Grilling season has arrived and if you’re delaying the deliciousness because your grill is still dirty from last year, we’re here to help you get your train on the track to Flavor Town.
Cleaning even the dirtiest grill is easy if you have the tools and the knowledge. Check out these quick grill-cleaning tips to get back to honing your outdoor cooking skills as quickly as possible.
<strong>1. Burn it off (gas grills only).</strong>
Nothing cleanses like fire, and this is especially true for the prolonged white-hot temperatures you can achieve with a gas grill. So, before you proceed to scrubbing a gas grill grate and assorted parts you should fire it up first and let it burn for a bit to carbonize and loosen stubborn food particles. Once this step is complete, disconnect the gas before proceeding.
A word on gas grill "Clean" settings: This more or less describes the process above and <em>does not</em> fully clean your grill. Think of it as a warm-up for the big game.
<strong>2. Use a wire brush to scrub every surface.</strong><strong> </strong>
For gas grills, make sure your first pass-through with the brush occurs right after you’ve heated it up so you can attack the crust while it’s still loose.
Scrub the grate, walls, lid interior, bottom and flame barrier (in gas grills). Both types of grill should have a drain hole through which you can push ashes, debris and other unwanted material. Work loose all the gunk and push it down through the hole – underneath which you will have thoughtfully placed a bag or other receptacle so it doesn’t end up all over your deck.
<strong>3. Soak the grate and removable parts in soapy water.</strong>
You know those soaps that promise to chase grease away? They’re perfect for these parts.
Fill a storage tub or other container with hot, soapy water and drop in the removable grill parts. This amounts to the grate and flame barrier for most grills, but could include a bun rack, rotisserie, grease trap or other doodads in fancier models. Note, however, that this does not include ceramic briquettes, should your grill have them - just brush those off as you would the grill's interior.
TIP: Let your wire brush head soak in the water, too, so it's clean for the next step.
<strong>4. Scrub and wipe the parts clean then rinse, dry and reinsert them.</strong>
Let the parts soak for about 30 minutes and then scrub them again with the brush. Once scrubbed and rinsed, wipe them clean, dry them with an old rag and then put them back in the grill.
<strong>BONUS:</strong> For gas grills, check your burners before reinserting the parts to make sure none of them are plugged with gunk. If they are, give them a quick pass with your brush.
That’s about it. You may notice that some parts will keep their discoloration or even be a little rusty, which you can let slide on any part that doesn't come into direct contact with your food.
Have fun this grilling season and don’t forget to check out our other grilling tips.