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An Anago Fourth of July: Celebrating Liberty, Unity, and the Secret to a Perfectly Grilled Burger

July 2020 readies to make its mark in history. As we continue living in these interesting and unprecedented times, our Independence Day celebration reminds us that we are all living under one declaration of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. We are all living in one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. This historical phrase is taking on a new, redefined meaning for many in our country, and we hope that every person living in this great nation feels safe and respected while embracing the strength and resolve of these words.

Despite the trauma COVID-19 has caused worldwide, we hope that this July 4th celebration will provide us an opportunity to come together (six feet apart, of course) and enjoy the freedoms this country fought to achieve more than 240 years ago. Few things bring people together in harmony more than food…especially BBQ!

So, before you fire up the grill, we want to share the one simple secret to a perfectly grilled burger, hot dog or rack of ribs… Start with a clean grill! It really is as simple as that. But to make it even easier, here are some easy-to-follow tips that will make your food more flavorful while also protecting your Fourth of July celebration from a severe fire hazard – your dirty grill!

Charcoal Grills

Charcoal grills require the most cleaning but are so worth it, as you can't beat the flavor from charcoal. (Side note: Be sure to ladle on the mesquite, smoky wood chips to give your BBQ that extra zing.) Charcoal ash gathers at the bottom of the grill every time it's used, so you must clean the grill after each use. Built-up ash can block vents in the bottom of the grill, making it challenging to control cooking temperature and increase fire risks. Here are some cleaning tips once the charcoal has cooled:

  • Remove the remaining charcoal and brush out the ash.
  • Use a long-handled and stiff grill cleaning brush to clean the grill grates. Use Clorox disinfecting wipes (bleach-free) for a good wipe-down afterwards.
  • Apply a small amount of vegetable oil to the clean grates. This helps fight against rust.
  • Clean the inside of the grilling bowl and lid using mild dish soap or Clorox disinfecting wipes (bleach-free) using a grill cleaning brush (wire/steel).

Gas Grills

While gas grills don't require cleaning after each use, they should be thoroughly and regularly maintained depending on how often you grill. Here are some tips to keep your gas grill in tip-top shape.

  • It’s imperative that you frequently remove the heat deflectors and scrape the buildup of grease and food. Too much accumulated grease can cause a grease fire that can get out of control quickly. Just in case, be sure to keep a fire extinguisher nearby (using water on a grease fire is a HUGE NO-NO).
  • Clean grill grates with a long-handled grill cleaning brush (wire/steel).
  • Just like on a charcoal grill, apply vegetable oil to grill grates to help prevent rust.
  • Remove the heat deflectors located over the burners and wash with dish soap and water or consider using Clorox disinfecting wipes (bleach-free) for cleaning. Dry with a clean rag.

Now that it’s all primed and ready for use, get out there and fire up the grill. All of us at Anago wish you all a happy Fourth of July celebration and a safe summer!

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