Football season is upon us and for many enthusiastic Viking fans, that also means it’s time for tailgating. Tailgating purists will tell you that if you show up ready to tailgate without a grill, then you’re doing it wrong. It’s just not a proper tailgate unless something is cooked on the spot, so a grill is a must. And for us tailgating Minnesotans, a little heat from a fired-up grill is appreciated on a chilly day.
Before you pack up your grill and haul it out to the game, you’ll want to make sure it is clean and prepped. Cleaning a grill needn’t be a difficult or time-consuming exercise and should be done on a regular basis. For starters, make sure to remove any leftover ashes or charcoal from your grill. If necessary, use soap and water to scrub excess debris and caked-on grease from the inside and outside of the grill. There are many great cleansers on the market designed specifically to clean grills, but regular dish soap and warm water will typically do the trick. It should go without saying that you should never, ever use cleaning chemicals on your grill. Poisoning yourself and your guests should be avoided at all costs.
Next, clean the grates. Firing up the grill prior to doing so will make cleaning the grates easier as it will loosen up and even burn off stuck-on food particles. After the grate has had a chance to warm up, take an abrasive grill brush and vigorously attack any remaining food debris. An alternative to this method is to put your grill grate in your oven (if it fits) and turn on the self-cleaning option, effectively killing two birds with one stone by cleaning your grill grate and your oven at the same time.
Now that your grill is clean, prep it. Prepping your grill is easy; simply oil your grates. There’s nothing quite as tragic as going to flip a lovingly crafted burger patty only to have half of it stick to your grill, so don’t skip this step. A little olive oil goes a long ways so spray or rub a light coating of oil on your grates. However, take note that if you’re too generous with your application, you might wind up with a bigger fire than you bargained for. Grill-grate prep can be done prior to every time you use your grill or once every few times you fire it up. As an added bonus, oiling your grates makes future cleanups easier.
Stay tuned for weekly tailgating tips and tricks designed with the Minnesota Vikings fan in mind.
A Minnesota native that was born and raised Up North, Minneapolis is where Christina Kalinowski currently calls home. Christina appreciates irony, loves bacon, enjoys a hearty libation (drink responsibly, folks), and is an avid proponent of the Swanson Pyramid of Greatness. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.