It’s Spring: get your charcoal grill KettlePizza-ready

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With the good weather upon us, times like these can't be far behind.
With the good weather upon us, times like these can’t be far behind. Time to get ready!

Don’t look now, but tomorrow — Friday (March 20) — the sun will appear to cross the celestial equator, pointing northward.  That means that if you’re living in the Northern Hemisphere, come Friday you’ll be celebrating the vernal equinox — aka, the first day of spring.  If you reside in the Southern Hemisphere,  you’ll be welcoming in the autumn equinox.

Both are truly glorious seasons with weather that’s ideal for taking your cooking to the great outdoors, aka your backyard.  If the weather where you live isn’t quite grill-ready (and we can tell you that here in New England the weather remains downright wintry), we’re confident it will be turning the corner soon.  And when it does, we want you and your kettle-style charcoal grill to be KettlePizza-ready.

So we have scoured the web (not really, we just know about this stuff because we’re grill guys too:) for the best kettle-style charcoal grill cleaning tips we could find. And we encourage you to add your secrete recipes for cleaning a charcoal grill in the comments section of this post.

Ready? Set? Here goes…

Wait a moment.  First and foremost, make sure you have the right grill cleaning tools at the ready. Chances are you already have these household items at your disposal: sponges, rags, soap (dish washing soap is fine), glass cleaner (great for eliminating nasty stains from grease and smoke), a stainless-steel brush (we bet there’s one in your garage), a paint scraper you don’t care too much about…and that should do it.

Oh, and we also recommend a pair of rubber kitchen gloves too. Now you’re really ready!

1. Assume an athletic position, and address the exterior of your grill.  Makes sense, right? Fill a small tub with warm water and a mild detergent, and with a sponge, wipe down the lid and bowl. Grab the glass cleaner and spray wherever you see unsightly stains. Then start wiping those stains away.

2.  Now look for what the pros call carbonized grease. Look under the lid for what may appear to be peeling paint. In reality, it’s carbonized grease that builds up over time, and then begins to peel.  Now take the stainless-steel brush — the non-scratch variety — and brush away the peels. Squeeze that sponge over the bucket of warm soapy water, wipe, rinse and dry. Voilà

3. Move on to the cooking grate.  With the same brush and soapy water, brush the grate. And don’t be shy about using a little elbow grease. As you may know, cleaning a cooking grate isn’t a job for the meek!

4. Almost there.  This isn’t actually a step, but we wanted there to be 6 steps, and we could only come up with 5 on our own.

5. Now you’re in the red zone. Take out your now sparkling cooking grate and the charcoal grate to make it easy to clean out the inside of your kettle-style grill.  You will likely need the paint scraper again to remove the debris we are sure has settled on the bottom of your grill. If water found its way into your grill, chances are it blended with whatever ash and charcoal, and who knows what else, made a home of your grill during the off-season. Again, paint scraper to the rescue; then the warm soapy sponge, rinse clean and wipe dry.

6. Put everything back together, pop in your KettlePizza, fire it up, roll out the dough and invite your neighbors for a little chill time.

You’ve earned it!

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