Dirty grills are dangerous fire hazards. Accumulation of fat causes annoying flare-ups, even complete fires. And besides being a threat to your life and home, a nasty grill won't do any good to the taste of the food.
However, there is no reason to panic. Here in this manual are simple steps to thoroughly clean and maintain your grill. As a result, your food will taste better, perform at its best, and last longer. I have maintained a propane-fired grill for this article, but many of the advice I offer also relates to charcoal grills, pellet smokers and Kamado grills.
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1. Open it, pull it apart
First you have to open the grill and remove the different parts. In this way you have access to the main grill room. Usually they are under the grids, this is where heavy food particles tend to fall and land fat drops.
Start with a cold grill. Open the hood, remove the grill racks and set them aside. Some propane gas models also have one or more metal heaters resting on the burners. If your grill has them, take them out too.
2. Cleaning the inside
Many grease and food scraps usually accumulate inside the grill, also known as the "grill box". Use a cheap putty knife (metal or plastic) or an old spatula to scrape the sides of the grill chamber free of as much slurry as you can.
Any thin, flat tool is sufficient. Just make sure it offers a good surface or handle to grab. You can also consider buying a pair of work gloves, as this is definitely a dirty job.
On charcoal and wood pellet grills, ash will accumulate in their coal trays and fire boxes. This in turn limits the air flow and ultimately influences the cooking performance. And in the case of pellet grills, ash can cause the pellet system to burn incorrectly. Sometimes this situation leads to a precarious burn-over state when too much fuel ignites at the same time.
Avoid this by regularly removing ash deposits from your grill. Be sure to do this when the ash has cooled completely
3. Clean the burner tubes
If you have a gas grill, the burner tubes are a part that often gets clogged. A reduced flame size is a symptom of dirty burners. They can also burn with an orange color instead of the usual blue. Both indicate abnormally low temperatures and insufficient power.
A gas grill usually has several burner tubes, although some have only one. Use a nylon or wire brush to gently clean the small holes in the tubes. Brush from the center of the tube outwards, moving sideways (not up and down). Otherwise, you can push debris into the tube or holes yourself instead of removing them.
4. Clean the gratings
Reassemble the grill, set it to the highest temperature and close the hood. There may even be a cleaning level on your burner knobs. After a few minutes, open the lid and scrape the grates vigorously with a metal, brush-free brush. One that I especially like is the $ 15 Grill Bristleless Scraper from Taylor. This brush has multiple surfaces and edges to attack and remove dirt from grill racks. It even has a handy bottle opener.
According to Taylor, you can find this tool in stores and it is also sold online by Amazon. If you can't wait that long, use a nylon brush, but only when the grill is cold. Another option is the $ 15 Sumpri Grill Brush and Scraper. It is made of stainless steel and is also brush-free. Although I have not used it personally, it seems to be popular with Amazon shoppers.
There may come a time, perhaps at the start of the grilling season, when deep cleaning is needed. To loosen stubborn charred dirt, soak the grids overnight in soapy water. Another option is to hit grilles with an aerosol grill cleaner such as Simply Green.
5. Prevent future build-up
Certain methods can help prevent deposits of dirt and grease in the first place. One method is to coat the grills of your hot grill with a little cooking oil just before you start cooking. In the same vein, scrubbing your grill grills with a raw onion is another tactic you can try. If you have a grill brush without hair, it is a good idea to scrape your hot grates both before and after grilling.
Another tactic is to scrub hot grill racks with the open side of a sliced (in half) onion. The idea here is that it seasons the grills and at the same time adds moisture. Presumably organic compounds are also released that break down stubborn grease and dirt. I have discovered that it is not as effective as scrubbing, but it certainly provides a wonderful scent.
Of course, a full cleaning every few months is the best method to enjoy a grill that is great. A little elbow fat goes a long way.