There’s no better way to spend a summer weekend than to throw a backyard barbecue party. We feel a deep spiritual connection to our grills. For some people, it’s even an extension of their personality. However, during the cold winter months, all we can do is wait for the day when you can use your outdoor grill again. However, you may find that your outdoor grill has taken a beating during the long months of storage, especially if kept outdoors.
We men pride ourselves on grilling great barbecue, but can we honestly say that our grills are dirty inside and out? Just as we regularly go to a men’s salon to keep ourselves looking sharp and presentable, we also need to make sure our grills are clean and summer-ready. A weather-beaten and dirty grill will not inspire your guests’ confidence, even if your steaks look good. After all, nobody wants to eat meat taken from a dust trap.
Here are a few tips and tricks for cleaning your grill. Read on if you want to make it look brand new for your summer backyard party.
1. Burn away hardened debris
Fire isn’t just for cooking. It also comes in handy when cleaning a dirty grill. One great way to start your grill cleaning is to burn off any hardened grease and food.
Set the outdoor grill on high and let it burn for about 15 to 20 minutes or until the grill stops emitting smoke or giving off odors. Leaving the grill to burn will burn off any food particles stuck to the grates and turn them into ash. Allow the grill to cool down before cleaning it.
2. Perform a safety check
Before you can start cleaning your outdoor grill, you must check every nook and cranny for any possible issues. Start with checking the ignition system and ensure that the gas connection has been disconnected.
Inspect the pressure regulators as well. It ensures that the temperature is evenly distributed throughout the grill and a broken one can prevent safe and proper grilling use. Lastly, check the heat tents, flame tamers, and vaporizer bars. Use a soft brush to remove any debris that has collected on the wire brush.
3. Clean the cooking grates
The cooking grates are the only part of the grill that comes into contact with the food, so you need to clean it every after use. If the grates are detachable, remove it from the grill and soak it in warm soapy water for a few hours. The warm water and soap will soften and loosen any burnt food and grime, making them easier to remove. Use a scrubber pad to remove any remaining residue until the shiny metal is revealed.
4. Clean after use
Not all outdoor grills are designed the same, and you’ll have to use different techniques depending on the material to keep the grill clean.
For gas grills, make sure the burners are set to off before starting cleaning. You don’t have to use water when using a cleaning block. The block will remove any residue stuck to the grates. Once the grill grates have been cleaned, coat it with cooking oil.
If you have a charcoal grill, the best time to clean it is while it’s still hot. Use a brush that can spray water to clean the grill grates. The steam will loosen any burnt bits and dislodge them. If you don’t have a grill brush, you may use a hard brush dipped in water to produce the same effect.
For grates made of cast iron and chrome wire, one of the best ways to prevent rust formation is to coat the surfaces with vegetable oil. Grates coated with porcelain do not need an oil coating unless the porcelain has been removed.
5. Clean the interior
After the cooking grates, the next part that needs to be cleaned is the outdoor grill’s interior. You need to scrub the inside walls and under the hood. Before starting, however, you have to coat the heating components with foil to protect them from moisture and chemicals.
Do not use alcohol-based cleaners. Just use warm water and soap to clean the interior of the grill. You don’t want any residue or remnants of hard chemicals to remain behind and possibly contaminate your food.
A final word
Follow these steps to scrub your outdoor grill in no time. Keeping your grill clean not only prevents food contamination, but you’ll also cook better and faster. Make sure to check the grill before using it to prevent any untoward accidents, especially if it’s gas-powered.