Monday, June 21, 2010
Monday, June 14, 2010
Gas BBQ Grill Replacement Burners:
A large barbeque grill manufacturer recently re-designed their entire line of barbecues as a way to differentiate the often-copied line but also to save money in manufacturing. Many less expensive barbecues advertise “304 stainless” when the majority of the product is a much less expensive 400 series stainless. Spending less adds more profit and to compete many barbeque grills are cheapening their models. Generally the first grill parts that need replacement are inside the firebox where heating, cooling, rain, bugs and grease create a harsh environment, pre-maturely ruining the BBQ grill parts directly involved in the grilling process. Replacing cooking grates, heat tray shields, flavor bars, briquettes and lava rock grids is relatively simple. Gravity holds these items in place. The barbeque burners are probably the most important and definitive grill parts necessary for effective fun outdoors and are not so simple to replace.
There are a great variety of BBQ grill burners in production throughout the backyard of America. Designs are based on efficiency: to produce more grilling heat, to produce less heat for convection barbecuing or designed for more or less even of heat. The overall method of heating can effect the longevity of the burners and the quality of materials can effect the burners but either way, at some point many backyard grillers have been faced with the option of replacing BBQ grill gas burners or replacing – and re-learning the nuances of -- a new grill.
To keep you barbeque burners working longer without replacing these grill parts, clean them more often. Some heat shields, lava grids and cooking grates should not be cleaned often. The porcelain protective coating is slowly cleaned away and the grill parts rust. Gas grill burners are almost never coated the same way. Although most barbeque grill companies have made the switch to stainless, many have not and many use a much cheaper stainless no more durable than cheap steel. Try to schedule a deep cleaning every three months. I am in a lot of backyards as a designer and I’ve noticed many clients schedule backyard maintenance every three or four months. Replace mulch, reseal tile countertops, clean the deck, etc. Make the barbeque a part of your schedule. Remove the cooking grates, heat shields or lava grid to access the burners. Us ing a good non-toxic de-greaser spray the burners lightly and scrub them hard. On real 304 stainless, I actually use a light sandpaper. Check the ports (the little holes where the gas comes out) and ensure there is no blockage. If there is some blockage, degreaser and scrubbing will normally dislodge the grease otherwise poke it out with a pin. Ignite the barbeque grill and make sure you can see the flames evenly along the gas grill burners. Gas flames should be blue with a slight tip of orange. This should tell you if the grill burner ports are clean and clear or if more attention is necessary.
When gas grill burners need to be replaced check availability of BBQ grill parts for the model. Sometimes it is possible to replace grill parts with better quality replacements than the manufacturers parts. Most gas grill burners are attached to the firebox with a clip or a bolt. Find the attachment to remove the burner by lifting the back of the burner furthest away from the control panel. Continue to lift the rear of the burner while sliding it away from the control panel. Sliding the burner away from where the cook would stand allows the burner to safely move out of the BBQ firebox while sliding safely off the gas orifice on the end of the control valve. Installing the new gas grill burner works the opposite. I usually find the orifice with my finger first because it is not visible inside the firewall of the control area. Slide the burner onto the orifice and then bring the back end flat to meet whichever attachment will hold the gas burner in place.
Light the grill to inspect the flame pattern before installing the heat shields, lava grids, cooking grate, etc. The burner should have an even distribution of flames, blue with a slight orange tip. If the burner is not burning evenly, turn it off and reinstall the burner paying close attention to fitting the venturi onto the orifice. If the burner is mounted incorrectly the gas will not flow into the burner properly and often gas flames will burn in the control area ruining the electrode ignition wires and gas seals. Those grill parts are much more expensive and time consuming to repair so test the installation to catch the mistake immediately.
If the flames on the burner are not primarily blue with orange tips, this should also be adjusted. The venturi, where it fits on to the valve orifice has a wind vent for adjusting the ratio of gas and oxygen mixed in the burner to ignite. Properly adjust the wind vent by removing the control panel. Removing the control panel will involve removing the control knobs and taking out a few screws. With the faceplate removed, the wind vent is accessible while the burner is installed and burning. Safely ignite the burner and let it burn for two minutes. Open the air shutter until the flames appear to lift off, or appear to burn without touching the burner. Slowly close the vent until the flame return to the burner and burn blue with yellow tips. Replace the control panel making sure to re-attach any ignition wires that may have been removed when taking the plate off.
The gas barbeque grill burners are the engine of your gas BBQ grill. If the ignition stops functioning, there are safe ways to light the grill. If the lava grids falls apart, you can still barbecue but will have varying heat across the cooking grate surface. If the burners do not properly burn you will be ordering pizza. Take care of the gas grill burners, maintain them while they are in use and replace the burners when necessary. If there is anything you are unsure of or uncomfortable with, call a gas grill technician licensed to work on your barbeque grill parts.