Summer nights are the perfect time to gather with friends and family, and fire up your grill. In addition to a savory menu—think chicken, burgers and hot dogs—a great cookout requires the right tools. Properly store your grill equipment using these tips to ensure you’re ready for your next summer cookout.
Designate a Place for Tools
Stay organized by keeping grilling tools, such as utensils, cleaning supplies and spare parts, in one place. There are several ways you can do this:
- Install a pegboard in your garage, and hang utensils.
- Store everything in a sealed container, such as a Rubbermaid tote.
- Mount kitchen cabinets in the garage.
If there are tools you use in the kitchen and for grilling—for example, spatulas, knives and tongs—consider buying two sets, so you can store them separately for easy access.
Pair Together Ingredients
To throw a great BBQ, you need the right ingredients. To better prepare for upcoming cookouts, pair ingredients in advance. Keep items like marinades, spices and rubs together in a basket or container. Depending on how often you use them, these items can be stored in your kitchen or with your other grilling supplies.
In addition, buy a tray that allows you to carry multiple items to and from the grill. This prevents spilling accidents and designates a single tray to be used for the grill.
Store Items At the Grill
Given that it is big enough, you can store a couple of important items with your grill to keep them right at hand. Here are a few examples:
- Extra charcoal or a second propane tank (depending on your grill)
- Lighter fluid
- Fire extinguisher
- Meat or cooking thermometer
- Kitchen timer
- Non-stick cooking spray designed for grilling
The most important part of storing your grilling equipment is to properly clean it after each use. A clean grill lasts in storage longer and will be better prepared for your next cookout. Keep the below in mind while cleaning:
- ALWAYS wait until the grill has cooled before you start cleaning.
- Use a wire brush on the grates to scrub away buildup.
- When dealing with tough grease, use oven cleaner or grease-cutting dishwashing detergent.
- Keep the grill unplugged and covered while not in use.
- After a period of storage or minimal use, check for leaks and deterioration.
Do a thorough cleaning at least twice a year. Check for rust, and examine the regulator, hose, burner parts, air shutter and venture/valve section carefully.
Protect Your Grill in Storage
During the summer, purchase a cover for your grill so that it can remain accessible outside, but protected from the weather.
As fall and winter approach, find a sheltered place to store your grill. A garage or shed might be a good option. However, if these areas of your home are already occupied, consider a self-storage unit.
All these tips will help keep your BBQ essentials stored and ready for the next cookout.
How do you store your grilling equipment in the summer? Share with us in the comment section below.
Image Source: Ginny under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic