During the Texas summer, your grill becomes your most valuable cooking appliance. You use your outdoor kitchen for everything from cooking hamburgers on the weekend to preparing hotdogs for the kids, or even cooking a well-deserved steak after a hard day at work.
The last thing you want is to find your grill is out of commission right before a big party or family gathering. Fortunately, cleaning a grill the right way ensures your grill is ready and operational whenever you need it. Follow this simple checklist to keep your grill working well and looking beautiful.
What you Need:
- Large bucket
- Dish washing detergent
- Long handled wire brush
- Moist towels
- Aluminum foil
- Non-combustible container (charcoal grill)
- Scoop (charcoal grill)
- Water hose
1. Keep the Grill Warm
A warm grill is much easier to clean than a cold one. Start cleaning a grill when the surface is slightly warm to the touch. If you are using a gas grill, disconnect the propane tank before you start cleaning the interior.
2. Prepare the Water
While you wait for the grill to cool down, prepare a bucket of soapy water for the grates. Use a small amount of dish soap and warm water in your bucket.
3. Remove the Grates
Place the grates in the water and let them soak for a few minutes, so you can clean the inside of the grill.
4. Clean the Heating Elements (Gas)
Once a month or so, depending on how often you use your grill, you will need to clean the heating elements of a gas grill. Many of them are removable, and can be washed in the soapy water with your grates.
4. Remove the Ash (Charcoal)
Charcoal and wood burning grills should be emptied after every use. A large metal scoop will accomplish the task quickly and efficiently. Use a non-combustible container to collect all of the ash and debris, and make sure the fire is out completely before you throw them away.
5. Clean the Walls
Over time, smoke and grease build up on the inside of your grill, and when cleaning a grill, you want to get rid of this build up, lest it fall on your food the next time you cook. Cover the cooking elements of a gas grill with foil, then scrub the walls and interior of the grill with a wire brush. Do not scrub so hard that you scratch the metal, but be sure you remove as much grease and ash as you can. Finish the job by rubbing the walls with a moist towel.
6. Empty the Drip Tray
If your grill has a drip tray, clean it out after every cleaning. Greasy build up is potential fire hazard, and should always be thrown out when cleaning a grill. Soak the tray with the grates after you dump it.
7. Scrub the Grates
Run your wire brush over your grates to remove any stubborn pieces of leftover food or grease.
8. Rinse Off your Parts
Remove the grates and the drip tray from the soapy water and rinse them off with a water hose or a bucket of cold water. When you are done, place them back inside the grill.
Remember to wear protective gloves when working on the inside of your grill to prevent burns and serious injuries.
Taking proper care of your grill is essential to safe and consistent operation. Cleaning a grill may add a few minutes to your clean up time, but it will preserve your grill for years to come.