How to clean, season and maintain your grillWhether you've just bought a shiny new grill or pulled your old one out of winter hibernation, step No. 1 before embracing grilling season is to clean and season it.
Grills are like cast-iron skillets; the more you use them, the better they cook. That's because food cooks on the grill, the fats and juices are instantly vaporized by the heating elements or charcoal briquettes. The vapor creates the smoke that flavors the food with that legendary grilled taste. The smoke that isn't absorbed by the food accumulates on the inside of the grill, and so the Grill gets "seasoned."
More from MSN Living: 20 essentials for summer entertaining
So let's start with the cleaning. If you've had your grill for a while and use it a lot, you may notice that the lid of the grill looks like peeling paint. It isn't. This is simply the accumulation of layers of smoke. Warm soapy water, a scrub brush and a little elbow grease will take the excess bits of black smoke off the inside of the grill lid with little trouble. And you'll only need to do this once a year.
Next, burn and scrape off any food bits stuck to the grates. Turn all the burners on high for a gas grill with the lid down. For a charcoal grill, burn a chimney starter of charcoal with the lid closed. Let the flames burn until any residue has turned into a white colored ash. Brush gently with either a brass bristle brush or my makeshift foil cleaning brush.
A brass bristle brush is soft enough to bend and not break off like steel brushes. They are the only kind that I would use. The harder, more brittle brushes can also damage the finish on your cooking grates.
If you don't have a grill brush or don't want to use one, try this. Crumble heavy-duty foil into a ball about the size of a tennis ball. Hold the ball in a pair of sturdy 12-inch locking chef tongs and brush away! Remember to use heavy-duty foil or the ball will disintegrate.
After you clean your grill, it's time to season it. My favorite and very effective method is to fill the cooking grate with uncooked fresh sausages such as bratwurst or Italian sausage, but any food with a medium- to high-fat content that will cook for at least 30 minutes is ideal. I usually cook the sausages at a lower temperature than normal to suit this.
Grill the sausages slowly on a low-medium heat until bubbling hot and very brown. Remove the sausages from the grill, then re-set the burners to high, letting the grill burn off the residue until it turns white, about 20 to 30 minutes. Do this while you enjoy the grilled sausages recipe below. When you are done eating, clean the cooking grates by rubbing them with foil or a brush again.
Follow this checklist and grill maintenance will never be a big job
— Preheat the grill on high every time you use it.
— After pre-heating, use crumpled foil to loosen and clean away any gray ash or leftover residue on the cooking grates.
— After removing the food from the cooking grate, turn burners back to high and burn any stuck-on food off for 10 to 15 minutes.
— After each use, use a brass-bristle grill brush or crumpled foil to loosen and clean residue on the cooking grate.
— Remove accumulated ashes from charcoal grills frequently.
— Clean both the inner and the outer drip pan of a gas grill frequently
— Once a year, clean the inside of the grill with warm, soapy water.
cleaning & organizing: bring order to your home
Counter space. No matter how big the kitchen, you hardly ever hear anyone complaining that there's too much of it. Especially in a compact kitchen, clear counters are a precious commodity worth fighting for. Luckily, there are lots of smart storage ideas that can help you reclaim lost counter space. Here are 16 great solutions that are just begging to be a part of your kitchen expansion. By Tracy Anderson
So, you think your house is clean? Well … you might have to think again! If you're like most people, there are areas that you never even think about cleaning, unlikely places where dirt, dust, and germs may be lurking. Even if your home has its share of "dirty little secrets," you're not alone: A 2012 survey sponsored by Kenmore found that nearly half of Americans -- 49 percent -- say they cut corners when vacuuming by skipping areas underneath or behind furniture, and clean only when they see visible dirt on the floor. Because identifying the problem is the first step toward a cure, here are some commonly overlooked areas of the home that should be added to your housekeeping regimen -- and some tips on how to maximize your cleaning efforts.
Spring is here, which means it's time to purge your home of junk. To help you get started, here are 20 things to get rid of now.
A stylish solution for every busy spot in your house.
Tidy up and add some flair with one (or several!) of these $20-and-under finds for your home.
No matter how clean your home may be, it's probably still a little dusty. Dust is a pervasive problem that everyone has to deal with every day. It's more than an annoyance, however. For individuals who suffer from asthma, allergies, or other breathing problems, dust can compromise their health and their quality of life. Dust is composed of many elements, including tiny particles of dirt, pollen, mold spores, dead skin cells, hair, and fabric fibers, as well as airborne pollutants such as wood ash, chemicals, and vehicle exhaust. Minimizing the amount of dust in your home can make a huge difference in air quality and help prolong the life of furniture, appliances, and household electronics. Keeping your home as dust-free as possible requires vigilance and consistency, including establishing a regular weekly cleaning routine. Here are some simple suggestions on how to cut down on the amount of dust in your home.
Far too often, grass gets the short end of the stick. We trample on it, force-feed it fertilizer, and cut the poor stuff within an inch of its life — all while doting on our roses and tomatoes. But focus your attention on sod for a second, and its design potential will sink in.
A clean bed means more than washing your sheets and pillowcases.
A new high-speed dryer for your body could mean you never need to towel off after the shower again.
This polar vortex of a winter is finally starting to thaw out, which means only one thing: Spring cleaning is upon us. As we get ready to deep clean our homes and reorganize our garages, it's time to consider your wardrobe. Your closet--probably overflowing with clothes you no longer wear--needs to be cleaned out. Clearing our your wardrobe can be a daunting task, usually causing anxiety about what to keep and what to toss. When it comes time to editing your wardrobe, it can be difficult to part with particular pieces. If you haven't worn an item in a number of months or it doesn't fit, a good solution to tossing is to consign items. Who doesn't love the idea of putting a little cash back in your wallet while making room for fabulous new pieces? Check out these 11 tips that will help alleviate the stress of spring cleaning and make room for those fresh pieces your wardrobe desperately needs. It's time to shake off those winter coats and shimmy into some spring dresses. By Corri McFadden
The kitchen is often the heart of the home, but for small-homeowners and apartment dwellers, it can also become the bane of your existence when space is at a premium. To maximize every inch of precious countertop, check out these 12 essential items that will make your life in the kitchen less cluttered.