How to clean a grill

How to clean a grill

cleaning a grill

By: Claire Ruhlin

The Drift

Everybody loves a good backyard barbecue—but the more you use your favorite outdoor grill, the more you’ll need to make sure you’re taking the proper steps to clean and maintain it. Follow these tips for how to clean a grill to ensure that yours—whether it’s a charcoal grill or gas grill—can remain in tip-top shape and performance.

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HOW TO CLEAN A GAS GRILL

For proper maintenance, gas grills should be cleansed at the beginning and end of each use. Before you clean your grill, it’s a safe bet to check the manufacturer’s recommendation for which cleaning tools to use (a wire brush is generally safe for steel and uncoated gas iron grates, but ceramic-coated grates may be damaged by improper handling. 

What you’ll need

  • Gloves (optional)
  • Grill brush - Use a wire grill brush or coarse cleaning brush (even balled-up aluminum foil works) to scrape your grates 
  • Scour sponge - To remove stuck-on grease without damaging your grill
  • Putty knife or scraping tool
  • Dish soap and water
  • Cooking oil or vegetable oil

Cleaning your gas grill

  • Preheat the grill for 15 minutes on high heat to loosen any grease of leftover food. 
  • Gather your cleaning supplies and make sure the gas supply is now turned off.
  • Remove the grill rates, and scrub with a grill brush or coarse cleaning brush dipped in a mixture of water and dish soap.  
  • Once the grate has cooled, wipe down with a damp cloth to remove any residue. 
  • Tip: Clean your grates while still warm after each grill use to remove any stuck-on food. 
  • Use a rag or folded paper towel to lightly coat the grates with cooking oil or vegetable oil.
  • Remove anything covering the burners (think: metal heat tents, heat deflectors, ceramic briquettes, or lava stones) and brush clean using soapy water. 
  • Remove burners and scrub with grill brush and soapy water. Do the same to the burner valve to remove any blockage. 
  • Scrub away any debris from the burner hoods and bottom of the grill. Use a bristle brush or putty knife to remove any black carbon deposits caked on.
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HOW TO CLEAN A CHARCOAL GRILL

Charcoal grills produce a mouthwatering, smoky flavor (try out our recipe for smoked Turkey to see for yourself). They’re also among the grills that require the most cleaning. Built-up charcoal ash can block vents at the bottom of the grill, making it difficult to control temperatures and increasing the risk of a fire. It’s also always a safe bet to check the manufacturer’s recommendation for which cleaning tools to use.

What you’ll need

  • Gloves (optional)
  • Grill brush - Use a wire grill brush or coarse cleaning brush (even balled-up aluminum foil works) to scrape your grates 
  • Scour sponge - To remove stuck-on grease without damaging your grill
  • Putty knife or scraping tool
  • Dish soap and water
  • Cooking oil or vegetable oil
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HOW TO DEEP CLEAN GRILL GRATES

Over time, your grill grates may accumulate stuck-on food that won’t come off with regular cleaning. To deep-clean grill grates, soak them in a mixture of vinegar and baking soda to break down any stuck-on food. Let soak for 8 hours or overnight for a truly deep clean. Then, rinse the grates and scrub off any remaining food using a grill brush. 

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Proper grill maintenance

When storing your grill for the season (although we believe grilling season is every season), make sure to give your grill a thorough clean. To avoid corrosion, you’ll also want to remove the battery from the igniter before storing your grill long-term. Make sure to get a good grill cover to keep your grill clean and protected from the elements. Cover your grill whenever it’s not in use. 

Cleaning your charcoal grill

  • Once the charcoal has cooled, remove the bricks and brush out the ash.
  • Scrub the grill grates with a grill brush or aluminum foil. 
  • Use a rag or folded paper towel to lightly coat the clean grates with cooking oil or vegetable oil.
  • Clean the inside ot the grilling bowl and lid with soapy water and a steel brush.