Cleaning Grill Grates With Vinegar And Baking Soda
If you have stubborn residue on your grill grates that just wont come off with the steps above, its time to bring out the big guns: vinegar and baking soda. For the best results, youll need 24 hours for this method.
Youll need a large trash bag, 2 cups of vinegar, and 1 cup of baking soda.
Mix the vinegar and baking soda in a bowl. Place your grill grates in the large garbage bag, and pour the vinegar and baking soda solution inside the bag. Seal the bag and position it so that the grates are being soaked by the solution. Let it sit for 24 hours.
Once the allotted time has passed, pull the grates out and rinse or wipe them off with water. The residue should come off easily. If it doesnt, try scrubbing with a sponge or nylon brush, as it shouldnt take much force to remove anything still on the grates.
Once your grates are nice and clean, you can put them back on the grill and season them as described in step 7 above.
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.
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.
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What Oil Do You Use For Grill Grates
There are many different types of oil you can use for your cooking grates, but most manufacturers recommend using canola or peanut oil.
Oiling your grates prevents food from sticking on it. While your grill is hot, dip a bunched up paper towel into the cooking oil, and carefully wipe the paper down the grill grate.
It is recommended that you oil your grates before and after grilling for best results.
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.
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Cleaning Stainless Steel Grates Takeaways
Cleaning stainless steel grills is a dirty job, but you really have to do it in order to keep the grill at top efficiency and to keep your food safe.
Cleaning a stainless steel grill grate is not as difficult as it may seem and you dont need to buy expensive tools in order to do the job.
The key is knowing how to clean stainless steel grill grates properly in order to avoid damaging the grates further or creating unnecessary work for yourself.
Then your grill will be in good shape for your next barbecue.
How To Clean Stainless Steel Grill Grates
Stainless steel grill grates are fairly rust-resistant and can tolerate intense heat. Since they generally need just a quick brush, they’re easy to clean, too.
When burning off leftover food, cover the tops of your grill grates with aluminum foil. This concentrates the heat, so when you heat the grates for 10-15 minutes, they get extra hot and burn away food easily.
Then, allow the grates to cool and clean them with a grill brush.
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Tips For Cleaning And Maintaining Porcelain Coated Grill Grates
You are more likely to find a non-stick porcelain coating on cast iron grill grates. Though there are some grill manufacturers who will offer it on rolled steel grates.
Many people feel that this is the ideal coating for grill grates. Not only does it make the grill grates semi-non-stick, it also protects them from rust and corrosion. When a porcelain coated grill grate suffers from excess stuck-on gunk, you can just remove it and give it a nice soak in some warm soapy water.
Quick Cleaning Method For Grill Grates
This method is the easiest of them all. It entails soaking or letting your grill grates sit in a cleaning solution to remove the dirt and grime.
1. Turn On The Heat
Start by turning up the heat to loosen food particles from the grates just as you did in the first two cleaning methods. This can be conveniently done after youre done grilling.
2. Get Rid Of Food Particles
Use a grill brush to get rid of charred food that came loose from the heat.
3. Use A Cleaning Solution For Persistent Hard-To-Remove Food
There are different cleaning solutions that you can use to help get rid of whatever remains on your grill grates after brushing:
- Mix hot water and dishwashing liquid to create a hot soapy mixture. Soak your grates in this solution for about an hour before rinsing. After rinsing, put your grates back in the grill and heat them up again uncovered for about 15 minutes to coax any remaining dirt loose. Once its cooled down, use your grill brush to separate any burnt food residue from your grates.
You can also clean your grates without soaking. In this video, the grates are rubbed down with steel wool in soapy water. Watch the dirt and grime come off the grates:
- Alternatively, you can also use vinegar to clean your grates. Mix equal parts water and vinegar in a spray bottle. Spray the mixture onto your grill grates and let it soak for 10 minutes. Once the remaining charred food loosens, you can brush it free from the grates.
4. Oil Rinse
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Soaking The Cooking Grates
Here, you have to wait for a few minutes to let your gas grill cool completely. Once your gas grill is cold, you have to remove all the flavourizer bars and grill grates. Now, fill your tab with warm soapy water and submerge all grill grates and flavourizer bars into the tub.
You have to wait for at least thirty minutes to let them soak in between, head over to the gas grill and remove parts. This will make thoroughly cleaning the grill a lot easier. You can drag components like grease trays, burner-control knobs, and warming racks. If the burner tubes of your gas grill are removable, then take them out. You can find a single screw or cotter pin on one end of each burner tube.
Cleaning Grill Grates: A Few Tips To Conclude
Of course, the less dirty the grill is, the easier it is to clean. It is helpful to use a grill mat that catches most dirt. Since you can reuse it, it is an environmentally friendly alternative to aluminum foil. You can also rub a little cooking oil on the grill before use. This way, meat will be easier to turn and your food wont stick to the grill as much.
It may be that your barbecue accessories are dirty after barbecuing, too. Our tip is to rinse barbecue cutlery and accessories right after use. If youve got a fleck of tomato sauce on your shirt from some of your delicious barbecue food, dont worryweve got a guide for removing tomato stains from clothes, too.
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Are Household Cleaners Suitable For Cleaning Grill Grates
The Internet has so many DIY solutions to make cleaning products for the best way to clean grill grates. Weve gathered some of the best here. Youll read a lot about a miracle cleaner in the form of baking soda. If you mix baking soda with water in equal parts, youll get a paste. Grease the grill with it. Wait until the paste has dried and wipe the grill clean.
Coffee grounds are also a popular choice for cleaning grill grates. Put some coffee grounds on a sponge and scrub the grill with it. The fine coffee grains act like an exfoliator. Rinse the grill off with warm water afterward.
Spraying a crusty grill grate with vinegar or soaking it in water with a shot of vinegar is another household remedy for cleaning your grill grates. Another method is to wrap the grate in wet newspaper. The next day, remove the paper and rinse the grill.
These household remedies work in most cases, but can be a bit unreliable. If you do not want to experiment when youre cleaning, wed advise you to use a commercially available product. After all, there are special grill and oven cleaners for exactly this purpose.
Can I Use Steel Wool To Clean Cast Iron
Yes indeed, but only certain kinds of cast iron products. For instance, if youve got yourself a non-stick pan you probably dont want to use steel wool on it, as youre more likely to scrape away the protective coating than remove any burnt-on food or rust.
However, if its cast iron grill grates youre looking to scrub, then go right ahead! Steel wool works wonders, and since a couple of cosmetic scratches arent going to stop you from grilling, it doesnt matter if you need to press down hard in order to scrape away the grime.
If youre worried about using steel wool on a particular kind of cast iron, see manufacturers guidelines or do a quick Google search for the exact product, so as to get some more specific guidance on your product of choice.
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How To Clean Cast Iron Grates Quick Tips
Cast iron grill grates are incredibly durable. They can tolerate any temperature that youd be able to generate. Even though cast iron pans are durable, water is not their friend. It can cause rust.
So, avoid soaking your cast iron grill grates in water to clean them. Instead, use a brush or burn off the food. Well go over these methods a little later.
To help prevent rust, wipe your cast iron grates with vegetable oil after youre done cleaning.
Like with porcelain grates, avoid wire brushes or steel wool. These tools are too abrasive and may damage the finish.
Why Everyone Should Grill On Cast Iron
Image via flickr
Cast iron pans offer a durable, non-stick cooking surface that works great for all types of dishes. But does cast iron really make a difference when it comes to your grill grates?
Actually, it does. While you don’t need to use cast iron grates, they do offer a range of benefits.
And even though youll need to learn how to clean cast iron grill grates the right way, these benefits can make the little bit of extra effort totally worth it.
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How To Clean Stainless Steel Grill Grates So They Look Like New
Despite what some people say, that horrible baked-on grease and old food on your grates is NOT extra flavor. Its dirty, acrid-tasting junk. Get it cleaned off! Heres how to get your stainless steel grates looking like new and how to keep them that way.
Youve invited friends for a nice barbecue cookout and they just arrive as youre about to lay your food on the grill. You watch your friends faces as their smiles turn to frowns. They stare in disgust at your pride and joy grill because it looks like a plane wreck scattered with chunks of unidentified burnt remains.
To everyones horror, you are about to lay their food right on those dirty black crusty grill rods. Shame on you! In your defense, youve tried everything you could, but the crusty black traces of bygone barbecues seem welded to the grill.
Dont despair. Youre on this page for a reason, to find a solution and simple ways to keep your stainless grill grates clean.
Through some research and testing, Ive found the best-proven ways for how to clean stainless steel grill grates, to return them back to looking like new. Its really not hard once you know how, and with just a little investment of time each time after you grill, its not even very demanding.
But before we get going, you first need to know what NOT to do.
Note:This is not the guide for you if you have cass iron grill grates. Please head over to our guide for how to clean cast iron grill grates instead.
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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Using Steel Wool And Soap
Using steel wool and soap can clean easily modest quantity of rust on the grates. You stir the soap with warm water in a bucket.
Soak the iron in soapy water. Then use steel wool to clean it. Replace steel wool with large sandpaper to remove stubborn rust remains.
Place the iron grate into a hot oven to remove moisture from it.
Is It Ok To Grill On Rusted Grates
Surprisingly, the answer is yes! You can grill and eat the food cooked on rusted grates, but for me that seems far some appetizing.
Iron oxide isnt harmful when ingested in moderation, and even though it wont affect your health, a regular occurrence could be harmful.
When you consume rust, youre basically eating iron oxide, and an overdose of iron can lead to death. One of the reasons iron causes harm is owing to the fact that it is a cellular toxin and kills cells through oxidative stress.
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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.
Cleaning The Internal Components
After working on the inside of the firebox, its time to get back to the soaked grill grates and favourite bars. Now, you will need a wire brush. , take out these soaked gas grill components then scrub them with the wire brush. If the grill grates have some obstinate gunks, then you will need to prepare a unique mixture for it. Dont worry. We need baking soda and white vinegar. Now, mix both items to make a paste.
Thoroughly apply this prepared paste on the obstinate gunks. If your cooking grill grates have baked-on food particles, then take a large piece of aluminium foil. Now, crumble this aluminium foil into a ball. You can use this crumpled ball to clean the baked-on food particles on cooking grill grates. Once done, rinse all the surfaces clean. Now, leave the grill grates to dry entirely because wet cast-iron grill grates are prone to rust.
Note: While cleaning the grill grates, you can also check them for chips. These will also lead your grill grates to rust. If you found any chunks, then its our recommendation to apply the porcelain touch-up plaint on them.
Now, move to the burners, you can take advantage here to inspect any clues of corrosions. Also, insects these flame-emitting holes. If your gas grill is not in use for a while, then there are chances of spider eggs in them. You need a wire brush. Now, move the meeting across the row of holes in the direction of back and forth. The next step is to clean out the inside of each tube using a wire bottle brush.
Properly Cleaning Your Entire Gas Grill
We have well-described each step for cleaning the entire gas grill. We will start by cleaning the interior grill components like cast-iron cooking grates, favourite bars, grease tray then move to the inside of the firebox. Once done, we will discuss thoroughly cleaning the entire outside of the gas grill.