Grilling season here, and if your grill is still buried in the ashes of last summer’s Buffalo wings, steaks, and burgers, NOW is the time to give it some much-needed attention. Whether you’re using a charcoal or gas grill, these simple clean-up and grill guide is sure to equip you with all the right steps to becoming the ultimate grill-master this season!
WHY IT’S IMPORTANT TO CLEAN YOUR GRILL
I vaguely remember growing up with the theory of “burning off the old” and not really cleaning the grates. Yup, I’m old and our grill was well used all year long. Did you know when you leave remnants of your last meal on the grates, it will char and burn the next time you fire up the BBQ. It seems like a no-brainer, right? This not only changes the taste but also the quality of your barbecue. The burnt pieces are also harmful to your health. When you burn those charred bits at high temperatures, a harmful chemical compound is produced which can potentially increase your risk of cancer. So you definitely don’t want to keep the old stuff around!
STEPS TO CLEANING YOUR GRILL
1. GRILL GATE REMOVAL AND CLEANING
Grates must be maintained clean because they are in direct contact with food. Remove the cool grates first, then use a brush to remove any large debris. Next you’ll want to immerse the grates in hot water and dish soap. Let them soak in a sink or large bucket to make it easier to scrub later. Lastly, clean the grill with a firm grill brush, rinse and dry!
2. INTERNAL CLEANING OF THE GRILL
Brush the grates’ interior to remove any gunk gathering at the bottom and around the sides. If you have a charcoal barbecue, you’ll want to scrape away any large peeling flakes of carbon/grease from the ash catcher and empty it. To make cleaning easier the next time, wash the drip pan and grease cup in warm soapy water and line with aluminium foil.
3. EXTERNAL CLEANING OF THE GRILL
Using a sponge or towel soaked in warm soapy water, wipe off the exterior, handles, side trays, and any bottom doors. Thoroughly rinse and dry before firing up the grill.
If you opt to use a brush with bristles to clean your grill, follow these safety steps:
- Grill brushes are like toothbrushes. When you see the bristles beginning to flatten or lose their efficacy, it’s time to replace.
- Apply the “tweezer test”: take a pair of tweezers, randomly select five to 10 bristles and gently pull – if any bristles come off, it’s time to replace.
- It is not recommend to leave grill brushes exposed to the elements when not in use. The rain, sunlight, humidity, snow, etc., can age them prematurely.
- Above all, treat your grill brush just as you would any part of your grill and grilling environment: Follow manufacturers’ instructions and continuously inspect before and after using.
GRILL RECIPE TO KICKSTART THE BBQ SEASON
Now you’ve given your grill a total-body-scrubdown, it’s time to get grilling! So, pull out all your favorite gear and get ready to try out a new recipe idea!