Grill Maintenance 101

Real Estate Agent with The Platinum Group Realtors

Nothing announces the arrival of summer like firing up the grill. Unfortunately, nothing sours a summer party faster than a grill that won’t light, smokes too much, or cooks unevenly. Grease, marinades, and sauces wreak havoc on gas burners, while charcoal grills suffer the corrosive properties of charcoal.

Grills of all kinds, from simple kettles to stainless steel restaurant-grade infrared grills, require maintenance to ensure that they perform and last. “At least twice a year you need to pull the grill apart to get inside and take a closer look at it,” says Derrick Riches, barbecue and grilling guide for A thorough cleaning ensures that the burners fire properly, heat distributes evenly, and the grill is safe. Regular maintenance also allows you to catch problems like rust early on.

Tip 1. Check welding points at corners for rust. Scrape rust off and paint the exterior of the grill with rust-resistant metal paint.

Tip 2. Clean the burners. Gunk can build up creating hot and cold spots on the grill. Use a wire brush when the burners are cold. Brush off any ash that accumulates on infrared grills, and be sure to keep the glass clean. Infrared grill manufacturers suggest using Bar Keepers Friend, a non-abrasive cleaner, to remove any deposits. Running the grill for 10 minutes on high after cooking also helps keep the ports free of build up.

Tip 3. Check the flame color. There are a couple of reasons gas flames turn from their normal blue with yellow tips to completely yellow. The most common is inadequate gas pressure from the tank. Since propane expands at freezing temperatures, the pressure bladder in the regulator (a round disk attached to the gas line) can freeze into place and limit the flow of gas to the burner. If you have a yellow flame, try this remedy: First, turn the tank off and turn off the grill’s control valves. Next, disconnect the tank, then open and close the control valves. Finally, reconnect the tank and slowly turn the gas back on to check the flame’s color. Another cause of yellow flame is pressurized propane that, over time, can force the burner ports to widen. As a result, too much gas escapes. Riches recommends inspecting the burners and replacing them if they are misshapen or cracked. Once the burners are cleaned, light the grill to ensure that all flames are blue and similar in height. 

Tip 4. Check the grease traps. Grill grease traps are typically trays or disposable aluminum cups beneath the firebox that collect fat. Keep these traps clean and drained because large pools of grease can ignite. Burners combined with a grease fire will exceed the maximum amount of heat the grill can handle. Check these routinely, not just once a year to prevent grill fires.

Tip 5. Check over the hoses for any gas leaks. The reason is obvious, don’t blow yourself up, but also to keep money in your pocket so you aren’t running out of fuel as quickly.

Tip 6. Get a grill cover. My grill cover undoubtedly gets torn or blown away by the end of grilling season, but it is important to keep dirt and grit out of the grill when not in use. The covers are a cheap investment to keeping your grill working year-round, averaging $3-10 dollars. I’ve seen some people sew a strap to it with velcro to wrap around the bottom of a leg to keep the cover from blowing away.


Posted by

Kelly Young Realtor

About the Author: Kelly Conner Young, GRI

Kelly is an Associate Broker with The Platinum Group Realtors.  She has over 15 years experience in Real Estate in the Colorado Springs and Front Range region of Colorado. She represents buyers and sellers of real estate buying homes, land for sale and mountain property getaways.   Specific areas include:  Black Forest, Broadmoor, Colorado Springs, Divide, Falcon, Downtown, Manitou Springs, Monument, Old Colorado City, Westside, Woodmen Hills and Woodland Park. You can reach her at 719-226-0126 or by clicking "email the author" above.


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  1. Charles Hendricks 06/04/2011 01:19 PM
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colorado real estate agent
grill maintenance 101
cleaning your grill
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Gay E. Rosen
Julia B. Fee Sotheby's International Realty - Larchmont, NY
As Real as Real Estate Gets!

Kelly: Excellent tips and pointers.. I will definitely bookmark your suggestions!Thank you. G.

Jun 04, 2011 12:58 PM #1
James Dray
Fathom Realty AR LLC - Bentonville, AR
Exceptional Agents, Outstanding Results

got to get me that grill cover, headed to my local WalMart later

Jun 04, 2011 01:08 PM #2
Kelly Young
The Platinum Group Realtors - Colorado Springs, CO
Colorado Springs Real Estate ~ 719-226-0126

Gay, so happy it is helpful.

James, it's amazing how the simple things are often the most helpful.  Good luck with your grill cover search & purchase.

Jun 04, 2011 01:45 PM #3
John Pusa
Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Crest - Glendale, CA
Your All Time Realtor With Exceptional Service

Kelly - Excellent information and tips on grill maintenance 101. Thank you for the detailed quality blog.

Jun 04, 2011 05:05 PM #4
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Kelly Young

Colorado Springs Real Estate ~ 719-226-0126
Is Now the Time to Sell My Home?
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