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Some of the keys to getting your BBQ off and running like new to start this season.

Tips to make sure your BBQ is ready for summer grilling

The Conversation
Special to The Weather Network

Tuesday, April 21, 2015, 12:21 PM - The arrival of spring means your BBQ is no longer buried under three feet of snow.  So now that you’ve found it again, do you know the best way to prep your outdoor grill for the upcoming season?

We consulted BarbecuesGalore in Oakville, Ont., for some handy tips on giving your BBQ a spring tuneup. From taking off the cover to firing up the grill, here's a step-by-step primer that will have you up and grilling in no time!

1. Break it out: After a season in hibernation (all-season grillers, you still need to follow these tips) it's a good idea to inspect the BBQ for any damage and wear and tear. Take off the cover and have a good look. You’ll want to make sure that it is in full working order before your first grill of the season. You’ll also want to make sure that it’s clear of any little friends that may have made it a home for the winter!

2. Clean it: Once satisfied with the inspection, give your BBQ a thorough cleaning, starting with the outside working your way inside. Use a stainless steel cleaner made for this purpose and remember to rub in the direction of the grain.

3. Inspect it: Look for any loose, rusty, or missing screws and nuts and replace. Inspect all the fuel fittings and hoses for leaks and tighten any loose connections.  If you think you have a leak, use a mixture of dishwasher liquid and water and apply to the connection and check for bubbling. It's important that you NEVER use a lighter!

4. The Grill Grates: You’ll want to give your grates a thorough scrub with a wire brush to remove dirt and debris.  New grill grates should be washed with dish detergent to remove any residual manufacturing chemicals or oils, or they can be run through the dish washer.

5. Fire it up: Preheat your outdoor grill before each use, for at least 10 minutes to medium heat.  Then you’ll want to season your grates using olive oil on a clean rag or use a piece of fat from your steak held with a pair of tongues for this purpose to save your fingers. You’ll want to avoid anything salty like bacon fat.

6. Enjoy! Photo courtesy: Tony Annyschyn: Windsor, Ont.

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