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Pat Sullivan: Grilling maintenance and safety

Pat Sullivan offered his yearly safety and maintenance tips for your grill on 13Sunrise.

INDIANAPOLIS — Your grill may have had its first major cookout over Memorial Day, and the July 4 holiday is fast approaching.

Pat Sullivan from Sullivan Hardware and Garden offered his yearly safety and maintenance tips on 13Sunrise this week so that your grill will stay reliable the rest of the summer.

"For some people, it's a grilling weekend every weekend of the year," Sullivan said. But because we are in between big event weekends, he said now is a good time for the occasional grillers to do some important safety checks.

Regardless of whether your grill uses charcoal, gas, wood or pellets, Sullivan said they all require some degree of seasonal maintenance.

"You've got to keep them clean," Sullivan said. Fire is one of the main hazards of an improperly maintained grill.

Cooking grids need the most frequent cleaning and Sullivan said that many sprays are good to keep burned food from building up. But you probably will have to use a brush for stubborn residue.

Avoid wire bristles that can break off and get lodged in food. Sullivan demonstrated cleaning with both a non-metallic brush and a wood scaper. 

"By using that spray, that spray really loosens (burned food) up, and I've noticed it...makes a big difference," he said.

Don't forget to clear out old ashes and the drip tray. That's where most fires start.

For propane grills, Sullivan recommends having a second tank on hand so you don't run out of gas during the middle of cooking. 

A full tank weighs 38 lbs. An empty tank weighs 18 lbs. To determine how much gas you have in your tank, "You just stand on the bathroom scale with it," Sullivan said, adding that you should stand it upright when taking it for a refill or exchange - don't lay it down on its side.

Watch Pat's full Sunrise segment in the video player.

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