Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Re-Charging My Charbroil Grill

My 4-burner charbroil gas grill has been a year-round workhorse since I bought it grill 5 years ago. I should have kept count of how many gas grills I have owned in the past 30 years; no doubt its in double digits. I don't recall any of them fondly- but this Charbroil has been different. First it lasted more than two seasons and of course GrillGrates have made it a grilling machine with terrific control and consistency. I've become attached to this grill and a tune up was over due.

I have never repaired a gas grill before- just junked them. This Charbroil is a grill worth saving and I'm proud of the fact that it cost under $100 to make it as good as new. I'm even more proud of the fact of doing it myself since no one has ever described me as handy. I thought I'd share what I've learned about grill maintenance.
  1. Burners and cooking grates are the first thing to wear out on most grills. Broken burners are not hard to replace, contrary to my expectations. There are not even any screws or bolts involved. Replacement burners just seat inside an area behind the knob. I decided to replace all 4 burners even though only 2 were broken. I did not bother repairing the igniter as lighting with a lighter is just as easy and less chance of a ka-boom after lots of clicking on the starter.
  1. Replace the flame tents also known as flavorizer bars. They are there to primarily diffuse the heat around the tent to provide more even heating and to protect the burners from debris. I learned that If you let them go too long they'll collapse onto the burner and take it out too.
  2. Careful removing too much of the rust inside your grill you may not have anything left. I realized that the bottom of my grill will be the next thing to go so I gently removed some of the rust pile but stopped after realizing it was going to cave in. 
  3. Hats off to Charbroil for a super replacement parts web site that led me right to the parts I needed . They even sold me on a cleaner on the way out of the store.
  1. Replacing the existing grates with GrillGrates is a turbocharger for your grill!  I already knew this since GrillGrates have been on this Charbroil since day one. For the first 3 years I had 5 standard 13.75” GrillGrates across the grill with a couple of inches clear in the back and I was thrilled. I finally listened to our customers particularly Meathead Goldwyn who 2 years ago asked me for 18.5” long GrillGrates to replace his grates. I finally replaced my cast iron grates 18 months ago and the efficiency gain has been unbelievable. My Charbroil is like a souped up Chevy Nova! It gets hotter faster and uses a lot less propane. My Charbroil grill is better than new and may have another 5 years in it!  Grate Grilling Ahead!  Film at 11:00!