Nothing says summer like the sound of a burger sizzling, the taste of a hot-off-the-grill hotdog, or the smell of pork ribs being smoked. Grilling can be a cherished summer pastime, unless your grill hasn’t been receiving the proper maintenance. Dirty grates, blocked burners, or a clogged ignition can hamper your grill’s performance, or stop it from operating altogether. Whether your grill gets used year-round or just during the warm months, a full cleaning every 5-10 uses or at least twice a year is recommended. Here are some good points to remember when giving your grill a thorough cleaning.
Clean the Grates
The grates of the grill should be given a quick scrub after each use while they are still warm. There are a few ways to do this.
- Grill Brush. A brass or stainless bristle grill brush works for all grate types. Simply hold the brush at a 45 degree angle and let it slide over the grates. A better option is the scrubber-type grill brush but these cannot be used on porcelain grates.
- Aluminum Foil. You can crumple up a piece of aluminum foil and, while holding it with tongs, use it to scrub the grates. Another method is to cover the grates with one or two sheets of aluminum foil, shut the grill and turn it on high for about 25 minutes. Let it cool down and slowly remove the foil with tongs. Any grime should be easy to wipe away with a cloth.
- Grill Stone. A grill stone is a pumice-like cleaning slab, usually made from recycled materials. These stones are safe for all grills and you do not need water to use them.
- Onion. Spray the grates with white vinegar or lemon juice to assist in the breakdown of food. Cut an onion in half and stick a grill fork in the rounded side. Using the flat side of the onion, scrub the grill grates to loosen grime.
When doing a thorough cleaning of the entire grill, it’s best to remove the grill grates and soak them in a bucket of hot, soapy water before scrubbing. This will allow for easy access to the heating elements of the grill and for the interior to get a proper washing.
When replacing the grates back into the grill, check for and remove any bristles left on by the grill brush. This is a sign that your grill brush needs replacing. A quick spray of vegetable oil on the grates can help to prevent rust and prevent food from sticking during the next grilling session.
Clean the Interior and Heating Elements
The flame tamers that cover the burners and the actual burners themselves (tube, u-shape, flat and cast burners) can be gently scrubbed with a dry, wire brush to remove food residue. If the burners are very dirty and clogged, they will have to be removed to adequately scrub out the food. Do not use chemicals of any kind to clean burners. Ceramic burners are more delicate and need to have the leftover food burned off.
Once the heating elements have been cleaned, cover them with foil for protection. Scrub the inside walls and interior lid of the grill with a grill brush and finish by wiping them down with a damp paper towel.
Remove and empty the drip pan. This should be soaked in a bucket of hot soapy water.
Clean the Exterior
Stainless steel grills can be wiped down with stainless-steel wipes. Cast-iron and ceramic grills should be wiped down with a wet cloth, followed by a dry cloth. It’s important to check your grill’s manufacturer instructions to ensure proper grill maintenance.
Don’t let a dirty grill ruin the taste of your next feast. Keep your grill in top working condition by cleaning the grates after every use and giving the whole system a careful cleaning on a regular basis. If you have any questions at all about cleaning your grill, feel free to give us a call at (844) 305-0125. We’d be happy to go over your outdoor appliance needs, whether its cleaning materials or suggestions, replacement parts or a whole new grill.