How To Clean A Grill The Grates
What you will need
Metal brush or microfiber cloth/sponge
Stainless steel or enamel cleaner
Soft scouring pad
Whatever type of BBQ you have, you should always start with the grates heres what we recommend:
1. Firstly, you should run the empty grill on full temperature for 10-15 minutes. This will burn any remaining food residue to a charred state, making it easier to remove. At the same time, this will also kill any bacteria.
2. Wait for the grill to completely cool before you start to clean.
3. The next step depends on the type of grates you have. With the exception of porcelain, cast iron and stainless steel grates, most can be scrubbed with a metal brush or spatula. Scrub in the direction of the grates, and make sure you cover the underside as well. Stainless steel, cast iron and porcelain can scratch easily, so for these use a sponge, microfiber cloth or dedicated cast iron brush.
4. If this doesnt shift the residue, you can submerge the grates in hot, soapy water and leave them to soak overnight before scrubbing, rinsing and drying. If youve got a cast iron grate, do not leave this to soak as it will leave it vulnerable to rust. You can rinse this grate under hot, running water, but make sure you thoroughly dry it afterwards and coat it in a layer of oil for protection. The easiest way to make sure its dry is to place it back on the grill and run it on full temperature for 10 minutes.
Is It Ok To Grill On Rusted Grates
Theres nothing wrong if your grates have a rust spot here and there. Even if you ingest a rusty flake, nothing wont happen to you.
Realize that once rust begins to form, it will spread. So clean the grates vinegar as soon as possible unless youre planning on getting new ones.
How Do You Restore Rusted Grill Grates?
You need to remove the rust, either mechanically or chemically .
The best and simplest way is to use an acidic cleaning agent: vinegar, baking soda, lemon juice, or a combination.
You can also use a commercial rust remover thats specially made for grills but these tend to be expensive, have toxic chemicals, and, speaking from experience, isnt that more effective.
How To Store Your Grill
Grill cover, grill cover, grill cover. It may be obvious, but covering your grill is a must if you’re keeping it outdoors. When I first moved into an apartment with a proper grilling space, I immediately ran to the closest Target and picked up one of those knee-high 12-inch square grills and passed on a cover. Fast forward two months: the thing was a rusty mess and beyond use. Sadly, I let that grill die an early death by keeping it exposed to the elements.
Back at the store, I opted for a 22-inch Weber kettle knock-off, this time purchasing a cover at the same time. I’m proud to say that cheap-o grill is still going strong after six years now enjoying a good life of churning out great food at my cousin’s place, thanks in large part to keeping it covered when it was not in use.
Looking back through these tips, it all seems so minimal. The daily maintenance endured is so minor compared to all the greatness that comes from the fruits of this labor. So take that little bit of time to keep your grill happy, then throw some food over the flames, sit back and reap the rewards for years to come.
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Keep A Safe Temperature
Step 3: Soak the Grates
Once youve scraped off as much of the stuck-on food debris and carbon buildup as possible, remove the grates, place them in a bucket full of warm, soapy water, and allow them to soak for at least 20 minutes.
Step 4: Clean the Burner Hoods
While theyre usually not as dirty as the grill grates themselves, the burner hoodsthe plates located directly above the burnersneed to be kept clean, too. To get started, dip a sponge into the hot, soapy water and use the scouring pad side of the sponge to remove all of the grease and grime from each of the burner hoods.
Cleaning The Grill Grate
After getting a fire going, the first order of business is cleaning the grill grate. The grill grate will see the most action and because of thisand the fact that food will come into direct contact with itmost of your cleaning attention should be focused here.
Cooking with high heat gives you a great advantage in easily achieving a clean grill grate. Each time the grill’s fired up, let the grate heat up over the new, intense heat for about five minutes. This will burn away some food stuffs that may be remaining, then a grill brush and a little elbow grease will easily take care of the rest.
If you haven’t already, invest in a good grill brush with a long handle and firm bristles or scouring pad.
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How To Clean The Outside Of A Grill
For the most part, cleaning the outside of a grill is much simpler than cleaning the inside of a grill. After all, the outside of a grill doesnt see all the food and grease that the grill grates or cooking surface do. Still, spills always happen and outside elements like dust and rain can dirty up the outside of the grill.
The best way to clean a grill on the outside is to wipe it down with hot, soapy water and a sponge, rinse it off, and dry thoroughly with a clean towel.
For stubborn grease stains on the outside of a grill, try making a paste of baking soda and waterthree parts baking soda to one part water and rub the paste onto any grease stains. Let it sit for up to fifteen minutes, then wipe away with a clean, damp sponge or towel. You can also use a food-safe degreaser. Just spray it on, let it soak in for a few minutes, and wipe away the grease and cleaner with a clean sponge or towel.
Photo via Home Repair Tutor
How To Deep Clean A Charcoal Grill
Charcoal grills are trickier to start than gas grills but easier to clean, thanks to the absence of a gas fuel system. But they’re just as important to maintain. If you’ve neglected your grill for several months and let it collect dust, then give it a deep clean before putting it back to work.
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Allow Yourgrates To Season
Avoid over cleaning your grates in the beginning to allow them to season and develop a non-stick coating. We like to compare GrillGrates to a good cast iron pan: seasoning is the KEY to good food! Your grates will go from gray to light brown to black over time this is a good thing!
Warning: Do not put in the dishwasher.Do not use oven cleaner or harsh caustic cleaners.
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.
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.
Prevent Rust On Grill Grates
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Out of the many different types of grills, the varieties that heat using charcoal require the most cleaning. Keep charcoal grills in peak condition by cleaning them after each use and thoroughly cleaning before and after each grilling season.
After each use:
Charcoal ash gathers at the bottom of the grill every time it’s used, so you must clean the grill after each use. Built-up ash can block vents in the bottom of the grill, making it difficult to control cooking temperature and increase fire risks.
- Once the charcoal has cooled, remove the bricks and brush out the ash.
- Cleaning grill grates is best done with a long-handled stiff-wire brush. If you dont have a brush, ball up some aluminum foil and hold with long-handled tongs.
- Use a rag or folded paper towels to apply vegetable oil to the clean grates. This will help prevent rust and food build-up.
- Clean the inside of the grilling bowl and lid using mild dish soap and a steel brush.
Before and after each grilling season:
In addition to cleaning out old charcoal, keep your charcoal grill in peak condition with regular maintenance. Follow these cleaning tips at the beginning and end of each grilling season, performing more often as needed.
- Clean the outside of the lid and bowl using soap and water. You can also use grill cleaner. Towel dry to prevent rust.
- Keep the grill protected with a grill cover.
After each use:
Before and after each grilling season:
When The Grill Is Cool
If your grill wasn’t in horrible shape when you took the cover off this season, you could skip the previous steps and start here.
- Remove the cooking grate. If your grill has a charcoal grate in addition to a cooking grate, remove it as well. Brush any big chunks of charcoal, ash, or other debris from the grates. If necessary, soak the grates in soapy water for a couple of hours.
- Wash the inside of the lid and bowl with soapy water and a scrubber brush or steel wool soap pad. Rinse thoroughly.
- Clean the cooking grate with a scraper, and then a grill brush . Apply vegetable or olive oil to the cooking grate with a rag or folded-up paper towel. You can also use beef or bacon fat. Oiling the grate helps keep food from sticking and it also prevents rust.
- Cooking spray will also work. Note: Never spray cooking spray on the grate while the fire or coals are burning.
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Easy Ways To Clean Grill Grates
Cleaning your grill grates may sound daunting, but it doesnt take much to get them sparkling. Heres how to clean grill grates four ways.
This is the quickest and easiest method for cleaning grill grates. Grill grime, begone!
2. Clean with Hot, Soapy Water
In addition to using the burnoff method, we recommend scrubbing your grill grates down with hot, soapy water every month. This way, you can ensure that there isnt any lingering buildup on your grates. Plus, this method kills two birds with one stone: cleaned grates that are also sanitized by the heat.
Lightly scrub your grates.
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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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.
Keep Your Charcoal Grill In Top Form By Knowing A Variety Of Ways To Clean It
Warmer days mean that barbecue season is almost upon us. Before you fire up your grill, its a good idea to review how to clean it. Each of the following techniques can be used to clean a charcoal grill.
For grilling safety, always make sure your grill is completely cooled before you start cleaning.
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How To Clean Your Grill: The Grates Are Just The Beginning
As the weather cools, it’s a good time to give your grill a deep cleaning.
Outdoor grills get dirty in no time.
Whether you plan to grill all year or retire your outdoor cooker for the season, fall is a great time for deep cleaning. And a dirty grill isn’t just gross. It’s a dangerous fire hazard. All that built-up grease and grime buildup can cause nasty flare-ups, even full-blown fires. A yucky, soiled grill won’t do any favors to food flavor either.
There’s no need to panic, though. Here in this guide are simple steps to deep-clean, and maintain your grill properly. As a result, your food will taste better, and your grill will perform at its best — not to mention last longer. I serviced a propane-fueled grill for this article, but much of the advice I offer covers charcoal grills, pellet smokers and kamado grills, too.
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For more on barbecue grills, don’t miss our picks for the best gas grills for 2021.
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.
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Every Couple Of Weeks During The Season
- Empty the bowl, cook box, or ash receptacle regularly. Excessive ash accumulation can block the air vents, making it harder to control the temperature of your grill.
- Don’t forget to clean the inside of the lid. It gets smoky in there, and then smoke, grease, and other debris can build up on the lid of the grill. If it gets especially heavy, it can flake off onto your food. To prevent this, wipe down the inside of the lid with a paper towel after you use the grill. But make sure it’s not still hot.
- Remove the charcoal grate and scrape the inside and bottom of the bowl.
- You can clean the inside of the cooking cavity using a brush and regular soapy water using ordinary dish soap.