MADISON (WKOW) -- You've probably already been grilling this year, but Memorial Day weekend is traditionally the kick-off to the grilling season. If it's been awhile since you fired your grill up, Angie's List has some tips to keep yours around for years.
Deidra Pettinga and her family grill out year round. So it's important to her that the grill is professionally cleaned and inspected each year. "That grill is going on 20 years old and we are keeping it like new."
With proper maintenance and care, a grill can give you years of great use. Aaron Nelson, a grill repairman, says a common problem he sees is clogged or greasy burners. "What can happen to burners is they can corrode over time. They are being heated up so much and cooled down that the burner can rust and corrode. Most burners can last five to eight years, but eventually they need replacement like a lot of parts on the grill."))
The ceramic briquettes also need to be replaced if they become brittle or break in your hand. If your brill is hard to light, check the Venturi tubes. "You can have debris that collects here. These are the Venturi tubes. They actually have screens on here and people wonder why there are screens on a Venturi tube, and it's to keep spiders out. This is a huge thing that can affect the performance of the grill is spiders can get inside these Venturi tubes and create cobwebs and really affect the flow of the gas, in turn the flame."
A greasy grill also poses a fire risk. Once you've pulled the food from the grill, allow any excess food to burn off and clean the grill while it's still warm. And each time before you cook, Nelson says brush some olive oil on the grids.
When not in use, covering your grill is the easiest and best thing you can do to extend its life by protecting it from the elements. If you're in the market for a new grill, remember the more complex the grill, the higher the cost to repair. Angie Hicks with Angie's List says, "Before you head out to buy a grill be sure to assess what you actually need. How big is your family? How many are you cooking for? You only want to get the accessories that you will actually use because you'll end up buying some really fancy grill and you want use those things and it might lead to larger repair bills down the road."
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