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Summer Grilling Tips

 Summer Grilling Tips

          Tips for Cleaning the Outdoor Grill.  Outdoor grilling is one of summertime’s delights.  Even basic foods seem to taste better when cooked outdoors.  Whether the grill of choice is charcoal or gas, here are some tips for peak performance all summer long.  Begin by checking the grill manufacturer’s instructions for specific cleaning requirements.
            Rust is the major enemy of charcoal grills—and the major cause of rust is failing to clean out the ashes regularly.  To do this, turn off the grill, make sure it’s completely cool.  Then, remove the grates from inside the grill.  If there’s no ash catcher underneath the bowl, use a garden trowel to scoop out the ashes.
            If the grill has an ash catcher, be sure to clean it, too, once the ashes are removed.  Carefully discard ashes in a plastic trash bag.  Otherwise, they will fly all over, covering everything (including you) with soot.
            Clean the grate and the inside of the grill with a spray-on oven cleaner.  Check the label to make sure the cleaning product is safe for both of these surfaces, and follow the grill manufacturer’s use instructions.  Let the cleaner sit long enough to soften the accumulated grease and grime.  Then wipe the cleaner off with paper towels.   Follow by washing with a hand dishwashing detergent and water. Clean the outside of the grill using a warm detergent and water solution and non-abrasive cloth.  Rinse and wipe dry.
            Gas grills should be checked to make sure there are no leaks or blockages.  Make sure the grill is turned off and completely cool.  Then, inspect the burner and gas supply tubes for spider webs, grease build-up, rusted areas—anything that would slow down the gas flow.  Clean these areas following the grill manufacturer’s cleaning instructions.
            Clean a gas grill after every use by turning the grill on “high” and letting it “cook” for 10 to 15 minutes with the lid closed.  Turn off the grill and let it cool slightly.  Then, loosen the residue with a brass bristle brush.  Once the grill is completely cool, wipe the inside and outside surfaces with a soft cloth and warm, soapy water.  Rinse and wipe dry.
            Try this great recipe on your grill:
 
Grilled Chicken with Savory Summer Vegetables
4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves (about 1 pound)
¼ cup Sun-Dried Tomato Vinaigrette Dressing (divided)
1 zucchini, cut into chunks
1 red pepper, cut into chunks
1 cup chopped asparagus
½ of a red onion, cut into chunks
            Preheat grill to medium-high heat.  Brush chicken with 2 tablespoons of the dressing.  Let stand 10 minutes.  Meanwhile, poke holes in bottom of a disposable aluminum foil pan.  Toss vegetables with remaining 2 tablespoons of dressing.  Place in prepared pan.  Grill chicken until cooked through and vegetables are crisp-tender (about 20 minutes).  Makes 4 servings.  (The aluminum foil pan with holes creates a disposable grill basket, making cleanup even easier.)
            Grilling Tips:  Lightly oil the grill.  Make sure the grill is hot (heat will sear the meat).  Don’t use a fork.  Baste at the proper time.  Use an instant-read thermometer to check if meat is done (chicken 165 degrees, red meats 160 degrees.)
            Happy Grilling!

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