Do You Need a BBQ Grill Cover?

In Minnesota, we take full advantage of grill season. And out of necessity, we also break the rules of grill season. It’s not uncommon to see a Minnesotan grilling when there’s snow on the ground. Because let’s be real, when is there not snow on the ground?

That being said, if you’ve invested in a beautiful grill, Minnesota weather will do its best to blemish it with high humidity and extreme temperatures.

Invest in a Grill Cover

Weber Grill CoverA quality grill cover with extend the life of your new barbecue.

Most grill covers are fitted around the center of your grill and hang straight down, sometimes stopping just above the ground.

Many barbecue grill covers use heavy-duty vinyl on the outside to protect the exterior of the grill, but use a more absorbent material on the inside to keep moisture from building under the hood of the grill (i.e. the grates and burners).

Many gas grill covers also include vents to pipe moisture out, but make sure they’re well positioned so they don’t let in the moisture they claim to keep out!

Just make sure to let your gas grill or smoker BBQ cool down before you cover it.

Most grill covers cost between $40 and $60, depending on the grill. Buy a grill cover and BBQ accessories over $50 from Warners’ Stellian and it ships for free in the U.S.

Shop our grill covers.

DCS Liberty Grills Provide Entertaining Freedom

The classic grill configuration doesn’t make for easy entertaining. Think about it: you flip the top to land about even with your mouth, which maybe doesn’t matter, as you typically locate your gas grill against something (a wall, a deck, a fence) anyway.

How are you supposed to conversate? Who wants to gather round that?

Now imagine a setup where the grill is more like a cooktop… just open, with no top to baffle your babble or keeps guests away.

OK, stop imagining; Here it is.

DCS Liberty Grill

Those who have lots of friends and parties (and are into that kind of stuff) will probably wonder why no one thought of this before. This being the DCS Liberty, which “even allows you to effortlessly host an omelet bar in your outdoor kitchen.” Well thank goodness!

It’s called the Liberty because all the individual applications free up your outdoor living design, unhinging it from all those icky conventions and letting you enjoy your outdoor cooking experience along with – instead of apart from – all your friends.

You can pretty much mix and match all the individual pieces in the DCS Liberty Collection to do whatever you want. This curved shape lets everyone gather round (pun intended).

Grilling doughnuts on ‘Twin Cities Live’

Carla Warner and I got to spend some time grilling outside with the awesome people at KSTP’s “Twin Cities Live” yesterday.

>> See the video

A rare picture of me, left, posing with TCL's Emily Engberg and Carla Warner in front of the Grilled Doughnuts on the Viking gas grill.

I love to cook, so I volunteered to whip up 3 unconventional recipes on 3 of our favorite grills.

On the Big Green Egg, we made Bacon-wrapped jalapeno poppers

Hollow jalapenos and completely fill with cream cheese. Wrap with raw bacon and secure with toothpick. Grill on the Big Green Egg or other grill using indirect heat at 350-375 degrees for 40-45 minutes.

On the Vermont Castings, we made Margherita pizza

Heat grill to medium heat. Sprinkle with cornmeal and roll out fresh, refrigerated pizza dough ball to no more than 1/4-inch thickness. Either oil grill grates or place pizza stone on grill. Grill dough covered for 5 minutes. Top with Kowalski’s Signature Pizza Sauce, slices of Kowalski’s fresh mozzarella and sliced Roma tomato. Grill for another 3-5 minutes or until cheese is golden brown. Top with fresh basil and serve.

And on the Viking Grill, we made — you’ll never guess — Grilled doughnuts

Grill Pillsbury Grands refrigerated biscuits on a cookie sheet (or well-oiled grill grate) using indirect heat at about 375 degrees for 10 minutes or until golden brown.

Meanwhile, melt a stick of butter in a grill-safe bowl away from direct heat. Dip warm biscuits in the melted butter and roll in cinnamon sugar.

Tune up your grill for Memorial Weekend barbecuing

If Memorial Day weekend finds you dragging your gas grill out for the first time this summer, make sure you have it party-ready in time for the dinner bell with these maintenance tips.

Clean the interior using a putty knife to scrape off burnt-on food particles inside your grill. This isn’t just aesthetic. Build-up prevents your grill from heating correctly.

To clean your grates, Weber Grill suggests putting them in a dark-colored plastic bag with a cup of ammonia into the bag. After a day in the sun, residue should easily hose off (hat tip Shelterpop).

If you have a grease drain, make sure it’s unclogged by running a coat hanger down it. Just keep your hands away from the grease bucket, because the grease will drain out fast and could burn you.

Season the grill. Use nonstick cooking spray to oil the grates, drip pans and inside of the grill. This helps keep food from sticking to the surfaces and speeds cleaning. Light the grill and let it burn empty with the lid closed for 30 minutes to burn off the preservatives.

Level the grill. If one side of your grill burns burgers while the other leaves them raw, it’s probably not level. Check both side-to-side and front-to-back.

Check for leaks by inspecting connections for tightness and hoses for cracks. Another good way to scope out leaks is by brushing non-ammonia soapy water around the fitting with an old toothbrush. Turn the gas on and watch for bubbles.

That’s all from me. Anyone else have good tips to add?

Thanks to Holland Grill for the info. Flickr photo credit: mccun934

11 Grill Safety Tips

With being grill master comes tremendous responsibility. Unfortunately, grill accidents DO happen, sometimes resulting in serious injury and even death.

Take precaution with these grill safety tips.

1. Be sure all utensils, cutting boards, plates, cooking surfaces and hands are clean.

2. Never place cooked meat on a platter that held raw meat.

3. So foods won’t stick to the grill surface, dip a folded up paper towel in olive oil and rub over the grate before turning on your grill.

4. Don’t partially precook meat or poultry before transporting.

5. Put your cooler inside your car rather than the hot truck.

6. Keep your grill away from overhangs, fences and shrubbery.

7. Never add lighter fuel directly to hot coals. The flame could travel up the stream and burn you.

8. When refilling a propane cylinder, have the supplier check for any damage or leads (especially when the cylinder has been stored, such as during the winter)

9. Always use and store propane cylinders in an upright position.

10. Use tongs to lift and turn meat. Using a fork pierces the meats and lets precious juices escape.

11. When lighting a gas grill, always keep the lid open to prevent a flash off from gas build-up

Warners’ Stellian carries only the best gas grills and charcoal grills in a range of budgets.