Springtime is here and grilling season is near! But, wait…. Did you clean your grill before stashing it away for the winter? Most of us haven’t, so don’t feel too bad. If you’re like the vast majority of people, you probably closed the lid on that crusty, greasy grill last fall and now are wondering how to clean your grill for spring. It should only take roughly 20 minutes to clean your grill properly and you should definitely be doing this more than once a year. This will prevent unwanted flare-ups and will reduce rust buildup, therefore extending the life of your grill.
Basics of Grate Cleaning
Luckily, contamination isn’t a big deal if you’re a slacker at cleaning your grill. High heat will typically kill off any surface bacteria. This doesn’t mean it’s okay to be a slacker though and you should be helping your grill’s grates by cleaning off those charred bits and pieces. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued warnings against using all wire grill-cleaning brushes because the bristles can come loose on your grate and could get lodged into your food, potentially causing a variety of injuries including perforating your gastrointestinal tract. However, we suggest using nylon brushes or stone scrapers to clean your grates. If scrubbing grates isn’t your thing here’s some Inside Homes Cleaning hacks to try.
- Rubbing a cool, clean grate before starting your grill with cooking oil will help the charred bits fall off. Try using an oil-soaked paper towel held with tongs to rub the oil on grates.
- Let your oven do the work for you if you have a self-cleaning oven. Simply pop the grates in and let the high-temperature, self-cleaning function burn off the bits off. Once the cycle has ended, you will be able to easily wipe the ash off.
- Use the dishwasher to do your dirty work. Just remember to use the strongest cycle your machine offers. Only use this option if your grate isn’t too disgusting.
Gas Grill Cleaning Tips
Gas grills require a little bit more cleaning than charcoal grills. Before starting to clean your gas grill, make sure you turn off your gas supply and detach the propane tank from the grill. You can brush clean any moving parts. Wipe the burner tubes down and make sure the gas ports are unclogged and clean. Lastly, scrub the grease collection tray and clean the top and bottom of the lid of the grill.
Charcoal Grill Cleaning Tips
Charcoal grills make up for their lack of a quickfire with their ease of cleaning. Using a nylon brush, clean the grates of your charcoal grill. Remember to empty your ash catcher every time you grill so you don’t have an even bigger mess of trying to haul a bunch of ash to the trash. Once the inside is done, you can close the lid and hose the grill down so it’s ready for your next use.
Clean as You Go
Taking five minutes to clean your grill after each use will save you a lot of time in the future. Scraping the charred bits off while the grill is still hot makes cleanup easier as well. After your grill has cooled down, cover the grill so the natural elements don’t make it dirty again.
We understand these aren’t the normal surfaces we cover but it’s springtime so go BBQ something!
After you grill try using the cleaning method used by chefs in Japanese restaurants. Use a stainless steel scrubber (no bristles) pad. While grill is still hot wet the scrubber and brush off the grates. The water will boil off the carbon and bits with only light scrubbing. Only takes a minute or two leaving the grill ready for the next use.