Extreme Gas Grill Makeover

After a season of heavy grilling last year, my gas grill needs an extreme makeover of its own. Do you have any tips for a mid-season grill cleaning?

The same char broiling action that flavors ribs, chick, steaks and burgers you cook on grills all summer long, can really cause problems if you don't stop and clean the grill once in a while. Here's what to do:

First, soak the grids in hot, soapy water and clean them with a nylon-scrubbing pad. If they're really encrusted, use oven cleaner in a well-ventilated area and rinse clean.

Next remove the lava rock or ceramic briquettes, clean them with a wire brush and replace any that are deteriorated.

Then remove the burner, brush it clean and check carefully for cracks, split seams or holes. If any are found, the burner should be immediately replaced.

Lastly, check all the rubber gas hoses for cracks and replace any that show the slightest sign of wear.

Now you are ready to put the grill back together and check all gas connections for leaks. To do this safely, mix a 50/50 solution of liquid dishwashing soap and water. Brush the solution on all gas connections and watch for bubbles. If any are seen, the connection is leaking and should be fixed before firing the grill.

For more tips see my column Give Your Grill a Safety Check.

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