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Occasional Use

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Even if you love outdoor cooking, you might not get to fire up your grill all the time. If your grill spends more time in storage than in use, maintenance becomes more important.

Cover It! Just because your grill has a stainless exterior doesn't mean it can go uncovered. Many parts -- both visible and inside the grill -- aren't made of stainless, and can rust. Choosing a cover isn't that easy, though. Make sure you get one that's heavy enough not to blow away during a windstorm, and make sure it's breathable so it doesn't trap humidity and make the grill more likely to get rusty.

Consider Charcoal Charcoal grills require less maintenance than gas grills.

Check For Spiders Spiders love to make webs in the venturi tubes of gas grills. Those webs can block the flow of gas and cause weak flames and poor performance. Check all the tubes in your grill for spiders and webs before cooking.

Keep It Clean Make sure to clean off your grill grates and remove any grease before storing your grill. While grills used daily might burn off any grease or food residue, a stored grill that isn't cleaned will be coated in grease that will soon become rancid.

Check Your Fuel If you have a propane grill, turn off the propane at the tank once you're done grilling to prevent a fire hazard! If your grill has been in storage, it may have developed some leaks, so spray soapy water on any connection points or hoses and turn on your propane tank. Don't light the grill or have any open flames nearby! If you see bubbles forming anywhere, that part has a leak and should be repaired or replaced. Finally, make sure you keep tabs on how much propane you have, or else your next grilling adventure may be a disappointment when the fuel runs out.