Grills are versatile and can be used on everything from hotdogs, steaks, vegetables and so on. But it’s versatility and dependability hinges on well you take care of it. Even the best grill won’t last if it is not properly maintained. Your backyard grill prowess can only be improved by a great cleaning and grill maintenance routine!
Wipe the Grill Properly
Use a cleaner and paper towel to wipe the grill. Use a stainless steel cleaner for stainless steel lids and a glass cleaner if the lid is porcelain coated. Buff against the grain for the best results. A microfiber towel is also ideal in this situation.
- Use a stainless steel cleaner and microfiber towel to clean the side tables. Make sure to wipe along the grill. Use warm water and a mild dish detergent if the side tables are built from thermoset plastic.
- To clean the cook box: first let the grill cool down. Take off the cooking grates and the flavorizer bars. Get a stainless steel grill brush and clean the debris and grease, making sure they fall in the tray. Discard the tray content properly.
- It’s a good idea to set the burners to high 15 minutes prior to grilling. Doing this will turn food residues into ash, making it easy to remove them with a brush.
Grill Cleaning 101
If you’re still unsure how to proceed, check this video:
Inspect the Grill Regularly
Refer to your grill manual for maintenance tips and follow whatever instructions are there.
Regularly check your grill for propane leaks and other problems. Every month you should put some soapy water along the gas connections and line. Turn the propane on first and run the water.
If there are no bubbles there’’s no leak. If bubbles appear, replace the line or tighten the connection since there is a leak.
Cover the Grill
Put the cover on once you’re done using and cleaning the grill. Buy a cover if your grill doesn’t come with one as it is worth the extra cost. With a cover, your grill will be protected from the elements and last longer.
Buy the cover which is designed for your grill make and model. It will be an exact fit and will protect the grill from rust, corrosion and dirt buildup.
Clean on a Regular Basis
There are no hard and fast rules for frequency as it depends on how you use the grill. The more you use the grill, the more frequently you need to clean it. A grill that sees a lot of use should be cleaned after each occassion.
If you don’t use the grill a lot, cleaning every few weeks will do.. However, even spot cleaning after every use is recommended.
Your grill manual has specific cleaning instructions and may recommend particular types of cleaning utilities. Follow the instructions.
Some cleaning tips:
- Brush the grates after each use.
- Wipe the exterior.
- Fire up the grill every now and then if you don’t plan to use it for an extended period. Let it run for a few minutes, cool down and turn it off.
- If you don’t clean your grill after every use, turn it on to high for 15 minutes at least once a week. Doing so prevents food stains and debris from sticking.
What is the Difference between Deep Cleaning and Spot Cleaning?
Spot cleaning is what you should do after each use of the grill. Wiping the grates and exterior prevents gunk from accumulating.
Deep cleaning is when you thoroughly clean the grill. This should be done once or twice a year at least. However that is only applicable for those who use grills lightly or “average”.
For those who use grills heavily, cleaning every few months is more ideal. You should not choose between spot and deep cleaning as they are both necessary.
During thorough cleaning, keep the following in mind:
- Clean the grates thoroughly as vegetables and other foods fall through it.
- Marinade tends to scatter and splatter everywhere so keep an eye on them. Check for spots and spills and wipe them off.
- Steaks, burgers and meats produce a lot of grease, so careful cleanup is necessary.
What Cleaning Tools are Required?
You just need a sponge and a cleaning brush. You also need two buckets: one for soapy water and another one to store the gunk.
Tips for Cleaning Your Grill
- Use your brush and sponge to give the grates a solid scrub.
- A wire brush is the best option to clean grill grates.
- Even if you brush the grates during spot cleaning, you should be more thorough and use more force. Extra effort is needed especially if there are lots of charred meat stuck on the grill.
- Wire brushes have a metal scraper used to remove stubborn debris. Use this if necessary.
If your grill manual came with instructions on how to proceed, follow it. If not, start by cleaning the sides. Remove the grates once you’ve cleaned the sides. Clean the bottom part as it will be full of debris as well. Also, don’t forget to clean the gas grill burner protector
How to Clean the Gas Grill Burner Protector
These protectors do just that, safeguard the grill mechanisms from debris and grease.
However, too much grease could lead to clogging, so wipe the protectors until all the dirt is removed. Most burner protectors are set on ledges and can be easily pulled out.
Mix soap and water in a bucket and sponge the protectors. The dirt should come off quickly, so just keep repeating until they look shiny.
How to Clean the Gas Burners
It is easier to clean the burners if you remove them from the grill. Removing is easy on most grills, but the steps vary. Refer to your owner’s manual for instructions.
Rinse the burners with soapy water after removing them. Let the burners dry before putting them back on the grill.
If you don’t want to remove the burner, just wipe it with a damp sponge. Don’t be surprised at the amount of dirt as these accumulate rather fast on burners.