Elevate your barbecue dishes from good to exceptional! To clean grill thoroughly (yes, it needs to be done every time) is key to capturing the fresh and smoky flavors in your favorite grilled recipes.
Moreover, a clean grill surface makes it easier to flip and remove your grilled creations from the grates.
By dedicating a little time to clean grill, you not only ensure the health and well-being of your loved ones but also enhance the taste of your burgers and sausages.
Whether you’re a fan of charcoal or gas grilling, our Test Kitchen-approved tips to clean grill will help you achieve professional-level results at your backyard barbecue.
We will guide you through the best cleaning methods for various grill types, including charcoal grills, outdoor electric grills, and griddle grills, ensuring that you can enjoy the best backyard burgers with confidence.
Cleaning a Charcoal Grill
To clean a charcoal grill effectively and prevent food from sticking, it’s important to clean the grates after each use.
Follow these steps:
Allow the Coals to Cool and Scrub the Grill: Let the coals cool down a bit, but remember that particles are easiest to remove when the grate is still warm.
For safety, wear heat-resistant mitts or grill gloves while cleaning. Use a long-handled stainless-steel grill brush or a bristle-free grill brush to scrub the steel racks and avoid any dangerous bristles in your food.
Dispose of the Coals: Once the charcoal grill has completely cooled down, dump out the burned coals and dispose of them carefully.
Wash and Thoroughly Dry: Once the grate and grill are fully cooled, wash them using mild soap and steel wool.
Afterward, allow all the components to dry completely or wipe them dry with a towel. This drying step is crucial to prevent rusting and ensure the longevity of your grill.
Cleaning a Gas Grill
To clean a gas grill effectively, follow these steps:
Remove Residue when you clean Grill: Turn the grill to high heat and close the lid for 10 to 15 minutes.
This process will burn off any excess bits, similar to cleaning an oven. Afterward, turn off the grill and let it cool slightly.
Use a stainless-steel grill brush to loosen any residue from the grill rack. This step prevents sticking and helps avoid flare-ups during your next cooking session.
Clean Inside and Outside of the Grill: Once the gas grill has completely cooled down, wipe the inside and outside surfaces with a soft cloth and warm, Soapy Water.
Clean Caked-On Grime: If there is caked-on grime, remove the grill grates and soak them in buckets of soapy water for 15 minutes or longer.
Rinse the grates with Clean Water and wipe them dry.
Clean the Inside of the Grill: Use a handheld or shop vacuum to clean the inside of the gas grill.
Use a grill brush to dislodge any soot, and then vacuum it up. Next, spray clean the inside with a hose and wipe it with a towel to dry.
Cleaning a Griddle Grill
To properly clean a griddle grill, follow these steps:
Add Water and Scrape the Residue: After cooking, use a metal spatula to scrape away any remaining food or grease from the griddle.
While the griddle is still hot, pour water onto the metal surface. The water will boil and steam off any remaining food particles.
Continue scraping with the spatula as you pour the water. Then, use grill tongs to wipe a cleaning towel over the hot surface, absorbing any leftover water and removing the remaining food bits.
Repeat this process until the griddle is clean. Allow the griddle to dry completely before using it again.
Re-Season the Grill: After you clean grill, you may choose to re-season the grill.
Let the griddle cool off slightly, then pour a small amount of seasoning oil onto the warm surface. Use a clean cloth to spread the oil around, ensuring an evenly seasoned surface that isn’t oily to the touch.
Cleaning a Smoker Grill
To clean a smoker grill while maintaining its protective coating, follow these steps:
Clean Grill After Each Use: Remove and dispose of ashes and leftover grease from the smoker after every use.
Scrub and Scrape: Use a grill brush to scrub the grates, and wipe up grease or spills with a damp cloth.
Use a putty knife or similar tool to scrape away large deposits of grease or cooked-on food from the cooking chamber.
Cleaning a Flat-Top Grill
To clean a flat-top grill, follow these steps:
Scrape and Steam: Start cleaning the flat-top grill while the surface is still hot.
Use a griddle scraper to clear away bits of food and grease. Pour warm water onto the surface (be prepared for steam) to help boil off the additional buildup.
Scour and Dry: Use a scouring pad attached to a scrub handle to remove any residue.
Rinse the surface and wipe it clean with a towel.
The Best Way to Clean Grill Without a Brush:
If you don’t have a grill brush, you can use a long-handled metal spatula or grip a ball of foil with a pair of tongs to clean the grates.
Either method works well to scrub the grates and make them grime-free.
The Best Way to Clean Grill Accessories:
Clean Grill accessories, including brushes, spatulas, tongs, and other utensils, also require cleaning after each use.
It’s best to wash them by hand, even if they are dishwasher-safe. Soak the grilling utensils in hot water with a few drops of grease-cutting Dish Soap.
Use a scrubbing sponge or bristled brush to loosen any cooked-on food and grime. Rinse the utensils thoroughly and dry them well with a clean cloth.
*The information is for reference only.