How To Clean Your Grill

A gas grill needs to be properly maintained in order to keep it cooking well for you year after year.  Learning how to clean your grill is a must if you use it on a regular basis!

We tend to think that a grill is something that does not need regular cleaning. Think of your grill as an oven – you clean your oven, right?  You have to clean it to keep food particles from building up and burning inside.  It also keeps it sanitary.  The same is true for your grill!

We’ve put together a guide to help you clean it properly and once you get into the swing of it, it will be like second nature.  Before long, you will notice how much better your food cooks without sticking and how much better it tastes!

**Visit the Tips Section for Charcoal Grill Cleaning**

How To Clean Your Grill

[tab:Clean Grates]

Clean the Grates

The grates on your gas grill need to be cleaned after every use, but people do not do it.  By cleaning it properly, it will keep food from sticking and make the food taste better. Even though there are a lot of expensive cleaners out there, what you really need is a stiff metal brush with a scraper.  These are fairly inexpensive and last forever.

  • You should always clean the grill AFTER you cook, not right before.  If you wait until the grill has cooled completely, the food particles will harden and it will be very difficult to get all of it off.
  • After cooking, wait for the grill to cool down a bit until it is warm.
  • Scrub off the food particles with the brush and it should easily fall off.
  • If any particles are left, use the scraper, then repeat brushing.

**If you have cast iron grates, you will want to rub a little oil on the grates as well to prevent rusting.

[tab:Clean Lava Rocks & Burners]

Clean Lava Rocks

If you are a heavy user of your gas grill, then you should regularly remove the grates and clean the lava rocks.  You will not be able to clean these with a wire brush – you will need to burn the grease and buildup off of them.  **When you remove them, if there are pieces falling off, then they need to be replaced, NOT cleaned.

The best way to clean them is:

  • Wait for the grill to cool completely
  • Take out the lava rocks and turn them upside down so that the greasy side is facing down.
  • Lay foil over the grill grates to trap the heat UNDER them
  • Turn your grill on high for 20-30 minutes.  There will probably be excessive smoke coming from the grill due to burning the grease off.
  • Heat on high for no more than 30 minutes, then turn off the grill
  • Let the grill cool completely, check the rocks to see if they are clean.  If not, repeat the same procedure again.

Clean the Burners

At least once a year, your entire grill needs to be cleaned and inspected.  Cleaning the burners is part of that procedure.

  • To get to the burners, you will first disconnect the gas
  • Lift out grill parts layer by layer until you reach the burners
  • Check to make sure there isn’t anything blocking the flow of gas.  If there is blockage, clean it out if you can.  If you can’t, you will need to replace them.

[tab:Finishing Touches]

Finishing Touches

  • When you have your grill completely disassembled, you can clean it with hot, soapy water by washing, hosing or pouring the water through the top of the grill.  Watch for the flow of water, because any blockage can be found and fixed at this point as well.
  • If the paint is peeling, now would be the time to touch it up.  If you see any rust at all, you need to repaint as well. Make sure you use “grill safe” paint
  • When you finish cleaning, place everything back in and make sure the connections are secure.
  • Turn on the grill and let it heat for at least 10 minutes to make sure there is no soapy residue left.

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Grill Cleaning Tips

Cleaning a Charcoal Grill:

Simply dumping out the ashes in a charcoal grill is NOT considered cleaning it.  Remember, anything you cook on, whether a grill, oven or stove, needs to be cleaned throughly after each use to keep it sanitary.

  • After dumping out the ashes, use a stiff wire brush to scrub the food particles off the grill.
  • Use the brush as well to scrub out the bottom of the grill to remove any additional food particles
  • Several times a year, wash down the entire grill with soapy water and check for any rust spots.
  • If rust is present, and you need to repaint, make sure you use “grill safe” paint.

If you keep your grill clean throughout the year, then it will never be a big job and it will also last so much longer.  Not to mention, the food will taste so much better!

For more tips, please visit the Lawn & Garden section of our website.

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