Back to articles Get your Barbecue Ready for Action and then try this Easy Lemon Chicken Recipe to get you started! By Nadine Hughes

Categories: Parent Picks

As the song goes, It's summer time and the living is easy. So too, should your cooking be. Unless you are like me who shovels a path through the snow to get to their barbecue, it might have been a while since you fired up the grill. Here are a few tips to help get your barbecue in tip top shape before you throw the first steaks on.

And don’t just think steaks for the coals.  Go outside the box and experiment with everything from salads to desserts to citrus that you can squeeze into those icy cold summer drinks.  Enjoy!


1.     Check for spider webs that have built up over the winter.  Use a paint brush or some type of soft brush to wipe away the webs.

2.     Rust can build up on your grates during the winter time. Try to clean them with a mixture of cream of tartar and peroxide and scrub the grate. To keep them oiled spray a cooking spray on your grill when you are done.  If the rust is severe and cannot be removed it might be time to just measure and go buy replacement grates.

3.     Do a safety check on the gas supply hoses. Replace the flexible gas hose if it is cracked or brittle. If you are not sure, then use the dish soap test to check. Mix a little soup and water and brush it on to the fittings and gas lines to see if any bubbles form which would indicate a leak. 

4.     If you have trays on the bottom of your grill, remove the grates and take the trays out and wipe them out. If you have grease overflow wipe that out, too, before you go to step 5.  This will help to keep the pesky critters like Raccoons away from the tantalizing aroma.

5.     A little fat from foods however actually help keep the grates from rusting, but it can build up over time.  To remove some of it, heat up the grill; wet a scrub brush and let the heat from the grill create steam from the water on the brush.

6.     Check for the color of your flame. It should be bright blue. If the flame is orange then you will want to use a wire or a paper clip to clean and remove any corrosion around the burner.

7.     Finish off by cleaning the outside of your BBQ grill. You can use a grease fighting all purpose spray or liquid dish soap and a sponge to wash down the grill; rinse off with a hose.

8.     You’re now ready to try this delicious and easy recipe for Lemon Oregano Chicken.



Lemon Oregano Chicken

Serves 4

Preparation Time                       10 minutes + 4 hours refrigeration/marinating time

Cooking Time                            12 – 15 minutes



·         ¼ cup plain thick yogurt (Balkan-style)

·         4 tsp chopped fresh oregano

·         1 tbsp vegetable oil

·         2 tsp grated lemon rind

·         1 tbsp fresh lemon juice

·         2 cloves garlic, minced

·         ½ tsp each salt and pepper

·         4 boneless skinless chicken breasts (can substitute 8 boneless skinless chicken thighs)

·         Lemon wedges to serve


1.    In a large bowl, whisk together all ingredients except chicken and lemon wedges.  Add chicken, turning to coat.  Cover and refrigerate for 4 hours, turning occasionally.  (Note:  You can refrigerate for up to 24 hours)

2.    Heat a greased grill over medium heat.  Place chicken on grill and brush with any remaining marinade (discard extra after brushing).  Close lid and grill, turning once, until golden brown and no long pink inside, about 12 minutes.  Serve with lemon wedges.


Nadine Hughes is the creator and owner of, The Cook’s Companion and The Menu Companion, through which she offers kitchen consultations, menu planning services as well as private cooking classes for adults and teens throughout Southern Ontario. She is also an award winning author.  Pick up a copy of her latest cookbook “The Groove Mamma Goes Gourmet – Easy Ways To Put The Fun Back Into Entertaining” (awarded Best Canadian Entertaining Cookbook at the 2009 Gourmand Cookbook Awards) for $7.98 at