A well-kept grill is safer, works better, and the food ultimately tastes better
With summer now approaching, the time is now to get your grill cleaned and ready for another season of barbecue, backyard cookouts, and grilling. But before you do the first step is to clean the entire grill, especially of all remnants from last summer’s grilling adventures. Despite wiping down the grill before putting it away from the last season, it’s important to start each new grilling season with a deep cleaning. Let’s help you get BBQ ready with a few simple steps on getting a sparkling clean grill.
When Should You Clean Your Gas Grill?
How often you clean your grill will depend on how much it is used. For usage, several times a month a scrub-down of the grates, bars, and grease management system is a good idea at least once a month.
One sign is if your grill isn’t heating up as high as normal. This could be a sign that’s it time for a cleaning. Excess grease on the grill can hinder the efficiency of the metal grates and burners and impact the quality of the food you’re cooking. Hefty grease build-up can prevent the airflow inside a grill.
Cooking grates need to be cleaned completely after every use. This will prevent food from sticking to your grill making for a more pleasant cooking experience. There are many products available for cleaning your metal grate, but a good stiff wire brush will do just perfectly.
Before using this make sure your grill is not coated with a Teflon coating as a metal brush could scratch the coating off. The best way to perform this little task is after you are done grilling, and never before. After your grill has cooled down a bit, but still warm, take your dry brush and clean/brush off any remaining food particles. When the food residue is warm it makes it easier to clean. For stubborn grease, you can rub half a lemon or half a raw onion on a fork over the warm grill. This is a chemical-free and food-safe way to remove grease. Wipe down with a paper towel after. For cooking grates that are excessively greasy and sticky, soak them in hot water and dish soap for an hour then use a wire brush to clean.
If it is a cast iron grate, clean using the above method first, then brush on some oil with a paper towel to keep your grate in good shape. Raw cast iron needs to be inspected regularly as it is more likely to rust.
A charcoal grill should generally be cleaned after every use, however, many people don’t have the time and simply throw out the ashes. Keeping a wire brush handy to scrape/ brush off the food remains will make cleaning jobs much easier.
Most people think that grills with an ash catch don’t require cleaning. However, everything you cook on requires a good clean. So after each time you use your charcoal grill, clean the grate and empty the ashes. This will prevent excess smoke and acrid flavors from getting into your food.
If you notice there is a buildup on the metal grates or the metal container scrape out any excess dripping and fat on the bottom of your grill. An annual clean with a bucket of soapy water and some elbow grease will ensure a sparkling grill and excellent results.
Gas grills are convenient, but they can be tricky to clean. Many are fooled by the setting on the knobs marked “clean.” This is misleading to think that a simple switch will magic away the grease.
Like a charcoal grill, you need to clean your gas grill after each use. Ensure that the grates are removed and cleaned after grilling. Clean the grease trap if there is one and wipe down the sides and lid after every use.
The clean setting is used to preheat your grill to a high temperature. The objective of it is to burn up residue that falls during grilling and assist with cleaning. Once cooled it a good idea to brush out the burnt-out bits or vacuum it up. Lift out the cooking grate and clean off the barrier above the burners, warm soapy water or a damp cloth will work. No matter the style of the grill, it should be cleaned regularly to remove the baked-on grease and food particles.
Stainless steel cleaner or polish is a great way to get your grill shiny again. This would be done after cleaning as a final touch. It shouldn’t be used to remove heavy buildup or baked-on grease as it won’t work well. Spray on the cleaner, wait for a few minutes, then wipe it down with a clean, dry cloth. Using undiluted white vinegar is also effective for cleaning stainless steel surfaces and will also help with grease.
Once the grill is sparkling clean and thoroughly dry, reassemble all the parts you removed. If it’s a gas grill, fix the burner tubes back in place and ensure it’s screwed incorrectly. Rub cast-iron grill grates with a light coating of vegetable oil to retain the non-stick surface.
Finally, reconnect the gas/propane tank, close the hood, and fire up the grill. It is best to let it heat for at least 15 minutes, after that turn it off. Getting warmed up before the first use after cleaning will help burn off any cleaning residue and also season the cast-iron grates.
The only thing left to do not that you are done, get some burgers, dogs, and steaks, and invite over a few friends. Happy grilling this summer.