The summer is well and truly here, and that can only mean one thing: grilling. What could be better than going outdoors and making yourself some delicious burgers and steaks on the grill? It's perfect, but afterward, you're going to need to clean that grill out.
If you're dreading the job, don't worry. Here's a foolproof guide to cleaning the inside of your stainless steel grill. It takes all the hard work out of it for you and ensures that you'll have a sparkling clean grill to cook on once you're finished.
Create A Cleaning Paste
Firstly, let's think about the products you'll use to clean your grill. It's important to pick the right tools and products, as the wrong ones can actually damage your grill. Of course, you don't want that to happen, so you'll need to ensure you're using the right stuff.
In this case, you don't actually need a specially made grate cleaner in most cases. Instead, you'll need baking soda and water. Just these two ingredients make an effective cleaner that will clean off the burnt-on food on your grates. Mix 45g of baking soda with 59ml of water to make a paste, and apply it to your grate. Once you have done this, allow it to sit. This will work to lift that residue off your grates and make it easier to scrub it off in the next step.
If your grates have been left out for a long time, or are very dirty, you'll want to consider using an oven cleaner. Again, you'll want to leave this on for a while to do its magic. If it's especially dirty, leave it on overnight to do its thing. If you choose to do this, place the grill in a plastic bag after you've sprayed it, in order for the oven cleaner to work properly.
Scrub The Grates
Now you've left the paste on for at least 20 minutes, you're ready to scrub. Get your grill brush and start scrubbing. You'll see that the food starts coming off easily, making it much easier and quicker to clean.
It's important that you pick the right brush to clean your grill, otherwise it can actually cause more problems down the line. For a stainless steel grill, a brass or nylon brush is better as they won't risk scratching it, as a steel brush would. All brushes can stand being put into the dishwasher once they've been used, so make sure you're doing that to keep them in best condition.
If you don't want to scrub the grate, you can invest in a grill cleaning robot. These roll around on your grates and uses rotating brushes underneath, in order to scrub all that food off.
Rinse Off The Grates
Once you've fully scrubbed the grates, you'll need to rinse them off. A good way of doing this is to use the garden hose, as this will help you get all the residue off. Once it's rinsed, let it dry or dry it off with a towel, and you'll be able to put it back into the grill once it's clean.
Clean Off The Flame Tamers
Your flame tamers are the barriers that sit between the burners and the grates of your grill. As they're so close to the grates, they will get food build up on them, so you'll need to clean them off. A good, small wire brush is best here to help you get it off. Once you've done this, use a dry paper towel to wipe them off. It's important that the grill is allowed to cool before you start cleaning these, or any other interior components.
Clean The Burners
As well as the flame tamers, the burners beneath them may have some food debris on them too. You'll need to remove this, in order to ensure your grill is really clean. Again, wait until your grill is cool and lift the flame tamers off, so you can get at the burners underneath. A cloth dampened with soapy water is usually best to clean them off. If you're not sure, check your user's manual as this will tell you how it's cleaned.
Check the holes in the burners, too. These will sometimes have food debris stuck in them too, which will lead to uneven burning when the grill is on. Use a toothpick to push them through and out of the burners.
Clean Out The Drip Tray
Your grill may have a drip tray, that catches grease and other debris as you cook. It's important you clean this as it gets dirty over time. Remove it from the grill, and use a putty knife to scrape the grease out and into a garbage bag. Use soapy water to scrub the pan down, and put it back into the grill.
Clean The Lid
When cleaning the inside of your grill, it's important not to forget the lid. Food, grease and other dirt can splatter and cling there. Again, use a putty knife to scrape any dirt off, and then clean it down with a sponge and soapy water.
Oil Your Grates
Now everything is clean, you'll need to oil the grates before you're ready to cook again. Oiling your grates is important, as it helps burn off any residue from cleaning, and stops food from sticking to the grates.
Pick a cooking oil with a high smoke point, and turn on your grill for 15 minutes. Wipe on the oil to the hot grill with a paper towel and tongs, then turn the grill on again. This will change the color of your grates, which will show you that they're ready.
Cleaning your grill Is easier, and quicker than you'd think. Cleaning a stainless steel grill is simple, so scrub it down ready for all the grilling you'll do this summer. Your food will taste so much better, and your grill will perform better too. With the right tools, cleaning is a snap.