Clean Grates And Racks After Each Use
Cleaning chores are much easier if they are done often, after each use of the grill. This is critical with gas grills since the high temperatures can bake on grease and foods, making it challenging to clean the grates and racks once they cool and the grease hardens.
Make sure to clean these parts after every cooking session.
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.
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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Now For The Headliner Event 4 Methods For Cleaning Your Grill Grates
Blast offWhen cleaning your grill grates, the first general rule of thumb is that heat is your friend. The hotter you can get your grates, the easier it will be to scrape off that gunk. Thatâs why itâs best to scrape them right after youâre done cooking. If time passes and you don’t have time or get distracted by your guests, itâs still all good. Fire up your burners when youâre free and ready to clean them. Blast the heat as high as itâll go and keep the lid off. Fifteen minutes later, your grates will be so hot, theyâll easily shed the grease and grime when scrubbed with a grill brush.
Steam BathAnother handy little trick is to place a can of water on your grill grates and close the lid. Fire up those burners to about 600 degrees for half an hour and let the miracle of the steam bath ensue. When you open the lid , youâll find that itâs pretty easy to brush off any grease or burnt-on food particles with a silicone sponge.
No Scrub Baking Soda And Vinegar Grate Cleaning
If you have an extremely dirty grill with stubborn, caked-on grease or grime that doesnt loosen right away soaking the grimy grates overnight in baking soda and white vinegar can save the labor of scrubbing.
Try this method to deep clean your grates at the beginning of grilling season or use it after a cookout, especially if you cant scrub the grates right away.
- Once your grates are completely cool, remove from the grill.
- In a large garbage bag , combine 2 cups of white vinegar and one cup of ARM & HAMMER Baking Soda. The mixture will begin foaming right away.
- Place all the grates into the trash bag and seal it with a tight rubber band or knotted string. Place the bag with the grates and the solution in a cool, out-of-the-way place and wait 8-12 hours or overnight.
- Remove the grates from the bag and rinse in a large sink or with a hose. Most, if not all of the grime should fall away from the grates. Rub any stubborn residue away with a ball of aluminum foil or sponge it will be much easier and looser than before soaking.
- Seal the garbage bag and discard it and any remaining solution.
- Return your grates to your grill.
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Best Ways To Clean Grill Grates
Cleaning grill grates is a nasty job, but not if you want your food to taste nasty too!
Ive heard people say they dont mind a little leftover grime on their grates, with the claim that it adds flavor. No, this is not a thing. Only lazy people say that. Grease, oil, and marinade get caked up during grilling. After they sit there for a while, they turn rancid and will make your food taste bad. Just clean the grates, its not that hard.
You never think of using a frying pan and want to cook something that has left-over gunk and dried sauce everywhere. Well, your grill is pretty much the same principle and should have proper hygiene you need for a fine BBQ.
Lets talk about heavy metal for a second. Not the kind that you listen to that makes the neighbors wonder if youll ever grow-up. The kind that gets hot enough to put an excellent sear and crust on your steak. Below well cover everything you need to know about grates, DIY cleaning hacks, maintenance tips, and our top picks for the best grates and cleaning tools.
Cleaning Tools & Grate Upgrades, Reviewed & Ranked
Deep Cleaning Grill Grates
Maintaining your grill is important, especially if you want to combat the inevitable rusting process. Weve used many different cleaning and brushing products to care for our grill grates over the years. There have been times where oven cleaner, vinegar and baking soda, lemon juice and other cleaning agents have made their way onto our grill grates. Of all the cleaning methods, nothing beats a good soaking in hot water and soap to really deep clean grill grates.
Cleaning porcelain grates isnt any different from cleaning stainless steel grates. We usually start with a good soak in hot water overnight. While there are multiple grill tools that you can use when cleaning bbq grills, Dawn dish soap and hot water is the first step we recommend when going for a deep soak.
Pro Tip: It seems like theres never enough room in the sink to get a good soak on your grates. We use a shallow rubbermaid container thats just a shade larger than our grates to do our soaking.
Letting them sit and soak in the warm water, instead of just a quick rinse or spray of water, will help accelerate the cleaning process and get you back to grilling in no time. Be sure to dry the steel grates well after the soak to make sure that they dont get any more pesky rust.
Clean porcelain grates are great for cooking on, but trying to cook with leftover food all over is going to rob you of the great grill marks that theyre known for.
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Update: Cleaning Grates With Easy Off
Ive used Easy-Off in many tests before and it works really well, so it always wins. I mean its right there in the name: EASY! I almost didnt try it in this test, because I know that the harsh chemicals are a turn-off for some people. But then my editor wrote about how its her new favorite method and I gave it a try. Heres how I did it and how it worked for me.
- Total time: 90 minutes
- Rating: 4
The method: Remove cooled grates from grill and place them on a trash bag outdoors, or in a utility sink in a well-ventilated area. Brush the grates to remove as much gunk as possible. Spray the grates with Easy Off, allow to foam, and let sit for 40 minutes. Brush down the grates, rinsing frequently. Be sure to rinse thoroughly before putting them back on the grill.
How it went: The Easy-Off works as its meant to, loosening grit and grime, making it much easier to wipe away. It took me two sessions to successfully remove the grime from the grill grate. The first time cleaned the top of the grate, but didnt loosen the stuff that was really stuck down in between. After another 40 minutes, I was able to easily wipe down most of what was left over. There was a tiny bit of gunk left, which I was able to easily get out with some aluminum foil. This method was the easiest , but again, I know its not for everyone.
How do you clean your grill grates when they need a deep, deep clean?
How To Clean Bbq Burners
Turn the gas supply off and disconnect the gas tank. Remove all the BBQ parts blocking the access to the burners grill, grates, any trays or containers. Remove the burners.
Warning: Check the manual of your BBQ for the proper way to remove the burners and make sure you can reattach everything correctly after the cleaning.
For the actual cleaning:
Brush off any dirt and food debris from the burner tube using a stainless brush or scrub. For clogged ports, you can use drill bit, toothpick or cleaning rod. For infrared ceramic burners, turn the heat on maximum to burn away all residues.
Warning: Do not use water to clean burners. Water left in the burner tube or ports may disrupt their proper work and lead to serious problems.
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Clean Your Grates With Vinegar
Vinegar is one of the most potent household cleaning agents around. Thanks to the acetic acid it contains, vinegar slowly eats away at grime and dirt. Vinegar is perfect for cleaning up coins, tiles, and laundry, and itll clean up your worst barbecue grill grate issues. Use it to remove corrosion from aluminum, too.
It also makes a fantastic natural stove cleaner. Cleaning stainless steel grill grates with vinegar keeps them looking sharp. You can use this method with cast-iron and porcelain grill grates, as well.
Dip the brush in vinegar. Scrub the grill with the brush until its clean and all the food particles are gone.
You can add a teaspoon of table salt if youre working with cast-iron grates and need some extra cleaning power. Repeat until the grate is clean, rinse the grate and re-season it if required.
Cleaning Your Grill Before Every Use
While you don’t need to deep clean the grill every time you use it, giving the grates a quick clean before you start will help prevent food from sticking, help avoid flare-ups and make for an overall better grilling experience. “I recommend this as part of the preheating process,” says Green.
- Check the grease tray. If you’re cooking with a gas grill, check before preheating if it’s full, empty it before proceeding.
- Check the ash catcher. If you’re using a charcoal grill, check before preheating. If full, empty the ashes into a metal container or piece of aluminum foil, wrap them up, and throw in the trash.
- Preheat the grill. Green recommends letting it heat up for 15 minutes any food debris will turn to ash, making it easy to remove with a grill brush.
- Brush the grates. Use a wire brush to remove anything still clinging to the grates, leaving behind a nice, clean cooking surface. When choosing a brush, Green recommends “a handle long enough to keep your hands, arms, and clothing away from the open flame and heat of the grill.”
- Oil the grates. Fold up a paper towel into a tight rectangle, saturate with oil, and use a pair of metal tongs to wipe the oil all over the grates.
Quick tip: A brush provides the most effective way to clean grill grates. But if you don’t have one on hand, you can use tongs to hold steel wool or crumpled up aluminum foil to scrub away gunk.
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Clean All Parts Once A Year
Clean everything elseincluding the burners themselves, the side walls, the bottom of the cooking compartment, and the drip panat least once a year, using warm, soapy water. This seasonal or annual cleaning requires some simple disassembly so you can clean each part separately let and dry it thoroughly before reassembling the grill. Make sure to disconnect the gas hookups before removing the burners.
The burners require special attention. Makes sure the jets are free of debris. A thin wire or small nail can help to open up any holes that are plugged.
Conclude by wiping down the outside of the grill, using warm water. Wipe dry to prevent rust.
Season Your Grill Grates
To help keep your grill grates looking good and lasting long, youll want to season them properly. To do this, simply apply your choice of cooking oil with a paper towel. You can use canola, peanut, coconut, or vegetable oil. Or, you can use bacon fat. Once youve coated your grates in the oil, heat up your grill for 15 to 20 minutes. This will heat the oil, and your grates should turn bronze or brown in color.
You can then either begin cooking or simply let your grill cool down. Youll want to season your grill grates with oil before and after each grilling session, to prevent rust and wear. It will also help to keep your grill grates clean.
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How To Clean Porcelain Steel Grill Grates
Glossy porcelain-enameled grill grates are easy to clean, but require a bit of extra caution. The porcelain surface can easily be compromised by a vigorous cleaning, increasing the potential for chips and rust that will significantly shorten the lifespan of your grill grate. Follow these steps to clean porcelain grill grates:
Theres no need to reseason a glossy porcelain-coated grill grate, but as with stainless steel grates, a light coating of vegetable oil on the grate or the food itself will prevent sticking
GRILL SPOT TIP:
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.
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How To Clean Cast Iron Grill Grates Heavy
Youll eventually encounter a grill grate that wont come clean with a low-impact method. To tackle tougher stains and caked-on grease and grime when you need to know how to clean BBQ grates, reach for a heavy-duty cleaning option.
Having a high-powered grill cleaning method in your back pocket will prepare you for any eventuality and give you peace of mind. Its what you need to become a master griller and top outdoor chef.
This section examines different methods of cleaning grill grates when the usual options dont get the job done. Youll get an excellent solution for cleaning stainless steel grates with vinegar that you can also use on other grate types.
And, we show you some options on how to clean grill grates that use household items such as salt and baking soda to knock out even the most formidable grill stains.
How To Clean Cast Iron Grill Grates
Cast iron grill grates are durable and toughbut their number one enemy is water since they’re extremely prone to rust.
To clean a cast iron grill, burn off any leftover food and allow the grill to cool before scrubbing the grates with a nylon brush. Once your cast iron grill grates are clean, dry them. Then, saturate them with vegetable oil to form a protective coating against rust.
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Clear The Burner Tubes
If you have a gas grill, one part that often gets clogged are its burner tubes. One symptom of dirty burners is reduced flame size. They may also burn with an orange color instead of the usual blue. Both indicate abnormally low temperatures and an underpowered grill.
Typically a gas grill has multiple burner tubes, though some may have only one. Use a nylon or steel wire brush to gently clean the small holes on the tubes. Be sure to brush from the center of the tube outward, moving sideways . Otherwise you may push debris into the tube or holes themselves instead of clearing them.
Use a metal scraper instead of a steel brush with bristles.