How to Deep Clean A Grill

Posted on June 08 2020

How to Deep Clean A Grill

You're giving your grill a quick once over clean every time you use it, but sometimes you're going to need to give it a full, deep clean. Like any cooking equipment, it will get grimy the more you use it, so you need to take good care of it. Cleaning that grill out will make your food taste better and keep the grill working for longer, so it's a good idea to do it every now and then to get the most out of it.

Here's how to deep clean a grill without the fuss.

How Often Should You Deep Clean A Grill?

There are many that would argue you shouldn't be fully scrubbing down your grill after every use. After all, if you do, you lose the flavor that you get from using a well used and cared for grill. However, it's still a cooking tool and you can't leave old food on it. It's usually advised that you clean the grill down thoroughly at least once a month, to ensure that there's no grime hiding in it. If you use your grill very regularly, then you will need to deep clean it more often. 

How to Deep Clean The Grill

What's the difference between cleaning the grill and deep cleaning it? When you deep clean it, you'll be inspecting everything, taking everything out and scrubbing it, and then putting it all back together. It will be squeaky clean once you're done, ready to be used again. Here's how to deep clean your grill. 

Get a Bucket of Soapy Water

Firstly, you need to get the tools you need to clean your grill. There are so many grill cleaning sprays and cleaners on the market, but nothing works better than soapy water and a sponge. A good idea is to get a big bucket and fill it up, ready for you to put grates and burner plates into. This also helps you soak stubborn dirt off should you need to. 

Turn Up The Heat

A trick experienced grillers use is to turn up the heat as high as they can on their grill, shut the lid, and leave it for 15 minutes. Why? Because when you do this, it helps burn off any residual food still clinging to the grill itself. When it's burned off, it's going to be far easier to clean off once you're ready to get scrubbing. 

Pick Your Brush

Another tool that's vital for a grill deep clean is a grill brush. You probably already have one, as they're needed for cleaning every time you use the grill. Now's a good time to ensure that you're using the right grill brush for your grill. As different grills are made of different materials, you want to ensure that you've got the right one. 

For example, brass bristle brushes are a softer brush that are perfect for porcelain grills. They won't scratch the finish, so they'll be the best option here. They're also great if you want to scrub the grates while the grill is still hot, as they can take the heat. Nylon brushes are also a good option for this kind of grate, again because they're a softer brush. You can't use them on hot grills though, so keep that in mind as you choose your brush. 

The last option is a steel brush, which is better for cast iron grills as they're better at really getting into the pores of the metal and cleaning it out. Whichever brush you pick, ensure that you get in there and really scrub the grates to ensure all burnt on food is removed. 

If you don't want to do all the scrubbing, you can invest in a grill cleaning robot to do the job for you. These can be outfitted with the right style of brush for your grill, and set to scrub it as you get on with other jobs in your yard. 

Remove All Removable Parts For Cleaning

Once the old food has been scrubbed off, you'll need to take all the removable parts off for cleaning. What parts you take off will differ depending on the style of grill that you have, but it often includes the grates, burner plates, and sometimes the burners themselves. If they're very dirty, you can leave them in the soapy water to soak for a while. If they just need a scrub, you can place them in the bucket and start cleaning them with a sponge. 

Give Every Surface A Wipe Down

Now the removable parts have been cleaned, you'll need to get into the grill with the sponge to clean off all the surfaces inside. Ensure all debris and dirt is cleaned away from the interior surfaces, as they will all affect the food you cook on the grill. 

Take care to look at the lid of the grill, as often food splatters end up on the inside of it. You may also see paint flaking away on it too. Use a putty knife to gently scrape away anything clinging to it, and wash it down to get it clean.

Also, don't forget your drip tray. This catches a lot of grease that falls from the grill, so it needs to be cleaned off. Again, use the putty knife to scrape the grease off and clean it off before you replace it. 

Finish By Oiling The Grill

Now that everything is clean, you'll need to finish off by oiling the grill so it's ready for cooking again. This ensures that food doesn't stick to the grates as you cook, and gives you better flavor. To do this, use your preferred cooking oil to brush onto a hot grate. Once you've done this, turn the heat up high for around 15 minutes again, until the grates look bronzed or blackened

This is everything you need to know to deep clean your grill. Remove everything, give it all a good wipe down, and put it back together. Oil it at the end and you're ready and waiting for grilling season. 

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