Gas Grill Basics

Gas grills are relatively easy to use, but no one is born a grill master. Even if you’ve been grilling for years, it can be easy to forget some of the basic knowledge required to get the most enjoyment out of your hobby. With that in mind, we’ve put together this helpful guide to ensure your grill works properly from the first day you bring it home to next time you feel like you need an upgrade.

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How to Start a Gas Grill

Battery-free system

There are a few different ways to start a gas grill, and each grill brand will have their own process. With that being said, you’ll often see many similarities between products. The most common method of ignition is a battery-powered piezo ignition system. With this system, a valve is turned to allow gas to flow through the burners. At the same time, a button is pressed and a spark ignites the gas inside the grill head.

Another type of commonly used piezo ignition system is a battery-free system. With this ignition type, a battery-free push or twist generates energy. At a certain point, this system clicks or snaps and releases energy in the form of a spark.

Battery-powered ignition system

There is also a variety of fully electronic spark ignition and hot-surface ignition systems designed to light a grill off of a plug-in or 9-volt battery. These systems tend to ignite quicker than piezo spark ignition systems and are more durable.

Finally, all grills can be ignited using a basic manual ignition system. This is more commonly referred to as “a match.”

For more specifics on how to ignite and operate your grill, consult your owner’s manual.

How to Break in a New Gas Grill

So, you’ve assembled your new grill, and you’re ready to fire it up for dinner, right? Not yet. There are a few important steps to complete before you’re ready to cook.

Pre-Cleaning

Before grilling, you will want to remove your grill grates and hand wash them with soap and water—never wash cooking grates in the dishwasher. This gentle cleaning will remove the byproducts of the manufacturing process like lubricants and dust particles.

While your grill grates are off the grill, you’ll want to fire up the grill and let it burn on high for approximately 30 minutes. This will burn off any remaining particulate matter in your grill head.

Seasoning

Cooking grates should be seasoned to ensure better results. This process protects the metal from oxidation and corrosion by creating a protective layer on the porous surface of the grates.

To properly season your grill, you’ll want to coat the grates in vegetable shortening, olive oil, or something similar. After coating the grates, reinstall them while the grill is hot and let them sit for approximately 15 minutes. Next, turn off the grill and let the grates cool as normal. This seasoning process should be repeated several times per year.

Preserving

To keep the exterior of your grill free from surface rust and stains, we recommend applying a stainless steel preservative soon after assembling your grill. Check out our collection of cleaning and preserving products designed to protect your purchase. You can also use a product like Sheila Shine.

In most cases, a quick spray down of your grill and a wipe with a microfiber cloth is enough to provide protection for your grill. Be sure to follow manufacturer instructions for both the grill and the cleaning product to prevent damage and always test a new product in an inconspicuous location before applying to the entire grill. You’ll also want to avoid using paper towels when applying cleaning or preserving products due to the risk of scratching.

Repeat the cleaning and protecting process several times each year to keep your grill looking like new for many years to come.

How to Protect a Gas Grill

All our grills are manufactured from durable materials and built to last, but there are extra steps you can take to extend the life of your grill. The easiest way to protect your grill is through the use of a grill cover. Most grills sold at Kick Ass Grills will also have a matching cover available from the manufacturer. While generic covers may work, a manufacturer designed cover will usually feature higher quality materials and a model-specific fit.

If you’re in a climate with harsh winters, we also recommend storing your grill if possible. If your grill has to stay outside year-round, check out our guide on how to winterize your grill.

Get More Help with Your Grill

If you have any additional questions about your grill, our team of product experts can help. We’re available to answer your questions by phone at 888-690-3773. We’re here Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Central Time. You can also contact us through our website at your convenience.

Looking for more great grilling tips? Check out the rest of our blog for buying guides, tips and advice, recipes, and more.

Product Specialist Nathan J. contributed to this article.