7 Outdoor Grill Maintenance Tips

by Shelley Frost
a male s hand cleans a black BBQ grill with a soft brush

There's something about warm weather that calls you to fire up the grill. Your outdoor grill can handle the heat quite well, but it also needs a little TLC to last.

This May Also Interest You: Guard Your Grill: Keep Charcoal, Gas Grills Working by Keeping ‘Em Clean

Doing a little grill maintenance can help you grill safely with tasty results, and it can help you get more life out of your grill. From grill cleaning to proper storage, cook up a successful grill maintenance routine with these tips.

What Tasks Do You Need to Do to Maintain an Outdoor Grill?

Grill cleaning is a major maintenance task. Letting grease and gunk build up in the grill can shorten its life, and it can make your food taste funky. You'll need to perform a few other grill maintenance tasks as well to keep your outdoor grill safe and in good condition.

1. Check the Fuel Lines

Loyal grill masters often have a strong preference between charcoal and gas grills. If you fall on the gas grill side, always do a pre-grilling-season check of your fuel lines. Look for cracks or other types of damage.

After connecting the tank to the grill, spray a little soapy water on the connections. If it forms bubbles, the connection isn't secure, and you have a gas leak. Fix these issues before you grill. Check your gas line at least once a month to look for new damage.

2. Preheat and Brush

Every time you grill, preheat the grill and the grates. This can help disinfect everything to give you a clean, safe surface for grilling. Run a grill brush over the grates before you throw on your burgers and brats to get rid of any remaining residue.

3. Burn Off Food Debris

It's tempting to dig into the food immediately, but those steaks need to rest anyway. When you pull the food off your gas grill, turn it up to the highest temperature to help cook off the drippings and food residue. This gives you a cleaner start the next time you grill.

More Related Articles:

4. Do a Deeper Clean

At least twice per grilling season, or about every 10 or so grilling sessions, perform a deeper grill cleaning to get rid of buildup. Here are some cleaning tasks to tackle:

  • Grill exterior. Wipe down the outside of the grill using a microfiber cloth or paper towel.
  • Interior compartment. Remove the grates and other removable components while the grill is cool. Brush the gunk off the inside of the grill so it falls into the tray at the bottom.
  • Grates. Soak the grates in warm, soapy water. Use a sponge to clean the grates. Rinse and dry them before placing them back in the grill.
  • Bottom pan. Some grills have removable pans in the bottom. If yours does, take it out and get rid of all the gunk in it. Wash the tray with warm, soapy water and rinse it well before putting it back in place.

5. Cover the Grill

Using a cover between uses protects your outdoor grill from the sun and weather elements. It keeps the grill dry, which can protect against corrosion. Find a cover that fits your grill well. Many covers have hook-and-loop closures or drawstrings to tighten them around the grill. You can also use bungee cords to hold the cover onto the grill so it doesn't blow away. Wait until the grill is completely cool before putting the cover on it.

6. Protect Your Outdoor Grill From Extreme Weather

That waterproof grill cover might work well for the average summer rainfall, but it won't protect it from extreme weather. Hail can dent your grill, and strong winds could knock it over. When the forecast looks ominous, move your grill into a garage or shed. Make sure the grill is cool and the gas isn't turned on while you have it stored inside.

7. Prep It for Storage

Do one final cleaning before you tuck away your grill for the winter. Make sure all parts are completely dry to prevent rusting over the winter. Disconnect the gas supply if you have a gas grill. Place the cover on the grill and put it in a shed or another enclosed area if possible to protect it from the winter weather.