How to Clean your Grill
If people thought of their grills in the same way they think of their stove tops, there would be a lot fewer problems with grills breaking down. Consider this: after cooking something on the stove, you usually have to clean up the spills. Of course, it’s possible that I’m just a messy cook, but I can’t seem to cook without at least wiping down the surface. I’ll do a more thorough cleaning every now and then, depending on how frequently it’s used. This includes rearranging everything and wiping around and under the burners. A grill, on the other hand, should be treated similarly. Clean it at least lightly after each use.
Grates are an exception to this rule. They must be thoroughly cleaned after each use. This keeps food from sticking to your grill and makes it much easier to cook on. There are numerous products available on the market for cleaning your grate, but any good stiff wire brush will suffice. Few people appear to know the best way to complete this minor task. First and foremost, it is preferable to do it after you have finished grilling.
Take your brush and clean off any remaining food particles after your grill has cooled slightly but is still warm. It is much easier to clean off food particles while they are still warm, rather than after they have cooled and hardened on the grate. If you have a clean cast iron grate, apply some oil to it with a paper towel to keep it in good shape. Because bare cast iron is more prone to rusting, it should be inspected on a regular basis.
Cleaning Charcoal Grills
One of the best things about charcoal grills is that they can be cleaned after each use. Many people, however, do not take advantage of the situation and simply dump the ashes. Having a good wire brush on hand to sweep out the cooked-on remains will make subsequent cleaning jobs much easier. And don’t think that just because you have one of those grills with ash catchers means you don’t need to clean it. Everything you use to cook on must be cleaned. Clean the grate and brush out the ashes and cooked-on foods after each use of your charcoal grill.
This will reduce the amount of smoke and bad flavors. Get in there on a regular basis and scrape out everything that seems to accumulate on the bottom of your grill. At least once a year, take out a bucket of soapy water and thoroughly clean it. Get a can of grill safe paint if you need to touch up the color. Just ask someone at the hardware store, and they’ll know exactly what you’re talking about. If you follow these steps, your grill will last for many years and produce excellent results.
Cleaning Gas Grills
The disadvantage of many gas grills is that they have a “clean” setting on the knobs. Many people believe that this is how you clean your grill. You must clean your gas grill after each use, just as you would a charcoal grill. After grilling, make sure to clean the grates and brush off the sides and lid. Preheat your grill using the clean setting. Yes, it will burn up anything that has fallen into the grill, but it will not clean it. Lift out the cooking grate and clean the barrier above the burners on a regular basis. This could be lava rock, briquettes, or some other type of metal plate. However, it should be cleaned of cooked-on grease and food particles on a regular basis.
You should clean your grill at least once a year. This necessitates disassembling parts of it. Begin by disconnecting the gas and then lifting the grill parts out layer by layer. When you get to the burners, make sure to thoroughly inspect them. There should be nothing obstructing the flow of gas. If the burner becomes clogged, the heat will be uneven, resulting in poor grilling. If you can clean it, do so; otherwise, replace it. If your grill makes use of lava rocks or ceramic briquettes, make sure they are not overly encrusted with cooked-on foods. Replace them if they are dirty to avoid the bad-tasting smoke that dirty rocks can produce.
After removing everything from the grill, thoroughly clean it with soapy water. If the paint is peeling or your grill is showing signs of rust, you’ll need to repaint it. Aside from that, replace everything, double-check that all connections are secure, and then turn it on. Allow the grill to completely heat up before cooking again to ensure that any remaining soap residue is burned off.
There are shortcuts for cleaning a gas grill, but they are not always a good idea, and one method is clearly How NOT to Clean a Gas Grill.
Cleaning stainless steel presents some unique challenges. Every fingerprint will be visible on stainless steel, and low-quality stainless steel will rust and discolor over time. I have some special cleaning instructions for stainless steel that you can read.