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Spring Spruce-Up

Easy Maintenance Tips For Grills (page 1 of 2)

Keep your grill burning bright for years with these easy maintenance tips.

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Grilling Fruit

Give Your Family a Good Grilling

John Keys, owner of Busters Butane Gas Company Inc. in Corpus Christi, Texas, has had the same gas grill for 10 years, and it shows no signs of slowing down. It doesn't look like a spring chicken, but it's not ready for the trash heap either.

You, too, can own a grill that lasts seemingly forever — all you have to do is follow a few simple guidelines.

Charcoal Grills

Edie Ramos, an inside garden sales associate at The Home Depot, said the back-to-basics charcoal grill is a sure-fire bet for grilling on the cheap. With a little loving care, this low-cost cooking tool can last five to seven years.

Shopping: There aren't a lot of bells and whistles on these babies, so they aren't hard to shop for. Simply consider the size of the crowd you'll be cooking for and whether you want a grill that also has a smoker attachment.

Set up: Ramos recommends putting charcoal in the bottom and letting it burn for 30 to 45 minutes to burn off excess manufacturing materials.

Routine care: Wait until the fire burns down, Ramos said, leaving red coals before adding the meat to the grill. Before you do, you might want to add a little non-stick spray. Better yet, she suggested cutting an onion in half and scrubbing the grill with it. It will leave a nice residue that adds flavor and prevents food from sticking. After the meal, use the other half of that onion to clean up any mess.

Spring cleaning: If you're a good rust-watcher, you used that cover. Brighten up the grill's exterior with glass cleaner, Ramos said, and scrub the inside with a wire brush.

Safety first: If your food is nice and juicy, it's going to cause the fire to flare up. Opening the lid will fan the flames with a lot of oxygen, so open it slowly to avoid a big blow-up. Also, don't be so happy with the lighter fluid; dampen the coals, don't soak them.

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