Your Place: The right way to put that grill away

McClatchy-Tribune Information Services

I use our outdoor gas grill year-round.

In fact, after the blizzard in January, I made sure I shoveled all the snow away from the grill Sunday morning so I could use it to make hamburgers the following Tuesday night.

But not everyone is me.

For those of you who prefer not to cook out in cold weather, Jim Ginocchi, president of Coyote Outdoor Living, has come up with a checklist for prepping and protecting your grill for the winter:

Make sure itís clean. During outdoor- entertaining season, cleaning the grill may not be a priority when a delicious feast awaits. But while it may be possible to regularly use a grill without cleaning between uses, that approach is not wise for the "hibernation" season.

To avoid opening your grill to find remnants of that last meal, take the time to conduct a thorough cleaning of the grill after the last warmer-weather session.

Try to avoid accidents. To prevent leaks that may cause larger issues, disconnect the propane tank (or other fuel source).

Be sure to shut off the control valve and keep the propane tank in a dry location until it is reconnected to the grill the following spring.

Keep it protected. Whether itís a simple cart model or a full outdoor kitchen, any grill must be sheltered from the rough winter elements, to ensure it isnít damaged and will be ready for spring.

If the grill is on a movable cart, roll it into a shed, a garage or some other protected area.

For built-in models, ultra-durable grill covers are the best bet for offering protection from the elements.

TANKLESS HEATERS, AGAIN

Because "Your Place" is reprinted by a number of newspapers across the country, what was new three months ago often ends up being new again today.

I continue to get email about tankless-heater experiences, even though that ship has sailed.

There have been more than enough columns devoted to the topic. The person who originally asked me about them has decided not to get one.

The only advice I have to offer is, as with all products, do your homework before you buy one.