As the weather begins to change, and Braai season has definitely began(not that its restricted during winter), but gone are the days of grilling the meat in the oven and pretending that it’s the equivalent of a sunny “chop and dop”.

Before you start heating up your grill and inviting friends over in full force, you need to make sure that your grill is in tip top shape, to be able to handle the many summer braais that are yet to come and deliver that distinct but mouth-watering ‘smaak’.

We have just the tips you need to ensure, a clean and ready grill; whether you have a Weber braai master or you are kickin’ it the traditional way with a braai grill.

Burn off the gunk

Crank up the heat (or light the coals) and close the grill lid for 10-15 minutes as the high temperatures will char food residue, which makes it easier to scrape off.

Scrub the grates

Remove the charred residue from the grates with a T-Brush (which will get into those hard-to reach nooks and crannies) as they have long-wearing bristles that won’t damage a gas grill surface. If the grates’ undersides are greasy, remove them and wipe then down with a wet, soapy sponge. Once that is done, rinse them with a hose and towel-dry.

If you have a char grill, jump to step five.

Attack the burners (part 1)

Pricier grills often have burner protectors- those V-shaped pieces of metal guarding the gas jets from food drips. Remove them, and use a putty knife to scrape off the grease. Scrub them with soapy water, hose them off and towel dry them, if necessary.

Attack the burners (part 2)

Clean the burners with a brush, using a side-to-side motion, not a lengthwise one, as this helps with keeping debris from falling into the burner holes. Now look closely: are the gas jets clogged? If so, use the tip of a wire hanger to poke through the centre of each one.

If the holes are rusted (you know with all the braais you’ve probably been enjoying), it is time to replace the burners, bro.

Remove the burners before the next step.

Hit the walls

Scrape the walls of the cook box with the puffy knife; you want to remove all the carbonised grease so it doesn’t affect the flavour of your food. Very filthy grills may warrant a round of old-school dish soap and water.

If your grill has a drip pan, make sure to degunk the grease-channelling system with the putty knife, too.

Give it a rub down

Your inaugural braai of the new season, calls for shiny grill, if it has a stainless-steel finish, wipe the grease away with a dedicated stainless cleaner and a semi-soft sponge. Warm water works just fine for other finishes.

And just like that your braai grill ,is ready to for the heat.

-Alice Paulse