How To Clean Your Gas Or Charcoal Grill

how to clean your gas or charcoal barbecue grill

Cleaning a grill after each use is just as important as washing the pots and pans used for cooking in the kitchen. After you remove the food, cover the grill and allow it to stay heated for fifteen more minutes. This process will burn away a lot of the residual grease and grime.

While the grate is still warm, use a grill brush to remove any particles that are left behind. This prevents food from sticking on the grill making it much easier to cook on. Deep cleaning is recommended a few times during the spring and summer season. Of course, the more use a grill gets the more often a deep cleaning is needed.

Charcoal Grill

A common misconception with a charcoal grill is that the grill doesn’t need to be cleaned after each use due to the ash catcher. This not only catches ash but also catches food particles. If left, this will eventually produce excess smoke and bad flavors in food.

If the barbecue has a painted, a nonstick or an aluminum surface, use dish-washing liquid, water and a plastic scrubber. Metal scrubbers will leave unsightly scratches.

* Remove the grates, spray them down with oven cleaner, and place them into a black plastic bag. Let them soak for several hours or overnight. Use a metal scouring pad, no-scratch scrubber or stiff brush to scrub them clean. Thoroughly rinse making sure to get the entire grate free from oven cleaner.

* Scoop or dump out any ash and food particles from inside the grill. Clean the inside and outside of the barbecue grill with soapy water and stiff brush, scouring pad, or non-scratch scrubbers. Rinse with water hose, and let dry.

* Once everything is dry, replace grates and rub them down with a paper towel and some cooking oil to prevent rusting.

Gas Grill

Before getting started, be sure to turn off gas line!

For Natural Gas: Turn off gas supply and open all valves for 3 minutes

For Propane Gas: Disconnect propane tank and open all valves for 3 minutes

Remember that many gas grills are made of aluminum products, so avoiding abrasive cleaners, oven cleaner, metal brushes and scouring pads is a must. There are many different types of no scratch scrubbers available for use on aluminum.

* Remove grates and burner covers from grill and put them in a black plastic bag. Pour a cup of ammonia into the bag; leave the bag in the sun for a day, then open it up and the buildup will easily hose off. After hosing, scrub any spots that may still have debris until all is removed. Rinse again and set out to dry.

* After removing grates, use a soft wire brush to remove any loose debris from the sides and inside the lid. Use a toothpick to clean in the small places around the burner. Use a shop vacuum to pick up this residue.

* Remove sear plate, and drip pan. Scrape with a putty knife to remove buildup. If your grill uses lava rocks, soaking them along with the sear plate and drip pan while cleaning the inside of your grill is recommended.

* Spray inside of grill with a cleaning solution made of 1 gallon hot water, 1 tsp. dishwashing detergent, and 1 cup of distilled white vinegar. Use a scrub brush to remove all grease and grime. Rinse and wipe with wet cloth until all soap is removed.

* Check all burner holes to make sure they are clean and obstruction free.

* Wipe everything dry and replace all the cleaned parts. Once grate is dry, rub with paper towel and cooking oil.

* Give the outside of the grill a good scrubbing with hot water and dish-washing soap. Rinse and let dry.

Keep your grill clean and it will last a long time. Not only that, you’ll make sure that your food is free of any dirt, debris or residual filth left behind  from last week’s cookout.

Till next time,


~ Carrie

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