How to Clean a Grill for Spring

Weber Grill Base   Have you ever been to a friend’s house for a cookout and saw what can best be described as an ecological disaster masquerading as a grill? Something so grimy and funky that the BBQ Gods themselves wouldn’t be able to coax an edible meal off of it? Well we are here to tell you that outdoor cooking isn’t all just flames, food, and fun! Sometimes you’ve got to roll up those sleeves and get dirty. Follow along as we talk about how to clean a grill.

How to clean a grill

What you will need

  • A bucket filled with water. Hot water is a bonus.
  • Mild Detergent. We like to use dish soap, it is well designed to cut through the kinds of grease and grime on a grill.
  • Scrub Brushes. A soft bristle and a stiff bristle
  • Spackle Knife
  • Access to a garden hose with a sprayer nozzle or a power-washer.
  • Rubber Gloves. We don’t use harsh chemicals but this can be a grimy job.
  • Steel Grill Brush
  • Kitchen Sponge with a Scrubby Pad
  • New Drip Tray Liner

Getting Started with how to clean a grill

  • We Get started by pulling the tank out of the grill. It makes it easier to clean inside the cabinet and it is just plain safer! Remember you won’t be able to enjoy your outdoor cooking if you inadvertently blow yourself up!
  • Disassemble the grill as much as you can. We have a Weber 330 so we start with pulling off the grill grates, flavorizer bars, and we take the time to remove the burners. Taking off as much as you can will make the scrapping and scrubbing go that much easier.
  • We start with scrapping as much of the accumulated crud down into the drip tray with the spackle knife. Remember to give the lid a pass or to as well. The scale build up can sometimes fall on to your food and that is just nasty.
  • Pull the drip tray after the scrapping is done.
  • We like to treat the grill like a car and start washing from the top down. Hose it off and have at it. The soft brush is for the more delicate outside. Any touch spots on the outside are hit with the sponge with the scrubby. The stiff bristle brush is for the inside. Give it a good and thorough scrubbing. Rinse it off. If your grill is a real backyard warrior it might need a few scrub and rinses!
  • Scrap, scrub, and inspect your grates and flavorizer bars. Weber enamel coated grates are notorious for not lasting all that long. Ours are probably seeing their last season, they’ve been in constant use since 2010. We will make the upgrade to the Stainless Steel Cooking Grates next year along with new flavorizer bars.
  • While you’re in there take a look at all the fittings and hoses. Refer to your owners manual for this one.
  • Let it dry out and reassemble. Put that shiny new drip tray liner in too! Fire it up! We like to bring it up to a good hot temp just to make sure it is working properly.
  • While you are working on it this might be a good time to replace the battery in the ignition as well.

Remember it might not be glamorous but taking the time to keep a clean grill will only help to make your food better. Rancid oil and grease or crud flying around are not flavor profiles to build on!

So there you have it, how to clean a grill.

 

 

 

 

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Bear Paws : Product Spotlight

Bear PawsBear Paws are one of those trick toys that are as useful as they are cool! I got my pair as a surprise Father’s Day gift a couple years of go and I haven’t looked back since.

Bear Paws

The design of these things is just pure genius, gone are the days of trying to sling a 15 pound beef brisket around with a pair of tongs, or burning the heck out of your hands. I’ve fooled around with those heat resistant barbecue gloves but since I’ve got big hands I’ve had a hard time finding a pair that will fit. The Bear Paws fill the role of the heat resistant gloves but do so much more!

  • They make transitioning large cuts of meat like beef brisket and smoked pork butt on and off of the smoker that much easier.
  • The bear paws making slicing the meat a joy. The claws positively hold the meat better than a dinner fork ever could!
  • When it comes to shredding a beef brisket or pulling a smoked pork butt they are game changers. I was using the fork method for a while but these are night and day compared to that.
  • They do look pretty bad ass too!  I may or may not have chased my 3 year old around the backyard while screaming “Wolverine!!!” (I don’t condone or recommend this, but it is fun).
  • They are made in the USA
  • They are heat resistant to 475 degrees
  • And best of all. . . they are dishwasher safe!

BBQ Bear Paws

These things are really great. They perform well for all barbecue tasks great and small. I can whole heartedly recommend them too with out question. It will be outdoor cooking season before we know it, why don’t you treat yourself to a pair. You can order them at the link below, and if you do I make a small commission on these babies.

 

Bear Paws


 

Affiliate Disclosure: I am grateful to be of service and bring you content free of charge. In order to do this, please note that when you click links and purchase items, in most (not all) cases I will receive a referral commission. Your support in purchasing through these links enables me to keep the content train rolling

Poll: What do you do most of your outdoor cooking on?

What are you cooking with?Here at flames and food we doing  most  of our outdoor cooking on our Weber Genesis 330. It is a pre-2011 model with the heating elements arranged front to back instead of left to right, like the newer models. It really is our pride and joy, and worth every penny we scrimped and saved for it! And, yes, we actually use the side burner!

What do you do most of your outdoor cooking on?


This is an informal poll and just to satisfy our own curiosity.

Affiliate Disclosure: I am grateful to be of service and bring you content free of charge. In order to do this, please note that when you click links and purchase items, in most (not all) cases I will receive a referral commission. Your support in purchasing through these links enables me to keep the content train rolling

Cheap BBQ: My First Time

SmokerMy first time with a cheap bbq was like the first time with a lot of things. It was hot and smokey, neither of us were really equipped for what was going to happen, someone cried, but in the end it turned out pretty darn good.

Cheap BBQ

The first time I smoked a pork butt is was definitely a labor of love. I had borrowed my buddies Char-Broil smoker, that is pictured above. He had bought it on a whim from Lowes. He had used it rather unspectacularly (Sorry Ray but that is the truth)  on some Italian sausage. The thing is, I looked at this cheap bbq with a plan, nay a song in my heart! I was going to make me some smoked pork butt! So I strapped it to the roof of my Jeep and hauled her home.

My first stop on the Internet was Amazing Ribs. There I was able to read all about making pork shoulder and how badly cheap bbq off-set smokers SUCK!!! I would not be deterred, for I had a song in my heart. . .

The next morning had me up at the crack of dawn with a plan, a rubbed pork butt, some charcoal, and a cheap bbq. We were rocking and rolling as the Sun came up. I had a lounge chair, and figured that fishing and golf rules about drinking beer applied to smoking, so there was a cooler of ice cold Coronas along for the ride.

It was impossible to keep the temperature at anything resembling 250 degrees. According to the dial thermometer (and we know what I think of those pieces of crap) the temp was swinging wildly between 200 and 300 degrees. I burnt through a whole bag of charcoal and had to get some from a neighbor. I got drunk and burnt myself. . .twice!

But oh, the smells that were coming out of that cheap bbq were intoxicating! 9 short terror filled hours later and my pork but was done. It came off of that hell spawned device with bark to die for, and the bone pulled out like it was held in by butter. We used a store bought sauce that day, but it was heavenly and I was hooked!

How was your first time? Leave a comment and lets us know. . .

Affiliate Disclosure: I am grateful to be of service and bring you content free of charge. In order to do this, please note that when you click links and purchase items, in most (not all) cases I will receive a referral commission. Your support in purchasing through these links enables me to keep the content train rolling

Kamado Grills: Pro’s and Con’s

Kamado GrillsKamado grills have been around for a long time, they are now known as egg smokers or grills. The use of clay in cooking vessels date back to almost 2000 BC. In Japan the precursor to the modern kamado grill is called the mushikamado and it first came to attention of American G.I.’s during the Post-War Occupation of Japan. Now modern ceramics have supplanted the clay and we get the modern kamado grills like The Big Green Egg and those offered by Kamado King.

We here at flames and food.com were very lucky to get a screaming deal on the kamado grill in the picture above. It is a mixture of first and second generation grills from Kamado King. A friend of ours is a huge proponent of the kamado grill and he won a new one in a BBQ Competition. He took a bit of mercy on us, as we were still in our fledgling smoking days, and were suffering with a cheapy off set smoker from Lowes. He sold us his old one for $100 and the rest is history! We’ve had to do some restoration but this baby still smokes, bakes, and grills with the best of them.

Kamado Grills Pro’s

  • The design allows for a wide range of cooking temps. We have cold smoked sausage and jerky, as well as seared steaks and baked pizza.
  • No form of smoker is more efficient on fuel than a kamado grill. Our kamado will smoke a full 15 pound brisket without the addition of anymore lump charcoal.
  • The well sealed and insulated design of the kamado grills keeps more moisture in what your cooking. Meats will routinely lose less weight on a kamado compared to other smokers.
  • After a session is done you can close the dampers and choke off a fire. This conserves on fuel and saves some for the next time.
  • They are so well insulated, they don’t suffer from degraded performance when it is cold out.

Kamado Grills Con’s

  • Kamados are heavy! You are not easily going to transport one down to the beach. We bust our buts just lugging ours out front for the block party.
  • They have a pretty steep learning curve. To wring the most out of your kamado you are going to have to invest time in learning how to use it.
  • A kamado takes a long time to cool down. If you over shoot your temp you are going to have to wait!
  • They don’t really do 2 things well in the same day. If you are set up to use it as a smoker and then want to grill it involves welding gloves and red hot ceramics. Changing out the deflector plate while it is hot isn’t for the faint of heart.

As long as you accept that kamado grills have a few deficiencies (just don’t tell an EGGhead), they make a great addition to your outdoor cooking options. Just know that they are pricey! I don’t see that as a Con though, quality costs and a kamado can last a lifetime.

What do you think? Do the benefits outweigh the cost of the kamado grills? Leave a comment below. . .

 

Affiliate Disclosure: I am grateful to be of service and bring you content free of charge. In order to do this, please note that when you click links and purchase items, in most (not all) cases I will receive a referral commission. Your support in purchasing through these links enables me to keep the content train rolling

Charcoal Chimney Starter

Charcoal Chimney StarterA charcoal chimney starter takes a bit of the fun out of the backyard barbecue, but adds a lot of safety! If you grew up in the 70’s or 80’s, you might remember the gigantic fireball that signaled Dad was firing up the barbecue grill, and you can’t forget the faint, or not so faint, taste of charcoal lighter fluid, that permeated everything that came off of the grill. It doesn’t have to be like that, a charcoal chimney starter gets the party going without any danger, or lost eyebrows!

The charcoal chimney starter was invented by three dudes, Hugh King, Lavaughn Johnson, and Garner Byars in the 1960’s. We like to think of them as three righteous pit masters, who were fed up with the nasty taste of lighter fluid! However they came to decide to build it, our hats go off to them!

Using a Charcoal Chimney Starter

The use of one of these babies couldn’t be easier. Place three or four crumpled up newspapers in the bottom, and fill the inside with charcoal (we use hardwood lump). Light the newspaper with a match and wait for the newspaper to burn. After a few minutes, the charcoal will begin to glow nice and red. The true beauty of the charcoal chimney starter is the handles, they let you pick the starter up, and dump it right into the grill or smoker. No dangerous fireballs, and no charred arm hair! If you are grilling or smoking something that will require more hot coals, you can reserve a few inside the starter. The hot coals can be used to start another batch of charcoal for your grill.

The charcoal chimney starter is a must have for the serious backyard griller or smoker. It is especially useful if you are using a kamado grill. The closed environment of the kamado grill is especially susceptible to the funky taste that charcoal starting fluid imparts, so they should be considered mandatory of you have one.

The Toys:
We have the Weber here at flames and food. We got ours at Home Depot but they are also available at Amazon.


Affiliate Disclosure: I am grateful to be of service and bring you content free of charge. In order to do this, please note that when you click links and purchase items, in most (not all) cases I will receive a referral commission. Your support in purchasing through these links enables me to keep the content train rolling