You’d probably never cook with a dirty pan, yet grilling with a dirty grill is an all-too-common temptation for some come summer cookout season. A little buildup on your gridiron is hardly the end of the world – or your dinner – but for the best tasting flame-licked food, a pristine grill is best. Whether you’re cooking with charcoal or gas, you can prevent pesky flame-ups and ash-speckled entrees by keeping your grill clean. Here’s how to do so with some simple steps and a few common household supplies.
Tools and supplies
Large buckets or basin
Stiff wire-bristled brush
If it’s been some time since you last cleaned your grill, begin by filling two large buckets (or a large basin) with warm, soapy water. Take out the cooking grates from your grill, and allow them to soak in the water. If you have a charcoal grill, you may also want to remove and soak the ash catcher and the grill that holds the briquettes as well. Lastly, remove and set aside any other parts, such as the drip pan, that are easily disconnected.
Use a rag to wipe away any loose dust and ash from inside the grill. Next, dip a stiff wire-bristled brush into the soapy water as needed, and use it to scrub off any buildup. If you have a gas grill, be careful not to disturb or damage any of the propane tank connections.
Remove the grill grates that have been soaking, and repeat the scrubbing process on them. Finish up by wiping them down with a paper towel.
Allow the cleaned parts of the grill to dry completely, then return them to the grill. For gas grills, take a moment to confirm that the burner is functioning correctly and that the flame shield is in the proper position.
Keeping your grill in top condition is much easier if you clean it following each use. After cooking, allow the grates to cool, spray them with vegetable oil and scrub them as in step 3. By maintaining this good habit, you can spend less time cleaning and more time cooking and enjoying great tasting food from your grill.