It is peak grilling season here in Calgary but if you are like us, you barbecue all year round. Down coats, umbrellas, and winter boots are all part of our grilling gear.
Keeping this appliance fine tuned and safe is very important to optimize the grilling experience and our safety. Cleaning and maintaining our barbecue is probably the last thing we want to do on a sunny Calgary day but dig in…the results are worth it!
At a minimum, our barbecues should be thoroughly cleaned once per year.
- Remove all grills, racks or lava rocks. Scrape and soak the racks in dish detergent but not for long as they can rust easily
- Clean out all the debris that has collected in the bottom of the grill (We shop vac this out to ensure we get it all. Many grills have a compartment with a tray to do the same)
- Use dish soap, vinegar, natural degreasers and a lot of effort, to remove grease and build up inside and outside the barbecue
- Clean grills and racks with a metal brush first and then follow with soapy water. The grills can be particularly disgusting and greasy. If you want a cheat way to clean them check out this link – an easy guide to using fabric softener sheets to clean your grills. That is right – fabric softener sheets. https://www.bobvila.com/slideshow/9-things-you-didn-t-know-dryer-sheets-can-do-49365/how-to-clean-oven-racks
- Burners are easily removed from the barbecue. Brush them off making sure that the tiny gas holes are clear. Gently poke clogs free with a toothpick or paper clip. Use a venturi brush to sweep away grit inside the burner, and shake out loosened bits through the gas inlet.
Replace Or Upgrade Parts
Parts can easily be replaced on your barbecue. Depending on the part it can be pricey but cheaper than buying a new grill.
Burners, grates, grills, briquettes or lava rock are all replaceable. Consider upgrading some of your parts from carbon steel to stainless steel. Stainless tolerates the cold Calgary winter much better.
Check out Barbecues Galore Calgary to see if they have the part you need. If not they might be able to order it for you. For models that they do not service go on line to find the part from the manufacturer.
If you require repairs to your unit that you cannot, or do not want to perform, I know of one company in Calgary that can help. The Barbecue Guy (who is a very busy guy!) can be reached at 403-471-6229.
Check for Gas Leaks
Make a half-and-half solution of liquid dish soap and water, and
ensure your burners are turned OFF. Open the gas or propane lines,
then brush the soap solution over all weld joints on the propane
tank, the propane valve, and all valve and hose connections (just
hose and valve connections for gas grills). Growing soapy bubbles
indicate a leak, which needs fixing pronto. Turn off fuel source,
then tighten joints, and replace valves and hoses as required.
Perform the leak test again to make sure everything is sealed up
tight. Call in the pros to ensure it is fixed properly. www.whotocall.ca
Top Up On Fuel Or Switch Fuel Sources
It’s the pits to run out of fuel part way through a good
grilling session. Propane cooks can invest in a handy magnetic
gadget that shows how full your tank is (Lee Valley makes a good
one), or you can pour warm water down the side of the tank and use
your hand to see where the water becomes cool, which indicates the
fuel level. It’s also worth it to have an extra tank handy, just in
We all use natural gas in our homes here in Calgary so piping in our grills is certainly an option. First consult your manual to ensure that the grill can be converted to burn natural gas. If so, burners and manifolds will still have to be changed out to compensate for the lower pressure delivery of Natural Gas vs Propane. A professional is required to run and hook up the natural gas line. Plumbing companies can provide this service Who To Call Plumbers
Invest In A Cover
You have spent all of this time cleaning and repairing your barbeque so make sure to cover your like-new grill with a tarp or fitted cover to keep it clean, and you’re good to go.
A good step by step gas grill cleaning guide for your reference