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Dan Higgins column: Trust your instinct when it comes to grill cleaning

6:59 AM, Apr. 8, 2014  |  Comments
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The problem with my instincts is that sometimes they fail me, while other times they serve me well. When it comes to driving, if I'm lost in an unfamiliar city, I've learned that the opposite of my instinct is usually the correct direction. When it comes to judging how much of a pain-in-the-rump a job is going to be, I'm usually spot on.

I think it was instinct that told me to find other household chores to fill my Sunday afternoon instead of cleaning my Weber kettle grill.

My stalling tactics included watching two episodes of "Dual Survival" with my wife and kids under the guise of "family bonding," spending time on Facebook where I found out that my super hero power is super strength, checking emails and searching You Tube for grill cleaning instructions, because clearly I could not have figured out how to clean a grill without the internet.

After watching the video my instincts were screaming, "Liar, liar, charcoal chimney starter on fire."

The video featured a well groomed dude, standing on a brick patio with a well-groomed lawn and well-groomed landscaping right out of a Better Homes & Garden spread behind him; you can even see an honest-to-goodness white picket fence back there. His yard is the complete opposite of mine and should have served as a warning that this wasn't the right video for me.

Still, I watched as he gently cleaned the top of his grill, which seemed to have been intentionally smeared with a bit of gunk for the express purpose of being wiped off. At this point in the video, the producers start using time-elapse cuts. I'm now opposed to all time-elapse cuts being used in instructional videos because they provide a false sense of ease and length of work.

After cleaning the outside surface, he used a glass cleaner to give it a nice shine. That would prove to be the only piece of advice that was as easy as advertised during my grill-cleaning experience.

Cleaning the inside involved using a stainless steel brush that caused the build up of what he described as carbonized grease to fall as effortlessly as leaves from a tree during November. That is followed by a time-elapse cut to him using a scrub pad and warm soapy water then a time-elapse cut to a shiny like-new interior.

Well, apparently I was worrying for nothing, after all the whole video didn't last much longer than 3 minutes.

As I gathered cleaning supplies, I discovered that I didn't have a steel wire grill brush.

I returned from the neighborhood hardware store - a half hour later - with the exact same brush used in the video only to discover that it took a lot of muscle power to scrub off bits of black gunk - I mean carbonized grease - and that the design of the brush was not conducive to reaching all areas of the rounded dome shape.

I happened to have the same scrub pad used in the video and after it got torn to shreds and turned, literally, a lovely shade of charcoal black, I decided maybe what I need was a hose with some high-pressure water. (No, Mr. Grill Cleaner didn't use a hose in the video.)

As I suspected, the hose did a nice job of making everything wet and giving my carbonized grease a nice shower.

All told, after an hour of scrubbing and adding a nice layer of tar-like grease to my grill gloves, my grill now looks marginally closer to its original condition, as long as you don't take the lid off.

Sometimes I hate it when I'm right.

Beer me

Since it opened in November of last year, Wisconsin Brewing Company has been rapidly gaining admiration from the craft beer crowd as it's reach spread across the state. As of last week, its footprint widened as Dean Distributing, Inc. expand distribution of their craft beers to retailers, bars, and restaurants in the greater Green Bay area and further north.

Wisconsin Brewing Company's year-round beers include #001 Golden Amber Lager, #002 American I.P.A, #003 Brown & Robust Porter and #004 Session I.P.A.

One for the road

It didn't take long for Badger State Brewing Company to get some national, or rather international, recognition. Green Bay's newest brewery, which opened last December, was awarded a Silver Medal for its Walloon Witbier in the Belgian Style Witbier category at the 3rd Annual New York International Beer Competition held Feb. 9 in New York City. About a third of the 400 beers and ciders from more than 20 countries entered in the competition won a medal.

What's your take on the Packers Family Night change?

Retrieving results.
Watching practice is fine.(Your vote)
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I'd rather watch a scrimmage.(Your vote)
23%
856 votes
I don't want to pay to watch practice.(Your vote)
27%
1013 votes
It doesn't matter to me.(Your vote)
34%
1271 votes

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