How To Clean Grill Grates With Aluminum Foil

Hacks To Clean Your Grill

Cleaning Your Grill With Aluminum Foil – Big Poppa’s Grilling Tips
  • Steam: Fill a regular, metal tin from your kitchen with water and boil it on the grill. Push the tin to the side and begin scrapping with a bristle brush. The steam helps the grime come right off!
  • Beer: Pour half a bottle of beer over the top of greasy grates on a warm grill. The beer will break down the oil and grease, and it will come right off when clean with a bristle brush.
  • Vinegar: Put regular, household vinegar into a spray bottle. Spray vinegar all over the grill, then take a balled up piece of aluminum foil and use that as a bristle brush to scrape the grime right off.
  • Onion: Cut an onion in half, put it on the end of your grilling fork and rub it all over the grill grates, then scrub with a bristle brush. The enzymes from the onion will help break down the oil and the grease.

And remember to be extra careful about loose brush bristles left behind on the grill a huge safety hazard. Barbecue brushes have caused an estimated 1,698 emergency room visits from 2002 to 2014, according to a study published in 2016 in the journal Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery. Experts suggest replacing your brush regularly, and inspecting both the grill grates and your food for lose bristles.

Keeping Rust Off Grill Grates

Rust can rear its head on any part of your grilling unit. From the lid to the base, it can be anywhere. Some even place a pad under their grill or install a grease cup to catch excess grease to protect their deck or garden. Rust anywhere is bad, but you really dont want it on your grates.

If you look close inside the grill and see a few rust spots on your grill grates, its time to remove rust anyplace it might exist.

To remove the rust, this is where a good wire brush comes in handy. Use the brush to scrub and scrape off the rust until you cant see any more exterior brown rust on the surface. It can be helpful to rinse off the grill grates after you scrape them, because a little iron is good in the diet, but this isnt the best way to get it.

Once you have a cleaner surface, be sure to wipe or spray some vegetable oil on the spot where it was present until it is dry. The vegetable oil will be effective in preventing future surface rust.

Some alternate methods would be to use a thin layer of grease to prevent rust, as the grease keeps oxygen from rusting the metal.

I dont care if youre cooking pork chops, hot dogs or potatoes, rust on your grill grates is bad news for the food youre cooking and the end product. Periodically cleaning your grates from time to time is the best way to keep rust away for good.

To see a demonstration of the method we talked about throughout this article, check out the video above.

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.

Read Also: Char Broil Grill Cleaning

Soaking The Burner Hoods

Step 5: Remove the Grease Pan and Collection Tray

Next, remove the grease pan and collection tray located under the cook box. Then clean the collection tray and metal grease pan with hot, soapy water and a sponge.

Step 6: Remove Loose Debris

If any loose debris remains in the lower cook boxthe metal container that houses the burner hoodsremove and dispose of it in the trash.

Step 7: Clean All Surfaces

Now that all of the dirtiest parts of your grill have been attended to, its time to clean all of the remaining surfaces of your grill. Be sure to wipe down both inside and outside the lid, the control knobs, the shelves, and inside the cabinet with a sponge soaked in hot, soapy water.

To clean stubborn grease stains, spray a food-safe degreaser where needed , let it sit for a few minutes, then wipe it away.

Step 8: Remove Soaking Pieces

Next, remove any grates or burner hoods you may be soaking and scrub them with the scouring pad on your sponge. If elbow grease still isnt doing the job in making them clean, spray with the food-safe degreaser, allow to sit for a few minutes, then try scrubbing them again. Repeat as needed.

Step 9: Reassemble the Gas Grill

Once all of the pieces are clean, rinse them clean, dry them off with a towel, and reassemble your grill.

Step 10: Shine the Gas Grill

Using the stainless steel cleaner and a towel, rub the outside of the grill until it has a nice, streak-free shine.

Step 11: Cover the Gas Grill

How To Clean Pellet Grills

How To Clean Grill Grates

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.

Recommended Reading: Temp For Pork Chops On Grill

Deep Cleaning And Maintenance

After youve cooked the last burger of the season, thoroughly clean your grill before storing it for the winter. Remove the grates, burner hoods, and grease pan, and scrub them with hot, soapy water and a plastic scour pad. Do the same inside the firebox and lid. Thoroughly rinse and dry all parts before reassembling. Also, remove the battery from the igniter before storing your grill long-term so it doesnt corrode.

Even if you follow the strictest cleaning and maintenance schedule, you will have to replace some parts on your grill as it ages. The burner hoods and cooking grates in particular take a lot of abuse and arent meant to last forever. My dad replaced these parts on his 17-year-old Weber Genesis four to five times over the years.

How To Clean Grill Grates Throw Away Your Wire Brush

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In this video well show you how to clean grill grates without using that DANGEROUS wire grill brush! So doe yourself a favor and throw away your wire brush as we show you an alternative to cleaning your grill. Clean grill grates are an important because you dont want yesterdays cook on tonights dinner!

Hey everybody. Im Joey. And today Im back with another bite size cooking hack. Today were going to talk about cleaning your grill grates. Now a lot of people use this thing right here, the wire brush. But Ill tell you what, its downright dangerous. So were going to show you an alternative.

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How To Clean Grill Grates With Baking Soda

This is the perfect method to use if you own porcelain or enamel grill grates. Using a scrub instead of aluminum foil or a wire brush might damage the surface of the coated grates.

  • Place the grates on a leveled surface after removing them from the grill.
  • Using water, moisten the grates.
  • Wait 10 minutes after gently sprinkling Baking Soda over the grill grates.
  • After that, gently scrub the grates with a moist scrub, moving up and down every wire.
  • Cleaning A Charcoal Grill Regular Maintenance

    Sears Home Hacks Tested: Cleaning Grill Grates With Vinegar and Aluminum Foil?

    This portion of the article includes recipes and procedures that work as part of your usual cooking routine. With a wire grill brush, small shovel, vegetable oil, and vinegar, your grill remains spotless and ready to take on dinner duties once again.

    Our tips for regular grill maintenance keep your grill in top condition.You can grill in the oven, but we show you how to make your outdoor grill experience a winning one.

    Read Also: How To Keep Grill Grates Clean

    How To Clean Your Grill

    I like to do get the grill grate out of the pit so I can clean both sides. The first thing I do is grab an old pair of gloves so I dont get the grease on my hands. As you can see, these have been well used for the same purpose over many months. Its just going to go ahead and get it out of there and were just going to throw it right here on the ground. So now that we have it out, you know were just going to go ahead.

    I can get a little bit more leverage and pressure this way and I like to do just a really thorough job end to end. Just start at one side like this just works my way all the way down, trying to get in those little nooks and crannies. In this case, this folds up right here. This is an aftermarket grill grate. Can get the bottom over here as well. Nobody wants the leftovers of last weeks cook on todays food, so its really important you get this clean, otherwise, you can buy great steaks and theyre going to end up with crispy burnt bits on them from again, last weeks cook.

    How To Clean Grill Grates With Vinegar

    This article was co-authored by Filip Boksa. Filip Boksa is the CEO and Founder of King of Maids, a U.S. based home cleaning service that helps clients with cleaning and organization.wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. In this case, 95% of readers who voted found the article helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 32,945 times.

    If you frequently cook meats or other food on a grill, its hard to prevent grease and oil from sticking to your grill grates. By using simple supplies you can find at home specifically, aluminum foil, vinegar, and baking soda you can clean grill grates without toxic chemicals or endless scrubbing, and ensure that your grill is a clean and safe cooking surface.

    Also Check: How Long Do You Grill Pork Tenderloin

    Getting Ready For A Cookout But Don’t Have That Grill Brush On Hand Clean The Grill With Ease Using This Clever Trick Before Cooking Up Those Burgers


    Theres nothing more satisfying than a clean grill. Clean grills mean its officially time to break out the charcoal, grab the hot dogs and burgers, and have the first cookout of the year. But in order to do so, you need a clean grill first. But if you dont have a brush, dont sweat it, theres an easy solution to getting your grill cleaned in a pinch.

    This trick doesnt require any fancy sprays or tools. All you need is aluminum foil. Yes, thats really it. Aluminum foil will help to clean up that grill faster than you can say fire up the grill.

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    Using A Wooden Scraper

    How To Clean Grill Grates

    Using a wooden scraper is something that can work pretty well, too. Many people use wooden scrapers to clean their grill grates because they can dislodge things that get stuck to the grill.

    Just scrape up and down the grill grates to try to get rid of any debris that is present. It should do a good job of getting the stuff that is stuck to your grill off.

    You wont be cleaning up the grease that is present when youre using this method, though. You could use this idea in conjunction with other cleaning methods to get good results.

    If you have a wooden scraper that you can use, then it definitely makes sense to use it. Itll come in handy and should work a lot like a grill brush does.

    Read Also: Clean Stainless Steel Grates

    How To Clean Gas Grills With Aluminum Foil

    A poorly maintained grill is a minefield of outdoor cooking problems. At best, burnt-on food bits can cause your fresh food to stick, break up or taste badly. At worst, it can cause grill flare ups or create unsanitary conditions that may even lead to food poisoning. Taking care of your grill may be easier and less expensive than you thought. You don’t need to have special equipment or toxic solvents in most cases, you can get the job done with some aluminum foil.


    Remove the cover from your grill and examine it for stuck-on debris. Check the grates, below the grates, the sides and the underside of the cover.


    Shut the gas supply to your grill. Put on work gloves to protect your hands. Crumple up a piece of aluminum foil and use it to scrub any mildly soiled areas with flaking soot or charred food bits. Aluminum foil acts much like a steel wool scouring pad.


    Wipe away fallen debris with a dry cloth. Replace the grates and determine if they are still soiled. If you’ve grilled several times without cleaning them, chances are there is grease build up that will require more effort.


    Rip off one or two sheets of aluminum foil and cover the top of your grill grates. Turn on the gas. Set the heat on high and ignite the gas. Close the cover. This will essentially give your grill a self-cleaning oven effect by holding in the heat. The intense heat will burn off the debris.





    A Better Way To Clean Grill Grates

    When it comes to making sure my entire grill is ready for the next cooking session, I dont turn to the brush any longer.

    Youve probably heard of placing a sheet of foil on the grates, turning up the heat and burning the grease off. While burning the grease off this way does work, its pretty time consuming and requires you to rinse and then dry the grates after.

    People have recommended that I cut an onion in half and use that to clean my grates. While it does work, it seems like a perfectly good waste of a great onion that I could otherwise enjoy as food.

    A friend of mine cleans his grill with a potato. I didnt say we were good friends, because lets be honest, thats next level strange. Potatoes are for fries and for smoking twice loaded with bacon, not for scraping buildup off a grill. I enjoy my potatoes covered in cheese, not charred bits of not great eats.

    For us here at The Barbecue Lab, we have a different and easier way of cleaning our grates that only takes a quick few minutes.

    We use the same material that is utilized almost every cook to wrap and protect meat. A humble ball of foil.

    Read Also: Cleaning A Traeger

    What To Soak Grill Grates In To Clean


    Deep clean the grates once a year, or twice a year if you use your grill year-round. Remove the grates from the grill, spray them with oven cleaner and let them soak for 30 minutes to one hour. Scrub the grates thoroughly and rinse clean.

    Furthermore, how do you clean grill grates without a brush? How to Clean a Grill Without a Wire Brush

  • Use a Leftover Onion. It might seem a little strange, but you can use half an onion to clean your grill.
  • Clean up with Aluminum Foil. Grab a handful of aluminum foil, ball it up and use grill tongs to hold it while you scrub away.
  • Snag a Nylon Scouring Pad.
  • Use Your Steamer.
  • Oil the Grill in Advance.
  • In respect to this, how do you clean grill grates with vinegar?

    The acid in the vinegar cuts through grease and cooked on food, while the foil acts as an abrasive to remove the food residue.

  • Pour white vinegar in a clean spray bottle.
  • Spray the cooking surface on the grill with the vinegar.
  • Allow the vinegar to remain on the surface for a few minutes.
  • Is it OK to grill on rusted grates?

    As such, a grill may rust. A grill with loose rust is not safe, as rust may stick to the food a grate with minor surface rust can be cleaned and treated to continue using it. While ingesting rust may not likely cause harm from one meal, continuous ingestion may be problematic for the intestinal tract.

    Best Cleaning Device: Wagner Spraytech

    Here’s How You Clean a Grill Using Vinegar and Aluminum Foil

    The caked-on residue that seems would never come off is no match for this Wagner steamer model. The plus side is you can use this steamer for all sorts of cleaning on your grill aside from the grates. The upper lids or the inside parts that are hard to reach wont be a hassle anymore to clean. This portable steam cleaner makes cleaning your grill a lot more fun!

    Recommended Reading: Is Macaroni Grill Still In Business

    Grill Grate Cleaning Method: Vinegar + Baking Soda

    • Total time: 12+ hours
    • Rating: 2

    The method: Remove cooled grates from the grill. Put them in a garbage bag and add 2 cups of vinegar and 1 cup of baking soda. Close up the bag and let the solution soak for 8 hours or overnight. Then, rinse the grates and scrub off any remaining food bits, using a ball of foil or a scrubby sponge.

    The results: This is one of the methods that Arm & Hammer recommends and its fairly effective! The soak helped the bits wipe off and was fairly tough on grease. Im docking this method a bit, though, because its not really the most effective in terms of instant gratification. You have to have the foresight to do this the day before you want to grill, and it still does require a bit of time and effort on your part when the soaking part is over.

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