Grilling season is upon us, which means summer cookouts, burgers and barbecue, and long, warm nights in the yard. It also means it’s time to clean your grill. The same cooking process that makes those Instagram-perfect, flavorful char marks on your food produces carbon deposits on virtually every interior surface of your grill: the grates, flavorizing bars and burner tubes (on gas grills), and the firebox itself. Those carbon deposits aren’t just ugly; grease can stick to them and harbor bacteria, and carbon buildup can cause your grill to heat unevenly or prevent it from reaching full operating temperature, and burner tubes to fail.
Prepare the corn. Trim the silk from the top of each ear to prevent it from catching fire and burning. Peel away the first layer of husks and remove the stalk end using a serrated knife to expose the bottom of the ear. This will make it easier to slide the ear of the husk, post grilling. (Optional: Peel back a 1-inch section to expose the kernels and char some of the corn.)
Now it’s time for propane flames to meet with forged cold steel. Turn up the heat and sit back while you watch the griddle plate blacken. The griddle will billow with smoke. That’s called “smoke point” and it takes about 30 minutes for your Blackstone to get there. So relax, grab a seat, and watch the smoke fly by. When all the smoke’s gone, you can turn off the griddle.
Too many people take their steaks directly from the chilly fridge to the hot fire. You will not get an evenly cooked steak this way—the outside of the meat will cook faster than the inside. It is best to take the steaks out of the fridge about half an hour before you plan to cook them; remove the wrapping, place on a plate, and let them come up to room temperature on the kitchen counter.
Clean the bottom of the grill with a soapy sponge. Once all the chunks are gone, scrub the bottom with a sponge or scouring pad and soapy water to remove any built up grease or grime. Lots of drippings and food scraps tend to build up under the burners of the grill. Pay close attention to this area and clean it as much as possible to avoid corrosion.