People rarely clean their grills with the same vigor that they do their stoves. However, if they did, they would have fewer problems with their grills. The grills would last a lot longer. If something spills on your stovetop, you quickly wipe it up. If you leave it, you would have a very messy cooking surface in just a short time. Most people clean while they cook and then give the cooking area a thorough wipe down when they are finished. Occasionally, cooks even take their oven or stove apart and do a deep cleaning.
If grills received this same treatment as indoor ovens and stoves, they would last a lot longer. They need to be cleaned every time that are used!
Cleaning Grill Grates
Cooking grates require cleaning following every use. When you cook on clean grates, food will not stick which makes it much simpler to cook on. You can purchase products made for cleaning the grill grates; however, the truth is that a wire brush with stiff bristles will do the job. However, few people know how to clean properly using a brush.
Timing is everything with cleaning. You should clean after grilling. While the grill is still warm, brush away any food particles that have stuck to the grates. Warm particles come off much easier than when they have cooled and hardened on the grate. If your grill has a cast iron grate, consider seasoning it periodically to maintain it. Use a paper towel with oil and simply brush it on the grates.
Always inspect cast iron for rust before cooking on it.
How to Clean a Charcoal Grill
Most charcoal grill users typically remove the ashes each time they finish grilling. Some go ahead and clean the grates as well. However, there are those few people who just remove the ashes and that is all. A wire brush with stiff bristles comes in handy to remove any food that has cooked onto the grates. Some simple cleaning now makes it easy to maintain a clean grill.
Some charcoal grills come equipped with bowls or pans for catching ashes. Simply dumping the ashes from these receptacles is not enough. The entire grill needs cleaning after each use – remove food from the grates, sweep the ashes out, and remove any cooked on food from any surface. When these steps are taken after each use, you will not have to worry about burned on particles leaving a bad taste on your food. Every now and then, your grill will need a thorough cleaning. You will need to gather some food safe cleaning supplies and really get in there and wash the grates and all surfaces. You can purchase heat safe paint and even touch up the paint on the outside. By following these suggestions, your charcoal grill will last a long time.
How to Clean a Gas Grill
Gas grill owners may notice a heat setting marked “Clean.” This is definitely a misnomer as it is does not remove the need to clean the grill after each use. You should wipe down the sides and the lid and clean the grill grates. The clean setting is useful for heating the grill and perhaps burning off particles. The grates should be removed frequently and cleaned along with any briquettes, lava rock, or metal barrier.
Removing any grease from the grates and other surfaces is very important.
About once per year, it is a good idea to take a gas grill apart and clean it well. Always disconnect from the gas then remove the grates and take the grill apart. In order to ensure that your grill is functioning properly, inspect the burners. Be sure that the gas can flow freely. If you find any obstructions, remove them or replace the burners. It is also a good idea to clean or replace lava rock or briquettes at this time. Burned on food creates smoke and a bad taste for your food.
A gas grill can be cleaned with just water and soap.
Check the grill’s exterior or burned out spots, rust, or chipped paint. A bit of heat resistant spray paint can protect the metal. Once everything is cleaned, reassemble the grill. Check everything to be sure it has been replaced properly. Turn on the grill and let any soap residue burn off before adding food.
While you may read about shortcuts to a thorough cleaning, there is no substitute for doing this correctly.
If your grill is made from stainless steel, you may face some different circumstances. Stainless steel is known to rust and show fingerprints easily.