With the sun finally showing up after a long winter, there is a lot of excitement in the air over the possibility of upcoming beach trips, riverside walks and barbecues! Are you excited about your upcoming barbecue parties? Or are you a little put off by the greasy and grimy look of your grill?
Of course, we all want our grill to be squeaky clean before we cook up those lovely steaks with perfect sear marks on them! After all, stuck-on bits can spoil the flavor of the food and even distort the sears. Did you know they can even be outright dangerous by increasing the risk of fires and flare-ups?
Don’t worry. With the tips we've outline in this article, you can clean your outdoor grill — and you can do it very easily! Read on to learn how to clean a grill.
What you Need for a Thorough Clean-up
- Putty knife or scraper
- Wire barbecue brush
- A bucket
- Warm soapy water
- Cleaning rags, kitchen towels
- Cleaning sponge
- Cooking oil or spray
A Few Easy Steps to a Clean Grill
Before you begin cleaning, ensure your grill is not hot. Once you've confirmed your grill is safe to handle, follow these steps:
Step 1: Disassemble
To start, put your gloves on and remove all parts of your grill. This may mean just the grill grates, but in the case of a gas grill there may be more parts over the burner. This will enable you to reach the main part of the grill chamber.
Step 2: Clean the Grill Box
Now you are looking at the interior of the grill box that most likely has deposits of ash and gunk in it. Use a putty knife, a scraper or a spatula to scrape off as much gunk as you can from the sides of the grill chamber.
Step 3: Clean the Gas Burner
It is extremely common to find little particles clogging the holes of a gas grill’s burner tubes. If you've ever noticed a change in color or size of the flame on your gas grill, this may be the culprit.
Using a wire brush, gently clean the holes from the center towards the sides to clear them of debris.
Step 4: Scrub the Grill Grates
An easy way to get rid of last year’s burnt-on grime is by using heat. Heat helps by burning off some of the grime and makes cleaning a tad easier.
Reassemble the grill and place the grates back on it. Put the heat on to a high setting or to a cleaning level on your gas grill. For a charcoal grill, add fresh coals and let them become red-hot.
Put the lid on. Leave it for 15 minutes. Lift the lid and use a barbecue cleaning brush to vigorously scrub the grates. A bristle-less metal brush is better, so you do not get the odd bristle stuck on your grates.
Step 5: Deep-Clean the Grates
Every month or two, deep-clean the grill grates by soaking them in warm soapy water and scrubbing. Of course, ensure the grill is cool when you do this.
Simply remove the grates and immerse them in soapy water for a few minutes. You do not want to expose cast iron grates to a lot of moisture, so don't leave the grates in the water for too long. Then use a brush to clean it.
You may also use special cleaners that are compatible with your grill. Be sure, however, to check the instruction manual of your grill. Always test on a small area before using them.
Once cleaned, dry the grates with kitchen towels. Apply some cooking oil on to them.
Step 6: Clean the Drip Tray
The barbecue drip tray must be cleaned every time you use it. Handle it when completely cool.
If you can, put cat litter in the tray to help soak up the grease. Whether you use cat litter or not, pour out the grease directly into a bin.
Follow up with a wash using warm soapy water.
Step 7: Clean the Exterior
Now that you have cleaned the interior of your grill, it’s time for the outside surface. Clean this just like you would kitchen appliances. Dip a sponge in soapy water and rub all around the outside. Rinse off with a clean damp cloth and buff it with a dry one.
Maintain Your Grill
To keep your grill in good shape throughout the season:
- Coat the grates with a cooking spray before cooking on your barbecue. Or,
- Rub a raw onion half on the grates.
- Brush the hot grates with a grill brush with a long handle or foil before and after grilling.
- Clean the drip tray after every use.
- Deep-clean after a few uses.
Schedule Your Party
Now that your grill is clean, it's ready to perform its best. It’s time to get ready for that long-awaited barbecue party!