The secrets of How to Clean a Grill for the best tasting food and long-life of your grill. Including easy step-by-step instructions.
Did you know cleaning your grill after each use is just as important as washing the pots and pans you use for cooking in the kitchen? Yep, it's true. With these simple steps, you'll learn How to Clean a Grill the right way.
Let's start with the basics. After removing your grilled food, cover the grill and allow it to stay heated on high for fifteen minutes longer. This process will burn away a lot of the residual grease and grime and make cleaning easier.
While the grate is still warm, use a grill brush to remove any left behind particles. This prevents food from sticking on the grill, making it much easier to cook on. You can do this after each use.
Tip: To clean your grates naturally with an onion, spray warm grates with white vinegar or lemon juice (the additional acid will help with the cleaning process) and firmly run half of an onion, cut side down, along the grates. Use tongs to avoid burning yourself.
Deep cleaning is recommended a few times during the spring and summer seasons. Of course, the more use your grill gets, the more often a deep cleaning is needed.
Let's take a look at deep cleaning the two most common grills.
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How to Clean a Charcoal Grill
A common misconception with a charcoal grill is that the grill doesn't need to be cleaned after each use due to the ash catcher. This not only catches ash but also catches food particles. If left, this will eventually produce excess smoke and bad flavors in food. Umm, no thanks!
If your barbecue has a painted, nonstick, or aluminum surface, use dishwashing liquid, water, and a plastic scrubber. Metal scrubbers will leave unsightly scratches.
Step 1 - Clean Grates
Remove the grates, spray them down with oven cleaner, and place them into a black plastic bag. Let them soak for several hours or overnight. Use a metal scouring pad, no-scratch scrubber, or stiff brush to scrub them clean.
Tip: Thoroughly rinse the grates making sure to get the entire area free from oven cleaner.
Step 2 - Clean the Inside & Outside
Scoop or dump out any ash and food particles from inside the grill. Clean the inside and outside of the barbecue grill with soapy water and a stiff brush, scouring pad, or non-scratch scrubbers. Rinse with a water hose, and let dry.
Step 3 - Replace Grates
Once everything is dry, replace grates and rub them down with a paper towel and some cooking oil to prevent rusting.
How to Clean a Gas Grill
Important: Before getting started, be sure to turn off the gas line!!
For Natural Gas: Turn off gas supply and open all valves for 3 minutes
For Propane Gas: Disconnect propane tank and open all valves for 3 minutes
Remember that many gas grills are made of aluminum products, so avoiding abrasive cleaners, oven cleaners, metal brushes, and scouring pads is a must. There are many different types of no scratch scrubbers available for use on aluminum.
Even if your grill has a cleaning setting, it still needs to be cleaned after use.
Remove grates and burner covers from the grill and put them in a black plastic bag. Pour a cup of ammonia into the bag; leave the bag in the sun for a day, then open it up, and the buildup will easily hose off. After hosing, scrub any spots that may still have debris until all is removed. Rinse again and set out to dry.
Note: Cleaning your grates prevents food from sticking on your grill, making it much easier to cook on.
After removing grates, use a soft wire brush to remove any loose debris from the sides and inside the lid. Use a toothpick to clean in the small places around the burner. Use a shop vacuum to pick up this residue.
Remove the sear plate and drip pan. Scrape with a putty knife to remove buildup. If your grill uses lava rocks, soaking them along with the sear plate and drip pan while cleaning your grill's inside is recommended.
Spray inside of the grill with a cleaning solution made of 1-gallon hot water, 1 tsp. dishwashing detergent, and 1 cup of distilled white vinegar. Use a scrub brush to remove all grease and grime. Rinse and wipe with a wet cloth until all soap is removed.
Check all burner holes to make sure they are clean and obstruction-free.
Wipe everything dry and replace all the cleaned parts. Once the grate is dry, rub with paper towel and cooking oil.
Give the outside of the grill a good scrubbing with hot water and dishwashing soap. Rinse and let dry.
It would be best if you treated your grill like your stove, and now you know how to clean a grill so your food tastes good and your grill lasts for years. And don't forget, covering your grill when not in use can also extend its life.
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