cleaning the grill with a soft cloth

How to Keep a Barbeque Grill Clean

Advanced Grillkeeping – Tips for Keeping Your Grill Clean

Keeping your barbecue grill clean from its very first use is the best way to prolong the life of the grill and keep the grill safe from bacteria and other contaminants. A dirty grill can also be off-putting if you are entertaining guests in your outdoor kitchen.

Your barbecue grill can look showroom new if you take time out after each grill session and grilling season to do a little cleanup to remove food particles which won’t take very long at all.

After Grilling Tasks

Here are three grill-keeping tasks you should perform after every use.

1. After cooking, increase the heat for 15 minutes to burn off excess food stuffs on gas grills. For a charcoal grill, replace the cover after removing grilled items to help burn off residue.
2. While the grates are still warm, dip a grill brush into water and brush the grates. The water and heat will produce steam which will remove any remaining residue that didn’t get removed in the first step.
3. When cool, wipe down the grates and the inside of the grill with a solution of Dawn dish soap and water. This soapy water will clean the grill of any grease and grime remaining after the first two steps. Rinse the grates thoroughly to remove any soap residue and let the grill dry out before covering it with a grill cover or closing the hood.

When cool, remember to take a look at the areas under the grates.  Clean the burner, burner protector and flavorizing bars with soapy warm water to prevent buildup on these parts.

You can also wipe down the sides and the underside of the hood when cool.  These areas tend to get ignored, but grease and grime can build up in these locations and become increasingly difficult to remove later.  Use soapy water and dry thoroughly to prevent rust.

Don’t neglect the outside of the grill.  A stainless steel grill, electric grill or charcoal grill can become grimy on the outside, too.   Microfiber cloths are best for cleaning the outside of the grill as they won’t scratch like a grill brush will or paper towels might.  Maintain your gas grill exterior will help it keep looking new longer.

These three tasks will keep you ahead of any major grill clean ups that will occupy a lot of your time.

An Ounce of Prevention – Tips for Keeping Your Grill Clean and Maintained

You can also perform a bit of prevention to help keep your grill clean.

One option is to spray no-stick grill spray on the grates prior to turning on the grill or lighting the charcoal.  There are grill-specific sprays, including vegetable sprays, that will cut down on food sticking to the grates and minimize residue clean up.

Another option is oiling the grate with vegetable oil to keep food from sticking. This should be done before the grill is heated up. The less food that sticks, the less clean up there is after grilling.   You can use a vegetable oil or olive oil for this task as both will mostly burn off during cooking.  Others swear by peanut oil.

Preheating the grill to your optimum cooking temperature will also help cut down on sticking food. Don’t place food items on the grill until it is very hot and you will have fewer instances of food sticking to the grates. Those little bits of food that rip off from a burger or chop will stick themselves to the grates and become difficult to remove.  Keeping food stuffs whole and in tact will go a long way towards minimizing clean up and you won’t have to work so hard to clean the grill grates.

There are perforated grill trays which you can use to help keep your grill even cleaner.  These trays (some are non-stick) sit on top of the grill grates and prevent food scraps from sticking to the grates.  This really helps with clean up if you aren’t after the characteristic grill grate marks on your steaks and chops.

The exterior of the grill should be wiped down after every use and the grill is cool. This will help preserve the finish on the grill and help keep the grill looking new. Covering the grill after use is advised to help keep the exterior finishes from weathering and fading and making your grill look old and neglected.

Check the other parts in your grill for every-use-cleaning.  The bottom tray accumulates a lot of grease and this can be wiped down easily with a paper towel before it gets baked on.  A little warm water and dish soap should cut through that grease easily.

Routine cleaning after every use combined with a twice yearly deep cleaning, once before grilling season and once after,  will keep your grill clean and help it last longer.