Grill Cleaning Tips and Hacks

July is National Grilling Month so I decided to pass on a few tips to keep your grill in tip top shape. Since this weekend is July 4th, many part time BBQ chefs will try to fire up their neglected grills. I suspect those grills are not in the best shape and need a little love. The performance of your grill can diminish over time if has not been maintained properly. Low temperatures, uneven heat, hot spots and food sticking to grates are all possible side effects of poor grill cleaning and maintenance.

Most of the year I use my grill at least two times a week. I try to keep my grill clean and ready to go. I give my Weber a thorough cleaning in the spring and fall and also follow these tips from Weber.com monthly. I also have provided 10 grilling hacks to help you become a grill master. So get out there, clean up your grill and cook up some great food this weekend.

Happy Grilling!

Grilling Hacks dadwhats4dinner.com
Philly Cheese Steak Stuffed Burger

Grill Cleaning and Maintenance Tips:

  1. Wipe the outside of the grill lid with a paper towel and cleaner (glass cleaner for porcelain-coated lids and stainless steel cleaner for stainless steel lids). If your grill is stainless steel, you’ll get the best results by buffing with the grain, not against, using a microfiber towel.
  2. Clean side tables with a microfiber towel and stainless steel cleaner. Again, make sure to buff with the grain. If your tables are made of theromset plastic, use a mild dish detergent and warm water instead.
  3. Cleaning a cook box may seem tricky, but it’s actually extremely simple and can have a big impact on the way your grill performs. When your grill is completely cool, carefully remove your cooking grates and Flavorizer bars. Then, using a stainless steel grill brush, brush all excess grease and debris from inside the cook box into the bottom tray. From here, it will be easy to discard.
  4. It’s a good practice to burn off any food residue left on your grill by turning all your burners to high for 15 minutes before grilling. When your grill reaches these high temperatures, food debris will turn to ash, and will then be easy to brush off using a stainless steel bristle brush. Courtesy of Weber.com

Grilling Hacks

  1. Use an onion to clean and oil grill grates. Place 1 tbsp of oil in small bowl. Cut onion in half and soak cut side in oil. Use fork to rub onion on grill grates. Cleans and oils the grates and adds a nice flavor.
  2. Bring marinated meat to room temperatures and pat dry before grilling. Excess marinade on meat will cause it to steam and not grill, even at high temperatures. Baste with sauce if needed.
  3. Place meat on a platter covered with plastic wrap before bringing to the grill. After placing meat on the grill, remove plastic wrap. You have a clean platter ready to serve cooked meats.
  4. Bring all meats to room temperature before grilling.
  5. Make sure your grill is hot before starting.
  6. KEEP THE LID CLOSED as much as possible to retain heat and create even cooking.
  7. Brush sauces containing sugar on the meat the last five minutes of cooking. Keeps the sauce from burning.
  8. Cook all meats to proper temperature. Nothing ruins a party like under cooked meats.
  9. Check gas level before starting to grill. Keep and extra tank on hand. I have my grill hooked up to my homes natural gas so I never run out.
  10. Sear meat on high direct heat then finish cooking meat on indirect heat to ensure moist even cooking.Grilling Hacks

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Smoked Meatloaf

I use my Weber grill all year-long but really crank up the usage in the summertime. I am always experimenting with adapting recipes for the grill that I usually make in the oven. This meatloaf is a great example. I know, I know, you are saying, meatloaf on the grill, Quinn’s gone nuts. Well that might be true (the kids are out of school for the summer after-all) but wait it gets even better. Not only is the meatloaf cooked on the grill, but I also smoke it. The meatloaf turns out very moist, with a nice char on the top and a suitable smokey flavor.

Smoked Meatloaf

If you do not have a smoker box, just grill as directed. Basically I am using my grill as an oven by cooking the meatloaf, at a low temperature, with indirect heat. It is also important to leave the grill lid closed as much as possible while cooking. To grill the meatloaf I used two disposable aluminium loaf pans. (TIP: Poke a few holes in the bottom of the loaf pans to allow grease to drain off)

I served the meatloaf with my Roasted Veggie Hash; click here for recipe.

Be on the look out for my new weekly feature Summertime Cooking with the Kids”.

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Enjoy!


Total Time: 2hrs 20 min      Prep Time: 20 min       Cook Time: 2 hrs

Servings: around 12

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Smoked Chuck Roast or Brisket

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It finally warmed up here in Ohio, at least for few days. I usually grill year round, but using my Weber as a smoker is a little more difficult when the weather is cold and windy. My grill is on my deck, which sits 10 feet above the ground and we are on the top of a hill. It can get very windy. I am remodeling my deck this spring and I need to incorporate a wind break, behind my grill, in the design.

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With this weekend being Easter and Passover, I decided to post this recipe as a nice alternative to lamb, ham or turkey for your Holiday meal. I am not Jewish, but if making this for Passover you could use a Kosher beef brisket, instead of the chuck roast. If I am not correct in my understanding of the Passover meal I apologize.

This is a unique way to cook a chuck roast that creates a very tender piece of meat, with a nice smokey flavor. Enjoy your Holiday and hope you give this a try. It would be great any time of year.

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Ingredients:

2-4 lb chuck roast or a 4-6 lb Brisket (side or flat cut)

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Valentine's Day Dinner

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Here is the menu I promised for you to impress your significant other on Valentine’s Day. Why go out when you can show your loved one your appreciation with food from the heart. My menu includes grilled strip steak, Broiled asparagus and Pommes Anna (potatoes anna). Each of these dishes are fairly simple to prepare. The Pommes Anna takes some time to prep but cooking is easy and the presentation and taste is wonderful. To me the seasoning of steaks and asparagus should be simple. Let the flavors of the ingredients come through. Pommes Anna can be made in individual ramekins for a more intimate presentation.

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Valentine’s Day Dinner

dadwhats4dinner.com
dadwhats4dinner.com

Here is the menu I promised for you to impress your significant other on Valentine’s Day. Why go out when you can show your loved one your appreciation with food from the heart. My menu includes grilled strip steak, Broiled asparagus and Pommes Anna (potatoes anna). Each of these dishes are fairly simple to prepare. The Pommes Anna takes some time to prep but cooking is easy and the presentation and taste is wonderful. To me the seasoning of steaks and asparagus should be simple. Let the flavors of the ingredients come through. Pommes Anna can be made in individual ramekins for a more intimate presentation.

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Smoked Pork Shoulder

I love smoked meats. I’m not sure what it is; the rubs, the meats, the flavors, or the way the smoke tantalizes the neighborhood with that sweet smoky wonderful aroma.

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I have smoked just about every type of meat and seafood (smoked trout or salmon makes an awesome dip: upcoming post) over the years using many different methods and cooking styles. Today I usually just use my Weber gas grill with a cast iron smoker box. I prefer apple or alder chips with some hickory chunks thrown in for good measure. This is one of my recipes for pork shoulder. I hope you enjoy.

Serve with my roasted veggie hash recipe posted on the blog. The veggie hash is one of my kids favorites and a great way to get them to eat more vegetables.

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Grilled Chicken Breast Glazed with a Habanero Pepper Jelly BBQ Sauce

There is a saying around Ohio and probably used in other parts of the Midwest. The saying goes something like this “Ohio weather nothing better, give it 24  hours and it will change”. Last Thursday it was 81 degrees here in SW Ohio. By Friday the high was 41 degrees. Yesterday it had warmed up to a balmy 65 and I decided to smoke a pork shoulder on the Weber.

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Grilling season is here, so today I decided to try a new grilled chicken recipe. The pepper jelly I use in this recipe is from habanero peppers I grow in my garden each year along with the essential ingredients to my homemade salsa.  Habanero jelly is not as hot as you think, but is does have great flavor, especially in this homemade BBQ glaze. Any type of pepper jelly will work with this recipe. Reserve some of the marinade to glaze the chicken as it grills. I served this with simple brown rice and grilled corn on the cob. Gotta love grilling season!

Enjoy!

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