outdoor grilling party

How To Clean A Grill In Minutes

When summer hits, you want to have every meal outdoors. (And every morning coffee and afternoon ice cream, too.)

So you’re probably using your grill a lot. It makes for yummy burgers, but dealing with the residue isn’t nearly as enjoyable. Here’s the good news: cleaning up your grill isn’t nearly as daunting as it seems—if you do it the right way. We asked Jimmy Shotwell, owner of Memphis Barbeque Supply, for his expert tips.

Tools You’ll Need:

  • Heat-Resistant Gloves
  • Bristle-Free Grill Brush
  • Scraper
  • Spray bottle
  • Aluminum foil
  • Vinegar

STEP 1: Pre-Cleaning Prep

The best way to clean your grill is while it’s hot, ideally after each use. Turn heat to high for about 15 minutes to burn grease and stuck-on food into carbon. You’ll know it’s ready when it stops smoking. Turn grill off.

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STEP 2: Brush And Scrape The Grates

Minutes 12

After the grill has cooled slightly, use a bristle-free grill brush to loosen particles, then scrape grates (top and bottom) to remove residue. For help with stubborn, burnt-on gunk, mix one part vinegar to four parts water and spray or wipe it on grates before scrubbing. You’ll need to heat the grill to high again to burn off the vinegar. Never use oven cleaner or put grates in the dishwasher.

STEP 3: Clean The Inside

Minutes 3-5

Disconnect the propane tank, cover heating elements with foil, apply the vinegar and water mixture on the inside of your gas grill, and scrub it all over with the grill brush. (Excess on grates may also come off with warm soapy water and a thick rag.) Remove the foil, reconnect the propane, and voila!

Repeat these steps every few months to remove grease buildup and help reduce flare-ups. Also, remove and clean your grease tray regularly when the grill is cold.

Jimmy’s Hack:

If you’re grilling at a campsite or tailgate and don’t have a grill brush, use metal tongs with balled-up aluminum foil or a block of wood as a scrubber instead.

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By Nicole Cherie Jones

Next: 6 Hacks for Safer, Hassle-Free Grilling

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    Leave a comment

  1. Jeanette says,

    Doctors have warned the public about cleaning grills with steel brushes. It was reported that some of the fine parts of the steel brushes were lodged in hamburger meat and inside of people tongues and intestines. Grillers should make sure that the grills are well cleaned and wrapped down as well.

    Thank you.

    • Andria in S.C says,

      I have seen the problem that can happen with wire brushes, I use a scraper it has V shapes cut into the edge which fit on the grill racks. I also put a sheet of Heavy aluminum foil on the grate, which I spray. This keeps the fats from falling thru and flairing. as I grill all kinds of food items they do not fall thru either. I love to cook veg. they come out so nicely, along with meat, fish, forn, shriimp etc., I do not like the smell
      of lighter fluid and I read it is carsogenic, I know it pollutes the air and bothers my asthma, I like my gas grill.

      As for my insurance I have been driving for 50 years, no accidents I caused. so I have tried different companies, GEICO is the best one Yet, So I will be staying with them til
      my end. Thank You

  2. Kathleen Susca says,

    Thank you so much for this informative guide to a spotless grill,with that oil on the grill fact that I didn’t remember from my childhood until I read it here. GEICO continues to be helpful in multiple ways in the running of my home and the safety of my automobile!
    Bravo for whatever team thought up an email like this.
    These things you send me are always relevant.