Grills are low-maintenance tools, but they do require some attention. With regular care, high-quality grills will cook efficiently and cleanly for many years. Follow these tips to keep your grill in fine shape:

Before Grilling
Read the owner’s manual before grilling for the first time, noting the cleaning instructions.

Never line the grill’s fire bed or cooking rack with aluminum foil, which can restrict air flow.

Brush the grill grate or rack with oil before you cook. This will prevent food from sticking and make cleanup easier.

After Grilling
While the grill grate or rack is still hot, use a long-handled wire brush to scrape off food particles. Cover the grill, and allow the heat of the dying coals or gas flames to burn off the residue.

After a gas grill has completely cooled, sort through its lava rocks or ceramic briquettes, dislodging and removing any bits of food that could clog the gas jets. Do not wash the rocks with detergent. Clean gas jets by scraping off accumulated grease and ash.

Between Grilling
Do not let ashes accumulate. Wait until the ash is completely cold, scoop it into a nonflammable container and discard.

Replace the lava rocks or ceramic briquettes in gas grills if they are heavily soiled and no longer heat efficiently.

Protect your grill with a waterproof cover or store it indoors.