Tongs holding aluminum foil ball for cleaning grill grates

Two Ways to Clean a Barbecue Grill with Aluminum Foil

Using Aluminum Foil Instead of a Grill Brush to Clean Your Grill

A shabby grill can cause a slew of issues when it comes to outdoor cooking. Burned-on food fragments, at best, can make your food stick, break up, or taste awful. In the worst-case scenario, it might produce a flare-up on the grill or create microbial contamination that could lead to food poisoning. Cleaning and maintaining your barbecue grill may be simpler and cheaper than you think. You don’t need any special equipment or dangerous chemicals to complete the task; in most circumstances, some aluminum foil will suffice.

If you don’t have a grill brush handy, and want to attend to your grill before it cools, try using one of these two ways to get your grill cleaned with foil.

Method One: Make an Aluminum Foil Ball

1 Take off your grill’s lid and inspect it for any stuck-on residue. Examine the grate, the area below the grate, the sidewalls, and the underbelly of the cover.

2 Turn off the gas to your grill. To safeguard your hands, put on heat resistant gloves. Scrub any mildly contaminated areas with flaking soot or burnt food crumbs with a crumpled piece of aluminum foil.

Aluminum foil works in a similar way to a steel wool.

If you don’t have heat proof gloves, try using a long handled set of tongs to hold the foil ball while you scrape.

3 Using a dry cloth, wipe away any fallen particles. Replace the grates and check to see if they’re still dirty. If you’ve grilled multiple times without cleaning your grill, there’s a good likelihood that grease has built up, necessitating more effort.

Method 2: Use Foil to Self-Clean the Grill

While it may appear to be a good idea, most current grills are incapable of handling the heat generated by this method. This wasn’t an issue when most gas grills were manufactured with substantial cast-iron pieces.   Modern grill fireboxes and gas grills are frequently composed of stamped steel, and burners are designed to be replaceable consumable parts.  Always check with your manufacturer to see if this method is approved before attempting to clean grill.

Tear foil sheets large enough to cover the entire grating of the grill and place foil on the grates surface.
Preheat the grill to high, close the cover, and light it.
Take a five-minute break. The high heat on the grill will remove the crud on the grill grates, making it simpler to wipe off, similar to the self-cleaning option on many ovens.
When your five minutes are up, lift the grill lid and carefully remove the piece of foil with oven mitts (it will be hot).
Scrape the dirty residue off the grill grates with the same foil balled up. Rub the ball of foil up and down and in between the grates like you would a standard grill cleaning brush.

When employing this procedure, exercise extreme caution. It could void your warranty as well as cause harm to your grill. When it comes to cleaning your grill, always follow the manufacturer’s instructions and standards.

When buying aluminum foil, make sure it is aluminum foil and not metallized film covered with a thin coat of aluminum.  The tin foil of the early 20th Century is no longer made the same way.   We have used commercial heavy weight aluminum foil for scraping cooking grates because it holds up better when scrubbing due to its thickness.

There are many derivatives of traditional aluminum foil sold in supermarkets today.  These products are not suitable for cleaning grills because they are not sturdy enough and may have other materials included.   Always check to make sure what you are buying is aluminum foil and only foil.