Perhaps the most important step that most people don't do is allowing the steaks to sit once they are taken off of the grill. The steaks need to rest for 5 to 10 minutes before serving or cutting them. This gives the juices a chance to redistribute throughout the steak, which both helps it finish cooking evenly and keeps the meat moister and more flavorful. Place the cooked steaks on a cutting board or platter and tent loosely with aluminum foil. Once rested, either slice or serve the steaks whole.
Re-assemble all the parts you removed, taking care to fix the burner tubes back in place in proper position with the cotter pins or screws. Rub cast-iron grill grates with a light coating of vegetable oil. Finally, re-connect your propane tank and fire up the grill; let it heat for at least 15 minutes, then turn it off again. This will help burn off any residues from cleaning, season cast-iron grill grates, and serve as a check that you re-assembled everything properly.
With the grates removed, brush down the inside to clear out any loose particles that have collected in the bottom and around the sides. Scrape off any large peeling flakes of carbon and grease and if yours is a charcoal grill, empty the ash catcher. Don’t forget to clean the drip pan and grease cup in warm soapy water and line them with aluminum foil so they’ll be easier to clean next time.
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After your new griddle is squeaky clean, it’s time to darken it up! This is where we transform the griddle top into a blackened, non-stick perfect cooking surface. So, turn on the burners to the max and let the heat do its thing. After 10-15 minutes, you’ll notice the griddle top will start to brown. Once you see the color change, move on to the next step.
Brining or soaking the ears in water before grilling is thought to season and also plump the corn. There are two problems with those theories, though: In order to take on any salt from the brine, ears would have to soak for several days, at which point you’re losing valuable sweetness as the ears age. Secondly, if you’re buying fresh juicy corn, you cannot make it any juicier. While soaking may benefit older or off-season ears, it has no added value for fresh summer corn.
After the grates and panels have soaked, take them out and scrub them thoroughly. A long handled grill brush offers added leverage. For really stubborn gunk, a paste of vinegar and baking soda helps the brush scrub off the worst bits. Rinse them clean. Take care to thoroughly dry cast-iron grates. Now’s a great time to inspect porcelain grates for chips that may lead to rust later on.
While the grill grates and flavorizer bars are removed and soaking, tackle the caked-on gunk in the firebox. Put another bucket underneath the firebox where the grease tray sits to collect debris. The easiest way to start is with a wet/dry shop vacuum, whether full-size or a portable, like Milwaukee’s M18 hand vacuum. Since wet/dry vacs are mostly workshop items, you won’t feel bad about using one to suck up the gunk that’s collected in your grill. You can use the grill brush to help loosen stubborn stuck-on grit. If the deposits are really caked on, dip the wire brush in the bucket of soapy water and get to work. Use a hose to rinse it out when it’s clean.
Outdoor grilling is a great way to get together with family and friends and enjoy tasty food. However, the outdoor fun is only possible with a grill that is cleaned and maintained throughout the year. There are a few simple cleaning steps that you can do after every time you grill, along with deeper, semi-annual cleaning steps to keep your grill working its best for years to come. An outdoor grill that is kept clean and maintained will stay in good working order and will ensure that the food you cook on it always tastes great.
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