One thing people look forward to once warmer weather arrives is grilling outdoors. Is your barbecue grill ready? If not, here’s how to spring clean your BBQ ready for the warmer days.

Start with the foundation. If your patio or deck isn’t in good repair, it won’t do you any good to set your grill there. Clean and make any repairs to the deck or patio so you know you’ll be safe when it’s time to grill.

Check out the grill. If your grill wasn’t cleaned properly the last time you grilled, now’s the time to get that done. Clean out any ashes which were left over. Check the bottom of your grill for rust. Inspect the grates and pans to see if they need to be replaced. Replace any parts which are rusty or damaged.

Remove the racks. Start the night before you clean the remainder of the grill. Remove the racks and place them on newspaper. Spray them down with oven cleaner and leave them overnight. When you come back to clean the rest of the grill, they’ll be nearly done. All you’ll need to do is run a brush over them to remove any built-up residue and they’ll be ready for the first steak.

Clean it up! Covering your grill for the winter doesn’t guarantee it will be free of dirt and grime once spring arrives. Take the time to clean your grill now with warm water, dish soap, and a wire brush. If you’d rather use an environmentally friendly alternative, use lemon juice and salt to remove excessive build-up.

To make cleaning easier, heat the grill up. Why do you want to do that? A warm grill is easier to clean than a cold one. Be careful when you get ready to clean, however. Make sure the grill has cooled a little so you don’t burn yourself.

Don’t forget to clean the outside of the grill. Even though the work is done on the inside, no one wants to look at an ugly, dirty grill. The outside doesn’t have to be perfectly clean, but you don’t want to be embarrassed by it either.

See if you have leftovers. You may have charcoal, lighter fluid, wood chips, or other items left from last year. Check them to ensure they’re ready to use. Charcoal or wood chips may have gotten wet. If you’re not sure about something, toss it out. You can always get more of whatever the items were.