Barbecue grills are important commodities during the summer months. When you think about how often you use your grill, you can understand why keeping it clean is crucial because dirty hamburgers never taste good! Fortunately, keeping your BBQ clean and spotless can be a simple feat if you know just how to do it. If you clean it well enough, it can stay that way for a very long time. Whether your grill is gas, electric, charcoal, or pellet, below are a few things to remember to keep it as clean as possible all summer long.
First Things First
Cleaning the grates on your grill is the most important cleaning task you’ll have. You’ll need a long-handled wire brush, a bucket, grease-cutting dishwashing soap such as Dawn, sponges, rags, and gloves. Here is a breakdown of how to clean each type of BBQ grill:
- Gas grill: turn the grill on as high as possible, then close the cover. Wait for a minimum of 30 minutes, then dip the brush into a bucket of soapy water and clean the grates. Turn off the gas, disconnect the propane tank, and wait for the grill to cool off naturally. The heat from the grill being covered for 30 minutes or more will loosen up the stuck-on food and make it easier to remove.
- Charcoal grill: start by dumping out all of the old briquettes, then remove the grates and soak them in warm soapy water. Remove everything that can be removed, clean out the inside of the firebox by vacuuming with a wet-vac first, then flush out the debris and scrape off any gunk with a putty knife. Rinse out the firebox when you’re done cleaning it, then replace the grates and other parts and use your wire brush to clean them off thoroughly. Wipe down everything once all of the parts have been cleaned.
For any type of grill, professional cleaners will use products that make stainless steel shiny and those made just for BBQ grill parts are your smartest option, but you can also use household cleaners to do the job instead. Essentially, all grill-cleaning involves three main steps:
- Remove the grates and clean them
- Clean the interior of the grill
- Clean the exterior of the grill
Putty knives and wire brushes are the best things to use for cleaning gunk and dried-on food from the grates and the inside of the grill. When you’re done, you’ll want to grab your bucket and put some clean soapy water in there, then wipe everything down on both the inside and the outside of the grill. The inside of the grill should always be cleaned first.
Some Final Thoughts
Cleaning your BBQ grill shouldn’t take you long if you know what you’re doing. If you need a few extra BBQ cleaning tips, here they are:
- When you’re soaking the grates, go ahead and soak the grease cup and drip pan as well
- When your wire brushes start to wear out, replace them immediately
- Clean the grates as best you can in between extensive cleanings so that not too much debris gets a chance to build up