The Czar is spot on with his grilling advice. I’d like to chime in with a few other notes:
First, for those with gas grills (or those saying that gas grills can’t get that smokey flavor), try a “smoke packet”. Go to your local DIY store, decent grocery store or local forest and get some chips of wood. I highly recommend the following: hickory, mesquite, apple, pecan and cherry. Soak the wood in a bowl of water – an hour or so should do, more won’t hurt matters. Take a piece of aluminum foil (and, by the way, if you don’t have this on hand ALL the time, you need to correct that) and wrap up a fistful of the wood forming a sandwich-sized packet. On the top side of the packet, poke a few holes in the foil through to the wood. Drop it on top of your grates and you’re good to go.
Second, for cleaning your grill – I highly recommend Easy Off oven cleaner. Take the grills to your driveway, sidewalk, etc. spray some of this on it. Let it sit for 5 minutes and then come back. I’d wager all you need is a wet sponge and your grills will be looking like new. If you do get more stubborn buildup, try re-applying and using a scouring pad.
Third, lighter fluid is unneeded – do what the Czar says and I’ll highly recommend getting a charcoal chimney. It’s worth it. Stack up the pieces, stuff newspaper and other kindling under it, light it, and 10 minutes later you’ll have coals raring to go.
While I continue to grill (year-round, actually and in all sorts of weather – just finished a pork tenderloin a few nights ago in a rain storm), I’ve moved onto having a greater passion for smoking. Mrs. GorT purchased a relatively inexpensive vertical charcoal water smoker two Christmases ago. I’ve made a few modifications to it (high-quality thermometer added, better charcoal grate for ash fall-thru) and have a few more planned. It is simply awesome once you get the “low and slow” method down. I mix up my own dry rubs now and have done chickens, turkeys, ribs, pork shoulders (for pulled pork), and briskets. If you have the interest, time and patience, there’s nothing like some good Q from a smoker.
GorT is an eight-foot-tall robot from the 51ˢᵗ Century who routinely time-travels to steal expensive technology from the future and return it to the past for retroinvention. The profits from this pay all the Gormogons’ bills, including subsidizing this website. Some of the products he has introduced from the future include oven mitts, the Guinness widget, Oxy-Clean, and Dr. Pepper. Due to his immense cybernetic brain, GorT is able to produce a post in 0.023 seconds and research it in even less time. Only ’Puter spends less time on research. GorT speaks entirely in zeros and ones, but occasionally throws in a ڭ to annoy the Volgi. He is a massive proponent of science, technology, and energy development, and enjoys nothing more than taking the Czar’s more interesting scientific theories, going into the past, publishing them as his own, and then returning to take credit for them. He is the only Gormogon who is capable of doing math. Possessed of incredible strength, he understands the awesome responsibility that follows and only uses it to hurt people.