Addition made 2/4/2006 at end.
Hooboy, take a close look, maybe click on the image. See if you can find my moldy que gloves there.
While I consider myself to be a year ’round griller and smoker, there can be dry spells. And this dry spell took place during the wettest part of the year, the last few months.
Look, you’ve only got a few days left to get your menu for Sunday ready. I haven’t a clue as to what I’m doing, except for tonight. Tonight it’s Cuban Sammiches, I can hardly wait. I knew my grill needed some attention, just didn’t know how much. If you haven’t checked your grill lately, you may want to do that.
Biggles is here to help.
Go to the store and buy either scotch brite pads or the ones attached to the sponge. Buy the ones with the green pad, not the white ones. The white ones are too fine and can’t handle the job. Also get yourself a plastic scrub brush. Or if you have some of these you don’t mind ruining, use what you have on hand. Just remember these will be going in the trash when done.
Remove your grill to a portion of the yard where you can open it up and pull out the pieces without ruining the concrete or whatever.
I use Barkeeper’s friend with the scotch brite pad to clean my grill with, but any really harsh cleaner will do. Standard cleanser, automatic dishwashing solution, don’t use Pine-sol, foo. Scrub the grill good enough to get the boogers off, bulk grease & whatever else comes off. You don’t need it Superman Clean, lordy. Rinse very well.
Turn to your pit and hose the sucker out, maybe tilt on the side. Uh, you may want to close your eyes because it’s at this point you get water deflected at your head or sometimes the crotch. Use your plastic scrub brush to knock off any nasties.
See, over time the inside builds up soot and meat leavenings. And as the pit heats & cools, the metal expands & contracts. This will, over time, begin to start dropping potato chip sized ‘things’ in to your fire and more likely on your food. In fact, before I install my food to the pit I’ll lightly run a wire brush over the inside lid portion.
Do this stuff in the mid morning on Saturday, let it sit out and open. After lunch, come out and start up a good sized fire, as though you were going to cook for a few hours or more. You need to run a fire through it to make sure you burn off any unmentionables and to dry it up. Poke the fire and arrange it as though you were going to use it, put the grill in too. After the fire is ready, set the vents and close the lid. Remember, control the fire with the intake vents, not the exhaust. If you shut down the exhaust, you could smother the fire and cause creosote (brown & white smoke) build-up on your food and grill. You’ll find this more likely to happen with people using wood and/or wood charcoal rather than briquettes.
While I may not have helped your menu for Sunday, I sure as hell gave you a jump start on the hardware end of things. This way, when Sunday noon shows up you won’t get a shock like this when you open up your grill.
After a good sleep last night, I realized there’s another way of cleaning the grill portion of the pit. Get yourself some thick, 4 to 6 mil polyethylene sheeting and cut a portion large enough to make a grill sandwich, with about a foot worth of slop on the sides.
Spray both sides of grill with your favorite oven cleaner, biodegradable or no. Remember to READ and UNDERSTAND the entire label, instructions and warnings. Cause this stuff burns !!! Ah, there’s nothing like the good burn of clean.
Close your grill sandwich and let sit for the specified amount of time, it says it on the can.
Rinse well and put in to service, spiky clean.