When you start grilling again in the summer, you know you'll need to keep that grill clean. It's a time-consuming job though, and you don't want to spend all your time outdoors scrubbing it down to keep it clean. It's an essential task though, as you're cooking on that grill. A clean grill is a safe grill, so it's got to be cleaned.
How often should you clean your grill though? Do you have to clean it every time you use the grill? You'll find that if you take good care of the grill, and use the right tools, you won't need to clean it as often as you'd think. Here's what you need to know.
How Often To Clean Your Grill
There are two different types of 'cleaning' when it comes to your grill. Firstly, there's the surface cleaning you'll need to do when you cook on the grill. This really comes down to cleaning the grates, the surface that your food comes into contact with. This shouldn't be too difficult of a job if you have the right tools.
Then there's there deep cleaning. Opinions vary on this, but you should be deep cleaning your grill once or twice a year. That should be enough to keep it clean and in great condition. If you're cooking very regularly on your grill, you will want to do more deep cleanings throughout the year to keep it on top condition.
Picking The Right Cleaning Tools
When cleaning your grill, you'll need the right tools in order to get it into the best condition. You don't need anything that high tech, though. Firstly, you'll need soapy water and a sponge. There are dedicated grill cleaners out there, but some dish soap in some hot water will give you all the cleaning power you need.
The other tool you need is a good grill brush. There are several different types, so you'll need to find the right one that works for you. Nylon and brass bristles are perfect for grates that scratch easily, while steel brushes are perfect for hardier grates, like cast-iron grates. With the right brush, you can get a lot of baked-on food out with ease.
Automatic Cleaning Tools
During the summer, you want to enjoy spending time outdoors. If you're dreading the thought of scrubbing down your grill though, you won't want to even get it out and use it. Also, those with young kids don't have the time to be focused on cleaning when they're watching the children outdoors.
If this sounds like you, you do have the option to buy an automatic grill cleaning tool. These grill cleaning robots are fairly new to the market, but they do make cleaning the grates of your grill so much easier. You set them down on the grill, turn them on, and leave them. They have rotating brushes underneath them that scrub the grates for you. Once it's done, it'll start an alarm so you know it's finished.
What's great about them is that they also can be fitted with the right brushes, depending on your grill type. With the right brushes and a grill cleaning robot, you'll see that cleaning it in between meals gets a whole lot easier.
How To Deep Clean A Grill
When it's time to deep clean the grill, how do you do it? Once you know how it's quite simple, so let's run through the process.
Firstly, you'll need to turn up the heat high on the grill for a few minutes. This will help burn the residual food clinging to the grates, making it much easier to get off. If you have a nylon grill brush, you'll need to wait until it's cool until you can start scrubbing. If not, you can get in there while the grates are still hot, and give them a good scrub to get everything off.
Take off anything removable and put it into your soapy water, to soak it and make it easier to clean down. This includes your grates, burner plates, and anything else that comes off. Scrub them with the sponge until they're clean.
Clean all the solid surfaces of your grill. That includes your drip pan, which you can scrape with a putty knife, and the lid of the grill. Once they're all clean, put everything back together and turn the heat back on high. This burns away any soap or chemicals if you used a commercial cleaner.
Oiling Your Grill
Oiling your grill is an essential step in cleaning it, but many people don't think to do it. It's especially important to do it when you get your new grill, or when you've just cleaned it, as it helps burn off any residual chemicals and make it safe for cooking. It also makes it easier to cook on, as food won't stick to it as you're using it.
It's very easy to oil your grill. You'll need to find a cooking oil with a high smoke point, such as peanut oil. To start, turn the heat up high on your grill for 15 minutes. If you've just cleaned your grill then you'll need to do this anyway, so it's the best time to oil it.
As the grill is still hot, take a paper towel, dip it into your oil, and hold it with a pair of tongs. Use this to rub the oil onto the grill. Once you've done this, turn the grill on high heat again, until the oil begins to smoke again. You'll see that the grill goes black or brassy colored, depending on the type you have. Once that happens, you're ready to cook on it.
You don't actually have to deep clean your grill as often as you'd think. Just once or twice a year should do it. Get the right tools and it won't take as long as you'd think, either. You'll soon be able to go back to enjoying the good weather in your yard again with a lovely clean grill.