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Cooking, Cleaning & Maintenance Advice for Your BBQ

Find answers to common questions and helpful tips regarding the cooking, cleaning and maintenance of your barbecue. This FAQ is derived from information provided to us by Napoleon®, one of our trusted suppliers. If you have any questions about what you read, please contact Joey Services.


How can I maintain the safety of my barbecue?

A: A dented or rusty cylinder may be hazardous and should be checked by Joey Services. Never use a cylinder with a damaged valve. Use only a propane supply cylinder constructed and marked in accordance with the specifications for LP-gas cylinders of the National Standard of Canada, CAN/CSA-b339, Cylinders, Spheres and Tubes for Transportation of Dangerous Goods or the Specifications for LP-Gas Cylinders of the U.S. Department of Transportation.


The propane cylinder must be provided with a cylinder connection device with the connection for outdoor cooking appliances. The propane cylinder must be provided with a shut-off valve terminating in a propane cylinder valve type QCC1, and a safety relief device having a direct communication with the vapor space of the cylinder. The cylinder supply system must be arranged for vapor withdrawal and the cylinder shall include a collar to protect the cylinder valve. The cylinder shall incorporate a listed OPD (overfill protection device). Do not store a spare LP-gas cylinder under or near your barbecue. Never fill the cylinder beyond 80 percent full.


Use only the pressure regulator and hose assembly provided with your barbecue. Replacement pressure regulators and hose assemblies must be specified by the manufacturer. Do not store a spare propane cylinder on the shelf beneath the barbecue.


The regulator supplies a pressure of 11 inches water column to the gas grill and has a QCC1 type fitting. Cylinders to be used with your barbecue must be supplied with a QCC1 cylinder valve. A QCC1 cylinder has a positive seating connection, which will not allow gas flow until a positive seal has been achieved. It is also equipped with an excess flow device. In order to attain full flow to the grill, the valves must be in the off position when the cylinder valve is turned on.


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What do I need to know when hooking up my barbecue?

A: Cylinder connection – Ensure that the gas regulator is kink free. Remove the cap or plug from the cylinder fuel valve. Insert the black QCC1 regulator nipple onto the QCC1 fuel valve. Hand tighten clockwise. Do not use tools. Leak test all joints prior to using the barbecue. A leak test must be performed annually and each time a cylinder is hooked up, or if a part of the gas system is replaced.


If your grill is to be connected directly to your home propane gas supply line, follow the instructions for the natural gas hook up. Optional side burners must also follow the natural gas hook up instructions. Note: the propane tank heat shield is not required when the grill is connected to a fixed fuel supply, as its sole function is to shield the propane tank normally used with the grill. Ensure the supply pressure being supplied to the unit is 11” water column.


Natural Gas Hook-Up
Your natural gas grill is supplied with a 10 ft. (3m) supply hose (complete with a quick connect) designed for natural gas and certified outdoor use. The gas grill is designed to operate at an inlet pressure of 7 inches water column. Piping and valves upstream of the quick disconnect are not supplied. The installation must comply with CAN B149.1 Natural GAS and Propane installation code in Canada, or to the National Fuel Gas Code, ANSI Z223.1 in the United States.


The gas supply must be sufficiently sized to supply the BTU/h specified on the rating plate, based on the length of the piping run. The quick disconnect must not be installed in an upward direction and a readily accessible manual shut-off valve must be installed upstream of, and as close to, the quick disconnect as is feasible. The flared end of the hose must be connected to the fitting on the end of the flex tube. Tighten using 2 wrenches. Do not use thread sealer / pipe dope. These connections must be made by a licensed gas installer. Leak test all joints prior to using the gas grill.


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How is a leak test performed?

A: Keep in mind that a leak test must be performed annually and each time a cylinder is hooked up or if a part of the gas system is replaced. Never use an open flame to check for gas leaks. Be certain no sparks or open flames are in the area while you check for leaks. Sparks or open flames will result in a fire or explosion, damage to property, serious bodily injury, or death.


Do not smoke while performing this test and remove all sources of ignition. Turn all burner controls to the off position and turn the gas supply valve on. Brush a half-and-half solution of liquid soap and water onto all joints and connections of the regulator, hose manifolds and valves. Bubbles will indicate a gas leak. Either tighten the loose joint or have the part replaced with one recommended by Joey Services and have your grill inspected by one of our certified gas installers. If the leak cannot be stopped, immediately shut off the gas supply, disconnect it and have the grill inspected. Do not use the grill until the leak has been corrected.


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I’m ready to use my new grill. Do you have any cooking tips?

A: Initial lighting - When lit for the first time, your gas grill emits a slight odour. This is a normal, temporary condition caused by the “burn-in” of internal paints and lubricants used in the manufacturing process and does not occur again. Simply run the main burners on high for approximately 30 minutes.


Main Burner Use
When searing foods, you should preheat the grill by operating all main burners in the high position with the lid closed for approximately 10 minutes. Food cooked for short periods of time like fish and vegetables can be grilled with the lid open. Cooking with the lid closed will ensure higher, more even temperatures that can reduce cooking time and will cook meat more evenly. Food that has a cooking time longer than 30 minutes, such as roasts, can be cooked indirectly (with the burner lit opposite to the food placement).


When cooking very lean meats, such as chicken breasts or lean pork, the grids can be oiled before pre-heating to reduce sticking. Cooking meat with a high degree of fat content can create flare-ups. Either trim the fat or reduce temperatures to inhibit this. Should a flare-up occur, move food away from the flames and reduce the heat. Leave the lid open.


Direct Cooking
Place food to be cooked on the grill directly over the heat. This method is generally used for searing or for foods that do not require a prolonged cooking time such as hamburgers, steaks, chicken or vegetables. The food is first seared to trap in the juices and flavour and then the temperature is lowered to finish cooking the food to your preference.


Indirect Cooking
With one or more burners operating, place food to be cooked on the grill over a burner that is not operating. The heat circulates around the food, cooking slowly and evenly. Cooking with this method is much the same as cooking in your oven and is generally used for larger cuts of meat such as roasts, chickens or turkeys but can also be used for cooking foods that are prone to flare-ups or for smoking foods. Lower temperatures and slower cooking times result in tender foods.


Rear Burner Use
Remove the warming rack prior to use. Cooking grids should also be removed if the interfere with the rotisserie. The rear burner is designed to be used in conjunction with the rotisserie kit (included with most rear burner units) available from Joey Services. To use the counterbalance, remove the rotisserie motor from the gas grill. Place the spit with meat being cooked across the hangers inside the grill. The meat will naturally hang with the heavy side down. Tighten the counterbalance arm and weight so the arm is facing up. Slide the counterweight in or out to balance the load and tighten in place. Re-install the motor and begin cooking.


Place a metal dish underneath the meat to collect drippings for basting and naturally delicious gravy. Basting liquid may be added as required. To seal in juices, first operate rear burner on high until brown, then reduce the heat to thoroughly cook foods. Keep the lid closed for best results. Your roasts and fowl will brown perfectly on the outside and stay moist and tender on the inside. For example, a 3-pound chicken on the rotisserie will be done in approximately 1 ½ hours on medium to high.


Quick Tip
Barbecue sauce and salt can be corrosive and will cause rapid deterioration of your gas grill components unless cleaned regularly. When finished cooking, disassemble rotisserie components, wash thoroughly with warm soapy water and store indoors.


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What is the best way to clean my grill?

A: First of all, always wear protective gloves and safety glasses when cleaning your grill. To avoid the possibility of burns, maintenance should be done only when the grill is cool. Avoid unprotected contact with hot surfaces. Ensure all burners are turned off. Clean your grill in an area where cleaning solutions will not harm decks, lawns or patios. Do not use oven cleaner to clean any part of your gas grill. Do not use a self-cleaning oven to clean cooking grids or any other parts of the gas grill.


Please note: Stainless steel tends to oxidize or stain in the presence of chlorides and sulfides, particularly in coastal areas and other harsh environments, such as the warm, highly humid atmosphere around pools and hot tubs. These stains could be perceived as rust, but can be easily removed or prevented. To provide stain prevention and removal, wash all stainless steel surfaces every 3-4 weeks or as often as required with fresh water and or/stainless steel cleaner.


Grids and Warming Rack
The grids and warming rack are best cleaned with a brass or stainless steel wire brush during the pre-heating period. Steel wool can be used for stubborn stains. It is normal that stainless grids will discolour permanently from regular use due to high temperature of the cooking surface.


Cast Iron Cooking Grids
Cast iron cooking grids offer superior heat retention and distribution. By regularly seasoning your grids you are adding a protective coating, which will aid in resisting corrosion and increase your grids non-stick capabilities.


First Time Use
Wash the cooking grids by hand with mild dish soap and water to remove any residue from the manufacturing process (never wash in a dish washer). Rinse thoroughly with hot water and dry completely with a soft cloth. This is important to avoid moisture from entering the cast iron.


Seasoning
Using a soft cloth, spread vegetable shortening over the entire grid surface ensuring all groves and corners are covered. Do not use salted fats such as butter or margarine. Pre-heat your grill for 15 minutes, then place the seasoned cooking grids on the grill. Turn the burner control knobs to medium with the lid closed. Allow the cooking grids to heat for approximately 30 minutes. Turn all the burners to the OFF position and turn the gas off at the source. Let the cooking grids stand until cool. This procedure should be repeated several times throughout the season, although it is not required for daily use.


Daily Usage
Before pre-heating and cleaning with a wire grill brush, coat the entire top surface of the cooking grids with vegetable shortening. Pre-heat the grill and then brush away any unwanted residue with a wire brush.


Stainless Steel Cooking Grids
Stainless steel cooking grids are durable and corrosion resistant. They require less seasoning and maintenance than cast iron cooking grids. It is recommended that you follow the daily usage procedure listed above although you may find pre-heating and cleaning your grids with a wire brush is sufficient for your grilling needs.


Cleaning Inside Your Gas Grill
Remove the cooking grids. Use a wire brush to clean loose debris from the casting sides and underneath the lid. Scrape the sear plates with a putty knife or scraper and use a wire brush to remove the ash. Remove the sear plates and brush debris from the burners with the wire brush. Sweep all debris from inside the gas grill into the drip pan.


Drip Pan
Accumulated grease is a fire hazard. Clean the drip pan frequently (every 4 to 5 uses or as often as required to avoid grease buildup. Grease and excess drippings pass through to the grease tray, located beneath the gas grill and accumulate in the disposable grease tray below the grill. To access the disposable grease tray or to clean the drip pan, slide the drip pan free of the grill. Never line the drip pan with aluminum foil, sand or any other material as this could prevent grease from flowing properly. The pan should be scraped out with a putty knife or scraper. Replace the disposable grease tray every 2-4 weeks, depending on your usage.


Cleaning the Outer Grill Surface
Do not use abrasive cleaners or steel wool on any painted, porcelain or stainless steel parts of your grill. Doing so will scratch the finish. Exterior grill surfaces should be cleaned with warm, soapy water while the metal is still warm to the touch. To clean stainless surfaces, use a stainless steel or a non-abrasive cleaner. Always wipe in the direction of the grain. Over time, stainless steel parts discolour when heated, usually to a golden or brown hue. This discolouration is normal and does not affect the performance of the grill. Porcelain enamel components must be handled with additional care. The baked-on enamel finish is glass-like and will chip if struck.


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What maintenance can I do to keep my barbecue functioning properly?

A: We recommend that your gas grill is thoroughly inspected and serviced annually by a qualified service person. Always wear protective gloves and safety glasses when cleaning your grill. Turn off the gas at the source and disconnect the unit before servicing. To avoid the possibility of burns, maintenance should be done only when the grill is cool. A leak test must be performed annually and whenever any component of the gas train is replaced or gas smell is present.


Combustion Air Adjustment
The air shutter is factory set and should not need adjusting under normal conditions. Under extreme field conditions, adjustments might be required. When the air shutter is adjusted correctly the flames will be dark blue, tipped with light blue and occasionally yellow.
With too little air flow to the burner, the flames are lazy yellow and can produce soot.
With too much air flow, the flames lift erratically and can cause difficulties when lighting.


Adjusting the air shutter:
Remove cooking grids and sear plates and leave lid open.
Loosen air-shutter lock screw located at the mouth of the burner and open or close air shutter as required.Please note: Infra-Red burners have no air adjustment.
Light the burners and set to high. Visually inspect burner flames. When the shutters are set correctly, turnburners off, tighten locking screws, and replace removed parts. Ensure that the insect screens are installed.


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Should I be concerned with spiders and other insects?

A: Spiders and insects are attracted to the smell of propane and natural gas. The burner is equipped with an insect screen on the air shutter, which reduces the likelihood of insects building nests inside the burner but does not entirely eliminate the problem. A nest or web can cause the burner to burn with a soft yellow or orange flame or cause a fire (flashback) at the air shutter underneath the control panel. To clean the inside of the burner, it must be removed from the gas grill. Remove the screw(s) that attach the burner.


Cleaning: Use a flexible Venturi tube brush to clean the inside of the burner. Shake any loose debris from the burner through the gas inlet. Check the burner ports and valve orifices for blockages. Burner ports can close over time due to cooking debris and corrosion. Use an opened paperclip to clean them. Drill out blocked ports using a drill bit. The ports are easier to clean if the burner is removed from the grill, but it can also be done with the burner installed. Do not flex the drill bit when drilling the ports, as this will cause the drill bit to break. The drill is for burner ports only, not for the brass orifices (jets) which regulate the flow into the burner. Take care not to enlarge the holes. Ensure the insect screen is clean, tight, and free of any lint or other debris.


Reinstallation: Check that the valve enters the burner when installing. Tighten screws to complete reinstallation.


Warning
When reinstalling the burner after cleaning it is very important that the valve/orifice enters the burner tube before lighting your gas grill. If the valve is not inside the burner tube a fire or explosion could occur. Check for abrasions, melting, cuts and cracks in the hose. If any of these conditions exist, do not use the gas grill. Have the part replaced by your dealer or qualified gas installer.


Aluminum Castings
Clean castings periodically with warm soapy water. Aluminum will not rust, but high temperatures and weathering can cause oxidation to occur on aluminum surfaces. This appears as white spots on the castings. To refinish these areas, clean first and sand lightly with fine sandpaper. Wipe the surface to remove any residue and paint with high temperature barbecue paint. Protect surrounding areas from over-spray. Follow the manufacturer's directions for curing.


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