All posts by Jeff Fidler

organic beef snacks nicks sticks

Nicks Sticks Organic Beef Snacks

All About Nicks Sticks Organic Beef Snacks

Snacking on the low carb diet can present a few challenges for many of us. Sometimes it can be tough to find a healthy snack that checks all the right boxes on our lists, including low carb count, great taste, and filling enough to satisfy our cravings. Fortunately, there are brands out there like Nicks Sticks that come to the rescue with delicious high-protein snacks that deliver everything a hungry low carb dieter could want.

In this article, we’re going to take a look at Nicks Sticks, including how the company got its start and what their philosophy means to their customers. We’ll also take a look at some of their most popular products and share a few links where you can find them here at The Low Carb Grocery.

History of Nicks Sticks

The origins of Nicks Sticks go back to a small town in Iowa where founder Nick Wallace grew up. With the importance of hard work and quality embedded deep in Nick’s vision for the company, Nicks Sticks was founded with the purpose of delivering only the finest quality products made from pure and simple ingredients. Nicks Sticks are made only from 100% organic beef from free-range cows that are raised on a green grass diet. It’s this combined dedication to quality and natural approaches to raising their cattle that is one of the biggest reasons for the success of Nicks Sticks.

Why is Grass Fed Beef Important?

There are many notable differences in the beef that comes from grain-fed cattle when compared to the beef that comes from grass-fed cattle. Most notably, grass-fed beef has been shown to have lower levels of saturated fat, higher levels of omega-3’s, and high doses of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), In addition, the grass-fed process of raising cattle is a more ecologically friendly approach. It’s for these reasons and more that Nicks Sticks are always made from grass-fed beef, free of hormones and antibiotics.

Nicks Sticks Beef Snacks

Aside from the main ingredient of grass-fed beef, you’ll find only a simple list of other ingredients that are used to make Nicks Sticks. Nicks Sticks refuses to use ingredients like MSG, nitrates, sugar, or red dye in their products. You’ll only find grass-fed beef, organic seasoning salt, and a proprietary blend of spices in each and every beef snack from Nicks Sticks.

Original Nicks Sticks Beef Snacks

These are the sticks that made Nicks Sticks famous. These beef snacks have a big, bold flavour and a wonderful firmness and texture that make them the perfect beef stick. Each stick is about 120 calories, with 10g of protein, 8g total fats, and zero carbohydrates or sugars. You can find Nicks Sticks Original Beef Snacks here.

Spicy Nicks Sticks Beef Snacks

If you’re a snacker who likes their beef sticks to have a bit more kick to them, you’ve got to try the Spicy version of Nicks Sticks Beef Snacks. They’ve got all the same goodness as the Original Nicks Sticks, but with the added heat from Jalapeno peppers to give them a unique spicy taste that you’ll love. You can find Nicks Sticks Spicy Beef Snacks here.


Beef sticks are a great way to work in some more protein to a low carb meal plan, without the risk of adding in any additional carbs or sugars. They’re a convenient snack that tastes great, is easily portable, and does a great job of satisfying hunger. Whether you keep a stash in your office desk to get you over the mid-afternoon slump, or are planning a summer road trip, Nicks Sticks are a perfect snack option that’s healthy and delicious. You can be sure that when you buy Nicks Sticks, you’re getting a top-quality beef snack made from only the finest natural ingredients, and with a taste that can’t be beaten. Check out the full range of Nicks Sticks products here at The Low Carb Grocery.

french toast recipes low carb

Great Recipes For Low Carb French Toast

Experience the World of Low Carb French Toast

Ooh, la la! It’s time to learn more about that delicious breakfast food that’s been a favourite around family tables for generations; French toast. Like pancakes, waffles, and cereal, you may not think that French toast looks like an ideal low carb meal on the surface. However, just like those other foods, there are plenty of ways to prepare them the low carb way and still have a delicious and satisfying breakfast that everyone will love.

In this article, we’ll learn about the origins of how French toast came to be such a popular breakfast food, as well as explore some common toppings that you can add to make your French toast unique and even more tasty. In addition, we’ll share a few fantastic low carb French toast recipes that will definitely put a smile on the faces of the whole family. Let’s get started!

Origins of French Toast

For starters, the dish we know as French toast ironically does not trace its origins back to France. It was actually ancient Rome where the first instances of a recipe similar to French toast occurs in records. While many variations emerged throughout Europe, it was actually in England in the 17th century when the term ‘French toast’ was actually coined. Within France, the recipe is actually called ‘pain perdu’, which translates directly as ‘lost bread’ and is a nod to the fact that traditionally the dish would be made with old or stale bread as opposed to a fresh loaf.

The Basics of French Toast

While there are many regional variations of the recipe, French toast follows a fairly standard set of directions and ingredients. Slices of bread are dipped and coated in a mixture of eggs and milk or cream, and then pan fried to a golden brown. Usually, simple combination of spices such as cinnamon or nutmeg are added to the egg mixture to further enhance the flavour. The slices of French toast are often served with a variety of toppings to suit the taste preferences of the location in which it is prepared. For low carb dieters, substituting traditional bread for low carb varieties will produce French toast with a much lower carb count and make it more suitable for your meal plan.

Popular French Toast Toppings

While the basic recipe for French toast is fairly simple, things get much more varied when we start to explore the world of toppings that can be used to add some more flair to your breakfast. These toppings are often influenced by regional tastes and local availability of foods, while some simply are the result of some creative inspiration.


Of all the toppings commonly used to accompany French toast, table syrup or maple syrup are the most common. The sweetness of the syrups complements the taste of the egg and spices, creating a rich and flavourful breakfast meal. Low carb dieters should opt for a low-sugar or sugar free syrup to help keep the carb counts under control. Check out our selection of low-sugar and sugar free syrups here.


Fruit and berries are very popular options for topping French toast, and the cool, fresh sweetness they bring are a subtle but pleasant way to accentuate the flavours of the warm, savoury toast. Stick to fruits that are lower in natural occurring sugars to help keep carb counts low. For more information on which fruits are best, check out our guide to low carb fruits here.

Whipped Cream

If you want a little bit more decadence added to your French toast, whipped cream will do the job. Just be sure to get a whipping cream made to fit a low sugar diet so that you don’t accidentally crank up the amount of sugar.


Chocolate is another delicious way to top off your French toast and make it a bit fancier. You could simply use a sugar-free chocolate syrup like this one from Walden Farms, or get even fancier by grating or shaving off some sugar-free dark chocolate like this dark chocolate bar from Torino and sprinkling it on the top of your French toast. Yum!

Powdered Sugar

Another very popular way to finish French toast is with a sprinkling of powdered sugar. Now, don’t go using regular old powdered sugar. You’ll be happy to learn that we’ve found a fantastic recipe for do-it-yourself sugar-free powdered sugar that you can use, and it tastes great! Check out this recipe for Sugar-Free Powdered Sugar from Katie at

Now, without further ado, let’s get to three fantastic recipes for low carb French toast that will have you scrambling to update your weekend meal plan. Here we go!

Low Carb French Toast with Cinnamon

Starting with a low carb twist on a classic version of French toast, this delicious recipe from Lisa at has everything you need at an extremely low total carb count. It’s simple to follow and can easily be made in batches and frozen for a fast and delicious breakfast on those mornings where time is short but your hunger is real.

Low Carb French Toast Sticks

This fun recipe from Megha and Matt at is great for making little French toast sticks that you can dip in to your favourite syrups, jams, or even peanut butter. The kids will just love this! In addition, this recipe has the added benefit of using a keto-friendly bread which helps keep the carbs even lower.

Low Carb Overnight French Toast

We’re ending this list of recipes with something really special. As if French toast wasn’t already yummy enough, this amazing Low Carb French Toast Bake from Carolyn at definitely takes things to the next level. Featuring a low carb count, low sugar count, and the extra convenience of being able to be prepared the night before, this is one recipe that you’ll be keeping permanently bookmarked.


Well, if that’s not enough to make your cravings start, we’re not sure what else to say! French toast is one of those delectable breakfast foods that low carb dieters no longer need to avoid. These recipes, products, and tips will help you put delicious French toast back on your meal plans, much to the delight of the whole family. Why not plan a fancy French toast breakfast one day this weekend, and have some fun experimenting with these new recipes? We certainly hope you enjoy these ideas for tasty and healthy low carb French toast.

choose the best cuts of beef

Choosing the Best Cuts of Beef

Tips and Advice for Choosing Great Cuts of Beef

All around the world, beef is one of the most popular kinds of meats used for a vast array of recipes and different styles of cuisine. Of course, it’s easy to see why. It’s a versatile meat to cook with and can provide very different results depending on the method of cooking, and the cut of beef that is used in the recipe. However, things can easily go awry if the cooking method and the cut of beef don’t line up with their best use case scenarios. If you’re not careful, you could end up with a tough, leathery piece of meat, and that’s not going to please anyone. So how do you make sure that you’re choosing the best beef for your desired recipe?

There are many different things to consider when choosing the right cut of beef for a particular use. These factors include what part of the cow the beef comes from, how much or how little fat there is on the beef, how you intend to cook it, and more. In this article, we explain the different kinds of beef that are available, as well as how the different styles of cooking will dictate what the best cut of beef is for that particular method. Choosing the right cut for your recipe is easy, as long as you keep these rules in mind. First, let’s start by taking a look at the different kinds of beef that you may find at your butcher shop.

Kinds of Beef

There are several different ways that beef is categorized and graded. The first consideration we will look at is the common grading system used by the USDA to indicate the level of quality of a particular cut of beef. The USDA scale of beef generally starts with Select as the most common level of grading. Beef that is deemed to be of higher quality is marked as Choice, and the finest grades of beef are marked as Prime. There are many factors that are considered in determining the correct grade for beef, including marbling of fat within the meat, thickness and consistency, and visual appearance.

In addition, you will likely see reference to the breed of cattle beside each type of beef as another indicator of its properties. The most common type of cattle used for beef in North America is the Angus, which can only be called Angus if it meets very specific breeding criteria. In addition, you can also find beef imported from other regions of the world such as the British Herefordshire, the Italian Piedemontese, and the Japanese Waguyu types of cattle.

Common Cut Styles for Beef

Regardless of the type of cattle used or the grade of the meat, the styles of cut used to describe the shape, size, and source of the beef are the same across all kinds. Here, we will describe the different cuts, and list the styles of cooking and preparation they are best suited for.


This is a unique category, in that there are many different types of beef that are considered to be ‘steaks’, and each has their own unique characteristics.

Filet mingon is one of the most common steaks and is a circular cut of beef with no bones that is taken from the tenderloin, which gives it a delicious melt-in-your-mouth experience when prepared correctly.

T-bone steaks are aptly named due to the t-shaped bone embedded in them, which gives them a unique look and helps to keep the meat moist. The porterhouse is generally larger than the t-bone but is very similar in style as they both come from the short loin area. Strip steaks also come from the short loin and can be found in boneless or bone-in styles.

Other popular styles of steak include flat-iron steak (cut from the shoulder area), top sirloin (cut from the top muscle of the short loin), skirt steak (cut from the diaphragm muscle), rib eye (cut from the rib area), and hanger steak (cut from the short plate, similar to the skirt steak).

Steaks are most commonly prepared on a grill, and then served fresh alongside a wide variety of side dishes, or they can also be sliced and used as an ingredient in other recipes. Many people choose to season their steaks with a wide range of spices, seasonings and rubs. Brands such as Summer Kitchen and Hot Mamas offer many different kinds of seasonings that are perfect for steaks. You can choose from hot and spicy blends, savoury flavours, or perhaps even something sweet if the mood strikes you. Here at The Low Carb Grocery, we offer a full selection of delicious steak seasonings and spice rubs.


Beef that is intended to be roasted, broiled, or prepared using ovens, slow cookers, smokers or other cooking devices is generally cut in much larger sections than beef intended for grilling.

Eye of round and bottom round roasts are generally inexpensive and are very versatile cuts of beef, ideal for a basic roast beef dinner. They are usually prepared using a low-and-slow cooking method to tenderize the meat and produce an enjoyable meal when sliced. Other roasts with similar characteristics to eye of round and bottom round are top sirloin, sirloin tip, and top round roasts. These are all perfectly suited for oven roasting and slicing thin for a variety of uses.

For the finest cuts of beef for roasting, people generally opt for cuts such as the rib eye, tenderloin, or tri-tip, all of which produce a more flavourful final result. Tri-tip and shoulder roasts can also be prepared on the grill, adding some other preparation options to choose from.

Beef Cuts for Stewing or Frying

When the beef is intended to be simmered as part of a stew or fried quickly as part of a stir fry, you can choose from many different cuts to achieve a delicious end result. For recipes that call for longer cooking times, perhaps prepared in a slow cooker or crockpot, you can use beef chuck or round roasts for excellent results. If your recipe is more of a stir fry style, you’d be better served to use a thinly sliced steak such as a sirloin, rib eye, or top loin. These cuts are more tender and will produce better results with the higher temperatures and shorter cooking times associated with wok and stir fry cooking.

Other Uses for Beef

Aside from grilling, roasting, simmering and frying, beef can also be used in other dishes such as casseroles, tacos, burritos, meatballs, chili, shepherd’s pie, and many more types of foods. In these instances, it’s common for ground beef to be used, but depending on what is used to create the ground beef, the fat content will vary. Normally, this is indicated with certain terminology on the packaging of the ground beef, such as medium, lean, or extra lean ground beef, in order of decreasing fattiness. While there is very little difference in the beef itself once it is cooked, there will be a substantial difference in the amount of fat to be drained as you compare a medium ground beef to an extra lean ground beef. If you require plenty of drippings for sauces or gravy, then you may want to avoid overly lean ground beef as it will not produce much of it. For more information on making a great gravy, check out our guide to low carb gravy and sauces.


As you can see, there is lots of variety in the world of beef which is a big part of the reason why it is such a common meat around the world. It’s versatility to create a diverse range of tastes and textures makes it the perfect source of protein in countless recipes in cuisine of all types. Now, the next time you head to the butcher shop in search of the perfect grilling steaks for your next barbecue, or perhaps a nice roast for a big family holiday meal, you’ll be better equipped to navigate the offerings of beef behind the counter and make a great choice that everyone will love. Keep these tips in mind, and you’ll end up with the perfect cut of beef, every time.

cook with shrimp the low carb way

Low Carb Cooking with Shrimp

Cooking with Shrimp, the Low Carb Way

From a classic shrimp cocktail, to the most colourful Asian stir fry, to the best seafood chowder you’ve ever tasted, shrimp are an extremely popular ingredient in a wide range of cooking styles from around the world. They’re tasty, extremely high in protein, and a very healthy option, making them a great fit for the low carb lifestyle. However, you may be surprised to learn that not all shrimp are created equal. There are many different types and come from all corners of the globe, each with unique characteristics.

In this guide, we will help explain the different types of shrimp that you can find in grocery stores, fish markets, and restaurants from coast to coast, as well as provide a few cooking and preparation tips to help make sure that your recipes come out perfectly. Cooking shrimp properly isn’t really all that hard, but there certainly are a few things to keep in mind in order to get the best results. First, let’s take a look at the different kinds of shrimp that you’re likely to encounter when you go shopping.

Types of Shrimp

Gulf Shrimp – While this is a bit of a misnomer, Gulf shrimp actually can be one of three different varieties, including brown, pink, and white shrimps. Gulf shrimp are common and popular in North America and can be found on the menu of all types of restaurants and in grocery stores across the country.

Giant Tiger Prawn – This variety of shrimp tends to be on the larger size scale and is usually farmed in Asian countries. Because of its combination of size, flavour, and appearance, this is usually the shrimp that is favoured by fine dining establishments and gourmet chefs. Tiger prawns are also commonly available at supermarkets and fish markets, although because of their size and premium characteristics, they do tend to be more expensive than other varieties of shrimp.

Rock Shrimp – These shrimps prefer deep, cold waters like those in the Atlantic Ocean, and can be found all along the eastern seaboard of North America. Rock shrimp have a taste and texture very similar to lobster, making them a popular and less expensive option for many recipes that would normally call for lobster.

Spot Prawns – On the other side of North America, throughout the waters of the west coast, spot prawns are fished in large quantities and are commonplace on the menus of all kinds of restaurants and available in fish markets and supermarkets across the continent. Spot prawns are very similar to gulf shrimp in their taste, texture, and appearance.

Cleaning and Preparation

It’s very common for shrimp to be stored and shipped in the frozen state to greatly extend their usable life and make them available more widely around the world. Generally, this has no significant effect on the taste or usability of the shrimp, but true shrimp aficionados will stand by the old axiom for all kinds of seafood that ‘fresher is better’. Preparing frozen shrimp begins with thawing them completely over several hours in the refrigerator. Alternatively, you can also thaw them in a bath of cold water if you need them ready in less time.

If the shrimp have not been de-veined, you will want to do this prior to any further steps in preparation. The dark brown or black vein that runs down the back of the shrimp is actually a part of the digestive tract and is essentially just shrimp waste. If the shrimp you purchased have already had their shells split for easy peeling, removing the vein is easy by simply opening the gap in the shell and pulling it out. If the shell has not already been split, carefully use a sharp paring knife to slit the shell open along the back in order to access the area where the vein is.

Shell on or Shell Off?

There are some differing opinions on whether it’s best to peel the shrimp prior to cooking, or to leave them on, however, each method has advantages for different types of cooking styles and dishes. In general, if the shrimp will be presented as a centerpiece of the meal and a certain visual appearance is warranted, then it is recommended the shells remain on, to be removed at the time the meal is consumed.

Shells are also usually left on for grilling, since it helps keep the shrimp intact and also from drying out too much, but many grillers prefer peeled shrimp for the greater ease of eating when the meal is ready. For other meals where the shrimp is contained within the meal with many other ingredients, such as soups or stews like jambalaya and gumbo, it is usually better to peel the shrimp before cooking so guests do not need to worry about peeling each shrimp as they eat.

What About Pre-cooked Shrimp?

In a pinch, pre-cooked shrimp are a great time saver and add additional convenience to the preparation process. However, shrimp are very sensitive to overcooking, and can easily become tough and rubbery if heated for too long. For best results, it is always recommended that raw shrimp be used for the majority of recipes. That being said, if you’re in a hurry then pre-cooked shrimp should do the job just fine, as long as they are not re-heated for too long before serving.

Tips for Cooking Shrimp

Shrimp are a very versatile type of protein that can be prepared in many different ways to work with a variety of dishes and types of cuisine. Shrimp can be grilled straight on the barbecue, either on their own or as part of a kabob. Grillers will need to be very attentive to the shrimp, as they cook very quickly and only need a few minutes to turn thoroughly pink.

Shrimp can also be sautéed in a variety of sauces, such as garlic butter and a wide range of Asian sauces like sugar-free teriyaki or spicy hoisin sauce. Shrimp can be boiled to be used in pasta dishes or steamed alongside fresh vegetables, or dipped in your favourite seafood sauce. They can also be simmered as part of a seafood stew or chowder, or as part of a fresh soup.

Regardless of what method used to cook the shrimp, it’s important to note that they require very little time to cook completely, and the longer they are exposed to high temperatures the more likely they are to become tough. For example, in water that is at a rolling boil, your average sized shrimps take only about 3 minutes to become completely cooked. This is a good benchmark to keep in mind, but you will also become accustomed to the cooking times of shrimp in various instances the more you use them. Practice makes perfect!


If you’re getting tired of chicken or burned out on beef, why not try some tasty shrimp to add some variety to your weekly low carb meal plan?  With these tips, we’re sure that you’ll find that cooking with shrimp can be very easy, and the resulting recipes are certainly delicious! Shrimp are a healthy protein option that make them a great fit for many low carb recipes from all different kinds of regional cuisine, from contemporary American creations to classic Asian dishes, and more. We hope that this set of tips has inspired you to head out to your local fish market or grocery store and pick up a big bag of delicious shrimp to experiment with.

exercise ideas for spring time

Springtime Workout and Exercise Tips

Refresh Your Workout Routine with These Springtime Exercise Tips

Whether you’ve got spring fever of cabin fever, the prescription is the same; get out, get moving, and get fit! This time of year, when the sunshine and warm weather become much more frequent, we feel the pull of the outdoors and the desire to shake ourselves out of the winter blahs with a fun new routine that gets us active and helps improve our fitness. Unfortunately, many people struggle with just what to do in order to add some much-needed change in to their fitness regimen. That’s where this article should come in handy.

Here, we’ve decided to gather together a fun collection of tips and tricks that anyone can use to help refresh and rejuvenate their exercise and workout routines, just in time for the warmer spring time weather. These tips are easy to follow and can be just what you need to get inspired and rethink your fitness habits. Now, let’s get moving!

Gear Up to Get Out

It’s no secret that picking up a cool new piece of gear can get you really excited to start using it, and the same goes for your fitness equipment. Of course, you don’t need to spend a ton of money just for the sake of getting something new. Often times something as simple and affordable as a new pair of running shoes can be a great catalyst to a new season of running and improved cardiovascular health. Cyclists may choose to go for a fancy new helmet, or perhaps install that new set of tires you’ve been wanting to try out. Canoers and kayakers could check out the latest in personal flotation devices and see what cool new styles are hitting the shelves this season. Whatever your sport of choice may be, the springtime is the perfect time to indulge a little bit and score a cool new piece of gear that makes you want to get out more and keep moving.

Runners, Get off the Road

Running is one of the simplest ways to get active, and there are very few barriers to getting started with this healthy activity. If you’ve never actively run before, or if it’s been a really long time since your last run, we recommend you check out the running clinics offered by many specialty running stores. These ‘learn to run’ classes are a great resource for new runners to learn the proper methods to avoid injury and maximize the benefits.

Also, these local running groups can be a great way to learn about nearby trails that you could start to explore with trail running. Trail running is an exciting alternative to running in a gym or simply on the road. It gives you the ability to experience nature in a new way and presents many unique challenges due to the constantly changing grades and direction you experience as you wind your way along the trails. You’ll need a more aggressive shoe for trail running, so ask for recommendations on what would be a good choice for this style of running.

Fresh Air to Freshen the Spirit

If you’ve never tried yoga or Pilates before, it’s definitely something that you should consider as an addition to your healthy lifestyle. The benefits of these types of relaxation and meditation exercises are well-documented, including a reduction in stress, improved flexibility, and more. Many yoga and Pilates studios offer outdoor classes, weather-permitting of course, at local parks. This is a great way to get some fresh air at the same time that you’re rejuvenating your spirit and body with a group of friends. Ask around your area for recommendations on which studios offer these types of experiences. Or if you’re already a yoga or Pilates pro, why not take the initiative and start your own outdoor sessions with friends? Just be sure to follow park usage guidelines and make appropriate bookings or arrangements if necessary.

Get Pumped with New Workout Tunes

It’s been proven that the right tunes playing can have a huge impact on how you feel when you are exercising or working out. You might not find that Beastie Boys is perfectly suited to your yoga session, but it works great when pounding out an intense 5k run. Spend some time on your preferred music streaming or downloading sites and check out what’s new and hot on the charts to liven up your exercise playlist and inject some new energy to your tunes. Subscription services such as Spotify are great at providing recommendations for new music based on the stuff you’ve listened to in the past, or based on genres, other artists, or simply what’s hot around the world. Spend some time exploring and discovering new music and build out a kick-ass new playlist for your workout routines.

Get the Kids on Board

You’re not the only one in the house who can benefit from getting out and moving more. Many kids these days are far more sedentary than we were in our youth, so it’s important to instill good healthy living habits in them, and that includes exercise. This could be something as simple as teaching your pre-teen how to run in one of those ‘learn-to-run’ classes we talked about earlier, or maybe you could strike up a pickup game of ultimate Frisbee at your local park.

Getting your kids excited about regular exercise usually hinges on how much fun it is, so see what you can do to work in some competitive elements, or just some random silliness that keeps them engaged or laughing. Take turns quoting your favourite goofy TV show, or challenge each other to a quick race, for example. Whatever it takes, just make it fun for them, and it’ll inevitably be more fun for you, too.


There’s no reason that you can’t use the springtime as the perfect excuse for making a change to your fitness regimen. In fact, many people use this season as the springboard in to a complete overhaul of their healthy living lifestyle, including changes to their exercise routines, meal plans, and more. Spring is the season of rebirth and rejuvenation, so take a cue from Mother Nature and do the same for yourself. Your body will thank you, and the benefits will be well worth the effort. Now, get out there in the sunshine and get moving!

cleaning your bbq tips

BBQ Cleaning Guide – Great Tips

The How-To Guide for Cleaning Your Barbecue Grill

With summertime just around the corner, our minds turn to warmer weather and fun times outdoors with family and friends. For many of us, a big part of summer fun comes from firing up our BBQ’s and having a family cookout, complete with delicious foods like fresh grilled hamburgers, hot dogs, chicken, steaks, and much more.

However, when the warmer weather hits and we rush to get those first burgers of the summer cooking, we sometimes forget how important it is to thoroughly clean and prepare our barbecues for the new season of grilling. While most of us are diligent in cleaning the actual grills each and every time we cook, the rest of the barbecue needs attention too, and making sure it’s clean and in full working order is a good idea at the start of every grilling season.

In this article, we walk through all the steps you need to know to perform a complete inspection and top-to-bottom cleaning of your barbecue grill and ensure that it’s ready to rock and roll when the time is right. We’ll discuss the essential tools you should have on hand, as well as some things to avoid along the way. Let’s get right to it!

Start with Safety First

We always abide by the credo of ‘safety first’ when it comes to working with a gas grill, so always disconnect the gas line from the grill before you do anything else. Leaving the gas line connected to a fuel source while you’re cleaning it can be extremely dangerous, so always make sure this is the first step you take to stay safe.

Gather the Right Tools

Before you begin, it’s important to gather together the necessary tools and equipment you’ll need to properly clean your grill. You don’t need much, but the right tools can make things much faster and easier, and get the process done with less mess overall. Here’s what you should have close at hand before you begin.

  • Two large buckets – You’ll use one bucket to dump any ashes or dirt that has collected in the bottom of your grill to be disposed of later, and the other bucket will be used to hold clean, soapy water to clean the various parts of the grill.
  • Metal paint scraper – A stiff metal paint scraper is great for removing burnt-on stuff from the insides of the barbecue shell. Pick one that’s no wider than about 1.5” – 2” so it’s easier to maneuver inside the various areas of the barbecue. Note that if your grill is made from stainless steel parts, you will want to avoid using a metal scraper since it will scratch the finish. In these cases, opt for plastic instead.
  • Stiff bristle brush – You’ll need a stiff bristled plastic brush to scrub down the surfaces of the barbecue after you’ve scraped off the loose dirt. You’ll want something with fairly long bristles since it will be easier to get in to the different nooks and crannies on the inside.
  • Metal grill brush or grill cleaning stone – For giving the grills themselves a good scrub, you’ll want to use a good quality grill brush or cleaning stone that is specifically for BBQ grills.
  • Gentle dish soap – You’ll want just a little bit of gentle dish detergent and warm water to clean the majority of the parts of the barbecue. Harsh chemicals should be avoided for the obvious reasons that you don’t want to risk any of that stuff getting near your food. Gentle dish soap will rinse away easily and leave a clean, chemical-free surface.

Disassemble and Check for Replacement Parts

Now that you’re ready to work on the grill, start by removing the main components for easier cleaning. The grills, burners, and heat diffusers are all easily removed, usually without the need for any tools. Take out the grease drip trays and any other removable pieces that you can in order to give yourself more space to work with while you clean.

This will also give you the opportunity to closely inspect all the different parts of your grill and look for any signs of excessive damage, wear, or corrosion. If you spot any parts that appear to have been damaged or are beginning to rust through, they should be replaced with the correct replacement parts from the manufacturer of the grill. Look for signs such as thick areas of rust or thinning and brittle metal that are telltale signs that corrosion has progressed and the parts are no longer safe to use in your grill. Consult the manufacturers website and look through the technical support section for a parts list for your grill or call them for assistance in identifying the correct replacement parts you will need.

Scrape and Scrub

Once you’ve got things disassembled, gently but firmly scrape any burnt-on food and layers of grease or dirt from the parts and dump the scrapings in to one of your buckets. This will keep all the dirt in one place and make it easier to dispose of when you’re done. After the parts have been scraped sufficiently to remove the bulk of the surface dirt, you can begin washing and scrubbing them in the bucket of warm and soapy water. Use the stiff bristle brush to scrub the parts in the soapy water to get them as clean as possible. Also scrub down the inside of the grill casing to remove any loose dirt and grime.

Rinse and Dry

Now that you’ve got everything scrubbed down and looking clean, give everything a good rinse with clean, cold water. Avoid using high pressure hoses, as they can force water in to areas that are difficult to dry and could cause faster corrosion. If you have a gentle spray nozzle on your garden hose, you can use this if you dial down the pressure to a very low setting, otherwise rinse everything by hand with clean water.

After everything has been sufficiently rinsed, place all the parts in a well ventilated or sunny area to accelerate the drying process. You can speed things up by patting with paper towels to absorb any excess water that has collected in the various parts of your grill.

Reassemble and Test

Once you are certain that all the parts are completely dry, you can now reassemble the grill and get it ready for use again. Put everything back in the reverse order that it was removed and be sure to consult the owners’ manual if you are uncertain where some things need to go.

With the grill completely dry and reassembled, it’s time to reconnect the gas line and fire it up. We recommend running the barbecue for several minutes to help remove any additional moisture that may still be present and to ensure that the grill is working correctly.

Finish with a Big Family Dinner

Put that nice, clean barbecue to good use by planning a big family dinner to officially kick off the summer grilling season. If you need help planning a fantastic low carb barbecue, check out our BBQ Grilling Guide for a collection of tips and recipes you can use to cook up something really special.

We Canadians love our barbecues, and since we all know that winter will be back before we know it, let’s plan to get as much out of this summer grilling season as we can. Now, go get that barbecue ready for action, Grill Master!