The "Outta Leftfield" Weblog

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

A manly man of an outdoor grill

The new outdoor grill has been secured and the first round of meat was successfully charred over the holiday weekend. But I must admit the cleanup has been a little more complicated than I anticipated.
We had purchased the Char-Broil brand, commercial series model, which is a manly man of an outdoor grill. In fact, when the guy at the big home improvement store wheeled it out from the back already assembled (my inadequacy at putting things together is well documented), I felt the urge to do The Stupid Man Dance, which includes jumping around, chest-bumping and high-fiving with other guys in the store while shouting “Woof-woof-woof!”
Gentlemen, go ahead and perform the dance in front of your wives and female companions. They will be so impressed and will want to go shopping with you more often.
The one thing we needed to be aware of with this grill, though, was how it was cleaned. The grates are made of cast-iron (a manly metal) with a porcelain coating (a manly coating). But the usual grill-cleaning tool, a wire brush, could wreck the porcelain finish. So we took the guy’s recommendation and bought what we thought was the right soft brush for the job.
Personally, if mankind can invent a self-cleaning oven, then I think it should be able to invent a self-cleaning grill. Failing that, we should at least be able to remove the grill’s grates and place them in a self-cleaning oven and let the oven do the work.
After the first round of grilling, I was using the soft brush to clean and ended up just shredding the thing. It was not the appropriate tool for the job.
So back to the big home improvement store I went, where another guy explained to be that I needed a brass-wired brush and a squirt bottle. He instructed me to heat the grill, squirt the grate with water to create steam, and then use the brass-wired brush to clean away the grime.
That worked, and it appears the porcelain coating has remained undamaged after the initial cleanings.
Now that the worry over cleaning the grill has been solved, I can go back to burning meat for the rest of the summer. Woof-woof-woof!

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Location: Fort Washington, Pennsylvania

Mike Morsch has been executive editor of Montgomery Newspapers since 2003. His award-winning humor column "Outta Leftfield" has been recognized by the Pennsylvania Newspaper Association, the Suburban Newspapers of America and the Philadelphia Press Association.

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