3 Tips to Get “Grill-Ready” for BBQ Season
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (April 7, 2021) – Spring is in the air, and after a long winter, it’s time to uncover the grill and kick off BBQ season. But if you haven’t touched the grill since last autumn, now is a good time to clean, do simple maintenance, and stock up on the supplies you’ll need to delight your friends and family with your BBQ skills. Westlake Ace Hardware offers these tips to get “grill-ready” for the months ahead.
1. Brush Up: A high-quality grill brush is essential for keeping grates clean. But these practical and often-used tools are usually neglected and left hanging on the side of the grill, exposed to the weather. Carefully inspect your grill brush for signs of wear like missing bristles and a cracked handle. Don’t skimp on the grill brush! If the bristles are loose or missing, discard the one you have immediately and replace it with the highest quality brush your budget will allow. The best models contain stainless steel bristles that stay in the brush head and won’t drop into your food, as well as handles that are long enough to keep hands and arms away from the heat of the grill. If you’d prefer to not use a traditional brush, purchase a grill scraper or bristle-free grate cleaner.
2. Scrub and Vac: Chances are your grill could use some good, old-fashioned spring cleaning. Remove the grate, give the heating element (if it’s a gas grill) and the inside of the grill a good scrubbing with a wire brush, then break out the shop vac to clean up all the dried cinders and residue from last year.
- Replace the liner in the grease trap.
- Scrub the grate with hot water and de-greasing dish soap – allowing it to air dry after rinsing before putting it back in the grill.
- Run your grilling tools through the dishwasher.
- Clean and shine the cover and any other surfaces with a soft cloth and a non-abrasive, de-greasing cleaner.
3. Fuel up: Now is the time to inspect the charcoal and pellets left over from last year – making sure the supply is dry and fresh. If the supply needs to be replenished, consider buying a heavy-duty plastic container with a secure lid to store it in. Always store fuel sources in a dry area such as a garage or covered porch.
For gas grills, check the level of your propane tank. If your grill doesn’t have an indicator, remove the tank and place it on a bathroom scale. A full tank will weigh around 38 pounds, while an empty tank will weigh around 18 pounds. Empty tanks can easily be exchanged for a full one at a local Ace Hardware. Consider buying an extra full tank to keep in storage in case you run low while you’re grilling.
- Inspect the fuel line for leakage. The easiest way to test for a leak is to mix a 50/50 solution of soap and water, apply it to any fuel tank connection point. Open the gas supply. If there are leaks, bubbles will form. If leaks are coming from the hose, replace it. If it’s coming from a connection point, try disconnecting and reconnecting the tank. Very often leaks are because of loose connections, so always use a wrench when tightening hoses and regulators to ensure a secure fit.
- Winter weather can be brutal on batteries. If your grill ignitor doesn’t work, try replacing the battery. If that doesn’t work, check for corrosion on the module or for damage to the igniter wires.
About Westlake Ace Hardware
Headquartered in the Kansas City area, 115-year-old Westlake Ace Hardware has been the helpful neighborhood hardware store countless generations have shopped at for power and hand tools, fasteners, paint, plumbing, lawn care, pet, electrical supplies, and BBQ grills and accessories. It has been part of the Ace Hardware Cooperative since 1959, and a wholly owned Ace subsidiary since 2012.
With access to more than 70,000 products, Westlake lives the Ace Helpful Promise every day by delivering reliable service, helpful advice, and products so its customers and neighbors get their projects done right every time. Westlake Commercial offers a wide array of HVAC equipment, plumbing supplies, safety products, commercial lighting, paint, and other hard-to-find products to business and trade customers.
Westlake currently owns and operates 148 stores in 12 states:
- California (Ace Hardware of Chico, Fresno, La Crescenta, Mountain View, Pinole, South Pasadena, Thousand Oaks, Turlock, Van Nuys, West LA, and Woodland)
- Illinois (Buikema’s Ace Hardware)
- Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, New York, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas (Westlake Ace Hardware)
- North Carolina (Westlake Ace Hardware, Outer Banks Ace Hardware)
- Washington (Westlake Ace Hardware, Dennis Company Ace, North Bend Ace Hardware)