Summer is upon us, and the Fourth of July is fast approaching. Maybe you’re at the grill every week cooking up delicious meat, so your fired up about the family gathering. But maybe your dreading having to barbecue burgers and hot dogs for the family because the grill hasn’t been cleaned in a few months.
Regardless of where you stand on the griller’s spectrum, you want to make sure your grill is ready to produce great tasting food for everyone packed into your backyard to celebrate the birth of our nation.
Here are four great ways to clean your grill to make you a grilling rockstar!
1. General Cleaning Tips
- For best results, clean your grill every time you cook.
- Lay wet newspaper along the grates as your grill is cooling to give the whole thing a nice steam clean.
- Before cleaning, fire up your grill for at least a half hour with the lid down to burn away residual food and grease.
- Heat your grill for around fifteen minutes after cleaning to get rid of residual cleaning agents.
2. Use Household Items to Clean Your Grill*
We’ve all used dish soap to soak and clean our grills. But there are plenty of other household items you can use to clean your grill.
- Onions: After scrubbing the grill with a grill brush, cut an onion in half, stick it to a grill fork, and rub it cut-side-down along the grates.
- Coffee: Brew some coffee and pour it into large bucket. Then, submerge the grill grates into the coffee and let the acid break down grease and grime for about an hour.
- Tin Foil: Roll up a bunch of foil into a ball and rub it along the grates with tongs. When finished, wash the grates to remove any residual pieces of foil.
- Vinegar: Mix the same amount of vinegar and water together and spray every part of the grill. After ten minutes, spray again with just vinegar before scrubbing.
- Cleaning Vinegar and Baking Soda: You can also mix vinegar with baking soda to create a nice paste that can be applied to caked-on bits that are too stubborn to come off with a regular wire brush.
*We make no guarantees that these items will work or that they will not damage your grill. Always check with the manufacturer manual before using any of these items.
3. Clean Your Grill in Its Entirety
Even though the grates take the brunt of grease and food, all elements of the grill must be maintained for the perfect grilling experience. This includes:
- The Drip Pan: Also known as a grease trap, this should be cleaned regularly so as not to become a fire hazard. Simply empty the contents and clean with warm, soapy water.
- The Cook Box: Once the grill is cool, remove the grates and any other pieces (such as the burners) and scrub down the entire cook box.
- The Grill Lid: The inside of the lid may not be essential to cooking, but it does accumulate grease and other particles over time. Scrub and clean with warm, soapy water.
- The Exterior: Don’t forget to wash the outside of your grill with warm soapy water to keep it looking shiny and new.
- Your Tools: Your cooking utensils are just as important as the grill. Make sure to keep all of your tools as clean as the grill.
4. Season Your Grill
Seasoning your grill with a coat of high-heat cooking oil helps to repel rust and seal pores so food doesn’t stick to the grates while cooking.
Before cooking, coat the surface of your grates with oil. Many manufacturers recommend using canola or peanut oil to season your grill because they have the highest smoke point (which means they won’t burn). However, a lot of people also like to use coconut or sunflower oil.
Wipe away any excess oil and turn on the heat. Close the lid and let the oil cook for about fifteen minutes, or until the oil begins to burn. Once you’ve completed cooking, clean the grates and reapply the oil.
Note: If you have porcelain grates, you do not need to season your grill.
Food only tastes as good as the grill it’s cooked on. Clean your grill and make it great.