How to Clean Your BBQ Gril – It’s Time to Take Your BBQ Grill Out of Storage — First Things First, Clean It Properly
With grilling season almost here, now is the time to make sure your grill is ready for another season of backyard cookouts, burgers, and barbecue. Before you start making plans for a barbecue, the first thing you should do is clean the grill of any leftover food from last summer. Even if you cleaned the grill before putting it away for the winter, you should clean it well at the start of each new season.
This is why: When you grill, the same techniques that give your burgers and steaks those delicious char marks that look great on Instagram also leave carbon deposits on almost every part of your grill, like the grates, hood, inside of the firebox, flavouring bars, and burner tubes (on gas grills).
Not only are those crusty carbon deposits ugly, but they can also hold grease and sugary sauces that can trap bacteria. Too much carbon buildup can make the grill heat unevenly, keep it from reaching its full operating temperature, and cause the gas burner tubes to break before they should.
You should give the grill a quick scrub after each use to make it easier to clean in general. Follow these easy steps all summer long: Use a wire brush to clean the grill grates after every time you cook, and make sure to pull out any loose bristles from the wire brush before you start cooking again. If you grill often, like at least once a week, clean the grates very well every two months. And you should clean your grill well twice a grilling season. This will help it cook better and last longer.
By the way, the basic steps for cleaning a gas or charcoal grill are pretty much the same; charcoal grills just have less parts.
Grill – Cleaning Equipment
There are a lot of tools, gadgets, and gizmos for cleaning your grill that you can buy online or at your local hardware store, but nothing beats a long-handled wire brush, a wire bottle brush, a five-gallon bucket, and a little elbow grease. Don’t use chemicals to clean your grill because they can change the way food tastes. Instead, you only need warm water, a dish soap that cuts through grease (like Dawn), and a thick paste made of cleaning vinegar and baking soda.
If the outside of your grill is made of stainless steel, a stainless steel cleaner goes a long way toward making it shine. You will also need a pair of rubber gloves with long cuffs, some disposable scouring sponges, and a number of cotton rags. Wait for a cloudy day to clean stainless steel. The hot sun can make it hard to get streaks off stainless steel surfaces. Also, it’s nicer to work when it’s cooler outside.
Step by Step Process to Clean BBQ Grill
Step 1 – Burn It Off
Start cleaning a gas grill by turning it on, closing the hood, and letting it get to full temperature. Wait at least 30 minutes for the high heat to burn off any food or grease that got stuck. Then, put the wire brush in a bucket of warm, soapy water and scrub the grates to get rid of all the carbon. Then turn off the gas and take the propane tank out of the way. Let it cool down all the way.
Put the old charcoal briquettes from a charcoal grill into a metal container. Then, use a putty knife to scrape off any dust and dirt that has stuck to the charcoal.
Step 2 – Soak
Once the grill is cool, take out the grates and flavorizer bars and put them all in a tub of warm, soapy water. Soak them for at least half an hour.
Take off any other parts of the grill that are easy to remove, like the knobs that control the burners, the warming racks, and the grease trays.
Most gas grills also have burner tubes that can be taken off. Look for a single screw or cotter pin on one end of each tube. By taking the grill apart like this, it will be much easier to clean.
Step 3 – Vacuum Clean
Now that the grill grates and flavorizer bars are out of the way, the inside of the firebox can be cleaned. Start by putting an empty bucket directly below the opening of the grease tray in the firebox. This will catch the soapy water and debris that you flush out. Use a plastic putty knife to scrape off any gunk that has dried and stuck to the inside of the firebox.
Next, use a full-size or portable wet/dry vacuum like the Milwaukee M18 hand vacuum to pick up any loose debris that is left. Wet/dry vacs are usually used in workshops, so you shouldn’t feel bad about using one to clean out your grill. Once the firebox is clean, use a garden hose to rinse it out.
Step 4 – Scrub Everything
After the grates and panels have been soaking, pull them out and use the wire brush to clean them. Make a paste of white vinegar and baking soda and apply it directly to the most caked-on grime. This will get rid of grime that doesn’t want to come off.
Rinse all surfaces clean and make sure to dry cast-iron grates completely to keep them from rusting. And this is a great time to look for chips in the porcelain grates, which can lead to rust. Before you use the grill again, get rid of any chips or rust and coat the grates with oil to make a protective film.
Take a big piece of aluminium foil and crumple it into a ball. Then, use the ball to scrub baked-on food off of cooking grates.
Check your burners for signs of rust or anything that might be blocking the row of holes where the flame comes out. If you don’t use your grill for a while, spiders will lay their eggs in the burner tubes. Use a wire brush to move back and forth across the row of holes. Then, clean the inside of each tube with a wire bottle brush.
Step 5 – Wash and Wipe
Dump the dirty water out of the bucket and fill it back up with clean water and a few sprays of dish soap. Now, use a large kitchen sponge to clean the outside of the grill. Steel wool, metal sponges, and rough scouring pads can scratch surfaces, so don’t use them on surfaces that have already been finished. After washing the outside of the grill, use microfiber towels that are very absorbent to clean and dry all the surfaces.
Stainless steel cleaner is great as a finishing touch, but it won’t get rid of heavy buildup or baked-on gunk. Spray the cleaner on, wait a few minutes, and then use a clean, dry cloth to wipe it off. If there are greasy spots that are hard to get rid of, try using straight vinegar and then wiping it down with plain water. If grease and oil spots don’t go away, you might need to use a cleaner that cuts through grease better.
Once the grill is completely clean and dry, put back all the parts you took off. Make sure to use cotter pins or screws to put the burner tubes back in the right place. And use a little vegetable oil to wipe down the grill grates made of cast iron.
The last step is to reconnect the propane tank, close the hood, and turn on the grill for at least 15 minutes. This will help burn off any leftover cleaning products, season the cast-iron grates, and make sure that everything is back together correctly. All that’s left to do is get some burgers, hot dogs, and steaks and invite some friends over.