How To Get A Deep
Outside of regular cleaning, deep clean your grill once in a while. A homemade natural grill cleaner with vinegar deep cleans any type of grill grates. It also helps fight grime flare-ups.
Deep Clean Vinegar Cleaner Recipe
- 1 cup of distilled white vinegar
- 2 cups of baking soda
- Scraper, nylon brush or stainless steel bristles
- Garbage bag or large container
For cleaning stainless steel grates with vinegar and baking soda in this recipe, combine vinegar and baking soda in a bowl. Pour it into a container or garbage bag that can fit the grates. Add your grates to the bag. Cover the container or use a rubber band to tie the garbage bag closed and soak the racks overnight.
The next day, remove the grates and rinse. Scrub away any remaining gunk vertically, using a nylon brush for porcelain grates or stainless steel bristles for steel and cast iron grates. Rinse with warm water again and pat dry.
Vinegar is a powerful natural cleaner. If you use vinegar as a marinade, cleaning the grill afterward is much easier as well.
Stubborn Stains On Your Grids
Unfortunately, from time to time, something stubborn sticks to your cooking surface, dont fret. Try these tips instead.
A sheet of foil, shiny side down, over the offending area while the grill is heating up to 500°F should loosen the problem. When the grill is hot just brush the offending detritus away with your grill brush. **Please consider wearing Heat Resistant Barbecue Gloves when doing this as the grill will be very hot.**
As a last resort, soaking your filthy stainless steel grids in hot water, then scrubbing gently will help get your grids squeaky clean. Just remember that in doing this, you are stripping off the seasoning you have built up and the grids will need to be re-seasoned. Dont worry you can reapply that seasoning by following our instructions on how to season your stainless steel cooking grates.
Why does the tinfoil trick work? The tinfoil will form a concentrated convection over the offending area. This also traps steam if there is moisture present. It will break down the baked on gunk so that it is easier to remove with a grill brush, very similar to when you turn on the self cleaning in your oven.
What Not To Do
Never use a bleach cleaner to clean stainless steel. Sodium Hypochlorite, the active ingredient, will pit stainless steel and is not a good degreaser anyway.
Worse yet is Sodium Hydroxide or Lye found in commercial spray on oven cleaners. This will also pit stainless steel, and its toxic, so dont use them.
We have a safer, more natural solution that works great on your grate. Lets start with the list of items you need.
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How To Clean Your Stainless Steel Grill Grates & Keep Them Looking Like New
If you love your grill as much as I do, you want to keep it looking as pretty as possible. Keeping your grill clean serves another purpose, other than looking great, it ensures that your Napoleon barbecue is in top working order and remains that way for its entire life. Its easy to take care of the outside of the grill, just follow the instructions found in our article What is Stainless Steel & How to Care For It. However, since your cooking grids bear the brunt of barbecue life, you want to know how to clean them, and how to get your stainless steel grill grates looking like new again.
Don’t Clean The Grill Grate
So you’re done cooking and the grill grate is covered with the blackened remains of the day’s feast. While it’s still warm, you clean that nastiness off, right? Wrong.
If you’re a Mr. Clean, this may pain you to no end, but keeping the grate dirty here is a good thing. Go ahead and pick off any large pieces of food that may still be there, but the blackness encasing the grate will actually help protect it between cooking. Even though I know you have your grill covered, this adds another level of protection, arming you against dreaded rust.
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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.
How To Clean Ziegler & Brown Bbq
The product range of Ziegler & Brown consists only of gas BBQs. As for the cleaning of the Ziggy grills, the manufacturer advice is:
- Scraping the excess food, burn off at high temperature and washing with warm water for cast iron grill and plates
- Wipe with paper towel and soaking in water with dishwashing liquid for non-stick cooking service and aluminium hotplates
- 5-minute burn off on HIGH and unclogging the holes with a toothpick for the burners
- Wiping with warm soapy water for other surfaces
Ziegler & Browns Burn off method
- Light the burner, set to the HIGH position and leave running with the hood fully open for approximately 5 minutes.
Cleaning product recommended by the manufacturer: Bar-B-Chef Heavy Duty BBQ Cleaner.
More maintenance information Detailed guides for all Ziegler & Brown BBQs.
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Cleaning That Really Dirty Grill Rack
You havent looked at the inside of the grill since last September and you havent deep cleaned it in years. You always have good intentions, but when you open the grill and look in, its overwhelming. After today, youre going to have an entirely new attitude! I have a few ways to clean the grill rack that will work for everyone. You can choose, or try them all a different times, to see which ones you like. The first one works on the filthiest grill rack with almost no effort. It does use ammonia, however. Now this is household ammonia not commercial. When diluted it is not toxic, farmers even use ammonia in their fields to add nitrogen back into the soil.
Seasoning Porcelain Coated Cast Iron Grates
Theres some debate as to whether you have to season porcelain enameled cast iron grates. Some grill makers, such as Weber, state that its unnecessary because the porcelain coating already prevents rusting and serves as a nonstick surface. However, other grill makers like Napoleon and Broil King instruct owners to season their porcelain coated grates. Therefore, its best to follow the manufacturers instructions on your grill. If you have any doubts, we suggest seasoning the gratesno harm can come of it and it may save your grates.
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Best Grill Brush: Grillart
Heres a wonderful brush that will do the trick real quick. The secret to this brush is from the looped wires that present no danger to your guests or your grill. It does have a secret of its own and you need to stick to that rule. It works with water to help steam off the grill gunk. Have any bucket handy to clean your grill while its nice and hot.
Add some lemon juice to break down acids faster while you give a scrub down between grilled dishes. It can even reach into narrow slots that other tools may find hard getting into. Its a safer alternative to wire brushes but still uses looped wire to clean-off cooked food particles.
Grill Cleaner Or Oven Cleaner
If your grill has a lot of rust and/or baked on crud and you dont think any of the above methods will work for you, then a specialized grill cleaner, or even a standard oven cleaner is the be-all end-all way of stripping all your cast iron down to bare metal.
Before you start, assemble all required materials:
- Oven cleaner
- Garbage bags
- A large enough box or container to store the grills for a couple of days while the oven cleaner works its magic
- Some safety glasses and gloves.
In a well-ventilated area, spray an even coating on your grates, place them inside garbage bags, and seal the bags air tight. Now store them for a couple of days in a warm place where no children or pets could possibly get at them.
Once the crud has all broken down, rinse the cast iron and follow it up with a wash in soapy water.
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Creating A Vinegar Bath To Remove Rust
Choose The Right Tools To Clean Grill Grates
While some grillers opt for a traditional grill brush, many do not know wire grill brushes can be slightly dangerous. Wire bristles are notorious for breaking off and falling into your food. Without even realizing it, many people have accidentally ingested these bristles, too. If you feel like swapping in a safer tool, weve got plenty of other grill cleaning ideas you can start using today.
Aluminum Foil: Grab a handful of aluminum foil, ball it up and use grill tongs to hold it while you scrub away. You can even re-use the same aluminum foil from cooking your favorite foil packet recipes.
Nylon Scouring Pad: Grab a scouring pad from your kitchen and take it to the grill for fast and easy cleanup.
Grill Stone: Gently rub this pumice-like grill stone back and forth across your grill grates. Then, finish it off by wiping the area clean with a soft cloth or water. Its that easy.
Onion: It might seem a little strange, but you can use half an onion to clean your grill. Just spear the onion on a barbecue fork, and use the cut side to scrub grates clean. The acidic enzymes will break down grease without being overly abrasive. And if youre cooking with charcoal, the onion can simply be thrown into the coals to discard.
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Clean The Heat Deflectors
Many gas grills have thin steel plates, angled in the shape of a “V,” that separate the burners from the cooking chamber. These heat deflectors serve to distribute heat evenly around the cooking chamber and prevent the gas flames from burning the foods directly overhead. Grease and food residue often drips down onto these deflectors.
Clean the deflectors after every three of four uses of the grill by removing them from the cooking chamber and scrubbing them with warm soapy water and a nylon brush or scrubbing pad. Dry them completely before putting them back in the grill.
How To Keep Your Grill Clean
To love grilling is to love your grill.
Like any good relationship, you need to put some work into the one you have with your grillluckily the time spent keeping a happy grill is minimal and the payback for the effort is enormous. It doesn’t matter if you’re dealing with a top-of-line model or a cheap knock-off, with proper maintenance, any grill is bound to keep you cooking for a good-long time.
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How To Clean Cast Iron Grill Grates
This is going to sound obvious, but cannot be overstated: The best way to keep your grill clean and rust-free is to give it a good cleaning immediately after every use.
Once youve finished cooking and removed your food, open all vents if using charcoal, or turn up your grill to high if using gas and then close the lid to allow the grill to get hot.
This way youre able to burn off much of your stuck on food and barbecue sauce.
Once youve burned off your food, you can either close your vents to extinguish your charcoal or turn off your gas to allow the grill to cool to a point where its comfortable to put your hand in to clean.
While your grill is still warm, scrape the grates with a good grill brush.
A brush with a scraper is excellent here as youre able to scrape any remaining food off your grates easily.
After cleaning your cast iron grates and making sure theyre dry, you now want to apply a very thin coating of vegetable oil to help prevent rust from forming.
Just a wipe with a cloth or piece of kitchen towel lightly dabbed in oil is sufficient. Youre looking to apply a thin film, not coat your grates heavily.
Easy Grill Cleaning Tips
A clean grill is a safe appliance that makes delicious food as a bonus. Before you begin your search for kitchen items to clean your grill, you should know some general grill cleaning tips.
If youre looking for some DIY grill cleaner tips, youve come to exactly the right place. Here are a few pointers.
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Grill Grate Cleaning Method: Store
- Total time: 20 minutes
- Rating: 3
The method: I used Mean Green Super Strength Cleaner & Degreaser, which says to spray on the surface, wipe clean, and rinse thoroughly. The label also says not to let the stuff dry before rinsing, so this is definitely not one of those spray-and-sit situations.
How it went: This was one of the most hands-on methods and, by far, the messiest. It did yield great results, but it took a lot to get to that point. While I was very happy with the grate after the cleaning, I did have lots of grease splatter marks on my shoes and pants! Id be willing to put in the effort if there wasnt an option that topped this one, which brings me to this next method
What To Do With Charcoal
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The end-of-the-day, just-ate-a-ton-of-meat laziness is kicking in, and with it, the total desire to ignore a problem at hand: the remains of spent fuel.
I implore you, overcome your meat coma and clean out that ash. See, a pile of ash left in the grill can collect moisture, and ash plus moisture can equal a cement-like substance that can become your biggest challenge to cleaning your grillif you can manage to clean it out at all.
To make quick work of this, I keep a big bucket by the grill where I can dump ash at days end. Not only am I more likely to complete this annoying chore if it’s that much easier, but I can also safely move still warm coals out of the grill to finish extinguishing. I store that bucket somewhere where it won’t get wet, then trash the collection of ash when it’s full and I’m positive there’s 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.
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Inspect All The Parts
The annual cleaning is a good time to inspect all the parts and replace any that are worn or damaged. Grill burners can eventually wear out, as can the heat deflectors and other parts. Hardware stores sell many of the parts necessary to tune up a grill, and the grill manufacturer may offer them for sale online.
Homemade Grill Cleaners For A Spotless Grill
Theres nothing better than a meal cooked on the grill, except maybe when your grill is so clean it shines like new. To enjoy those grilled meats and sides, you have to get your grill a bit dirty. Every slather of sauce and flip of a burger adds up on your grill. Luckily, you can erase these messes with homemade grill cleaner.
You could go out and spend money on grill-specific cleaners, but why do that when you have what you need at home? Plenty of household items make a great DIY grill cleaner and dont involve an extra trip to the store. With these items already at your disposal, you can have an easy grill cleaning job done in no time. While a benefit of a clean grill is how amazing it looks, there are even more reasons to keep your grill clean.
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