First I have to say – my family has enjoyed one of our best outdoor cooking years in 2011, and it isn’t over yet! 8)
Our Son-in-law, Jeff, has turned into another family outdoor chef when it comes to smoking and grilling. He prefers charcoal grilling, but is equally proficient with the propane gas grill and smoker. On one of our family get-together Sunday afternoon, he had 3 charcoal grills, the big 4 burner propane grill, and the propane smoker all going at the same time – and pulled it all off to perfection. We were all proud of him, and most certainly enjoyed dining on the “fruits” of his labor out there!
Now, in most parts of the country, folks seem to wait until spring to start worrying about maintaining their outdoor cooking grills/appliances – but here in SoCal we are able to enjoy outdoor cooking year-round. October is a great time for us to go to work on routine maintenance after the heat of summer has passed. The relative mild temperatures lends itself to all kind of outdoor “work” – yet there is still plenty of sunshine, (it just gets dark a bit earlier in the evening).
I will be replacing the burner tubes, burner tents, and grill plates on our Charbroil propane grill. Fortunately, all of the replacement parts are relatively inexpensive and available from Home Depot. The first step, of course, is a good cleaning. Over the years, I have found that a stiff-bristle wire brush – a scraper, and my old “Shop-Vac” are the best tools for that part of the endeavor. After all of the new parts have been installed and tested, we will be right back at it – grilling to our hearts content and confident we are doing so safely.
UPDATE: Well, when I added the price for 4 new burners, 4 new tents, and 4 new cast iron grate sections – then thought about the age of our current Char-Broil grill – the phrase “cost effective” kept ringing through the old brain cell. Have delayed reconditioning the unit for now, (it is still usable as is), and decided to start nosing around for a new, upgraded propane grill.
Right now, I am thinking of trying a new dish, combining the best parts of cornbread on the grill with sloppy Joe’s – but more on that later. Right now there is a bit of work to get done. 🙂