The weather may still be warm, but colder temperatures are coming. If you shudder at the idea of grilling in the snow, then now is the time to winterize your barbecue and get it packed away for the season. This will preserve your gas grill and make sure it’s ready to go when spring comes around.

Step #1: Light your grill and let it run on high heat, with the lid closed, until all the food is charred off. (Usually takes about 20 minutes.)

Step #2: Let grill cool a bit, then carefully use a wire grill brush to scrape off the charred food bits off the grill’s interior surface and grates. Leave lid open so the grill can cool completely.

Step #3: Remove grates, lava rocks and/or metal heat deflectors. Clean the grill inside and out using soapy water (using soap such as Dawn that cuts grease) and wipe down inside of the lid. The stuff that looks like peeling black paint? It’s carbon buildup and should be cleaned.

Clean grates using oven cleaner. Or mix one cup of vinegar with 1/2 cup of baking soda and rub onto grates. Let it sit overnight and rinse off in the morning. Put the grates, lava rocks and metal heat deflectors back into the grill – and replace parts as needed.

IMPORTANT: Read your owner’s manual (or find a copy on your grill manufacturer’s website). Some companies recommend wiping down your grill with a light coating of oil to avoid rust. Others don’t. Be sure to follow the maker’s recommendations, so you don’t accidentally void your warranty.

Step #4: Shut off your propane tank and disconnect it from the grill. Wipe down the tank and hoses. Replace any parts as needed.

Step #5: If you have a cloth or vinyl cover, clean with a rag and hot soapy water and spray clean with a hose. Make sure everything is dry before you put your grill in storage.


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