If you’re anything like us, you’ve been grilling all the time lately. That means a whole lot of beautiful grilled grass-fed beef on your plate and lots of amazing meals. It probably also means a grill that’s starting to need some cleaning.
After every use, we suggest cleaning the grates by scraping with a grill brush. You probably do that anyway. (As an important side note, you should replace your grill brush at least every season, or more often if you grill frequently. Otherwise, the bristles can end up in your food!)
The more you use your grill, the more you’ll see buildup from food and carbon. Needless to say, that’s just not good for the longevity of your grill.
If you grill all the time, we recommend giving your grill a deep clean every two to three months. If you only grill occasionally, you can clean once at the end of the grilling season.
Here is a how-to-guide to make the task less daunting:
Clean the Grates
- Start from the top and work your way down. First, make sure your grates are truly clean. Heat the burners on high with the lid closed for about 15 minutes.
- After the time has passed, open the lid and turn off all of the burners.
- Wait until the grill cools down to a more medium temperature.
- Scrub the grates from back to front with a grill brush until they’re completely clean.
- There are a couple of other tricks that can make cleaning dirty grates easier. One is to spray with white vinegar before scraping. Another is to rub the grill with the cut side of an onion, and then use your grill brush. It’s amazing to see how it helps get the grates clean!
Deep Clean Inside and Out
- When you’re ready to deep clean, make sure the grill is fully cooled. Disconnect the gas line and be sure all burners are off.
- Then, take off the clean grill grates and set aside.
- At the next level down, you’ll find the flame tamers. Scrub the flame tamers with a stainless steel wire brush.
- After cleaning them, remove the flame tamers and set them aside. While you’re at it, check to be sure there are no food bits under them.
- Next, you’ll find the burners and possibly the heat baffles, if your grill has them. Now, clean each burner with your grill brush. Delicately unclog the gas ports as well. If you have heat baffles, scrub them, too.
- With everything else removed, it’s time to scrub the sidewalls and firebox walls inside your grill.
- Scrub under the hood of the grill to remove any carbon that has built up.
- At this point, you’re probably looking at a really full drip pan. This is when you get to — carefully — dump everything that fell in there into the trash.
- Don’t forget the outside. Wipe down the outside of the grill with a damp cloth. Do not scrub with a brush!
Put It Back Together Again
- If you’ve kept your grill clean regularly, you can put everything back in the opposite order and you might be all done. If you want to take the cleaning up a notch, though, now is a good time to wash all of the parts of the grill (with the exception of the burners) with water and mild dish detergent. Be sure not to wet the burners. That’s because they must always be completely dry before you light them next. Also, don’t use any chemical cleaners that can ruin your grill, such as bleach or chloride.
The bottom line: it’s worth taking the time to clean your grill. It will keep your grill in good working order for much longer and keep your food clean, too.