Few types of cooking can compete with barbecuing, particularly the air of festivity it creates, the tantalizingly mouthwatering aromas it creates, and the array and quality of food it produces. Whether the barbecue is set up in a parking lot at a sports event for a memorable tailgate party, in a park to feed a family gathering, or just outside the back door at home for a nice dinner, the art of barbecuing remains the same, and its fire-seared results are just as delicious. When something goes wrong with the grill, the delay can be frustrating. Fortunately, a little knowledge of barbecue parts, and perhaps some forethought, will ensure the fire is restarted and the food cooking in no time, whether you're cooking on gas or charcoal.
Time and use will cause the hardiest of grills to wear out. Cooking grills and charcoal grates can deteriorate over time but are easily replaced. Whenever you clean your grill, check for wear and tear, and especially rust, so you can shop for the proper replacement to eliminate grief at mealtime. Optional upgrade barbecue parts are also available to broaden your cooking options. For example, a charcoal rail will keep the fuel to one side, so that portions of your food are baked by indirect heat rather than directly grilled.
Propane grills have more options to fit specified grilling needs than traditional charcoal grills do, but this also means there are more parts and they too will eventually suffer from regular use over time. Those pieces that can usually be replaced include control knobs, grills and grates, warming racks, windows, collector boxes or igniters, flavorizer bars, orifices and valves. Parts that can suffer clogging include the ignition systems and the gas supply pipes running to the burners. These should be checked for safety as well as for convenience. If your burner needs replacing, be sure to consult the manual, since many varieties are used. Always follow the manufacturer's advice as a safeguard when dealing with a gas-fueled barbecue. Regular cleaning will reveal any necessary maintenance needed so that problems can be fixed before the table is set and the diners are waiting.