greasy barbecue grill with hamburger patties cooking

How Often Should You Clean a Barbecue Grill

When to Clean a Grill

Even if you cleaned the grill before storing it for the winter, it’s still a good idea to clean it thoroughly before each new cooking season.

Cleaning your barbecue grates and racks depends on how frequently you grill, but most manufacturers recommend cleaning them every time you use it.   If you minimize the buildup of grease and food residue, you won’t have to do many deep cleanings to catch up.

Starting to Get Your Grill Cleaned

You begin cleaning your grill by firing up the grill.

Preheat the barbecue grill on high for 15 minutes with the lid covered, then use a stainless steel grill brush to clean the grates.

This is why: Carbon deposits form on practically every surface of your grill, including the grates, hood, interior of the firebox, flavorizing bars, and burner tubes, as a result of the same grilling activities that produce those wonderful char marks on your burgers and steaks (on gas grills). Carbon deposits aren’t simply unsightly; grease and sweet sauces can adhere to them, allowing germs to thrive. Excess carbon accumulation can also cause the grill to heat unevenly, struggle to reach full operational temperature, and ultimately impair the gas-burner tubes.

Follow these simple actions throughout the year to make cleaning the grill easier at the start of each new grilling season:

1.After each cooking session, scrub the grill grates clean with a wire brush, making sure to remove any stray wire-brush bristles before lighting the grill.

2.If you grill frequently, say once a week, clean the grates thoroughly with dish soap and warm water. You can wipe the grates if they are cool with paper towels to make sure they are thoroughly clean and dry.  You don’t want to leave moisture on unseasoned castiron grates as it will rust the grates.

3.Attend to any part of the grill where grease or food particles could have spattered.  Use a grill brush to loosen any food residue.

Additionally, you should deep clean your grill thoroughly twice during the grilling season to help it cook better and last longer.

Additional Instructions for Getting a Charcoal Grill Cleaned

When using a charcoal grill, dump the ashes after each grilling session when they have cooled. A mound of ash left on the charcoal grill can collect moisture, and the combination of ash and moisture can result in a cement-like material that is difficult to remove.  Further, wet ash can create a moist environment for rust to form on cast iron grates.

Gas Grill Additional Instructions

Remove the deflectors from the cooking chamber and scrub them with warm soapy water and a nylon brush or scrubbing pad after every three to four uses of the grill. Before placing them back in the grill, make sure they’re totally dry.