Q - I know this isn't a cooking show, but I hear you talking about natural gas a lot. We purchased a gas grill earlier this spring and are enjoying it immensely. Is there any maintenance that is required as we cook through the summer?

Stephanie in Smyrna

A - If you think the summer is hot for you, how about your gas grill?

At this time of year your gas grill needs a little tlc to keep producing at a high level. Here are a few things you can do:

- Keep it clean. The cooking grids can be easily cleaned by covering them with a layer of aluminum foil and heating the grill on high for 10 to 15 minutes. The baked on food will turn to a fine white powder which can be easily brushed away. A wire brush on a regular basis will also do a good job.

- Inspect cast iron grates for rusting. Re-place if necessary.

- Check the burners for clogging. You can often remove whatever is clogging a burner with a pipe cleaner.

- Keep your briquettes, rocks, or coals clean of food and grease. A buildup may lead to a fire.

- Keep your grill covered to protect it from the elements. You can purchase generic grill covers in a variety of shapes at your local hardware store.

- Check the hoses for cracks and holes, and make sure there are no kinks or bends in the hosing.

- Don't use too much vinegar in your potato salad.

There you go. When do we eat?