Whether you’re a hardcore, year-round griller or you usually wait for the warmth to reappear, there’s no denying that the arrival of spring is just begging you to be cooking outside. But before you get started, there’s no time better than the very start of the season to make sure your grill is good to go. Here are five must-have accessories that won’t cost you a lot of cash, but will ensure that your grill is in top operating condition—no matter its age.
If there’s any single grill tool you just can’t do without, it’s the grill brush. They come in a variety of sizes and materials, so there’s one that’s a perfect fit for your grill. Stainless steel bristles make short work of crusty grease and char buildup. Pro tip: after every brushing, do a quick check of your grill grates to make sure no bristles have fallen off—errant bristles can end up stuck to your foods.
The real heroes are the ones that toil away out of the spotlight, but are still integral to making sure things don’t go south. That’s the job of grill drip pans. These foil pans are as simple as can be, but they go a long way to preventing maintenance nightmares. Keeping grease from collecting on your grill makes it much easier to clean, and also keeps it safer. Grease build-ups can easily ignite while grilling.
Diligent scrubbing (just after cooking, while the grill is still hot) goes a long way to keeping your grill looking and operating its best. If you’ve been slacking and have some stubborn buildup, a quick round with Weber’s Grate Grill Cleaner will make your scrubbing much more effective. It’s non-toxic and USDA-approved, so you won’t need to worry about contaminating your food after a cleaning.
New Grill Grates
A good grill can last you upwards of 20 years with proper maintenance, but there’s a good chance your grill grates won’t survive that long, even with proper maintenance. Constant heating-cooling cycles, rust from humid environments, and scrubbing with a wire brush can wear away at them. A new set of grill grates can bring your aging grill back from the dead. Most grills can be outfitted with either stainless steel or enameled cast-iron grates.
If your evening grill sessions always come to a close when the sun sets, it’s time to get out of the dark. A simple handle-mounted grill light cleverly provides light when you need it the most. Motion-activated, the light turns on when you lift the lid (which often blocks what outdoor lighting you might have), perfectly illuminating the cooking surface.