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The World's First Online Tell-All Competition BBQ Cooking School

Sara Hansen

How to Make Your BBQ Tools & Grill Last Longer

Your grill or smoker and the BBQ tools to go with it are an investment. Especially if you are a frequent outdoor cooker and want quality things that will last. So, it only makes sense to do what you can to protect them and extend their life as much as possible. After all, you don’t want to have to be replacing things every year. 

If you’re wondering how to make your grill last longer, along with all of the BBQ accessories you use, we’ve got everything you need to know. By following the suggestions below, you can keep cooking with much less worry about what you’re going to have to replace next.


Keep Everything Clean

A build-up of food residue, grease, and carbon is your grill and tools’ worst enemy. So, being proactive and keeping everything clean is critical to extending the life of your equipment. Make sure you are taking the time to properly clean your grill.

Before and after you use your grill or smoker, crank up the heat and use a metal-bristle grill brush or ball of aluminum foil to clean off any leftover food particulars and build-up. Then, if you are frequently using your grill, do a deep cleaning every 4 to 5 months.

Avoid harsh chemicals and save money on expensive cleaners by making your own homemade natural grill cleaner.


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Keeping the food grates of your grill or smoker clean will not only help them last longer but will also help ensure your food tastes good. A leftover build-up of grease and carbon can cause your cooker to smoke more (not the good smoke), tainting the taste of your food. It can even cause a flare-up in your grill, which will totally ruin anything you’ve got in there.

Make sure to also thoroughly clean and dry your tools after each use to reduce the chance of them wearing down too soon as well. The last thing you want to do is go to cook and discover that your tongs or spatula have rusted.

Important note: If you are going to use a metal bristle brush, use a high-quality stainless steel or copper bristle brush. The bristles in cheaper brushes can become loose, stick to the grates, and end up in your food. Always make sure to use a damp paper towel to wipe down the grates after brushing to ensure any loose bristles are picked up.


Make Sure Your Cooker is Seasoned

An important part of helping extend the life of your grill or smoker is to ensure it is properly seasoned before use. Moisture and premature wear will quickly break down your grill grates and the interior of the cooker. Keeping it seasoned will protect your grill, prevent food from sticking, and make cleaning easier in between cooks. 

You always want to season a brand new grill before using it and also after you deep-clean your grill. It’s also a good idea to re-season it occasionally if you’ve been cooking frequently. Especially if you notice food starting to stick more than usual. 

When it’s time to season your cooker, coat the grates and interior of your grill with a high-heat-resistant oil like canola oil. Then, turn up the heat on your cooker to high-heat and let it sit for about 30 to 40 minutes. 

One easy method to quickly re-season your grill is to turn up the cooker’s heat, cut an onion in half, dip it in the oil, and rub it over the grates before adding your food.


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Store Everything Properly

Properly storing your BBQ tools and your cooker itself will help keep everything protected from the elements that can quickly break down metal items and components. Many tools and parts of your grill are usually made of stainless steel. While stainless steel is more resistant to rust than other metals, it is not completely immune to it. 

So, storing everything properly will involve several things:

  • Cover your cooker: The natural elements can quickly wear down the exterior of your grill. So, invest in a good quality grill cover to keep your cooker protected between uses. Keeping your grill covered can add years to its life.
  • Store your grill properly: If you are going to be storing your cooker away for the winter or for a while without use, keeping it covered with a grill cover outside may not be enough to properly protect it. Prep it for storage and, if possible, store your grill in a garage or shed.  
  • Keep accessories put away when not in use: The same things go with your BBQ tools and accessories. Many of these things are metal also. So, it’s just as important to keep these protected from the elements when not in use. 


Only Use Tools For What They Were Intended For

One of the fastest ways of damaging or breaking BBQ tools is to try and use them for things that they were not intended for. For example, using your metal spatula to try and lift up the grill grates. So, to get the full life expectancy of your tools, only use them for their intended purpose. 


Check Parts & Tools Frequently

It’s important to perform regular checks on all of the components of your grill or smoker. are important. Yes, a cooker will probably still work even if one or two parts are damaged but that can further degrade the unit and even lead to dangerous usage. So, inspect your cooker often and if something needs to be repaired or replaced, don’t wait. Fixing small issues now will prevent larger, more costly issues later.

You also want to be checking your cooker and tools for any early signs of rust and eliminating it as soon as you notice it. Rust can be removed fairly easily if caught early and will prevent it from spreading. 


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Also, if you are using a metal grill brush, check that the bristles are not starting to come loose and fall out. If they are, throw it out and buy a new one.


Have a Dedicated Space for Outdoor Cooking

If you are grilling or smoking often, it will be advantageous to the life of your cooker if you set up a dedicated outdoor cooking area. The space needs to be somewhere where you don’t have to worry about chemicals from the lawn, a pool, or even natural elements from trees. All of these things can damage your grill. So, make your own grilling space to give you a place to enjoy cooking while also keeping your grill protected.


Use Your Cooker

Like any appliance or machine, your cooker will operate best when it’s actually being used regularly. So, enjoy some time outside and fire up your grill often. This will not only keep everything running smoothly but also allow you to check for any issues with components that may need to be addressed. 


You Can Extend the Life Of Your Cooking Investments

By following the simple things above, you can extend the life of your BBQ tools and cooker. The biggest take-aways to remember are to keep things clean and protected. In doing so, you’ll be able to enjoy your outdoor cooking much longer!

Do you have a trick you use to help protect your grill? Have you come up with a creative way to store your BBQ tools? Let us know below in the comments. We want to hear from you!


Want to learn how to really put your grill to good use and up your backyard cooking game? Check out our Championship Backyard Cooking Classes here at BBQ Champs Academy. You can learn directly from Champion Grillmaster and Pitmasters how to cook a variety of different BBQ favorites.

If you want to take it up a level with the pros and get all the best smoking and grilling techniques, competition-BBQ tips, and more, get your All-Access pass now for our one-of-kind online BBQ cooking classes. Start cooking like the pros today! 

Also, Subscribe to our YouTube channel to see recaps of all the latest competition BBQ news and get insider info straight from the Champions Pitmasters and Grillmasters.

Sara Hansen

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