As a new recteq owner, you’ll be happy to learn that care and upkeep is really simple. High-quality parts and materials mean easy cleaning and simple maintenance for a grill that really outlasts the rest. With just a few simple tips, you’ll slide right into maintenance mode and hardly have to think about keeping your recteq working at peak performance, year after year. Don’t worry, the vast majority of your grill-side time won’t be spent cleaning; you’ll be cooking, eating, or popping the tab on a cold beer.
Cleaning the grill grates is very simple and we have a tool to help! Chef Greg also suggests that in a pinch, a piece of wadded up aluminum foil works great since it’s food safe, disposable, and has no risk of shedding. It’s a good idea to keep an eye on the vents and smokestack to make sure you don’t have any build-up or obstructions, but otherwise no maintenance will be needed. You will want to empty and clean the drip bucket regularly. (You can use a disposable aluminum container or even an empty spaghetti sauce jar to make it simple). For the exterior stainless surfaces, we recommend Cameo by Brillo. For painted models, a damp rag alone will do the trick.
The 4/5 rule
The 4/5 rule is simple: you’ll want to run the hopper to empty, clean out the firepot, and clean the drip pan. Every four to five bags of pellets you cook through, run the hopper all the way down to empty. That will make sure your hopper stays clean before you refill again. Also, every four to five cooks, clean out the firepot. All you really need to do for this step is to reach in with a gloved hand (when the grill is cool and turned off, please) to scoop all the ashes out of the firepot and into the bottom of the grill. Those ashes will actually help insulate the grill so that it easily keeps consistent heat, even during the colder months. You also need to scrape that drip pan with a flat tool or change the foil every four to five cooks and anytime you see standing grease. If you’re planning to crank up the temps, it’s smart to start with a clean drip tray and fresh foil.
Lecture time: ya’ll know the recteq lifestyle is chill, but we’re military strict about a tidy drip pan. Make sure your aluminum foil game is tight without any wrinkles, ripples, or rips to cause grease puddles or disrupt the air flow. Trust us, it’s like making a bed. Do it right the first time and you’ll be comfortable all night.
Typically, it’s fine, and even helpful, to let the soot build up in the bottom of your barrel. As mentioned, that extra layer of ash will serve as insulation to keep your temperatures easily regulated. It also collects grease drips, minimizing the risk of a grease flare. About once or twice a year, you do want to clean out the bottom of the barrel and start fresh. Anytime the vents appear to need cleaning, you can slide in a flat-head screw driver or a butter knife with a paper towel for a quick scrub. A ball of aluminum foil can serve as a quick tool to swipe the inside of the vents, inside the lid, and around the lip of the barrel anytime it seems the air is restricted by deposits. It’s also important to periodically check the smokestack for ash and grease build up and clean if needed. It needs to remain clear to allow proper airflow.
Honestly, reading this blog post probably took longer than you’ll typically ever need to spend on cleaning your recteq. The happy reality is that you’ll spend far more time enjoying and using the grill than you ever will on cleaning and upkeep. That’s just another thing to love about the recteq lifestyle!
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