There are few things better than sitting outside on a nice day, surrounded by loved ones, and enjoying a perfectly grilled meal. Sometimes, though, the perfectly grilled part doesn’t turn out as you’d planned. We’ve assembled the tips below to help you troubleshoot common grill problems and get you back on the road to grilling perfection.
Difficulty Lighting the Grill
If your grill is stubborn when it’s time to light it, the fix is usually something simple.
- Check the fuel supply: The first step is to check to make sure there’s fuel in the tank and that the fuel line isn’t kinked.
- Check the ignitor: Next, make sure the ignitor is creating a spark and that the battery, if it has one, has power.
- Inspect the burner ports: If the burner ports are blocked with debris, they won’t light. Examine the ports and clean them if needed.
- Reset the safety: Some grills have a safety on them that can get tripped or activated and prevent ignition. If yours does, try resetting it.
Uneven Heating or Cold Spots
While failure to light can prevent you from cooking, uneven spots can result in a subpar meal. Here’s what to look for if that happens to you:
- Check the burners: Burners can get clogged in some areas but not others, resulting in less heat for the clogged area. Check and clean them if needed.
- Feel for wind: Sometimes, wind can shift the direction of the flames away from one area and toward another. Invest in a wind guard or reposition the grill to avoid this.
- Check the regulator: The regulator is responsible for providing consistent gas pressure. If it isn’t working, uneven heating can result. Check its function and replace it if needed.
Flare-ups happen when excess fat or oil drips onto the flames. To address them, keep the following idea in mind when grilling:
- Use drip pans: Installing a drip pan will catch any grease before it can get to the flames.
- Trim the meat: Before placing the meat on the grill, trim off any excess fat that may melt away and drip into the fire.
- Keep the lid down: By keeping the lid down, you’ll reduce the amount of oxygen flare-ups can consume and reduce their severity when they do happen.
Grill Not Reaching Desired Temperature
Precise cooking requires precise temperatures. If your grill isn’t cooperating on that front, there are several things you can try to remedy it:
- Use a Grill Thermometer: A reliable grill thermometer can accurately measure temperatures inside the grill.
- Manage Ventilation: The ventilation controls on your grill’s lid are there to help manage airflow, and therefore temperature. Open the more to increase heat and close them some to reduce it.
- Evenly Distribute Charcoal: If you’re using a charcoal grill, be sure that the charcoal is evenly distributed around the grill or the heating will be uneven and measurements inaccurate.
Excessive Smoke Production
There’s supposed to be some smoke as you’re grilling. If the smoke is excessive, however, it can be a problem. Here are some ways to address the issue:
- Clean the Grill: Food residue and excess grease buildup can be a cause of smoke. Clean the grates and interior regularly to prevent this.
- Ensure Proper Airflow: If there isn’t enough ventilation, combustion won’t be complete and smoke can result. Try opening the vents or raising the lid.
- Use High-Quality Fuel: Low-quality charcoal or wood produces more smoke than higher-quality fuel choices.
- Install a Drip Pan: Grease dripping onto flames will cause additional smoke to form. A drip pan catches it before that happens.
Find the Grilling Supplies You Need at Clarks Ace Hardware
You’re now well on your way to a more perfect grilling experience. If you need supplies to implement any of these fixes, or if you’re just in the market for your first grill, you’ll find all the supplies you need in the grilling department at Clarks Ace Hardware. To learn more about our offerings, visit one of our convenient locations today: