How to Clean a Grill and BBQ Grates

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There’s nothing quite like the fun of inviting friends over for a succulent barbeque. Unfortunately, there also isn’t anything quite like the frustration that can follow when it’s time to clean the grating of the grill.

After all, while modern barbeque grills are designed with the grating wide enough apart to allow lots of the fat to drip down into the lower chamber instead of simply collect at the top, it can still get quite messy.

​Cooking with a filthy grill is a no-go, so you need to make sure you clean it properly each time.

Unfortunately, that can be easier said than done. Moreover, it can be far less tedious. Cleaning and scraping fat and debris that has been caked onto the grill can be an incredibly repetitive, exhausting, and frustrating chore.

However, it doesn’t have to be. With one of these four basic grill-cleaning techniques, you’ll be able to enjoy a nice clean grill soon after your barbeque.

So what is the best way to clean a grill?

How to Clean a Grill

1. Brush Immediately

This isn’t exactly anything groundbreaking, but it is still territory worth covering.

Yes, obviously you can clean your grill with a brush. That said, there is a lot more nuance to this than you might expect, which can save you some of the grunt work that comes with brushing a grill.

Grills like the Weber Genesis or Spirit are generally easy to clean and will last a very long time if cleaned immediately after use.

For starters, you don’t want to wait too long after you have used your grill to clean it.

The last thing you may feel like doing after slaving away over the grill is to go right into cleaning it, but doing so will save you a lot more time and effort in the long run.

That’s because the heat that comes off a grill shortly after usage makes it much easier to clean. This is because the heat and steam can help loosen up the grease.

The longer you wait, the more the grill will cool and the grease and fat will harden, which can make it that much harder to remove.

It also gives insects more time to start to swarm the grease and debris.

2. Burn it Away

Maybe you don’t want to do any scrubbing at all, but you still want your grill to be clean. If so, you can try simply “burning” the grease and fat away by superheating your grill.

The efficacy of this method will vary from grill to grill and depending on how dirty your grate is. You should also always be careful of accidentally hurting yourself or your grill by making it too hot for too long or too quickly.

Nevertheless, if you do this carefully, you could burn away all the grease and spare yourself some cleanup time.

3. Soak the Grill

If you don’t like either of those methods, you may consider simply soaking your grill and letting it sit for a while.

This is easily the most time-consuming of the options. It will take a few hours at least. This is not an ideal method to use if you plan on using the grill again that day.

Soaking your grill is more of a deep-cleaning technique that is meant to be used to clean stubborn stains and the whole grill from top to bottom.

Remember, fat and grease can slip down into the pit of your grill, and that needs to be cleaned away too, which is where this method comes in. Ideally, you should soak your grill with soap and water at least a couple of times per year.

Simple soap and water should do. You can also add a little baking soda for extra stubborn spots.

4. Makeshift Scrubbers

Finally, there is the option to take a bit more of a DIY approach and create a disposable makeshift cleaning tool to help get the grease off the grates.

For example, a block of hardwood that can fit in between the spaces of the grate can be a good choice here. The same can be said of aluminum. Simply fold it up, use it to scrub away the grease, and then throw it away.

Cleaning your grill may not be the most fun task, but it is nevertheless necessary.

These methods can help take some of the exhaustion and effort out of cleaning your grill, giving you more time for what counts – the actual grilling.