How often do you clean your grill? Once a season or twice a season or never? Here is my complete guide on how to easily clean your grill. We do this a few times a season, and it helps with flare-ups and improves the flavor of the food we grill. To help you clean your grill, I found this video from Melissa Maker. She does a great job explaining the products and how to use them, and it's entertaining too. =)
Below is a video for how to clean pellet grills.
Tools you need to help clean your grill correctly
Here are the tools I recommend for cleaning the grill. Melissa mentioned many of these as well.
Degreaser for the grill:
The first thing you need is a degreaser for your grill. You can buy a degreaser that is specifically for the grill. It will be in contact with food and heat. Some degreasers are only intended for other purposes. So, read the label carefully. The one I use is a Weber brand degreaser spray. It works really well.
The second thing you need is a non-scratch sponge or a few similar to the ones below. Only use it for the grill, not for anything else. The grease gets coated on it and will not be removed easily.
Barbecue Grill Brush:
The third thing you need is a brush for when you heat up the grill. You can easily brush it to clean off the debris from the other burnt food. A brush like these below from Amazon works great.
Old T-shirts or Rags for drying the grill:
The next thing you need are rags for drying. Drying the grill after you clean will reduce the likelyhood of the grill getting rusted. These rags or tshirts should just be used for the grill. They will mostly have grease on them that may stain and mark up the other things you are trying to clean.
The fifth item you will need is gloves. Get a pair of heavy-duty gloves that you don't mind really getting dirty. They should just be used for cleaning the grill.
Bucket to hold soapy water:
The next thing you will need is a large enough bucket to hold a good amount of water. A sturdy bucket works great for holding soapy water.
And with that bucket you will need some dish soap. I favor Dawn dish soap. If it's good for birds to remove grease, it's good for your grill. A bit of Dawn soap works great in the bucket for cleaning.
Trash bags and a trash can if possible:
The next item is a sturdy trash can with large trash bags in them. The trash can will keep the trash bag open for you when you need to scrap stuff off the grill grates and flavor bars.
Now that you have all the tools, below are some additional tips to help you clean your grill properly.
How often should you clean your grill?
It is recommended to clean the grill thorough with the products above every 6 months. We do it every two months because of flareups that could happen when there is grease built up. But, you should always clean the grates before you use the grill and/or after you use the grill.
How to start the grill cleaning process?
First, start by removing the grates and cleaning them. Set them aside on a clean covered surface.
Next, move to scrapping down the build up of the grease. We like to use a scraper like these from Amazon. This will remove any excess and scrap them into the catch bin at the bottom of the grill. This step is for gas and charcoal grills only.
Now remove the catch-all tray and disgard the insert and replace it. If there was some grease that penitrated the tray, clean it off first.
Clean any of the flavor bars by removing them from the grill and using a sponge and Dawn soap. Rinse and dry them thoroughly. Inspect the flame connecters and brush with a brissle brush to clean any debris off of them. If they are covered by the flavor bars, you may not need to do this.
The next step is to return all the items to their rightful place. Make sure you dry the grill complete from any water you may have used on it.
If you want, you can clean the outside and bottom of the grill too.
Tips to get your grill clean:
- Be sure you place your grill in an area that you don't mind getting dirty. We like to place it on the grass away from the deck and patio.
- Make sure you do this on an overcast day or a day that it is not too warm. Try to place the grill in the shade or under a tree area if possible.
- Make sure you have all the tools near you. We have forgotten something in the past and realized that we were a mess and couldn't open the door. Remember, grease doesn't come off easily so better safe than sorry.
- Get help. Having another set of hands really does help with this process, especially if you need to move the grill.
- Use newspapers under the grill if you are on a deck to keep the drippings from marking up the deck boards.
- Spray the grates and the flavor bars with the degreaser and let them sit for a good amount of time.
- Don't forget to clean the knobs too and tabletop attached to your grill.
Here's a free checklist to help you clean your grill.
Well, there you have it, instructions on how to clean your grill. I hope this inspires you to clean your grill. What is your favorite tip when it comes to cleaning your grill? Please leave a comment below.
Please note these are affiliate links through Amazon, and at no additional cost to you, I will earn affiliate fees if you decide to make a purchase.
I like how you say that you would want to lay down newspaper before you clean your grill. Having a way to easily get rid of the mess you will make would be a really helpful thing to have. If you haven't cleaned your grill for a long time you may also want to consider finding a professional service to help out.
Great tips. I don't have a grill yet, but when I get one I will refer back to this post.
Shared your post with the chef. We bought a new charcoal (he's some kind of crazy grill-purist) this year and he's wondering for the best ways to make it last. I'm thinking a cover would be a good idea...
Great tips for cleaning the grill and very timely. One suggestion - make sure to also use these tips at the end of the season so that next year the grill will be ready to go without worrying about baked on yuk.
Yes, I agree, Lenie! Thanks for stopping by and commenting. =)
This is so funny, I just got a grill.
Never really grilled myself before, so these tips will help me when I clean it. Thanks for sharing this, right when I needed it.
Have fun with your grill! Thanks for stopping by.
I'm lucky. I don't own a grill. However, I do broil in my oven and I'm glad for self-cleaning!
Rubber gloves are definitely a must when cleaning a grill, and they will get absolutely dirty! I cleaned mine really well before I sold it last year at my garage sale. My friend got a really great deal on a super-nice Weber since I am not inclined to grill.
I never thought of what goes into cleaning a grill. What a project but you gave some great tips. I've never had a grill, but I'll save this for the future. I imagine I'll have one someday.
Great tips! Definitely sharing, especially with my hubby who is the grill master in our house! 😉
I have to admit like others here I don't own a grill, but I'm happy to share because it certainly is the right time of year to tackle this chore.
I clean my grill once a year in the spring. While I use tools similar to the ones you suggest, with heaving reliance on a stiff wire brush, I usually try to take as many parts off as possible and soak them before I clean them. I have an old tub-like sink in the basement with works for that.
These are great tips for a pristine BBQ grill. I am embarrassed to admit that we do not own one. Each year we discuss buying a BBQ but do not quite move on from there.
We do not host often and when we do, I cook a full meal - dinner party style.
I'll just pass this post right on to my hubby 😉 Thanks for the great tips on how to make this unpleasant task easier!
I love Melissa Maker, i have subscribed to her videos for a while now. She is entertaining and informative. I leave the cleaning and maintaining of the grill to my husband, he calls it his man stove, so i leave him to it.
She is one of the best! Thanks for stopping by and commenting, Jill. =)
We use the grill brush method, but one caution: don't use an old one. Those little bristles can make you VERY sick if you injest them. I just say get a new one each year.
Great tip, Seana. I totally agree. Replacing a grill brush yearly should be a necessity.
My husband cleaned our grill last week - ready for the Memorial Day weekend. He does a wonderful job at it and uses most of the tips you have here. And since it's been raining here for what seems like forever, plenty of overcast skies to help him out!
My favorite tip: delegate this to someone who loves doing it and provide them all the tools they need!
Patricia - how fun to run into you here! It really is a small world, even (or maybe especially) on the internet. I love reading Sabrina's tips and recipes.
Thanks, Janet! =)
Good tips. I am going to share with my husband who is charge of most things related to the barbecue.
Excellent suggestions! Since I don't have a grill I will tweet this post.