Outdoor Grill Cleaning Tips

Outdoor grilled steaks and burgers are some of the signature flavors of summer. Cleanup after meals can take you away from relaxing with your friends and family after eating. Here are a few grill cleaning tips to help keep your outdoor grill in top shape and get you back to the party quicker.

Grill-grate-oiler-brushSpray the grates

To make cleaning an outdoor grill easier, spray the grill grates with nonstick cooking spray. Applying peanut oil to the grates also works. The Steven Raichlen Grilling Grate Oiler Brush takes the guesswork out of grill oiling and comes with a catch-tray for any excess oil drops. This handheld grill accessory also features a heat shield to protect your hands.

Motorized-grill-brushClean when warm

Grates are easier to clean when slightly warm. Simply scrub the grill grates with a grill-cleaning brush to remove charred food bits. A stainless steel wire brush works best on stainless steel and cast-iron grill grates. However, a stainless steel brush can damage nonstick grates. Opt for one with stiff plastic bristles or a brush labeled “safe for nonstick surfaces.”

You can find grill brushes from trusted brands such as Kenmore, Char-Broil, Weber, 21st Century and more. For grates with stubborn, caked-on debris, consider a motorized grill brush to reduce the amount of physical scrubbing needed.

Char-Broil-auto-clean-gas-grillSome gas grills have a self-clean or an auto-clean option. Check out the Char-Broil four-burner infrared gas grill with side burner and Auto Clean™ technology, which allows you to walk away from the grill after cooking — the grill automatically cleans without the need for scrubbing.

Burner cleaning

The same grill brush used for cleaning the grates can also be used to clean an outdoor grill burner. Ignoring the burners allows food bits and grease to accumulate. Allow the burners to cool before cleaning to avoid burns.

Under the lid

That isn’t paint peeling under the lid of your grill. It’s baked on smoke and grease. To prevent this buildup, don’t forget to wipe down the inside of the grill lid after each use with a damp cloth. If buildup has occurred, use your grill brush to scrape it off and then wipe the inside of the lid with a damp cloth.


The outside of your grill can get grimy as well. Refer to your owner’s manual for the best options to clean the outside of your grill. Some grills can be cleaned with products such as Weber Exterior Grill spray cleaner. Always use a product that won’t damage your grill’s exterior finish.

Charcoal grill specifics

Keep your charcoal grill in good condition by dumping the used, cooled charcoal after each use. Remove the grates and clean out the ash catcher. Brush out any remaining debris. Removing the used charcoal, ash and debris helps keep bitter flavors from permeating your grilled foods.

Electric grill cleaning tips

Never use stainless steel brushes on the nonstick cooking surfaces of an electric grill. Spray the grill with nonstick cooking spray before each use and simply wipe it down with a damp cloth when done.


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  1. I'm really going to have to pick up one of those oil brushes!


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