Category Archives: Clean, Maintain & Repair

Burn Off Grates Before Grilling, Not After

Skirt steak remnants on cooking grate
Skirt steak remnants on cooking grate

There are two, maybe three reasons why it’s best to burn-off the grates in your gas grill before grilling, not after:

1) You preheat the grill and burn-off the grates in a single step, saving time and fuel.

2) There’s zero chance of forgetfulness. If you burn-off after cooking, you go into the house and enjoy your meal, only to realize 30 minutes later that your grill is glowing cherry-red-hot out on the patio. In fact, on one occasion, I left the house to run errands with my Weber Summit 450 burning-off in the backyard. I’ll never make that mistake again.

3) Leaving carbonized debris on raw cast iron grates between uses may help prevent rusting.

Ripping-hot grill and a good grill brush
Ripping-hot grill and a good grill brush
Grates ready for the next steak
Grates ready for the next steak

All About Flavorizer Bars

One of the reasons that Weber gas grills work so well is because of a feature called Flavorizer bars. These are the inverted v-shaped pieces of steel that sit below the cooking grates and above the burner tubes.

Flavorizer bars serve four purposes:

  1. Prevent Flare-ups: Flavorizer bars quickly vaporize some of the grease that drips off the meat and sheds any excess into a drip pan below the bars. Lava rocks or other media allow grease to pool and flare-up.
  2. Even Heat Distribution: Flavorizer bars create even heating throughout the firebox.
  3. Protect The Burner Tubes: Flavorizer bars prevent debris from clogging the burner tube ports.
  4. Flavor & Aroma: The vaporized grease from Flavorizer bars adds to the aroma and flavor of grilled meats.

Types of Flavorizer Bars

Weber grills use two types of Flavorizer bars. Least expensive are porcelain enameled steel. Most expensive are 18-gauge stainless steel. Stainless steel Flavorizer bars are more expensive and will last longer, but both types will last a very long time.

Despite what you might assume, stainless steel Flavorizer bars are not rust-free. The marinades, salts, acids and high temperatures they are exposed to will cause rust to develop over time.


To clean the Flavorizer bars, start by burning off the grill at HIGH temperature for 15 minutes. This will turn most accumulated debris into ash. If you have cast iron grill grates, remove them before burning off the grill, otherwise you will burn the seasoning off the grates.

After 15 minutes, turn the grill off and let cool. Remove the bars and brush off any debris with a grill brush. A wide putty knife can also be used to scrape tough residue off the bars. Take this opportunity to clean the burner tubes, the inside of the firebox, and the drip pan.

Replace all the parts and your grill is ready to go. You may consider changing the order of the Flavorizer bars if you notice some wearing faster than others.

Flavorizer bars can be washed in hot, soapy water and scrubbed with SOS steel wool pads, but the burn-off method is easier. Weber says that citrus-based dish soaps should not be used.

Weber does not recommend using the dishwasher, oven cleaners, or a self-cleaning oven to clean Flavorizer bars.

When To Replace

Flavorizer bars do not need to be replaced until they rust through or burn through.

Know Your Model

To get the right set of replacement Flavorizer bars, make sure to know your grill’s model name and number. The dimensions of the bars and the number of bars (5, 7, 8, 11 or 13) will vary depending on the model.


Weber warrants porcelain enameled Flavorizer bars for 2 years and stainless steel Flavorizer bars for 5 years against rust through or burn through. Both tend to last several years longer than their warranties, depending on how often you grill.

Where To Buy

You can purchase original replacement Flavorizer bars at or other online retailers. They can also be purchased by calling Weber Customer Service at 800-446-1071.

There are also aftermarket sellers of replacement Flavorizer bars using heavier 16-gauge stainless steel available at

Flaking Inside The Lid

Flaking carbon inside lid
Flaking carbon inside lid

A common complaint from new Weber grill owners goes something like this:

It looks like the paint is peeling inside the lid of my new grill. WTF? I expected more from Weber!

OK, just chillax, Grasshopper. Weber does not paint its grills. They use a baked-on porcelain enamel finish that cannot peel. What you’re seeing is grease and smoke that builds-up during normal use, turns into harmless carbon, and eventually peels off in flakes or sheets.

Before grilling, use a grill brush or a balled-up piece of aluminum foil to remove any loose flakes. If you really want to be fastidious about it, each time you finish cooking, while the lid is still warm, wipe the inside surface with paper towels or a soap and water solution to prevent the build-up.

Remember Your Warranty

In May, I wrote about an example of fire box burn-through in a Weber Genesis E-310 propane grill. In that post, I noted that the grill was only 7 years old. An astute reader reminded me that full-sized Weber gas grills come with a 25-year warranty on the fire box and that a free replacement fire box would be a better solution than the repair shown in my post.

Yeah…why didn’t I think of that?

When was the last time you thought about your Weber gas grill warranty? If you’ve been suffering with a problem and haven’t gotten around to fixing it, maybe it’s covered under warranty!

Here’s a list of warranty info I’ve lifted from I’m providing it here for informational purposes, make sure to check your owner’s manual for the specifics for your grill or call Weber at 800-446-1071 for more details.

Aluminum castings 25 years (2 years on paint excluding fading)
Stainless steel shroud 25 years
Porcelain-enameled shroud 25 years
Stainless steel burner tubes 10 years
Stainless steel cooking grates 5 years, no rust through or burn through
Stainless steel Flavorizer® bars 5 years, no rust through or burn through
Porcelain-enameled, cast-iron cooking grates 5 years, no rust through or burn through
Porcelain-enameled, steel cooking grates 3 years, no rust through or burn through
Porcelain-enameled Flavorizer® bars 2 years, no rust through or burn through
Infrared rotisserie burner 2 years
All remaining parts 2 years
Cookbox 5 years, no rust through or burn through (2 years on paint excluding fading or discoloration)
Lid Assembly 5 years, no rust through or burn through (2 years on paint excluding fading or discoloration)
Stainless steel burner tubes 5 years, no rust through or burn through
Porcelain-enameled, cast iron cooking grates 5 years, no rust through or burn through
Plastic Components 5 years, excluding fading or discoloration
All Other 2 years

Cleaning Porcelain Enamel With Steel Wool

A popular technique for cleaning exterior porcelain enamel on Weber grills, both gas and charcoal, is to use super-fine 0000 steel wool and a degreasing spray like Simple Green or Formula 409. You can use this technique to occasionally deep-clean your grill or to restore an old grill to like-new condition.


Here are the steps:

  1. Use a damp cloth to remove any surface dirt.
  2. Spray degreaser generously on the surface. Using a circular motion, scrub gently with super-fine 0000 steel wool to remove grease build-up. Apply more degreaser if it begins to evaporate.
  3. Wipe away residue with a damp cloth and check your work. Repeat Step 2 if some areas are still dirty.
  4. Wipe the surface several times with a clean damp cloth and dry with a soft towel to remove streaks.




Thanks to countless members who have shared this technique on The Virtual Weber Bulletin Board.

Cleaning Stainless Steel

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.

My stainless steel cleaning arsenal

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.

Before and after cleaning

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

Do you have a favorite cleaning product or routine? Are you a clean grill neat freak like me? Let us know with a comment!

Protecting A Natural Gas Hose

Here’s a tip from reader Rich Dahl for owners of natural gas (NG) grills.

Protecting a natural gas hose

“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.”

Fixing A Noisy Lid

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.

Lubricating a squeaky lid hinge

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.

Good access to the hinge pin

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.

Repairing Fire Box Burn-Through

This is a photo of the left end of the fire box of a Weber Genesis E-310 propane grill.

Fire box burn-through

The DI portion of the serial number indicates that it’s a 2007 model.

Serial number label

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.

Fire box repair with SS sheet metal

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.