With the arrival of spring, Arizona grilling season is in full force. As you're using your grill more and more often, it's crucial to keep it clean. Why? When you leave residue from your last meal on the grates, it will char and burn the next time you light your grill — and those burned bits are actually bad for your health. Burned food contains amino acids and chemicals known to cause cancer, so you definitely don't want to keep that stuff around.

A dirty grill can also be a major fire hazard. Your grease tray is there to keep grease from dripping and igniting, but if you allow it to build up, it's a ticking time bomb. Grease fires are the number one source of meat destruction, and they're a sure way to ruin your beautiful grill! To keep bad things from happening to good grills, follow these easy cleaning tips this season:

Clean Your Grease Tray Weekly: Remove the tray when it's cold and scrape it clean. Then give it a soak in warm water with Dawn to cut through any remaining grease, then rinse and dry thoroughly.

Clean Grates While Still Warm: Scrub your grates and cooking surfaces clean with a Libman Stainless Steel Brush or the non-bristled Safe Scraper after cooking, preferably while the grill is still warm — but not hot. It's much easier to remove debris before it solidifies in place.

Scrape Grates During Pre-Heating: If you just can't bring yourself to face cleaning the grates while company is around and everyone is having a good time, you can clean it before your next use. Close the lid and start the grill, giving it a a few minutes to warm inside. The heat will make it just as easy to clean as it would have been right after cooking.

Give Your Grill an Annual Overhaul: Once a year, make sure to give your grill a deep clean with BBQ Island’s Grill Degreaser. It’s non-toxic and has cactus enzymes that help break apart any built up grease. This means removing grates, trays and accessories for a thorough scrub. You'll also want to clean burners, their protectors and remove any debris.

Interested in learning more? Stop by BBQ Island for more great grilling tips this season!