Cold Weather Means It’s Time For A Spring Grilling Safety Checklist

dirty kitchen grill

Has your grill be covered in snow or tucked away under a tarp during the cooler months?

Or, has it just been a while since you fired up the grill for a cookout? It’s time for you to do some pre-cooking maintenance on your grill or smoker.

Creepy things!

Chances are that if you’ve left your grill covered and un-used for an extended period of time then you may have more than dinner guests coming to dinner. I’m talking about bugs, bees, spiders, roaches, and other creepy critters. Your grill, and its grease trap, has probably become a luxury condo for insects.

Use bug spray if needed and clean with soap, water, or grill cleaner. Follow your grill manufactures instructions as grill cleaners vary. Then fire up the grill. This will burn off any leftover insects, cobwebs, and residue left from cleaners.

Your first cookout of the season should not include a million ants pouring out of a grill. That’s not how you impress your grilling buddies.

Nuts and bolts…

Take a look at the overall condition of the grill. Cheaper grills, as well as expensive smaller ones, may be in need of a good tightening of nuts and bolts. We’re sure you encountered a shaky grill. We’ve even seen some held together with wire coat hangers and concrete lag-nuts. We’re all for a good emergency “fix” when needed; but don’t pass on the opportunity to tighten things up a bit. You don’t want your kettle grill to collapse when the coals are just right. Also consider knocking off any rust and using grill safe / high-heat grill paint for any touch ups.

Gas grills

Gas grills need a bit of extra inspection. Check gas lines, valves, and fittings. Look for any rust or dry-rotted items that may need to be replaced.

Grilling area

Now that your grill is ready to go it’s time to get things rolling. However, make sure your grill is in a safe place. You don’t want to burn the garage down or melt the siding off the side of your house. Also consider having things handy such as a water source, fire extinguisher, or similar fire retardant. Trust us; it’s better to have the right tools on hand if an emergency happens. Or, you can spend time running around your yard looking for a hose while your vinyl siding burns.

Grilled beef kabobs sandwich

Here’s a flavor packed recipe from

The Tennessee Hometown Cookbook. It’s a starting point recipe that you can adjust to your own tastes.

  • 2 pounds thick cut stew meat
  • 1/ 2 cup steak sauce
  • 1/ 2 cup Italian dressing
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 6-8 French roll buns

Marinate the meat in the steak sauce, dressing and lemon juice for at least an hour, but it’s best overnight!

Place meat onto skewers and grill evenly on all sides. Leave a small space between pieces of meat so they cook evenly.

Remove meat from skewers and place equal amounts on warmed buns.

Serve hot topped with a few favorites including grilled onions and peppers.

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