How To Clean A Grill The Right Way - BBQ Cleaning Tips

How to Clean a Grill the Right Way – BBQ Cleaning Tips

Cleaning a grill can be a laborious task, especially if you do not clean it regularly. Understandably, it may not be possible to clean it thoroughly after each usage, especially when hosting a two- or three-day-long BBQ party. However, not subjecting your grill to a deep clean at regular intervals can reduce its longevity and usage. Are you still confused about why, when, and how to put some elbow grease into your BBQ cleaning? Keep reading!

How Often Does Your Grill Need Cleaning?

The answer to this question depends on your usage of the grill! Remember, if you face recurring issues with your grill, it is a clear indicator that it is long overdue for some thorough cleaning and caring.

Grates are the part of the grill on which food gets cooked. Hence, after every use, clean all the grease and food remnants on the grates with a good grill brush or grill scraper.

At least twice a year it is advised deep cleaning and inspection of the grill. It involves the disassembly of the grill for a thorough clean and inspecting of the parts. Replace old, rusted, and broken parts with new ones.

If you don’t like the menial work and ok to shell some bucks, hire professional grill cleaners to do the job for you.

Benefits of a Clean Grill

Below are some of the advantages of having a clean grill:

1. Good for Health

The routine cleaning of the grill prevents the accumulation of carcinogenic residue and the build-up of mold, bacteria that are hazardous to health.

2. Hygienic Cooking Environment

It will prevent the infestation of various pests and rodents.

3. Savor the Authentic Food Flavors

A clean grill will cook the food with original flavors without any leftover residue from the last BBQ.

4. Safe Cooking Environment

The regular maintenance of the grill will wash away cooking oil collected in the grease tray and prevent a fire hazard.

5. Long Life

Routine cleaning and yearly maintenance will keep the grill in good working condition and increase its life span.

Best Ways to Clean a Grill Like a Pro

Before you jump in and dismantle the grill completely, take a step back and assess the condition of the grill. Based on your cleaning routines and the issues of the grill, decide the cleaning process.

Here we have shared some helpful methods on how to clean the grill after use.

1. Cleaning a Gas Grill

Gas grills are very easy to use and maintain. In gas grills, you will be cleaning mainly the cook box or body of the grill, cooking grates, burners, igniters, grease tray, and few other parts.

Here are some of the simple steps to clean a gas grill.

What You Will Need

  • Rubber gloves
  • Grill brush and hand broom
  • Flat end putty knife
  • Steel scouring pads and cleaning rags
  • Soap and water
  • Grill cleaning spray

What You Need to Do 

  1. Turn off the gas supply and disconnect the gas tank from the grill.
  2. Take out the grates from the grill. Scrape all hard residues with a putty knife and scrub them with a grill brush.
  3. If some stains persist, soak the grates in warm soap water for few minutes and rub them with steel scouring pads.
  4. Detach the covering of burners, which consists of V-shaped metal tents and briquettes or lava stones. Rub them clean.
  5. Brush the burners with a grill brush and ensure that all gas ports are open.
  6. Make sure igniters at the end of each burner are clean and working fine.
  7. Sweep away all the debris collected in the bottom of the grill. Scrape away residue present on the bottom of the grill and the surface of the lid with a putty knife.
  8. Clear the grease collection tray by washing it with soap water.
  9. To prevent any accidental fire, collect the grease in a container and let it harden before throwing it away.
  10. Clean outside of grill with soap water and a soft cloth.
  11. Dry all parts and reassemble in the grill.

2. Cleaning a Charcoal Grill

A charcoal grill requires a lot more effort in cooking the food and controlling the temperature compared to other grills in the market.

Here are some of the simple steps to clean a charcoal grill.

What You Will Need 

  • Rubber gloves
  • Grill brush and hand broom
  • Flat end putty knife
  • Steel scouring pads and cleaning rags
  • Soap and warm water

What You Need to Do 

  1. Remove the grates from the grill and scrape all stubborn residue with a putty knife.
  2. Soak it in warm soap water for few minutes and scrub the remaining food stains.
  3. Sweep away ashes from the bottom of the grill and empty the ashtray.
  4. Wipe the inside of the lid with soap water and a cleaning rag to clean grease and debris sticking there.
  5. Clean the interior and exterior of the grill with a scouring pad and soap water.
  6. Let all the parts dry and reassemble them.

3. Cleaning a Flat Top Grill

A flat-top grill is the easiest to clean when compared to other grill types. Make sure that the flat top of the grill is maintained well with regular cleaning and lubrication.

You can clean a flat top in different ways with various cleaning mixtures. Choose the correct method based on the material of the flat top and cleaning supply available to you.

Below are some simple steps to clean flat top grill grates with water and steam.

What You Will Need 

  • Griddle scraper
  • Griddle brick or scrub
  • Soft scouring pad
  • Cleaning rags
  • Soap and warm water

What You Need to Do 

  1. Heat the flat top to 300-350°F. Use a griddle scraper to remove the grease and food debris off the surface.
  2. Pour some warm water to loosen the hardened and sticky residue on the flat top.
  3. Once the water cools down, scrub the entire surface with a griddle scrub.
  4. Rinse with water and wipe it with a clean rag.
  5. Apply stainless cleaner and wipe off with a wet rag or clean the surface with soap water.
  6. For a flat face made of chrome material, use a non-abrasive scrubber to clean. Apply a chrome polish to the surface, clean it off with a rag.

4. Cleaning a Grill Grate

The grill grate is the part with which food comes in contact while cooking. Even if you don’t clean other parts of the grill regularly, it is crucial to clear all the burnt food and other debris from a grill grate and clean stainless steel grill grates after every use. You have grill grates made of different materials such as stainless steel, cast iron, and porcelain in the market.

Since grill grates can be of different kinds, you need to know how to clean cast iron grills grates and how it differs from the methods to clean porcelain grill grates. But always refer to the manufacturer manual to know which cleaning agent is safe for your grill grate.

Here are some easy ways to clean the grill grate,

What You Will Need

  • Grill brush
  • Aluminium foil
  • Nylon scouring pad or non-abrasive scouring pad
  • Soap and water
  • Vinegar
  • Baking soda
  • Grill spray

What You Need to Do 

  1. Burnoff Method – It is an easy cleaning routine used to clean all types of grill grates. After finishing the grilling, fire up your grill with the lid open. Let all the food residue and grease stuck on the grates burn off. Allow the grates to cool down till they reach warm temperature. Use a grill brush to scrape all the char and burnt debris from the grate. It is most suitable to clean cast iron grill grates as it does not involve exposure to water which generally leads to rusting iron. After the cleaning, lubricate the cast iron grill grates with oil.
  2. Deep Cleaning Method – It is suitable to deep clean stainless steel grill grates few times a year. Remove the grates from the grill. Mix baking soda, vinegar(optional) with warm water and make a consistent paste. Apply this paste all over the grate, let it sit for an hour, and use a grill brush or scouring pad to remove all the stubborn residue. If required, repeat the process until the grates are completely clean. Wash the grates with warm water and wipe them with a clean cloth.
  3. Grill Cleaner Spray – This method is suitable to clean porcelain grill grates without damaging their surface. Buy a cleaning spray created for porcelain surfaces. Spray it all over the grate, scrub the grease and grime with soft scouring pads, and wash it with a clean cloth. You can also go for a simple soap water wash as long as you use non-abrasive scrubbers to rub the grates.

5. Cleaning a Pellet Grill

The pellet grills are known for their easy usage and versatility in grilling food at a wide range of temperatures. Though cleaning one looks like too much work, if you know how to clean a pellet grill, you can keep it in good working condition for a long time.

Here are some simple tips on how to clean a pellet grill.

What You Will Need 

  • A griddle scraper or a putty Knife
  • Cleaning rags and paper towels
  • Scouring pads
  • Rubber gloves
  • soap and water
  • Utility vacuum cleaner

What You Need to Do 

  1. Unplug the grill from the power source.
  2. Remove the grill grates, drip tray, and firebox cover from the grill.
  3. Scrape the burnt hard debris from grill grates and drip tray with a griddle scraper or putty knife. You can also use a pressure wash to clean them. To remove stubborn stains, soak in warm soapy water and scrub it with a scouring pad.
  4. Empty the pellets from Hopper. Use a utility vacuum cleaner to clear all the dust and remnants pellet from Hopper and Auger. Vacuum all the ash from the firebox.
  5. Empty the grease from the drip bucket. Wash the bucket with soapy water and a scrubber. Clear all the grease built up inside the drain tube and at the opening in the drip tray.
  6. Scrape the soot, other residue collected on the lid and inside the grill with a putty knife.
  7. Clean all accessible areas with a scrubber and soap water. Wipe the interior with a clean rag.
  8. Pay special attention to the areas around the chimney to remove all the hazardous material collected there. Use a nylon brush designed to clean bottles to clean the insides of the chimney pipe.
  9. Clean the inside of a grill easily with warm soap water, a scrubber, and a cleaning rag.

How to Clean Different Parts of Your BBQ Grill

Do you want your grill to function efficiently for a long time! Then, it’s crucial to know the right ways of cleaning individual parts of the BBQ grill. And to resolve the issues faced by these parts without causing further damage to them.

Here we have given easy grill cleaning tips for few parts of the BBQ grill.

1. Rusty Plates

No matter how much care we take, sometimes rusting of the grill plates is unavoidable.

Here are some of the steps to get rid of rust from plates.

  • Heat the BBQ to a high temperature, which loosens rust and debris accumulated on the plates.
  • Switch off the BBQ and let it cool to a warm temperature. Use a griddle scraper or spatula to scrape the loosened debris and rust.
  • If still there areas not cleared of corrosion, again fire up the BBQ grill to high temperature. Cover the grill plates with baking soda powder. It starts fizzing as it comes in contact with the hot plates, which detaches rust from the plates.
  • Pour oil on the warm plates and scrub the corroded area with grill stone.
  • Wipe away excess oil, dust, and debris with a soft cloth or paper towel. Repeat the scrubbing until the plates are free of rust.

2. Hot Plates

Cleaning the BBQ plates when they are hot takes less time and effort.

Below is the easy procedure to clean the hot plates.

  • After you finish the BBQ for the day, heat the grill until all the leftover grease, food will burn off.
  • Turn off the BBQ grill and let it cool to a warm temperature.
  • Use a grill brush to scrub the burnt waste and a scraper to remove sticky residues.
  • When BBQ grill is cooled, lubricate the plates thoroughly with oil, then wipe away the excess with soft tissue or cloth.

3. Greasy Plates

The grease collected on the plates becomes hazardous to health if it is not removed often.

Here are the steps to clean grease from grill plates.

  • Fire up the BBQ until it becomes hot, let it cool to warm temperature.
  • Scrape off all the dirt and residue from the plate.
  • Sprinkle salt on the plates. It will absorb most of the grease. Wipe away the salt with a tissue.
  • If needed, clean the plates with soapy water and a cleaning rag.

4. BBQ Burner

If burners don’t work, then it will cut off the heat supply to the BBQ grill.

  • Turn off the gas supply and disconnect the BBQ grill from the gas tank.
  • Disassemble the parts obstructing access to the burner.
  • Remove the burner, brush off the debris and dust collected on the burner. Clear any blockage in the burner tube and ensure all the ports are clean and open.

5. BBQ Drip Tray

You can minimize the cleaning of the drip tray by covering it with aluminium foil and filling sand on it. The oil dripped during the cooking will be absorbed by sand. The aluminium foil protects the tray from the accumulation of any grime and remnants of food. When it’s time to clean, throw away the sand and aluminium foil. Clean the tray with soap water.

Maintenance of the grill not only makes cleaning easy but also saves a lot of time and money! So make a habit of pampering your grill now and then! In return, it will make grilling a fun, safe, and enjoyable experience for you!

Also Read:

Basic Cooking Methods Everyone Should Know 
Brilliant Tips for Cleaning Gas Stove 
How to Clean Greasy Kitchen Chimney at Home

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Ruchelle has a vast experience working with clients in hospitality, health and wellness, entertainment, real estate, and retail. She aims to utilise her learnings to deliver quality content which will in turn help drive sales and customer engagement.