PITTSBURGH (KDKA) - Memorial Day weekend typically kicks off the start of the grilling season.
If it's been awhile since you fired up your grill, a checkup may be in order.
Angie's List has some tips for what you should check before heading outside with the burgers, brats and buns.
"We love the outdoors. We have a big backyard patio and pool and backyard seating area so we love spending time outdoors," Deidre Pettinga said.
Pettinga and her family grill out year-round so, it's important to her that the grill is professionally cleaned and inspected each year.
"The gas grill that's here belonged to the former owners. We've been here 12 years and they were here maybe five years before that. So, that grill is going on 20-years-old and we are keeping it like new," she said.
Your grill is an appliance and with proper maintenance and care, it can give you years of great use.
Aaron Nelson says a common problem he sees is clogged or greasy burners.
"What can happen to burners is they can corrode over time. They are being heated up so much and cooled down that the burner can rust and corrode. Most burners can last five to eight years, but eventually they need replacement like a lot of parts on the grill," repairman Aaron Nelson said.
The ceramic briquettes also need to be replaced if they become brittle or break in your hand.
If your grill is hard to light, check the venturi tubes.
"They actually have screens on here and people wonder why there are screens on a venture tube, and it's to keep spiders out. This is a huge thing that can affect the performance of the grill is spiders can get inside these venture tubes and create cobwebs and really affect the flow of the gas, in turn the flame," Nelson said.
A greasy grill also poses a fire risk.
Once you've pulled the food from the grill, allow any excess food to burn off and clean the grill while it's still warm.
Each time before you cook, Nelson says brush some olive oil on the grids
When not in use, covering your grill is the easiest and best thing you can do to extend its life by protecting it from the elements.
If you're in the market for a new grill, remember the more complex the grill, the higher the cost to repair.
"Before you head out to buy a grill, be sure to assess what you actually need. How big is your family? How many are you cooking for? You only want to get the accessories that you will actually use because you'll end up buying some really fancy grill and you want use those things and it might lead to larger repair bills down the road," Angie Hicks from Angie's List said.
Gas grills should be serviced at least once a year; twice a year if you're a heavy grill user. The cost can start around $75 and go up depending on the make and model.
Angie's List says give your grill a test run a week or two before the day of the big barbecue to make sure everything is in good working order.
That way, if it does need a new part or repair, you'll have it working in time for the big cookout.
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