How To Clean A Charcoal Grill
Step 1: Scrape the grates
Clean the cooking grates with a grill brush. This is typically done before every use while the grill is preheating to remove leftover debris from the last grilling. This should be done before and after every use. Check out more of our favorite grill brushes here.
- Grillart Grill Brush and Scraper
Step 2: Check for rust and other damage
Pruitt emphasizes the importance of inspecting your grill for rust before each use. You should replace anything that has a hole or crack in it, he says. Surface rust, which is often found on welded joints, can be easily removed using a nonacidic oil like WD-40. To help prevent rust, the grill should be deep cleaned at least once every three months, according to Pruitt.
- WD-40, 2-Pack
Step 3: Clean the lid
When the grill is cool, use a grill brush to clean off any built-up carbon from food on the underside of the lid. Steps three through five should be done at least every three months, according to Pruitt. Brown recommends that frequent grillers deep clean their equipment every six to eight uses.
Step 4: Clean the bowl
Remove accumulated ashes and old charcoal from the bottom of the bowl and from the ash catcher. Then, scrape out the inside of the bowl with a plastic or rubber scraping tool to clean off the top of the cleaning system blades and the rest of the bowl; Pruitt advises that people who dont have a bladed cleaning system scrape the bowl more regularly.
- Original Pan Scrapers Set
Open It Up Pull It Apart
First, you’ll need to open the grill and remove its various parts. This way, you’ll be able to access the main grill chamber. Typically sitting below the grates, this is where heavy food particles tend to fall and grease drippings land.
Start with a cold grill. Open the hood, remove the grill grates and set them aside. Some propane gas models also have one or multiple metal heat diffusers that rest over the burners. If your grill has them, take those out, too.
Dont Use A Wire Brush
Theres a story we came across a while back about a four-year-old boy who got hospitalized after he accidentally swallowed a metal bristle from a wire brush. Yikes!
While wire brushes are marketed explicitly to barbecue grill owners, we dont recommend using them to clean your grates. Theres always a chance that some of the bristles from the brush may fall off without you noticing, latch onto your food while youre grilling, and end up in your body. Its simply not worth a trip to the ER.
There are several other safer alternatives you can use that work just as well. One option would be to crumple up a piece of heavy-duty aluminum foil and shape it into a ball. Then, use a pair of tongs to grab it, and voila! You have a safe tool to clean your grates with.
Alternatively, you could also use a wooden grill scraper instead. The best thing about it is that the block will start to develop groves that fit your stainless steel grates perfectly after a while of using it.
Now, if you live on the wild side and insist on using a wire brush, ensure you double-check and even triple-check your grates for any stray bristles that might make their way into your food.; Be sure to run a damp cloth across the grates once youre done scrubbing. You can never be too safe.
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Choose Your Best Way To Clean Grill Grates
You dont need to use a specialized grill cleaner or harsh chemicals to clean your grill, even if its covered in charred grease and grime. When you clean the inside of your grill with baking soda, you can use a nylon-bristled brush, scourer sponge, a ball of aluminum foil, or even a paper towel or rag, depending on what you have available.
To clean grimy stainless steel grill grates, heat your grill to high to burn off and loosen any excess food, then let the grates cool before scrubbing. You can also skip this step and go straight to the scrubbing.
Here are four ways to clean your stainless steel, cast iron, or enamel grill grates with minimal effort, thanks to the power of ARM & HAMMER Baking Soda.
Use An Onionto Season Grates
One of our favorite tricks is to cut an onion in half and rub down the tops of the rails of clean, hot grates. Onions contain many sulfur compounds that when heated, creates a super slick, rock-hard surface which is good to 1000°F before it degrades. Onions also contain antibacterial compounds that help keep your GrillGrates safe to cook on.
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Baking Soda And Scour Sponge Grate Cleaning
If you have porcelain or enamel grill grates, this is the method for you. Metal such as a wire brush or aluminum foil can scratch the finish of coated grill grates, so using a scour sponge or nylon bristle brush is best. Dont worry though, the power of ARM & HAMMER Baking Soda will help dissolve and abrade the charred on food bits to get your grill grates clean.
- Remove the stainless steel grate from the grill and place on a flat surface.
- Moisten the grill grate with water.
- Sprinkle ARM & HAMMER Baking Soda liberally over the stainless steel grates and let sit for 10 minutes.
- Using a damp scourer sponge, scrub the grate going up and down each wire.
- Rinse with water and return the grate to the grill.
How To Clean Pellet Grills
Pellet grills need a little more attention and TLC than charcoal or gas models, because pellet grills have more electronics and mechanical parts. You cant just hose down a pellet grill; you have to remove the grates and grease pan to give them a proper scrub. Another reason to keep the garden hose away is that wood pellets expand when they get wet, which causes auger jams.
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Safe Clean And Environmentally Friendly
Not only does it do a thorough job on metal, ceramic, plastic, and many other surfaces, it also disinfects and sanitizes.
Vinegar doesnt affect the environment negatively and is safe if it contacts the skin or food.
Some cleaning compounds can leave a residue on the grill grate that is later transferred to food. Vinegar doesnt leave any residue and doesnt produce an aftertaste as a result.
How often do you clean your grill grates?
How To Maintain Your Gas Grill
Maintaining your gas grill will not only keep your grill in solid condition but will also minimize the rust formation on the grates of the grill. Below are the methods how you can maintain your grill:
Clean the grill right after the use Clean all the grease and leftover food immediately after the cooking is done. Its the best way you can avoid rust formation. It will also keep your grill hygienic.
Must Read: How to Clean a Gas Grill?
Oil the grill grates Just like we oil any other metal made substance for avoiding rust, do this with grates.
Coat the grates with ceramic Ceramic will stop the grates from exposing to water. Another benefit of adding a ceramic layer is that it is non-stick.
Buy a weatherproof cover Weatherproof cover will protect your grill from moisture hence will avoid rust formation. Investing in weatherproof cover will also save your time, money, and scrubbing later.
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Clean The Ceramic Grill Grates Properly
Use the soft bristle brush and run it diagonally along the ceramic grill grates. Scrubbed the grill smoothly and lightly, fluid the motion from the bottom to the top of the grates. Run the brush straight over the ceramic grill surface. It will be easier to remove the food derbies and grease on the greats.
A Clean Cooker Helps Set You Up For Success
Now, you should have a good idea as to how to clean a grill properly and how to keep it that way. Preparation is key to successful outdoor cooking and maintaining a clean grill is part of that.
When you are working with a clean cooker for each and every cook, you give the other elements you are using, from the seasonings to the wood, an opportunity to live up to their full potential. You are also protecting your investment in your grill or smoker and helping to ensure it holds up for many more cooking sessions to come.
If you really want to elevate your cooking game on your freshly cleaned grill, get the inside scoop straight from the pros in the online outdoor cooking classes here at BBQ Champs Academy. Champion Grillmasters and Pitmasters will walk you through step-by-step how to cook like a pro like never before. To get the full inside look, check out the All-Access pass now!
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Clean Stainless Steel Grates
Stainless steel grates are also durable and last longer than a cast iron. It is preferred because they are less likely to rust and tarnish than cast iron grates. In essence, you must clean a stainless steel grate every time you use it. Here are the steps and extra tips for cleaning your stainless steel grates:
Rub Down Inside The Lid And Sides
Scrub the inside lid and sides down gently with a scourer and warm soapy water.
Make sure that you start with the lid and work your way down the sides, with the bottom of the grill being the last bit to clean later, otherwise youll end up cleaning it twice.
Dont aim for factory new looking here, it is not going to happen. Just make sure any build up is largely removed so it cannot flake onto your food during regular use.
Empty Ashes After Each Use
Clean out the residual ash in a charcoal;grill;after each use. A;pile of ash left on the grill can collect moisture,;and ash plus moisture can equal a cement-like substance that’s can be incredibly difficult to remove.
To make quick work of ash cleanup, keep a metal bucket with a lid next;to the grill, and dump the ashes and spent coals into it when everything has cooled down. Store the bucket somewhere where it won’t get wet.
Transfer the collected ash to the garbage when the bucket is full and you’re positive there are no coals still burning. Ash disposal becomes even easier if you opt for;lump charcoal since it creates relatively little ash when compared to briquettes.
How To Clean Rusty Grill Grates
By: Author Lindsay Reed
The burgers and hot dogs are ready, but your grill grate is rusty. Not sure how to get that rust off so you can showcase your grill-master prowess and keep your food delicious?;
Thankfully, its pretty simple to learn how to clean rusty grill grates using ingredients you probably have around the house. Ive outlined a few of my favorite ways so you can find the one that works for your grill and your timeframe.
How To Clean Stainless Steel Grates Quick Tips
Stainless steel grill grates can handle 800+ degrees Fahrenheit, which is hotter than any residential grill will get. Unlike cast iron, stainless steel is somewhat rust-resistant.
The easiest way to clean the grates is to simply brush them. Well go over this method below.
With stainless steel grates, you can use a nylon brush or wire brush, but nylon is the safer bet. You always run the risk of scratching the grates using a wire brush if you press too hard.
Also, the bristles can break off in your grill and cook into your food, which is a health hazard. So just be mindful of how much pressure you use when cleaning your stainless steel grill grates.
Now lets get into eight different methods you can use to make them look nice and shiny.
How To Clean Stainless Steel Grill Grates
It is important to take the time to clean the stainless steel grill grates on your barbecue to reduce the chance of food poisoning from leftover particles stuck to the surface. Charred food can also leave residue on anything new you cook, potentially changing the flavor you’ve worked hard to create.
Fortunately, these grates aren’t hard to clean, especially if you keep up with the task regularly. One safety note: Never use steel wool or metal brushes on your grill. The tiny bits of metal can get stuck in food and end up causing problems if ingested.
Step 1 – Give Your Grill a Hot Deep Clean
If you haven’t cleaned your grill for some time, a deep cleaning may be necessary to remove all the grease and baked-on food that can’t be scrubbed off.
Remove the grates and turn on the barbecue. Next wrap the cooking grates tightly with heavy-duty aluminum foil with the shiny side out. Put on oven mitts and place the wrapped grates on the grill. Close the lid and leave them there for 15 to 30 minutes. The dirtier they are, the longer you’ll need to leave them.
When the proper time has elapsed, turn off the barbecue, open the lid, and allow the grates to cool. Unwrap the foil and follow up by washing the surface with soapy water and a soft sponge.
Step 2 – Clean Thoroughly Once a Week
If you use your grates regularly, especially during summer, it’s important to give it a good cleaning once a week. For these sessions, you should wait until your grill has completely cooled.
Why Is Vinegar Good For Cleaning
The Acidic acid in Vinegar eats through grease and oil left behind after grilling.
The chemistry in the good, old-fashioned household, vinegar turns out to be just the thing for cleaning off the built-up gunk and goo on your BBQ grill.
It takes a little while for the acid to eat through the grime but it not only helps the grill look like new, it also kills any bacteria or germs left over from the last cookout.
Get A Soft Ceramic Grill Brush And Scouring Pad
Ceramic grill grates can chip very quickly if you use a metal or wire-bristle brush. So, avoid using the metal and wire brush on the ceramic grill. Choose a soft bristle brush, such as a sponge brush, nylon brush. The ceramic grill is not at risk of getting damaged when you clean it by nylon brush. You can also use a medium bristle toothbrush and a scouring pad to removing grime from smaller areas.
Simply Wash And Rinse With Soapy Water
Its a good idea to start with fresh warm soapy water again. Otherwise, youll get grease smears all over the outside of your grill, and thats never a good look.
Using a sponge, gently scrub the exterior all over, particularly around the grooves and knobs where grime tends to stick.
If you have any stubborn bits of burnt food or grime, soak it with warm water and cleaning product a few times, 30 seconds or so apart to loosen it.
Do not use a scourer as this will scratch the paintwork or surface.
Once youve rubbed it down thoroughly, rinse it with clean water using your garden hose set to a low power setting, and thats it!
Clean All Parts Once Each Year
At the beginning and end of each grilling season, or at least;once a year if you grill year-round, give your charcoal grill;a thorough cleaning with hot soapy water and a stiff nylon brush or fiber scrub pad.
For complete cleaning, perform this work systematically, beginning with the surfaces up under the hood and moving down to the side walls and bottom of the cooking chamber. Make sure to thoroughly clean the drip pan.
Conclude by wiping down the outside of the grill from top to bottom, using warm water. Wipe dry to prevent rust.
Specific Grate Material Care
- Stainless Steel: to help prevent rust you can put a piece of aluminum foil over the grate and turn the grill on for 10 minutes. The foil will concentrate the heat and help quickly burn off stuck-on food that could lead to rust.
- Cast Iron: these grates are particularly hardy, except when it comes to water. Be sure to use a nylon brush after cooking to scrub the grate down and prevent water from sitting on it. Oil coatings are particularly important for these grates as well.
- Enamel Coated: enamel coated surfaces guard against rust, but you have to keep the enamel intact. Harsh wire brushes, metal utensils, or hard contact could fracture the enamel. If the enamel chips off your grate could start to rust.;
;If youd like to read more about specific grate materials, take a look at this article from Weber.;