Do you enjoy cookouts on the backyard deck? To keep your grill working well and in great condition, scrub the grease tray, scrape the grates, and dump out the ashes each time you use it. Maintain and clean your grill regularly to help extend its lifespan. Here are some tips and tricks to keep your grill clean and ready to use.

Tools and Materials Needed to Clean Your Grill

Before beginning the project gather some basic tools and materials. You’ll have everything on hand to clean the grill.

  • Heavy-duty rubber gloves
  • Stainless steel wire brush
  • Flat putty knife
  • Dishwashing liquid and water
  • Cleaning cloths for stainless steel

Heating the Grill Can Damage its Components

It is sometimes recommended to heat your grill to the highest setting and close the lid. After 15 or 20 minutes, the food will be burned to ash and can be easily cleaned. This may work on some grills with heavy-duty components, but many grills aren’t built to withstand that level of heat for such a long time. Before cleaning the grill, read the instruction manual and follow the directions there. You’ll find care and maintenance tips that are for your specific model.

Soak and Clean Your Grill Grates

Remove the grill grate so you can clean it thoroughly. Put on latex gloves and use a coarse brush to scrub off food particles and baked-on grease. If you do not have a brush, you can use a metal wire sponge.

If the grates are difficult to clean, prepare a soap and water solution with hot water and a tablespoon of dishwashing liquid. Pour the solution into a container large enough for the grates, like a deep baking dish or a plastic tub. You can also use the kitchen sink if the grill grates fit. Soak the pieces in soapy water for 20-30 minutes. Then, scrub them with a sponge to remove grease and food residue. Rinse the grates with lukewarm water and let them dry.

Protect the Grill From Rust

Use an old rag to apply a thin layer of oil to the grill grate after it dries. This will protect the metal from rusting. The oil will also prevent the food from sticking next time you have a cookout.

Take Care of the Lid

The grill lid will accumulate grease and food particles while you’re cooking. Use dishwashing liquid on a sponge to clean the lid. Rinse the lid by using a clean, damp cloth.

Removing Grease from the Grill Tray

Grills are usually fitted with drip pans that catch grease and ash. Clean the drip pans after each use. Let the grill cool after you are finishing cooking. Drain the grease from the drip tray into a container. Never pour it down the sink. Grease can cause your sink to become clogged. Fill the pan with soapy water. Soak it for 10-20 minutes, scrub it with a sponge, and then rinse it thoroughly.

Clean Your Grill Burners

This last step only applies to gas grills. It’s important to clean the burners regularly to keep the grill running smoothly and cooking evenly. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to clean the burners. You may need to remove them to clean the food residue and grease from the burner tubes. A putty knife or grill brush can help to remove stubborn particles from the burners.

If there are grease stains on the outside of your grill, use a strong grease remover. Rinse the area well afterward. If you make the effort to clean the grill regularly, you’ll be able to easily remove food and grease with just dishwashing liquid and water.

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