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9 Grill Maintenance Tips to Remember

9 Grill Maintenance Tips to Remember

Grilling out with friends and family is one of the best ways to spend the summer. Instead of dirtying pots, pans and countertops, you can use your trusty grill to revel in your outdoor kitchen. Regular grill maintenance helps ensure that your electric, gas or charcoal model lasts for many backyard barbecues to come. With these simple grill-cleaning tips and techniques, you'll be able to clean your barbecue and keep it in top condition.

Check to Ensure Safe Handling

cleaning your grill

Before you start cleaning, make sure that there are no hot coals remaining in the pit of your charcoal grill. If you own a gas model, remember to disconnect the fuel source.

Remove all of the Parts

remove the grill parts

For a major cleaning, start by lifting the grill parts out piece by piece. Wear durable gloves to protect your hands as you pull out the grimy, heavy pieces.

The Burners

cleaning the burner

In a gas model, clean the grill burners so they're not clogged with grease or food debris. If the burners are getting old and you're unable to remove blockage or food particles, replace them with new parts.

The Grill's Base and Firebox Tray

grill firebox

Brush away remaining burnt food and ashes on the base and edges of the grill with a wire grill brush and scraper. With the grates removed, you'll be able to reach areas you may not regularly clean. Make sure to clean all areas of the base to avoid unpleasant smoke that could impair the flavor of future dishes.

Make sure you also clean any food debris and grease from the firebox tray at the bottom of your grill. This will help extend the life of the tray and may prevent flare ups.

The Grill Grates

cleaning the grill grate

Cleaning grill grates can be tricky depending on the type you have. For best results, check the manufacturer's suggestions about your specific grill and grates, but follow these simple suggestions if you can't access them:

  • Cast iron grill grates: Scrape them off with a grill brush and rinse them with water. Avoid using soap, which can remove the seasoning. Always grease cast iron with oil after cleaning to avoid rust.
  • Porcelain-coated grill grates: Make sure that you are only using a brass grill brush so as not to scratch the grates or rub the porcelain coating off the cast iron.
  • Stainless steel grill grates: Use a specially-designed stainless steel grill brush to ensure that your grates are cleaned properly without damage. Follow up with soapy water.

The Exterior of the Grill

cleaning grill exterior

Wipe down the outside of the grill with soapy water, making sure to remove any visible food particles, dust or debris.

Clean at the Start & End of the Season

grill end of season

If you live in an area where year-round grilling isn't possible, it's important to thoroughly clean your grill at the beginning and end of your grilling season. If you grill all year long, you should still do this at least 2-3 times per year to keep your grill clean and well maintained.

Grease the Food, Not the Grates

grease food not the grill

To prevent food from sticking to the grates, use oil on the food itself instead of the grates. This will keep excess oil from dripping through the grates to the bottom of the grill, helping you to keep it clean throughout the season.

Clean After Every Use

grill brush

If you want your appliance to stay in excellent condition for seasons to come, it's important to clean the grill after each use. While this doesn't have to be a complete scrub down, you'll want to make sure that the grill is ready the next time you cook. Remove any excess food, which can become dangerous if left on the grill over a long period.

It's easier to clean your grill shortly after cooking than waiting until the food has caked itself to the grates. Clean the grates with your grill brush and wipe down the exterior of the grill. If your grill grates need a little extra cleaning, wash them the same way you would at the beginning and end of the grilling season.

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