In July 2012, the Centers for Disease Control published an article about injuries resulting from the ingestion of wire bristles from grill brushes. The story was reported widely in the press at the time and caused quite a bit of concern about the safety of grill brushes, and rightly so, since wires can become lodged in the throat or intestines and cause severe pain.
It’s important to check the condition of your grill brush often. If bristles are coming off the brush head, or you’re finding stray bristles inside the grill, it’s time for a new brush. It’s common to not notice anything until you clean-out the inside of your grill and find the bottom filled with little pieces of wire.
Also, after preheating the grill and brushing the grates, spend a few seconds examining the grates. If you find stray bristles on the surface, carefully remove them before placing food on the grill…and then toss that old brush in the trash!
On June 8, I posted about buying a Weber plancha for my Summit gas grill. The first thing I cooked using my new toy was bacon cheeseburgers. Yum!
I preheated the plancha for 10 minutes over medium-high heat, then fried-up some thick-sliced bacon over medium heat.
Once the bacon was done, I used some long tongs and a wad of paper towels to sweep the bacon fat to the drain. Next I grilled the burgers to medium doneness. A friend recommended that I try Prather Ranch ground beef from the Campbell Farmer’s Market. Very nice meat, but about twice the price of regular ground beef. Not an everyday thing but definitely a nice treat.
I formed the patties by hand and seasoned both sides generously with kosher salt and coarsely ground black pepper.
Plancha is a Spanish term for a metal plate or griddle or flat-top grill used for cooking. Here’s how the Weber plancha looks out of the box. Heavy cast iron construction with a glossy porcelain enamel coating for easy cleanup and no seasoning like raw CI. The plancha replaces one of the grates in your gas grill. The cooking surface is slightly angled forward so that liquid runs toward the drain at the front of the plancha and exits into your grill’s grease tray.
You can cook anything on a plancha that you would normally cook using CI. Think meat, fish, fruits and veggies, even breakfast foods. I’m thinking about several things I want to try and I’ll post the results here.
These planchas are not one-size-fits-all. You have to buy the right one for your specific grill. You’ll find a big selection of Weber planchas at Amazon.com.
Why not just use a cast iron skillet or a griddle on the grill? You could, but the benefits of larger size, high sides, no seasoning, and liquid drainage makes these planchas hard to beat!
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.
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.