn. This happens because most barbeques sauces contain high amounts of fat and sugar, which burn really easy. Alternatively, lightly seasoning your meat will work well, and will not have any adverse effects. If you must use barbeque sauce, only add it in the final minutes before taking your meat off the grill. Just remember that meat has a natural flavor that is only brought out by barbequing, so you do not want to ruin that.

5. Searing you meat will lock in the juices and taste, but you do not want to cook your meat at that temperature for the whole amount of time. Once you have seared both sides, reduce the heat to medium. This will ensure that your meat is full of flavor and tender.

6. Once meat is cooked, never put it back in on the same plate you had it on when it was raw. This could cause the spread of many unwanted illnesses. Do not handle cooked meat with the same utensils that you used when it was raw.

7. Never poke you meat while it is cooking. Poking holes in meat will cause the juice inside to leak out into the bottom of the grill. Not only will this make your food dry and unappealing in the end, but it also could potentially ruin your barbeque grill. At the very least, it will cause a buildup of unwanted grease and juices on your grill, which will make cleanup harder.

How To Use A Charcoal Grill

So you have decided that you want to start barbequing. What more, you have done your research and decided that a charcoal grill is the right type of grill for you. So now you have to pick out the charcoal grill that suits you best.

One of the first things to consider when purchasing your first charcoal grill is what you will be using it for. If you plan on traveling and using your charcoal grill, you will want something small enough to travel with you. Smaller charcoal grills are ideal for cookouts, camping, and tail gate parties, but would not be useful if you were cooking for a larger amount of people. Smaller grills that are easy to transport usually cost under 20 dollars, so you may want to consider purchasing a separate grill for smaller occasions.

Safety should also be a major concern when you are picking out your first charcoal grill. Since you grill will contain hot coals, the number one concern should be whether or not your grill is sturdy. Look for a charcoal grill with a sturdy structure and sturdy legs. If you grill does now have sturdy legs, it’s chances of falling over is much greater. When a charcoal grill falls over, it send hot coals flying. Many charcoal grills also have built in safety features such as a water reservoir and smothering valves. Undoubtedly, when you are cooking with fire, accidents can happen. In the case that your grill gets out of control or becomes to hot, these safety features will prevent potentially dangerous fires.

One of the most noticeable features when using charcoal is the flavor of the food you cook. To cook with a charcoal grill, you must buy charcoal briquettes and lighter fluid. Charcoal is a one use item, and will need to be discarded after each use. Charcoal can be picked up at your local superstore, gas station, or grocery store, and is typically pretty inexpensive. Charcoal must be light and allowed to burn until the charcoal is no longer on fire, but is red embers. The best way to get the pile to burn is by stacking it in a pyramid.

While no one likes to clean their grill, it is necessary to maintain your grill if you want it to last it’s intended lifetime. One problem you will face is the fact that Charcoal grills stay hot for a long period of time. You can remedy this situation 2 ways. First you can leave your grill open, allowing it to burn out. This method typically burns a lot of the grease off, but can potentially cause problems if you are not near your barbeque grill. You do not want to start a fire. Another way is to completely close off your grill and deny the fire oxygen. As soon as the grill is cold, or cold enough not to burn you, you will want to clean the grill. Leaving the grill dirty for any amount of time will cause the buildup to become hard, and may make it harder to remove. Use a wire brush to clean off the surface areas of your grill, and then spray cooking oil on the surface. Take the racks off and clean them with dishwashing soap. Dawn or other brands that have degreasers work best. Rinse the racks off, and replace them in the grill.

Stainless Steel Gas Grills For The Expert

Once you decide that you are more then just your average griller, you may want to consider investing in a gas grills. Gas grills give an array of features and options that other types of grills simply do not have. If you are looking for a grill that will be beautiful, reliable, and will last for many years to come, you may want to consider looking into stainless steel gas grills.

Gas grills, unlike some of the other grills types, have the ability to come with many different types of cooking surfaces. These different cooking surfaces include a BBQ surface, a flat grill, and a ribbed grill. Some grills even offer these types of surfaces as none stick, which allow you to cook a whole array of foods that you would not be able to cook on a grill otherwise. You will be able to cook your whole meal, including side dishes if you plan correctly. Some gas grills even contain a Wok type surface for cooking pasta and rise dishes, or a full rotisserie set that allows you to cook rotisserie chicken.

A feature that comes with different cooking surfaces is the ability to cook different foods, at different temperatures, at the same time. This feature is available if your gas grill have separate burners. This allows you to cook your meals much more quickly. Some gas grills even come with a warming feature, which will keep your food warm while the rest of it finishes cooking.

Gas grills usually contain a built in thermometer, which will aide you in cooking. You will know the exact temperature you are cooking at. Charcoal and Smoker grills do not typically contain this feature, which either leaves you guessing what temperatures you are cooking at, or requires you to buy extra equipment in order to find out what temperature your food is.

Gas grills have safely concerns all of its own, but they are unmatched by other types of grills. Propane gas is extremely flammable if not used correctly. Other grills however, present higher opportunities for fire as they cook with an open flame. Gas grills are typical built much sturdier then their more simpler counterparts.

Popular Stainless Steel Gas Grills

Broilmaster- One of the most popular brands of natural gas grills is the Broilmasters. This company has been around for a long time and prides itself by creating great grills, even in its companies early years. If you are looking for a reliable name, Broilmaster would be the way to go. One of the most popular Broilmaster grills is the Super Premium Series, which puts out 40,000 BTU’s of cooking power, and has a cooking surface area of over 695 square inches.

Brinkman- These simple natural gas grills put out a lot of power, and can be purchased for much less then it’s competition. The Brinkmans, like the Broilmasters, are built of solid construction and meant to last a long time. Typical power output is around 45,000 BTU’s. Smaller units can range from 12,000 to 15,00 BTU’s.

Lynx- Lynx natural gas grills were specially designed for cooking higher end meats such as steaks and ribs. This grill have a patent design that is suppose to lock in flavor and juices. The Lynx run on the higher end of the price range, anywhere from $500 to $3000. The typical cooking power is about 50,000 BTU and has a cooking surface area of 840 square inches.