5 Tips For Starting Grilling Season Off Right

It's been a long and harsh winter across the nation with snow and ice storms forcing even the most die hard barbecue and grilling fans to keep their cooking relegated to the kitchen. But with the start of spring comes warmer temperatures and longer days, the perfect combination for those looking to fire up their backyard smokers and grills for the season's first backyard cookout.

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Whether your grill has been braving the elements on the back porch or has been stowed away in the garage during the offseason, the months of inactivity have likely left it looking nothing like the star of so many barbecues last season. 

Grill grates that had at one point been pristine have now collected a not-so-appetizing layer of rust, while grease from countless cookouts has sat idle during the downtime, just waiting to cause flare-ups during that first cookout. Meanwhile, the once shiny exterior of your trusty kettle grill has been rendered dull and dirty during the off-season and those unused bags of charcoal that were put away for warmer days have emerged damp from improper storage.

All hope is not lost, however, as we have several tips to get that grill looking like new again and to ensure that the next several months are filled with countless smoke- and flame-filled memories. Before the first hot dogs, rack of ribs, or T-bone steaks get some live-fire loving, check out our step-by-step guide to help you "spring" back in to barbecue and grilling season,

Courtesy of Clint Cantwell, live-fire cooking expert and editor of Grilling.com