Spring (Grill) Cleaning

I was sitting at my desk today looking out the window at yet another snow storm piling up inches on the deck and back lawn. I was thinking about Spring (March 20), the start of Baseball Season (Phillies Home Opener: April 12), and BBQing (whenever I can finally make it through the snow on the deck to the grill).

And, just like the preparations of the garden for Spring, and the preparation for the Baseball Season in Spring Training, getting the old grill ready for the first BBQ or Baseball Tailgate, requires preparation and work.

If you are like me, and even though my wife always says (in not always the most complimentary way) that I am one of a kind, there are probably a lot of people like me in some serious ways.  Well, if you are at all like me, you probably took the old grill and shoved it in the storage shed or just covered it on the back patio or deck after that last football tailgate or cook out.  Over the winter it has been collecting dust and who knows what else, and marinating in the cooked-on remains of that last tailgate or BBQ.

I always like to think that the flavors of the next BBQ are enhanced by the flavors and remains of the last BBQ, but not all friends and family share my (and maybe your) culinary tastes.  So, we need to bite the bullet and clean the grill for that first big cook out.

For anyone who has done it, it’s no stretch to say that cleaning the BBQ grill is probably one of the most miserable jobs around. II’ve done some research, and discovered that there is a hard way to clean the grill and an easy way to clean the grill.

The hard way, or so it sounds to me, according to backyardlivingsite.com, requires a strong wire grill brush, aluminum foil, steel wool pads, a sponge, dish soap, baking soda and cooking spray or cooking oil.

Wow!  Just getting all that material together is a workout!  From there, you use the stiff wire brush to scrub the surfaces to remove stuck on food and sauce, spice or burned on cooking oil build-up.  Then you let the grill soak in the dish soap to further loosen up the dirt and remains from previous cooking, and then use the steel wool pads to further remove the build-up.  Rinse and dry the grill, and then sprinkle the grill with baking soda and scrub again with the aluminum foil.  Once everything is all clean, coat the grill racks with a fine mist of cooking spray or a light coating of cooking oil applied with a paper towel.  This coating will help keep the racks lubricated and prevent rusting in between uses.

Now, the easy way, and it sounds good to me, according to Loni Ice in ezinearticles.com, is to take all of the grill components and put them in a black plastic bag with a cup of ammonia, seal the bag with a twist tie, and leave the bag out in the sun for several hours, and have a beer and cigar.  (Actually I added the beer and cigar part!)  Then you pour the ammonia off down a drain and hose off the grill.  The vast majority of the gunk and dirt will come right off, leaving the grill reasonably clean (and who can ask for more than reasonably clean) and ready for the first BBQ.

Of course, the hands down easiest way to get a clean grill is to go out to Target or Walmart or Kmart and buy a brand new one. They are on sale right now .  And, for little or no extra, you can get one that is already assembled.

Now, how would you like that burger cooked?

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