How to Clean a Barbecue Grill? If you own a barbecue grill, chances are you use it all the time to cook meat. And likewise, there’s a big chance that you spend a lot of time cleaning your grill. In fact, not only do people tend to clean their grills after each and every use.
But they also pay very close attention throughout the whole grilling process. Cleaning before and after ensures that you don’t eat anything contaminated by nasty bacteria–and wiping down steaks with a paper towel ensures that nothing gets dropped into the grill as it cooks.
As everyone knows, cleaning a barbecue grill is no easy task. Yet if done correctly, it could save countless hours for those who love cooking on theirs regularly. In this article, we’ve rounded up 12 tips from the pros which will help you clean your grill in the easiest, most efficient way possible. Read on – How to Clean a Barbecue Grill?
1) Clean the Grill Before You Cook on It
Before using your barbecue for cooking, purposes make sure you do some necessary cleaning first. The last thing you want is food particles stuck onto your cooking grate or worse, dripping down into an unclean firebox! Here’s what the experts suggest:
- Turn on all burners and ignite the fire for 10 minutes to ensure that it burns off any dirt particles
- Then with a stiff wire brush, scrape clean the cooking grates
- Finally, use a Brillo pad to scrub down the grill’s exterior and finish up by washing with warm soapy water.
2) Use Vinegar and Salt To Remove Stubborn Food Residue
When certain food residues just won’t come off with regular cleaning methods, you can always resort to vinegar and salt. This is an old trick used by top chefs when they want their utensils looking shiny clean–it works wonders when applied to your barbecue grill too!
Just put some white or apple cider vinegar in a spray bottle (feel free to mix with water if you prefer) and use that to spray the surface of your grill. Then sprinkle table salt on top of the wet area, let it sit for about 5 minutes, and scrub away with a sturdy grill brush. Wipe with some paper towels afterward to give it a final shine.
3) Pre-Soak Food Stains on Your Cooking Grates
If there’s one thing you should know about cleaning food residue off barbecue grates, it’s that they’re almost impossible to clean while still hot. The reason is that as soon as something like meat juices or marinade drips onto them, they start filling up with solid particles which are even harder than before to remove after they’ve cooled down.
To prevent this from happening, try pre-soaking the grill grates with hot water before you start cooking. That way, food particles will come to lose a lot more easily, and they’ll be washed away by the time you’ve finished cooking.
4) Use Fish Sauce to Eliminate Stubborn Food Stains
If vinegar and salt aren’t doing the trick for stubborn food stains, don’t worry, there are other chemicals out there that can make short work of them as well! Try using the fish sauce on those really bad areas where it won’t budge.
The reason why this works is because of the high concentration of sodium found in fish sauce making it an excellent cleaner when mixed together with some water. Just keep scrubbing with a wire brush or Brillo pad until all of the grime is gone, then rinse with hot water and dry off for a bright shine.
5) Wipe Down Your Grill With Oil After Cleaning
Once your grill has been cleaned to perfection (that doesn’t mean beyond perfect!), it’s also important to ensure no dust or residual particles end up on its surface after cleaning. To prevent this, always wipe down the surfaces with oil right after you’re finished cleaning.
Just apply with a paper towel in light strokes like you would if you were painting, ensuring all areas are covered equally. Failure to do so can lead to rust over time–so don’t neglect the final stage in the best way possible.
6) Add a Water-Soaked Rag to Your Grill
This is one of the simplest tricks in the book, and it’s just as good at cleaning your barbecue grill out thoroughly! Whenever you’re done cooking, for the time being, pour some water onto a rag or cloth and place it over the top of your hot grill. Then let it steam away until all dirt particles have been vanquished from its surface.
Once that happens, get rid of the rag and place the grates back on–it’ll look fresh and shiny before long.
7) Clean With Vinegar When You Want It To Look Shiny
If there’s one thing vinegar does well beyond removing stubborn food stains, it’s bringing out a shiny appearance when added with salt. So if you want something that looks brand new, this is the way to go. Just mix 1 part vinegar with 2 parts warm water in a spray bottle, spritz on your grill’s grates, and sprinkle salt over the top.
Let it sit for 5 minutes–not too long, but not too short either and scrub away with a wire brush or Brillo pad when you’re ready! The result will be well worth the wait.
8) Use Cocoa Powder to Make Your Grill Look Fabulous
If you want something that doesn’t take any elbow grease but still produces excellent results anyway, try using cocoa powder instead of other cleaning products!
Just be sure to rinse afterward with some cold water and wipe dry for a super-shiny appearance! When rubbed against the grill grates slowly in circular motions combined with some water, cocoa powder can make any barbecue grill look brand new, even if it’s seen better days.
9) Put Your Grill Over the Coals After Wiping Down
If you’ve just finished cleaning your barbecue grill, there’s no better way of drying off those grates than putting them right back over some hot coals (without food)!
So as soon as you’re done scrubbing away at the dirt–be sure not to miss any spots or else they’ll stick around forever!–grab those graces quickly and put them on the fire. It’s almost like applying sunscreen: wait too long and everything can be ruined.
10) Apply Bleach When You Want a Deep Clean
While a simple clean with vinegar and salt can do the job, sometimes you want something more substantial. In that case, try using bleach on your barbecue grill!
Spray or pour it onto a rag or cloth and rub directly over the top of the grates until everything has been covered evenly. Let stand for 10 minutes before rinsing away with some cold water–and remember to keep any pets or children from being near whilst doing so.
11) Save Your Grill With Coffee Grounds
This is one final trick you can use when cleaning your barbecue grill in order to really bring back its former glory: coffee grounds! By adding a small amount to a moist Brillo pad in circular motions, this powerful little ingredient can help remove even the toughest of stains.
Just be sure not to use too much; otherwise, it can end up looking like you used dirt and ruin the whole purpose.
12) Dry Your Grill With Vinegar-Soaked Rags
Don’t forget that no matter how tempted you might be, never–I repeat never!–use a dry rag or cloth to wipe down your barbecue grill after cleaning! Doing so will only cause more problems than solutions in the long run, such as causing rust and another unsightly residue that just won’t come off easily.
If you want an easy way around this problem while making things look nice without any extra work at all, try using rags soaked in vinegar instead: afterward, they’ll leave everything sparkling and shiny just like new.
How to Clean a Barbecue Grill? – Conclusion
Cleaning a barbecue grill doesn’t have to be a pain in the neck, as long as your know-how. You can start by placing your grates on top of your hot grill and letting all the dirt particles steam away until they fall off easily.
Then, use vinegar with salt to truly bring out an impressive shine, even if you’ve let it go for quite some time. If you’d rather just shine things up, use cocoa powder or coffee grounds combined with water and some elbow grease.