A BBQ grill naturally extends the living area of your home to include the patio and yard. In addition to using your grill during the spring and summer, you can often use it year-round to make a variety of delicious food, even in the middle of winter.
As a bonus, if you’re a fan of BBQ restaurants, and often wonder, “where is the nearest Korean BBQ near me?” you may be able to save money by turning your patio into your very own BBQ restaurant.
While a BBQ quickly becomes a magnet for get-togethers with family and friends, and you’re eager to try out some new BBQ recipes, there are a couple of things you should do before you use the grill for the first time. Take a few precautions to correctly break in the grill in your outdoor kitchen and keep your guests safe. Here’s what to do:
Start by Reading the BBQ Manual
Whether you have a charcoal grill, gas grill, or flat-top grill, follow all of the safety rules by reading the BBQ manual carefully, and put the equipment together properly. If you find that any parts are missing, don’t try to use the BBQ. Bring the BBQ back to the store, or call the manufacturer to inquire about getting the lost pieces.
Carefully Consider Where to Use the BBQ
Place your grill in an open area with good ventilation and free from overhanging structures or nearby plants. It should also be away from high-traffic areas where children or animals might accidentally come into contact with it. You can store the grill on another part of your patio or deck once the grill has completely cooled down.
For example, if you get a lot of rain or snow in your area, you can keep your barbecue grill under cover when not in use.
Perform a Leak Test
A leak test is an important safety test to perform before using the BBQ for the first time and again at the beginning of each season or after moving the grill. Before channeling your inner Famous Daves BBQ chef, follow these tips:
- Make sure the control knobs are in the off position
- Turn the valve at the gas or propane tank to the on position
- Spray or brush a solution of soapy water onto the valves, tank, regulator, and hoses
- Watch for expanding bubbles as you go
- Growing bubbles mean that you have a leak
- Turn off the gas and tighten connections or replace leaking parts before using the grill
Once you have fixed all the leaks and performed another leak test to ensure that the gas lines are tight, the grill is safe to use. Never use a grill with even a small leak.
Before You Season Your Food, Season Your Grill
When you pull your new BBQ out of the box, you may be eager to start using it right away. It probably looks shiny and clean, so you might assume it’s ready to use. However, this is not the case.
In order to use your new BBQ safely, first clean away dust, oil, adhesives, coatings, and other gunk that may have accumulated on your barbecue grill at the factory or the store. To do this, you must burn it for 20 to 30 minutes before the first use, with the help of the following steps:
- Open the lid before lighting the grill according to the manufacturer’s directions
- Set the burners to high
- Close the lid
- After 20 to 30 minutes, open the lid and continue burning for another 5 minutes
- Brush the grill grate with a brass brush
- Turn off the BBQ and allow it to cool
Using the BBQ Grill
Follow all the manufacturer’s operating instructions and safety tips while enjoying your new grill. Keep a close watch on the grill while it’s in use and until it has cooled—this is especially true with children and pets. Keep a fire extinguisher nearby at all times.
After you’re done using the grill, be sure to properly clean and maintain it, so it’ll be ready to go the next time you have a craving for a juicy grilled burger, chicken breast, or steak. You can find these instructions in your owner’s manual.
Electric Grills are Another Option
While you may favor gas grills or charcoal, there is another style available: the electric grill. Electric grills don’t emit carbon monoxide and are suitable for year-round in sheds or garages that are well-ventilated. The lack of open flames also means fewer burn accidents and better control over temperature. Best of all? They’re usually cheaper.
Other reasons many people enjoy using an electric BBQ include:
- It’s safe to use indoors or outdoors
- It creates less smoke than other types of grills
- You don’t have to buy charcoal or propane to use it—simply plug in the electric barbecue and start cooking
- They don’t generate ash or other residue that requires cleaning.
- They include timers that will automatically turn off the electric grill after a certain amount of time
Protecting Your New Investment
While many retailers offer great deals on all sorts of BBQs, be sure to choose retailers that offer protection for your gas grill as well as electric options. You can find this information on the website if ordering online, or inquire at the store if you’re buying your new grill in person.
Enjoy Your New Grill
Follow these tips before using your grill to cook meat, BBQ chicken, or veggies for the first time. Knowing how to safely operate your grill and keep your BBQ in top condition will lead to many years of backyard grilling fun.