When it comes to grilling, you usually have a choice between using a charcoal grill and a gas grill. Gas grills are a bit easier to cook on and maintain than charcoal grills, since not only can you get more constant heat from a gas grill, but also since there usually isn’t as much of a mess to clean up as there is with charcoal grills. Nevertheless, you should still regularly clean them out in order to keep old, baked on food from ruining your grilling experience.
The first step of cooking on a gas grill is to make sure that not only you have enough propane to cook with, but that all of the hardware attached to the propane tank is in working order. Make sure that all burner valves are off before inspecting the tank and hardware. Some propane tanks have a meter attached that show you how much propane you have left, while others require you to swirl the tank around, judging by sound and weight to see how much you have left. Check for leaks by applying soapy water to the valve connections while releasing gas through the lines, watching for any bubbles on the connections. If you think you have a leak, do not use the grill.
After the gas grill is hooked up and inspected, start the grill by following the ignition instructions found in your owner’s manual. You do not have to use matches with a gas grill, as it comes with its own internal ignition device. Preheat the grill by placing the burner on a high setting and closing the lid, allowing the grill to heat up to about 500 degrees.
After you’ve preheated the grill, it’s time to barbeque. It’s up to you as far as how to cook, but there are many tips you can use to your advantage. For instance, you can cook certain meats such as steaks by using indirect heat. Just place the burner you want to use on low and turn the other surrounding burners to a medium setting. This allows the steak to be seared on the outside, while remaining juicy on the inside. Using tongs instead of a fork can keep juices from leaking out, causing the grill to flare up.
After you’re done cooking, it’s time to clean up. Place all of the burners on a high setting and close the lid. This is so that food remnants are burned down to charcoal. Keep an eye on the grill – it will stop smoking once this process is complete. Don’t forget to keep an eye on your lava stones. These last much longer than charcoal briquettes, but that doesn’t mean they should be forgotten. Every so often, turn these stones over so that food drippings and residue can burn off. If the lava stones begin to break apart and crumble into powder, replace them with new ones.
Finish up by using a wire brush to scrub off burnt food and other debris. Once a year, you’ll have to perform a thorough cleaning of your gas grill by dismantling it and cleaning off its individual parts. These times are perfect for checking your grill’s burners, which can get clogged up with debris and burnt food. You can also use this opportunity to change out your grill’s lava stones, if needed. Wash everything down with soap and water, then put it back together and preheat the grill in order to dry it off.