How to Deep Clean a Grill

By MariJo Kolze

As the weather starts to heat up, many people look forward to cooking on their BBQ grill. Cooking with an outdoor grill is an excellent way to prepare food, but properly maintaining it is just as crucial. It is recommended that you deep clean your grill at least once or twice a year. However, you should clean your grill after every use. The foundation of your perfect meal is a well-maintained grill. In addition to being better for food preparation, a clean grill ensures a safer and more effective grilling experience. 

To help you understand where to begin deep cleaning your grill, we have provided you with these steps to guide you. Whether you are using a gas or charcoal grill, we have the tools to help!

Here are some of our favorite basic tools and materials to keep in mind when deep cleaning your grill:

How to Clean a Gas Grill: 

Gas Grill

Due to their simplicity while cooking, gas grills are very popular among people. Likewise, deep cleaning a gas grill is a very straightforward process. If you clean your gas grill before and after each grilling session, it will be easier to deep clean when necessary. 

Before and After Grilling:

  1. The first step to deep cleaning your grill is to preheat it on high, then turn it off immediately afterwards. To ensure your safety, you should make sure the gas is off. Once the grill has cooled down, you can begin the cleaning process. To begin, remove the grill grates and set them aside. It's much easier to remove them and clean them this way. Additionally, you should remove the metal pieces that cover the burners. It is important to remove these while cleaning since they can collect a lot of grease and dirt.
  2. Now that you have removed the components from your grill, you should wipe any loose charcoal or food from the grill. Any leftover residue can be removed with a rag. We suggest using any old rag you're willing to toss after.
  3. As for the metal parts and grill grates, you want to let them soak in a soapy water container or even your bathtub for at least an hour or more. All you need to do is fill up the area you intend to use with warm water and dish soap. As a result, the grates and metal pieces will soak and help the residue and rust to come off. After thoroughly soaking the pieces, you can scrub any remaining stains or residue with your grill brush. Scrubbing shouldn't be too difficult since the residue should be softer and easier to remove.
  4. After you have soaked and removed the residue, wipe your parts with a clean, old rag. In this step, you just make sure all the grease and dirt are removed. When you have reinstalled the grill grates and other metal parts, you can begin cleaning the outside of the grill. Simply spray your grill with the stainless steel cleaner and wipe it down with a rag or paper towels. 

If you follow these steps, cleaning your gas grill is not as difficult as it may seem at first. If you want to clean your grill effectively, you should always use clean products, including the rags you wipe with, and by replacing your grill brush annually. With this process, you can clean your grill more easily and cook your next meal on a fresh grill!

See the YouTube video for a more visual explanation of how to deep clean your gas grill: 

How to clean a charcoal grill:

Charcoal Grill

Charcoal grills are known for the extra flavor they give to food. Nothing is like the rich and smoky taste you get from meat that was cooked on a charcoal grill. Despite the fact that charcoal grills are easy to clean, they still get dirty and leave a lot of ash behind after each use. Over time, ash can accumulate inside the grill and block vents which could be dangerous while cooking. The best way to ensure your charcoal grill cooks food properly and delivers that perfect BBQ flavor is to clean it after every use.

  1. The first thing you want to do before you start cleaning your charcoal grill, is make sure the charcoal has cooled off. After that, you will be able to remove the grates from the grill. Once the grates are removed, you can also empty any remaining ash or charcoal into a bin. 
  2. After you remove the grates from the grill, you can start cleaning them. Be sure you have vegetable oil and a grill brush ready for use. Before applying the vegetable oil, you will want to scrub as much of the ash/charcoal off as possible. Then add vegetable oil to the grates and wipe them with a paper towel or rag to loosen the grease. If there is still residue left on the grates, try using aluminum foil as a hack to scrub any last parts away.
  3. When you finish cleaning the grates, be sure to clean the bottom of the grill as well. This is the area where ash accumulates and becomes dirty. You can either wipe the debris away with a rag or towel, or brush it off. Following your wipe-down, spray the grill interior with an oven cleaner. Take some time to let this sit before rinsing it off. 
  4. Finally, to clean the grill's exterior, mix dish soap with warm water and wipe with a rag or paper towel. Afterward, rinse the exterior of the grill with water to remove any soap that may remain. Once you have cleaned every part of your grill, rinse it thoroughly with water to get rid of any soap or cleaner. Your charcoal grill is now ready for use!

While charcoal grills can be cleaned easily, they are also prone to accumulating residue and ash. A tip before you always start to grill is to make sure you brush the grill grates beforehand. By doing so, you are removing any previous burnt food. By maintaining a clean grill, you can get the flavor you're looking for, as well as prevent flare-ups and old debris. Hopefully, these steps for deep cleaning your grill will assist you in cooking your next delicious meal!

Check out this YouTube video for a more visual explanation of how to deep clean your charcoal grill: