Tips & Advice
What is the best way to season a new grill?
The goal of seasoning a new grill is to remove all traces of dust, grease, oil, metal shavings, and packing residue; seal the openings, and make sure the paint doesn’t come off on your food. You can season a new grill by applying some type of oil to the grates when the grill is cool, and then heat the grill up for a few minutes. Some people use a paper towel to spread a layer of olive oil. Some prefer to use a brush or basting mop to apply canola oil or vegetable shortening. Some cook a few pieces of bacon and spread the bacon grease across the grates.
Other people say the only step necessary to season a grill is just to preheat it to high temperature, and let it stay that way with nothing in it for 20-30 minutes. Still others will brush the grill grates with a bristle brush after it’s been heated.
What is the best way to prevent food from sticking to the grill?
To prevent food from sticking to the grill, preheat before each use, coat grill grates with a layer of oil (using an oil-soaked towel or a basting mop), scrape off any small debris before placing new food--and absolutely make sure to clean your grill after each use.
One BBQ-hacking tip is that, in the absence of oil, you can also rub the inside of a raw potato, onion, or lemon across the grill grates to make them non-stick.
You can spot-clean a grill by heating it to 500 F and then scraping off the char. But thorough cleaning requires taking off the grill grates and metal plates, and scrubbing them as well as the underside of the grill’s hood.
Does a grill need to be preheated?
Yes, any grill should be preheated for best results.
What is the difference between a charcoal grill and gas grill?
The key difference between a charcoal grill and gas grill is that charcoal grills can get to a higher cooking temperature than gas grills. This allows people who use charcoal grills to sear/char the outside of meat while still staying “rare” and tender on the inside. Devotees of either side claim that there are definite differences in flavor, but if grilled properly, there shouldn’t be.
What is a grill smoker box?
A smoker box is a small metal box that goes inside a standard grill (electric, gas, or charcoal) and is used to hold damp wood chips. When the heat is on and the grill closed, the wood chips create smoke that flavors meat cooking at the same time.
What are the types of outdoor grills?
Charcoal grills, gas grills, and electric grills are the three main fuel categories of outdoor grills. There are also pellet grills, which are fueled by wood chips. Smokers are often included in grill categories, and are actually a combination of a slow-cooker and a grill. Portable grills come in gas, electric, and charcoal-fuel models.
What is the difference between a hot tub and a spa?
There are no technical differences between a spa and a hot tub. Both spas and hot tubs are tubs with built-in jets used for relaxation, therapy, and entertaining. The terms are basically interchangeable. The two types of spas or hot tubs are portable, and custom-built or in-ground. Traditionally, in-ground or custom-built are more often referred to as spas. There are no real functional differences--spa just sounds more sophisticated.
There are several different types of hot tub jets to choose from, and each is unique in design and function:
Most jets are adjustable by turning the nozzle extension to increase or decrease flow.
- Rotational jets move the water in circles.
- Directional jets move the water in a specific direction, which you can aim or adjust yourself.
- Pulsating jets have two holes in the center, so when water pressure is applied, the center spins, creating a water stream that alternates between the two holes, resulting in a pulse-like performance.
- Multi-massage jets have several smaller holes that create individual water streams when water pressure is applied.
- Ozone or cluster jets have a single center section that water flows through, and are usually not adjustable.
How much does it cost to operate a hot tub?
Operating costs hot tubs depend on your local utility rates, but the national average is about $0.40 per heating hour. Weather, location of the hot tub (indoors vs. outdoors), condition of the tub, the fit of the lid, and frequency of use, are all factors that can add to the bill. So, keep your tub maintained accordingly to keep the costs down, and lower the temperature when you will not be using it for extended periods of time, like going on vacation.
How do you keep a hot tub clean?
To keep a hot tub clean, you first need to have the appropriate chemicals and in the correct balance. Check the pH levels at least once a week and add or adjust chemicals accordingly. Check filters monthly and clean or replace them as necessary. Periodically drain your hot tub and clean the surface with a non-abrasive cleanser to remove any surface grime. You can add a “jet clean” chemical to your tub to help clean out the jets prior to draining. Be sure to thoroughly rinse and wipe the tub before refilling to eliminate any chemical or soap residue. For the cover, wipe the vinyl down with a gentle soap solution and clean the underside with a hose, but do not use chemicals on the underside as they may contaminate the water. These processes should keep your tub and water in excellent condition.