Barbecue in April: Getting ready for the season

The weather here in Michigan is unusually warm for this time of year. The backyard is greening up rather nicely and can only mean one thing: Time to get the grill ready. Barbecue season is normally a year round ritual but the cold temperatures of the Northeast have a tendency to keep folks inside. Venture out to the garage and rummage around to find your grill. Scan the garage mancave, move the lawnmower, shuffle some boxes and BINGO, Old Bessie! Roll that hunk of lovin out to the driveway and lift the lid.

 

Some basic Springtime maintenance should include:

 

  • Tighten anything loose and replace any thing missing. A wobbly grill makes for dangerous cooking.
  • Ensure the propane tank is securely attached and not leaking. Fill as needed.
  • Empty the grease trap which normally hangs underneath the grill in the back.
  • Remove the catch tray from underneath and scrap off and wipe down.
  • Remove the grates:
    • Power-wash or scrub each using a scouring pad.
    • Spray with a cooking oil and let it sit for a bit.
  • With grates out, clean the bottom inside of the grill.
    • Remove old food and scrape out the crusty elements.
  • Use a pipe cleaner or small piece of wire to poke into each of the burner holes.
    • These may become clogged from grease drippings and burn unevenly.
  • Once the inside is cleaned, replace the grates and fire that baby up.
    • Allow the grill 10 minutes to burn off any remaining grease.
    • This will also re-season the grates that were just scrubbed and re-oiled.

 

These simple steps will allow your grill to stay functional for years to come. Leaving this little beauty out in the cold and rain without covering will cause rust. Not something you want on your food. You worked hard for the money to buy this unit, spend some time and clean her up with just a little elbow grease.

 

As previously mentioned, Spring is here so use your newly cleaned grill and follow these Awesome April Recipes:

 

  • Grilled Pork Tenderloin & Apricot Salad – Grilling the tenderloin and the apricots make this the ultimate in summer backyard dishes.
  • Chili-Beef Skewers – “Spicy” is the word for the day. Sriracha sauce adds some heat to this dish, thus waking up the taste buds for the upcoming grilling season.
  • Grilled Turkey Burgers – Eating healthy won’t kill you! Turkey is leaner than beef and carries an enormous amount of protein. Slather with your favorite barbecue sauce and lean over the plate cause these are juicy.
  • Grilled Seafood – Basic step by step prepping for shrimp, swordfish and lobster all grilled right out by the mancave. Serve with a mixed green salad and a citrus vinaigrette for a wonderful, low fat and flavorful meal!
  • Ribeye – Start the season off with ‘visions of grandeur’ cause it’s RIBEYE TIME! The ‘Top Dog’, ‘Mr. Numero Uno’, ‘King of the Hill’, the ‘Main Man’….the Ribeye Steak. Marbled and thick, this hunk of love will satisfy any carnivore and can even convert some vegans. Seasoned well, grilled to perfection and served with a large baked potato and some greens, you couldn’t make a better meal if you tried.

 

Well, there you have it. The grill is cleaned, the backyard grass and flowers are starting to bloom, and any of these recipes will surely break in the barbecue grill just right. Invite some friends, crack open some beers and enjoy the sunset with a good meal. Hell, turn up the radio in the garage and let the tunes AND the aromas permeate the neighborhood!

 

Smoke ‘em if you got ‘em and don’t forget your bib.

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