How to Clean Your BBQ or Grill

How to Clean Your BBQ or Grill

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  1. Taste, safety and health are all affected by whether or not you routinely clean your BBQ or grill. Although the process can be a little messy, it is essential in preventing contamination of food from rancid grease, carbon and even insects. Once completed, your fresh and shiny BBQ or grille can once again become a focal point for outdoor gatherings.


    Each BBQ or grille is slightly different from the next as it pertains to specific removal steps. Be sure to consult your unit’s manual if you’re unsure. In every case you remove the upper cooking surface, whether a circular grill or thicker metal grilling plates. In most cases, these simply lift off by hand. Gas grilles have small gas shields, triangular in shape and designed to evenly disperse heat from the flames. These also prevent flare-ups from scorching the food. Lift these off as well.


    Soak each piece in hot water and dish detergent to loosen cooked-on foodstuffs. You can scrub the grilling surfaces in the sink with a grill brush. You may wish to place a kitchen towel on the base of the sink to prevent possible scratching. Allow the pieces to soak until the contamination comes off easier.

    BBQ/Grill Component Cleaning:

    Dispose of old white charcoal or unusable wood chips in the trash. If the coals were used within the past 24-48 hours, you will want to spread them evenly in the base of the BBQ or grill and spray them with a little water to ensure they are completely extinguished. Wipe out the base of the BBQ or grill with paper towels and a conventional ammonia-based cleaner. Scrub the inner lid and floor of the BBQ or grille with a balled-up piece of aluminum foil. If you have a wet/dry shop vaccuum, this greatly speeds up the process of removing loose material inside the BBQ or grill. Spray the gas tubes normally located under the triangular shields you removed with the ammonia-based cleaner. These have small holes that allow gas through that easily become clogged during normal use. Gently scrub these tubes clean with the grill brush.

    Re-Assembly and Care:

    Put the BBQ or grill back together after each item is as clean as you can make it. Test your gas grille, examining the holes on the gas tubes to ensure each emits a blue flame. It is always recommended that you use a cover to protect the BBQ or grill from rain, snow and animal droppings. Bring the unit into a covered location such as a garage or carport in the offseason for increased protection and longevity. Understanding how to clean your BBQ or grill is essential for long unit life and better cooking results.

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