Whether you’re looking forward to BBQing, leisurely afternoons spent kicking back on the patio or exploring all your favourite trails on your bike, we know you’ve been waiting months to get outside and enjoy what Canada has to offer this spring. From how to clean and prep your BBQ to how to find the best E-mobility vehicle for you, Everything Awaits at Canadian Tire.
Spring is finally here — and as snow and ice gives way to green grass and gorgeous blooming gardens, it feels like anything is possible. With warmer days on the way, Canadians are eager to get outside — and in our opinion, it’s never too early to start grilling.
But, similar to cars and bikes, BBQs also require a tune up after a long season of idling in winter conditions. To both prevent your BBQ from rust or corrosion and ensure it's safe for use, it’s important to give it a thorough maintenance check and cleaning.
To ensure you have the most optimal outdoor cooking experience, we’re showing you how to properly clean and prep your BBQ for an unforgettable season of outdoor dining with those closest to you.
Step 1: Deep clean your BBQ’s interior and exterior
Winter isn’t just hard on you, it can be hard on items left out in the elements and that includes your BBQ. Before you get grilling, make sure you start your BBQ season off with a good scrub. You’ll need a mild dish soap, no-scratch scouring pads, microfibre cloth, plastic paint scraper and a quality grill brush for a basic but thorough cleaning. The Masterchef Grill Brush is a good choice because it’s a two-in-one brush and stainless steel scraper.
Remove as much residue as you can from your BBQ grates using your grill brush and scraper. Follow that by washing the grates with dish soap and warm water. Rinse and dry thoroughly. Your BBQ's heat tents (flavourizer bars) and warming rack will require the same treatment — so give them a good scrape and cleaning. With all parts out of your firebox brush away any corrosion or build up on your BBQs burners and check them for any damages. Don’t forget about your BBQ's firebox and grease catch that will be teaming with grease build up. Use a paint scraper to remove all build-up and brush away and treat any corrosion or rust found in your grill.
For stainless-steel BBQs, avoid scratching the exterior surfaces, use a BBQ degreaser to remove build-up, rinse and wipe clean with a microfiber cloths. Other good choices are a vinegar and water solution or opt for a stainless-steel cleaner. Method Stainless-Steel Cleaner & Polish will revitalize your BBQ’s exterior and prevent future rust and corrosion.
As the grilling season moves forward and you begin to use your BBQ more frequently, it’s a great idea to keep a specially formulated grill cleaner like the Masterchef BBQ Grill Cleaner handy to clean exterior surfaces and avoid rust-related issues.
Step 2: Check that all parts are in good working order
Your grill may be sparkling — but that doesn’t mean it’s safe to use yet. After you’ve cleaned your BBQ thoroughly, there’s more important maintenance items to cross off your list before you throw the burgers on the grill.
Check your propane tank, regulator and all hose connections to ensure there are no leaks. If you discover one, you’ll need to tighten any leaking connections or
to replace any parts that are faulty. If your propane tank is looking rusty and a little worse for wear, replace it with a brand new one to be extra cautious. Next, you’ll want to check that your burners, heat tents( flavourizer bars) and ignitor are properly installed and working correctly. If you’d prefer to seek an expert opinion, head to Canadian Tire, where their experts can provide the advice, tools and replacement parts you need.
Step 3: Season your grill
This step is especially important after you’ve cleaned your grates and is only applicable to cast iron and porcelain cast iron grates.
Using a basting brush or oil mister, coat the entire grate with cooking oil. Use oil such as vegetable oil that has a high burn rate. Turn on your grill to MED/LOW heat for 30 minutes, then allow to cool before using.
Seasoning your grill regularly will protect and prevent rust, and even more importantly, create a sleek non-stick surface for cooking.
Step 4: Upgrade your grill
If your BBQ finally bit the dust last season, you can skip the cleaning and go straight to the fun part, selecting a new grill. The Vermont Castings Vanguard™ 4-Burner with Side Burner Convertible Gas BBQ Grill is a top choice for avid grillers. It features four premium stainless steel burners, an easy-access exterior mounted propane bracket and EASY-Care™ front access grease drawer with removable grease pan — so you can spend less time on maintenance and more time enjoying.
Step 5: Get your patio ready
OK, this isn’t technically a necessary step when it comes to preparing your BBQ for spring, but what would a delicious meal be without a relaxing place to enjoy it?
During the colder months, our kitchen and dining rooms act as a place for our families to relax and enjoy meals — and in our opinion, it's vital to create that same relaxing, comfortable vibe in our outdoor dining space. Cozy accents like outdoor-safe pillows and weatherproof rugs are a simple way to bring texture to your exteriors and add a touch of style to your space.
For long evenings spent with those closest to you, opt for low-maintenance solar-powered lights throughout your yard, or table lanterns for extra lightning. You can even plan ahead for warmer months with an insect-repellent lantern from Thermacell that performs double duty and keeps annoying bugs at bay.