I like a clean machine. I get that from my dad. He used to wash the car in the driveway every Saturday morning. He was constantly running the vacuum around the house and going through bottles of Windex, cleaning windows inside and out. Drove my mom nuts. He’s 73 years old now and although he’s slowing down a little, he’s still basically the same way today. So I come by my clean grill obsession honestly. Or perhaps genetically.
I keep four products on hand for cleaning stainless steel.
Simple Green: It does the heavy lifting, cutting through grease and grime.
If I’m doing a light cleaning, I go straight to Sheila Shine. It cleans and polishes in a single step.
If I’m doing a deep cleaning, like in the photo below with lots of grease and grime, I start with Simple Green. Spray liberally, let soak for a few seconds, and wipe. Repeat once or twice until the surface is clean. Then I use Weiman to get rid of streaks and leave a matte finish.
I rarely use Bar Keepers Friend, because of the abrasive and acidic nature of the product. But if you need to remove a stain or rust that the other cleaners can’t handle, BKF is the way to go. Test first in an inconspicuous spot to see how it works. Use a small amount of powder on a wet sponge. Use plenty of water to wet the product. Scrub very gently with the direction of the “grain” in the stainless steel. Rinse thoroughly after use. If you’ve got sensitive skin, wear rubber gloves when working with BKF.
By the way, BKF is great at removing those rainbow stains in the bottom of your stainless steel pots and pans!
You’ll find Simple Green, Weiman and Bar Keepers Friend at Walmart and Target. You can get Sheila Shine at many Ace Hardware stores or from Amazon.com.
Do you have a favorite cleaning product or routine? Are you a clean grill neat freak like me? Let us know with a comment!
Weber publishes an annual GrillWatch survey in which they hire a market research firm to uncover the latest trends in grilling. This year they polled people on gender differences about grilling.
The following is an excerpt from the survey. Do you find any of these results surprising?
Confidence: Thirty-one percent of women have more confidence in cooking indoors, compared to 14 percent of men, while 30 percent of male grill owners are more confident in grilling outside, compared to 15 percent of women.
Confidence Part 2: One-third of male grill owners (34 percent) state that they are a better griller than most people, whereas only 17 percent of women agree with that statement.
Boys Like Their Toys: Like collecting cars, men tend to acquire multiple grills more so than women. Thirty-five percent of men are more apt to have two or more grills than women (25 percent).
Dress for Success: Male grillers are more likely than women to own a number of accessories, including grill covers (53 percent vs. 47 percent), smoker chips (18 percent vs. 13 percent), and rotisseries (17 percent vs. 12 percent). Women rule with tongs (79 percent vs. 69 percent), spatulas (62 percent vs. 46 percent) and vegetable baskets (21 percent vs. 16 percent).
Gather ‘Round the Grill: Men (33 percent) more so than women (26 percent) agree that it is “extremely important” to have the grill when entertaining family and friends
Thanks Dad!: When it comes to learning how to grill, 59 percent of U.S. grillers teach themselves, but one-third also learn from their fathers (34 percent) and 15 percent from a spouse. Inside cooking is typically taught by mothers (56 percent) or self-taught (45 percent).
When was the last time you paid attention to the cover on your gas grill? I mean really examined it carefully, with a discriminating eye? Is it brittle, faded, and cracked? If so, it may be time to treat your grill to a new vinyl cover.
Weber makes covers to fit even some of their oldest gas grills, like my dad’s Genesis 2 shown here. This is a Weber 7552 Premium Vinyl Cover that fits Genesis Silver C, Genesis Gold B/C, and Genesis 2000-5500 grills. Since the Genesis 2000 was an newer version of the Genesis 2, this was the correct cover for my dad’s grill.
If you have questions about which cover is the right one for your gasser, don’t hesitate to contact Weber Customer Service at 800-446-1071. They’ll help you figure it out.
This is a wonderful video by Pat LaFrieda that he calls Steaks 101. It’s meant to help you understand the steaks you might encounter in a restaurant, but it’s great info for shopping for the grill, too.
Thanks to my good friend Kevin Kawahara for sharing the video link on our Facebook page.
You need to let the basket heat for 10 minutes on the grill before adding food. I would suggest hitting the basket with a shot of non-stick cooking spray right before adding the food, too.
The slots are just the right size, preventing food from falling through. The high sides keep everything in place, and the handles make it easy to remove the basket from the grill when wearing gloves.
My only negative comment about the design is that when running your hands over the bottom side, it feels just a bit like a cheese grater…like if you weren’t careful, it would grate your fingers. You’ve been warned!
The basket looks beautiful right out of the packaging, but it’s hard to keep it looking that way with use. It turns dark as a result of burned-on oil and food residue. I tried oven cleaner and got a good result. My wife went with a soaking of Simple Green, a Dobie scrubber, and lots of elbow grease and did OK with that approach.
I started a discussion thread about this on The Virtual Weber Bulletin Board. The responses ranged from “Why bother?” to “Use a green ScotchBrite pad” to member Jose Suro saying that a long soak in a solution of hot water and white vinegar followed by 30 seconds of scrubbing does the trick. Jose posted some photos of the results in the discussion thread.
If you like to keep your stainless steel grilling baskets looking shiny and new, you might give Jose’s method a try.
Here’s a tip from reader Rich Dahl for owners of natural gas (NG) grills.
“My NG hose is in the sun all day,” says Rich. “To protect it from the sun’s harmful rays, I wrap it with foam tubing that is sold at any major hardware store that’s used to insulate pipes. The wrap only costs a few dollars and it also keeps the hose from rubbing on the ground. Much cheaper then replacing a $50 gas hose every couple of years due to sun damage.”
Good ol’ George Stephen. We owe him a lot. He invented the iconic Weber kettle grill and founded a company that continues to innovate and produce some of the best grills money can buy.
But George didn’t know what he was talking about when it came to searing meat.
Here’s the first ad that George ran to sell his grills:
It says, “Seals in rich flavor and natural juices of meat, poultry, fish and game.”
George can be forgiven for this misstatement, for it’s been made many times by many chefs and cooking authorities over the years.
Searing meat does not seal-in flavor and juices. This myth has been disproved numerous times. You can read one example here from the America’s Test Kitchen blog.
What searing does is create great color and flavor on the surface of meat as a result of caramelization and the Maillard reaction. These processes create an array of flavor compounds that give grilled meat its wonderful flavor. And interestingly, you can sear meat at the beginning or at the end of cooking and get good results either way.
So go ahead and sear those steaks and chops…but do it to create great color and flavor. To keep the meat juicy, measure internal temperatures using an instant-read thermometer so you don’t overcook the meat.
The lid on our Weber Summit 425 makes a squeaking noise when you open and close it. OK, it’s not so much a squeak as it is a loud metallic howling noise. My wife told me the noise bothers her. The neighbors on all sides can hear it. Got to fix it. Turns out the solution is easy.
Just apply some of your favorite lubricant onto the hinge pins that attach the lid to the fire box. I used WD-40, but a graphite spray or 3-in-1 Household Oil will work, too.
Slide the lid to the side to expose the maximum surface area of the hinge pin and lubricate liberally. Repeat with the other pin.
Open and close the lid a few times to spread the lubricant around on the pins. The noise is gone! Wipe away any excess drips and you will be grilling in peace and quiet in no time.
There was a story in the news a few days ago about a gas grill explosion in Florida that injured two people and scared many more in the surrounding apartment complex. We see stories like this every year as we approach summer and the peak grilling season.
It’s probably been a while since you read the owner’s manual that came with your Weber gas grill. (You did read it…right?) Here are some generic instructions for lighting a gas grill. Please consult the owner’s manual for your grill for safe lighting instructions.
Open the lid.
Make sure all burner control knobs are turned OFF.
Turn on the gas to the grill. Wait a few seconds before proceeding to allow gas to fill the valve system.
Turn the appropriate burner control knob to the START/HIGH position (Terminology may be different for your particular grill).
Push the ignition button to light the grill. If your grill has a mechanical button, you should press it several times so it clicks each time. If your grill has a battery-operated lighter, just hold the button down.
Check that the burner is lit.
If the burner does not light, turn all burner control knobs to OFF and wait 5 minutes to let the gas clear before you try again or try to light with a match.
Failure to open the lid while lighting, or not waiting 5 minutes to allow gas to clear if the grill does not light, may result in an explosion that can cause serious bodily injury or death.
I strongly recommend that you find your owner’s manual, dust it off, and familiarize yourself again with the safe operation of your grill. If you can’t find your manual, you can download a copy at Weber.com.
This is a photo of the left end of the fire box of a Weber Genesis E-310 propane grill.
The DI portion of the serial number indicates that it’s a 2007 model.
I first saw this grill a few years ago while staying in a vacation condo. I’m not sure how or why the burn-through occurred, but upon a subsequent visit, I noticed this repair and thought it was pretty well done.
As you can see, they’ve cut a piece of stainless steel sheet metal to fit, drilled some holes, and fastened it to the inside of the fire box with nuts and screws. Not as good as a brand-new fire box, but a serviceable solution to an unfortunate problem.
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