When purchasing your barbeque grill, think of it as an investment rather then just another item for your outdoor entertainment. You should expect this item to become a large part of your outdoor activities for many years to come. But like any other investments, proper maintenance and care is needed to ensure that your barbeque grill will work for you for many years to come. While some maintenance and cleaning is specific to the type of barbeque grill your own (gas, electric, charcoal or smoke barbecue grill), the majority of maintenance that should be carried on does not change from grill to grill.
Step 1- Gathering The Necessary Items
You will need some common household items on hand when it comes time to clean your barbeque grill.
- Brass wire grill brush
- Steel wool pads, preferably that contains soap already.
- Mild dish soap
- Sponge or dishcloth
- Spray cooking oil
- Dry baking soda
- Aluminum foil
Step 2- Brushing Your Grill Off
The first thing that should always be done to your grill is a routine brushing. Using your brass wire grill brush (or other brush suitable to your type of grill) you should brush off all the surfaces. By routinely brushing your barbeque grill, you will prevent any type of buildup. If buildup from food is left to long, it can become increasingly difficult to remove.
Step 3- Spray Cooking Oil
Once you are sure that your grill is free of all buildup and debris, and that your grill is completely cooled off, you will want to spray it down with a light layer of cooking oil. Spraying it down with cooking oil will prevent your barbeque grill from rusting. It is especially important to make sure your barbeque grill is completely cold, as spraying cooking oil on a hot surface may cause the oil to heat up and ignite, which could be potentially dangerous to you and your barbeque grill.
Step 4- Use Baking Soda and Aluminum Foil on Your Grill
Baking soda is a very nice cleaning and polishing agent. Once you have removed any extra debris and buildup, lightly scrubbing your barbeque grill with baking soda will give it that extra shine, similar to the day that you brought it home from the store. This can also be used on handles and knobs to remove any extra buildup that cannot be taken off with a wire brush.
Aluminum foil can also be used to keep your grill looking nice. Gently rub the aluminum foil on your grill, and you will notice that it removes grim and buildup.
Step 5- Clean Your Racks
The racks in your grill are especially important as this is where the food touches when it is cooking. You will have to use the wire brush to remove as much buildup as possible. Once you remove as much as possible, start washing the racks with dish soap. If the racks are really dirty, you may also want to use the steel wool pads. Be sure to completely rinse off all soap and residue before cooking on these racks again.
Step 6- Preventing Problems
The majority of problems that arise from barbeque grills comes from lack of cleaning and maintenance. That means if you notice something does not seem quite right with your barbeque grill, chances are it can be fixed with just a simple cleaning. Even if you clean it, and still find that it is having problems, at least you saved yourself the potential embarrassment of taking it to a professional only to find out all it needed was to be cleaned.
Finally, one method of preventing problems with your barbeque grill is protecting it from the outdoors. Covers are available for grills in all shapes and sizes, so chances are, you will find one that fits your grill. If you have a cover for your barbeque grill, then all you will ever need to do is do the regular maintenance listed above.
I love to spend hours looking at flea markets for different items. Different vendors set up their products in a central location so that consumers can spend their time walking around and see the new and used items available for sale. You never know what you will come across at a flea market. There are plenty of new and used items as well as home made crafts and clothing to choose from.
To help make your day at the flea market the best it can be plan for the day. Most flea markets are outdoors so you may want some sunscreen and a hat. Others are inside so make sure you find out ahead of time. You don’t want to spend the day carrying around the items you purchased so make sure you take along a bag or a cart. There are some very inexpensive carts that fold up and fit into the trunk of your car.
Make sure you wear good walking shoes too so you won’t have to end your daily early due to tired feet. A good tip to help if you do get tired walking is to walk to the very end of the vendors and work your way forward. This way you will have the heaviest load from items you have purchased when you are nearest your vehicle. Keep in mind that most people start at the entrance of the flea market so if you start at the back you will be able to see many items before too many other people do.
Most flea markets are offered on the weekends but some of them do take place on weekdays as well. The number of other people looking around is generally lower during the week but then so is the number of vendors. It is really a toss up about when is the best time of day to make a deal at a flea market. It is perfectly acceptable to try to get the price lowered down from what the vendor is asking for it.
By going to a flea market first thing in the morning you are likely to be able to take advantage of the selection before everyone else has. This is the best solution if there are particular items you are interested in finding. Yet many people claim they have a harder time getting the seller to negotiate the prices when they purchase early in the morning.
By the end of the day though most vendors are very willing to lower the prices on the items they have remaining. They definitely don’t want to have to pack up any more stuff at the end of the day than they absolutely have to. If you have a particular item in mind and you can wait until the end of the day you will get a better price. You also run the risk of someone else snatching it up though if it is a one of a kind item.
There are different ways to negotiate the price of any given item. You can ask the vendor what the lowest price is that they will take for a given it. You can also offer to pay a certain price and see if they will take you up on the offer. If you want to offer $10 then have that money in your hand for them to see. Seeing the money will often entice them to take the money.
I have found it is always worth my time to look around though because I may find the vendor in the next aisle has the same item for $10 less. If I am going to go back to check on an item with a particular vendor I write down their location because by the end of the day it can be difficult to remember who is located where.
When you start the Atkins diet, you are entering a new world of eating. And nowhere is that more apparent than at the supermarket. Suddenly, all of your stand-by foods like macaroni and cheese, pasta and bread are no longer on your shopping list. When you go shopping for the first few times you may feel like a fish out of water. However, with a bit of practice you’ll feel just as comfortable as you were with your previous shopping lists.
Successful Atkins shopping starts before you reach the store. There are many resources for shopping lists online and in Atkins books. Before you head for the store, make a list of the week’s recipes and then decide what you’ll need to make each meal. Make sure to purchase low-carb snacks for in between meals.
Also, plan for modifications to the meals for other people in your home. You won’t be able to make totally different meals for yourself and your family for the long term. The best approach is to use the main meat dish for your meal for the entire family and then a carbohydrate side dish for your family. For example, if you are eating meatloaf you can add half a potato for the other members of your family.
Once you’ve made your meal plan for the week, its time to hit the store. When you arrive, buy your protein items and produce first. This may sound very simple and like it won’t make much difference, but it will. Once you’ve filled your cart with all of the acceptable foods, there won’t be room for much more.
Consider buying your meat in bulk. This will save you lots of money if you know where to get family sized packages of meat. When you buy meat in large quantities, you can also cook it in bulk as well. Taking time a few days per week to cook meat makes it simple to follow the Atkins plan. You can cook your meat before hand and have it ready to go when you need it. You can purchase ground beef, chicken pieces, small steaks and even seafood in bulk.
Cheese, if you can tolerate it, can also be purchased in bulk. Many stores offer store-brand cheese in large bricks. You’ll need to make sure to read the labels before you purchase any cheese. Make sure that when you eat cheese to eat some fiber (salad or raw veggies) as well. Having large blocks of your favorite cheeses on hand can make it easy to grab a quick snack between meals.
As you walk around the store, stick to the outer edges. The outer aisles have the freshest food. Think about your neighborhood grocery store. Most often the deli, the meat counter and the produce section are all along the sides of the store with the packaged items in the aisles. This is especially important if you are in the initial phases of the Atkins diet. You’ll want to stay away from all packaged foods during induction, even if they are low carb packaged foods. Once you add more carbohydrate grams to your daily limit, you can start to experiment with low-carb packaged foods.
That leads to the next important tip – read the labels! Just because an item says it is low carb, it may have hidden sugars. Do your investigative work at the grocery store so you won’t get home with products that cause you to gain weight.
Shopping for the Atkins diet will take some time to get used to. You’ll be navigating parts of the grocery store that you may not be familiar with. You’ll also be purchasing items you’ve never cooked before. However, with planning and dedication low carb shopping will become easier. Just remember to make a list before you visit the store and stay toward the outer aisles of the grocery store. In no time, you’ll be an experienced low carb shopper.
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