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It's Grilling Time

Human hand adds salt to the steaks on the barbecue
fotojuwelier/Getty Images/iStockphoto

Memorial Day is the unofficial start of summer and kicks off grilling season.

Start this summer off right by making sure your grill is ready to go.

Do a safety check.

If your grill is a gas grill, take off the propane tank, clean it, and inspect it for any damage. Also, check the hose that runs between the tank and the grill for any wear and tear. If you find anything wrong with the tank or the hose, replace it immediately.

Look for Rust.

If you see rust on your grates, you might consider replacing the grates to ensure that you don't have any health problems from rust getting on your food.

Clean Your Grill.

After your initial safety check, turn on your grill and leave it on high for 10 to15 minutes. This will burn off most of the leftovers from last season.

You may need to use a grill brush to scrape off any stubborn food particles. For safety, use a brush with a pad rather than wire bristles. If you prefer wire grill brushes, replace annually to reduce of the risk of wires breaking off and getting stuck on your food.

Also, clean off the outside of your grill by wiping it down with warm, soapy water.

Cover Your Grill.

Once your grill is cleaned and ready to go, make sure you have a waterproof cover to keep your grill in good condition throughout grilling season.

And remember, it's much better to stay ahead of repairs and maintain your grill on a regular basis rather than to wait and end up having to replace an expensive grill.

This is Jennifer Chandler with The Weekly Dish. Happy Memorial Day!

Jennifer Chandler graduated at the top of her class from Le Cordon Bleu in Paris. She is a full-time mom to two daughters in Memphis, Tennessee, and is a freelance food writer, restaurant consultant, and author of four cookbooks The Southern Pantry Cookbook, Simply Salads, Simply Suppers, and Simply Grilling.