Grilling season is upon us! Today we’re breaking down the steps to deep clean and partially rebuild a gas grill just in time for summer. Plus, we’re sharing our favorite simple turkey burger recipe! It’s a good one.
I’d like to begin by apologizing to our Weber grill. You’ve been a trusty, hardworking companion since we met a few summers ago. I’ve proceeded to thank you by neglecting your insides and allowing your parts to rust and decompose. I’m sorry. Hopefully a thorough cleaning and replacement of your rusty bits will help you to forgive my neglect. Moving right along…
Yuck. Straight up disgusting, right? We purchased our Weber Spirit 210 gas grill on Craigslist a few years ago. We’ve loved it so much, in fact, that we purchased a second one for our Michigan Tree House earlier this spring! The majority of modern Weber grills including our Spirit 210 feature a cool invention called ‘flavorizer bars’. These long, inverted V-shaped bars help to protect the burner tubes from drippy marinades and grease, which cuts down on flare-ups. They also get really, really, hot and vaporize those same drippings to add flavor to your food. Cool, huh? What’s not cool is how these bad boys look after at least 4 summers’ worth of constant use without being cleaned. Again, I’m sorry for my neglectful behavior. I was wrong to treat our trusty grill this way. Here’s what you’ll need to get your grill ready for summer!
Note: Our cleaning protocol is focused on our Weber Spirit 210, but it should apply to any brand of grill (minus the flavorizer bar replacement).
Tools + Supplies Needed
- Wire grill cleaning brush
- Grill cleaner & degreaser spray
- Plastic or flexible metal putty knife
- Replacement flavorizer bars (Weber gas grills only)
- Disposable gloves
- Drop cloth or old towels to protect surfaces
Remove the Grates and Flavorizer Bars
The great thing about the flavorizer bars is that they simply drop into place and are held by the body of the grill. We started our cleaning and rebuilding project by ordering the appropriate stainless steel replacements for our grill. When they arrived in the mail, we strapped on an apron and got to work. This job will get a bit messy and you’ll be hosing the grill down later, so it’s not a bad idea to move the grill to the grass or an area that can be rinsed easliy afterwards. The first step was to lift out the grates and flavorizer bars. Once ours wer removed, we were greeted with the hellscape you see below.
Once we could see inside the grill box, we used our wire grill brush to clean any rust and debris off of the burner tubes. Keeping all of those tiny holes clean and clear allows for a smooth, direct flame path that will result in more consistent flames and cooking temps. When it comes to successful grilling, consistent heat is ideal!
Use Copious Amounts of Grill Cleaner
Next, we sprayed, and sprayed, and sprayed the inside of the grill with Parker & Bailey BBQ Cleaner & Degreaser. We’d never used a product like this before, but it did a nice job loosening up years of baked on crud!
Empty the Grease Tray
While we gave the cleaning spray time to penetrate, we pulled out the grease tray. It was full of way more debris than we thought possible. The contents got dumped straight into the trash and then the rest of the grill box (the main body of the grill) got fully drenched in cleaning spray one more time.
Scrape it Clean and Hose it Down
We used a putty knife with a flexible metal blade to scrape off all of the remaining grease. This is a pretty dirty job, so be sure to wear gloves and an apron or clothes that you’re not attached to! The grill brush also came in handy for loosening the crud in the tighter corners of the gill box. Depending on the shape of your particular grill, it might also help to have some small wire brushes or an old toothbrush on hand. Once everything is as clean is can be, spray the whole grill down with a hose and rinse any remaining crud down through the open bottom. Leave the lid open and allow everything to air dry, then reassemble!
Pop in Those Shiny New Flavorizer Bars!
As we mentioned up above, the flavorizer bars simply drop into place once the grill is as clean as possible. It’s a bit tough to tell since the new stainless pieces are so reflective, but these babies are gleaming! With the flavorizer bars back in place and everything dry, we fired up the grill and ran it at full high heat for about 20 minutes. This helped to burn off any residue from the cleaning process and ensure that the new flavorizer bars were clean and ready to go.
Our Favorite Turkey Burger Recipe!
Now that the grill is clean and ready for summer, let’s make some turkey burgers! We’ve cooked this recipe 3 or 4 times in the last few months and have adjusted ingredients to get to a point that we’re really happy with. They’re juicy and flavorful and can be served however you prefer. We like them best on buttered and lightly toasted brioche buns with swiss, avocado, romaine and sliced tomato.
The printable recipe card below outlines this quick recipe that’s simple enough for weeknight dinners, or can easily be doubled for a larger crowd or for easy leftovers!
Simple + Delicious Grilled Turkey Burgers
- 1 lb ground turkey
- 1/2 c bread crumbs
- 1 egg
- 2 tbsp milk
- 3-4 green onions, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- salt generous
- pepper generous
- sliced swiss cheese as topping (optional)
- sliced avocado as topping (optional)
- romaine lettuce as topping (optional)
- toasted brioche buns to serve
- Preheat Grill to medium-high, approximately 450 degrees.
- Combine turkey, bread crumbs, egg, milk, green onion, garlic, salt and pepper in medium bowl. Mix until evenly distributed.
- Shape turkey mixture into 4-5 patties and spray grill grates with cooking spray to avoid sticking. (Important!)
- Grill burgers 4-6 minutes per side only flipping once, until internal temperature reaches 165-170 degrees F. Add sliced swiss for the last 1-2 minutes for perfect melt!
- Serve on toasted brioche buns with avocado, tomato, lettuce and whatever your heart desires. Enjoy!
We love the simplicity of this recipe – and the fact that Lucy devours her own patty – and we swear the burgers tasted better when cooked on a perfectly clean grill! Here’s to happy grilling all summer long!
PS! Here are some other fun recipes to try: the best chocolate chip cookies, green smoothies and stout floats.
Grilling is the best part of summer! We have yet to clean ours yet for the season
I’m a stickler for cleaning the grill every time I use it so that the yearly deep clean isn’t such a chore. Renters, of course, almost never clean the thing. I always do a quick clean between rentals and it always kind of disgusts me to see what people will cook on. I’ve found entire hamburger patties down in the drip tray!
We’ve committed to doing a better job of cleaning after each use so we don’t find ourselves in this position next summer!
I’m a little (a lot) relieved to see that I’m not the only one who needs to deep clean the grill. I may need to get busy with it this week.
Our grill needs this kind of attention! We’ve had our weber for about 8 years and LOVE it and it gets a lot of use. I like to put a little bit of grated zucchini in our turkey burgers. It helps keep them extra moist especially when using a leaner meat.
I religiously cleaned my grill each spring, but after 13 years, Weber no longer made flavorizer bars that fit my model. Then, it finally happened… a grease fire! The old grill was retired after that. We upgraded to a new Weber Genesis 300 series for Mother’s Day. :-).
Love when bloggers show the true nitty/gritty. Our grill looks like this as well. Now I know what I’m doing this weekend. ;)