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Get Fired Up – 7 Tips to Help You Get Ready for the BBQ Season

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may28homespunweb.jpgRISMEDIA, May 28, 2008-The grilling season is heating up and regardless of whether you’re crazy about charcoal or are gaga over gas grills, you need to make sure your grill is in good working order before heading out to the patio with the brats, burgers and buns.

“Don’t treat your grill like a second-class culinary citizen. It’s an appliance just like your stove or refrigerator and with proper maintenance and care, it can give you decades of great use,” said Angie Hicks, founder of Angie’s List (www.angieslist.com), a provider of ratings on local service providers.

“One Angie’s List member thought his 40-year old grill was a goner one summer when he tried to fire it up. He called the store where he’d bought it and not only was his service call made by the same technician who installed it originally, but that expert found a way to repair it and the grill is still in use today,” Hicks said.

While emergency calls can be made, it’s best to have a yearly service call to ensure your grill is in good shape.

The lifespan of a grill varies greatly, depending on how well-constructed it is. Typically, you get what you pay for. Regardless of price, replacement parts are available for most grills. It’s time to replace your grill when its casting (the lid and bowl) is rusted.

Angie surveyed dozens of highly-rated grill experts to help make sure your barbecue bash doesn’t flame out.

1. Clean and spider free: Before you fire it up for the season, give your grill a good scrub to get rid of food, grease and – spider webs. Spiders are attracted to the smell of propane and they can take up residence in the venturi tubes and valve openings, blocking air and gas flow and leading to uneven cooking and possible safety hazards.

2. Annual checkup: Just like your car, annual service checks on your grill are a good idea and most warranties require them.

3. Test drive: Give your grill a test run before the day of the big barbecue to make sure everything is in good working order. That way, if it does need a new part or repair, you’ll have it working in time for the big cookout.

4. Fuel check: Check that you have enough gas or coals for your grill before you fire it up. You can add a gauge to your propane tank to help detect levels. For charcoal users, generally use about 30 coals per pound of meat, with the charcoal extending about one inch beyond the area where the food is.

5. Low salt diet: Avoid seasoning while grilling. Salt acts as a corrosive and can help contribute to rust.

6. Keep it clean. Once you’ve pulled the food from the grill, allow any excess food to burn off and then clean the grill with a brass bristle brush. Avoid using a stainless steel brush on a porcelain-enamel finish. Clean the grill while it’s still warm. It’s far easier to clean than waiting until food and grease settles and hardens. Clean the drip pan regularly.

7. Protect your grill with a water-resistant cover when not in use. During colder months, store it out of the elements.

According to the company, Angie’s List is where consumers share their ratings and reviews on local service providers in more than 330 different categories. Currently, more than 650,000 consumers across the U.S. rely on Angie’s List to help them find the right professional for the job they need done. Members have unlimited access to the list via Internet or phone; receive the award-winning Angie’s List magazine, which includes articles on home improvement and maintenance, consumer trends and scam alerts.

For more information, visit http://www.angieslist.com.

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