Great Grates Are Always Kept Clean
I don't know about you, but I never want my food touching any cooking grates that contain mold, carbon, or rancid grease. That's why it's always important to clean your grates properly and keeping them clean at the end of each cook.
Whether cleaning your grates during a full grill cleaning or just after a cook, turn your grill burners on high, or if you have a charcoal grill, double up the amount of charcoal. Let the grill heat up for about 15-20 minutes, allowing any remaining food to char into ash and any grease to burn off.
Using a grill brush, scrub the grates until all particles are removed and the grates are clean. There are many great grill brushes, scrapers and cleaners available to help you easily clean your cooking grates.
Once your grates are clean, apply a light coat of oil to them using a cloth or handy grilling grate oiler brush. This will keep your grates seasoned, protecting them from corrosion and preventing your food from sticking. Its always great to oil your grates before and after each cook as well.
Under The Grates
With a completely cooled down grill and the grates removed, remove any flame tamers, ceramic trays, or burner coverings and give them a good cleaning using a grill brush.
It's important to inspect your burners for any cracks and make sure all the holes in the tubes are free from any debris. It is common to find spiders and other insects nesting inside burners that have not been used in a while. This can cause ports and burners to be clogged, or for those who hate bugs, nightmares.
If you find a clogged port, you can use a straightened out paper clip to unclog the hole. If you find the burner is clogged from the inside, remove it and use a venturi flexible shaft cleaning brush to properly clean out the burner and install it back.
Grill Tip: After each cook, turning your burners on high for 15-20 will burn off any dripping that may have landed on your burners while cooking, which should help keep them from clogging up.
Scale Build-Up Must Go
That scaly black stuff under the hood is produced by a build-up of carbon, soot and other by-products from grilling. It is important to clean scale to prevent those nasty flakes from falling into your food and to keep your grill operating the way it was meant to, because nobody likes their steak lightly garnished with scale. Yuck!
To remove scale, slap on a pair of gloves, grab a wired grill brush, and start scrubbing. While you should never use chemicals like oven cleaners to clean the inside of your grill, there are products, such as Carbon-Off, which is specially designed to help you easily remove carbon build-up.
Once you've scrubbed, scraped, and wiped until your hearts desire, make sure to clean up all the debris inside your grill. You can use a shop vac, or if your grill has an ash pan, dump it out.
Don't Forget The Temperature Probe
Keeping your temperature gauge probe clean is very important, especially if you are cleaning a pellet grill or smoker. Over time, carbon build up on the probe may render it useless. Carbon-Off and a soft cloth or sponge will make cleaning the probe a lot easier. You can also use a hard bristle tooth brush to scrub around the probe.
Dealing With Mold
Surprise! You open up your grill to find a bunch of white, fuzzy things inside your grill that isn't a litter of cute puppies; it's mold. And, while you may feel the urge to instantly take your grill to the curb for trash pick up, you can take comfort in knowing that cleaning it is super-easy.
Mold comes from the presence of moisture inside your grill. When you combine that moisture with grease, your grill becomes the Playboy Mansion of mold. If you find mold inside your grill, never use any cleaners or brushes to remove it, as you may inhale mold spores, causing you or other to get sick. There's one sure fire way to get rid of it, and it just so happens to be something your grill is great at doing... creating heat.
- Discard any old charcoal, ceramic briquettes, lava rocks, or anything porous that may retain mold.
- Fire up your grill and try to reach the temperature levels of Hell's inferno. That means, if using a gas grill, turn each burner on high, or if using a charcoal grill, double up your charcoal. Close the lid and let it burn for at least 20 minutes.
- Let the grill cool down and take your wire grill cleaning brush to everything in sight inside your grill.
- Next, remove the inside parts of the grill and scrub with soap and water or pressure wash.
- After you've cleaned and put everything back together, fire up your grill one last time to burn off any remaining mold, debris, water, or residue that may still remain.
Grill Tip: To prevent mold in the future, always superheat your grill after every cook. This will burn off any remaining grease or food residue inside your grill. Also, make sure to store your grill in a dry place with all the vents open.
Ash is the Enemy With Charcoal Grills
Check your charcoal grate to make sure it is not warped or corroded. Charcoal grills depend on air flow below the charcoal grate to deliver much needed air to the fire. If your grate is warped badly, cracked, or rusted through, replace it.
Clean out any remaining ash left inside the grill using an ash tool and a bucket or shop vac. Ash left inside over a long period of time absorbs moisture and can cause your grill to start corroding from the inside.
Polish off the Exterior For That Brand-New Grill Look
There's nothing like a clean, new looking grill. Using a damp cloth, wipe down the exterior of your grill to remove any dust, dirt, or grime. Never use any abrasive brushes or material to clean the exterior of your grill, unless that scratch looked is your thing.
If you have a stainless steel grill that's scratched up, there's no better way to finish up the cleaning job than by fixing those scratches using Scratch-B-Gone's scratch remover kit, which will remove the toughest scratches, making your grill look brand-new again.