For some, the end of summer marks the end of grilling season. Whether you are putting your grill up for the season or just need an end-of-summer cleanup, this is the perfect time to do a little maintenance on your grill.
Tyler Stark of Traeger Grills says their grills are meant to be used year-round and are perfect for Thanksgiving and Christmas meals, but there are a few steps to take if you aren’t going to be using your grill for an extended period of time.
“For long term storage, we recommend cleaning your grill. To do this start by removing the grate, drip pan, and heat shield from inside the barrel. Using a Shop Vac, or ash-specific vacuum, clean out the barrel and the fire pot.
You can clean the drip pan using an all-natural cleaner. We make a version, but there are others on the market. Also, use a scraper to clean off any residual grease that has baked on.
You can then re-assemble your grill. Use the cleaner to wipe down the outside of the barrel, hopper, etc. Do NOT use the cleaner inside the barrel on anything other than the drip pan. You want that barrel nice and seasoned and cleaning will strip it away. Just run the shop vac around it to pick up any residual ash.
Lastly, I’d clean out your hopper of any un-used pellets, especially if you are storing outside. This will minimize the risk of any moisture getting inside and causing the pellets to expand in the hopper. The Pro series grills have an easy hopper-clean out, otherwise just take a cup and scoop them out into your pellet storage.
Always cover your grill, even if stored inside. If left outside, use a bungie and hook the cover under the side skirts to keep it more secure. All Traeger covers have built in grommets for this purpose. Ideally store under a covered or protected area,” says Stark.
If you plan to store your gas grill, turn off or unhook the propane tank. Give the grill a thorough cleaning, inside and out. To prevent spiders or other insects from clogging hoses and valves, cover any open ports with a plastic bag and secure with a rubber band.
If you need to store your grill outdoors, make sure you use a quality cover to protect it from weather.
Charcoal grills like the PK Grill don’t need much in the way or maintenance, other than a thorough cleaning, but this is a great time to check grill and charcoal racks to see if they need replacement. Go ahead and order any replacement parts now so that you will have them on hand when you next use your grill.