Summer time is a great time for having a barbeque with friends and family. Warm weather, good times, good food, right? Well, for that matter, Fall and Spring are great times too. And in some climates, Winter isn’t such a bad a time for a BBQ either.
After being used a couple times, your grill can collect some build up that affects the quality of your food. Whether you’re grilling up chicken, beef, or quinoa, a clean grill is a must.
Before we begin, we have to state the (sort of) obvious. Make sure that you respect your grill and the heat it produces, and the danger that accompanies such heat. Make sure you give your grill ample time to cool down before touching or trying to clean it.
Now, let’s go step by step through how to clean your grill after a couple uses.
How to Clean Your Grill for a Barbeque
Step 1: Heat up your grill and burn all the junk off.
This is basically like running an empty load in your dishwasher or laundry machine. Bring it up to full power. If you have a gas grill, turn it all the way up. If your grill uses charcoal, you’ll want to drop in some fresh coals and wait until they get red hot.
Replace the lid and leave your grill to “cook for about 20 minutes. This is also similar to how a self cleaning oven works. By leaving your grill burning at max temperature for 20 minutes you will bake off excess grime and food. This process makes cleaning your grill parts easier in the next step.
Step 2: Wait for cool down and start scrubbing.
Again, make sure your grill has completely cooled off before touching or scrubbing it. We don’t want you grilling off any of your digits here. Your body is not going to be part of the barbeque today.
Scrub the grill bars with a steel brush. Most of the extra food and grime stuff should have hardened from the heat and scrape right off without much of a fight.
If you have used your grill pretty often and want, you can probably start grilling again right after this step. However, if you are planning to grill after an extended period of idleness, or plan to put the grill away for the winter, you’ll want to go a couple steps further.
Step 3: Remove and wash the grill bars.
There are two basic (safe) options for washing your grill bars more thoroughly:
- use a specially created grill cleaning product (remember to read and follow directions closely) or
- use soapy warm water.
You probably shouldn’t improvise much further outside of these guidelines to make sure you don’t damage your grill pieces. Use the grill cleaning product as directed and/or use a washcloth and warm soapy water to wash the bars- sort of like dishes.
Rinse and dry IMMEDIATELY. You don’t want rust to form. You can also add a light layer of vegetable oil to prevent rust.
Step 4. Remove and clean grill trays.
Most grills have grease traps that collect, well, grease, as well as ash and food. You should be cleaning these trays out frequently (it is recommended to clean after every use).
Make sure the grill is cool then remove the trays. One cool hack to help deal with grease is to soak it up with cat litter. If you don’t have cat litter, just dump it into a bin. Do not pour it into a sink.
Once the tray is removed and drained, you can wash it the same way you did the grill bars.
Step 5. Clean grill lid and burner
Just some small details and you’re all set. Clean around the lid and bottom of the grill with a steel brush. Remove anything that has caked or built up. You can employ warm soapy water if needed.
If you are using a gas grill, try to clean around the burners and make sure nothing is getting stuck inside.
Cleaning a grill isn’t very complex. In fact, it’s much the same as cleaning pretty much anything you cook with. Still, you don’t want to just scrape the grill bars off and call it a day. Make sure you clean out any grease trays and build up around the burners too!