Summer is approaching fast – we can practically smell the barbecue already! Soon we will be enjoying tasty burgers, a few drinks and good company.

But wait!

Is your barbecue actually ready to do its job?

If the answer is no and you’ve found your grill to be covered in grease and grime, worry not! In this post, we will show you how to clean barbecue grates correctly, because, trust us, there is a wrong way to do it.

Table of Contents:

So, if you:

  • Have abandoned your greasy barbecue in the garage;
  • Are wondering how often you should clean the thing;
  • Are asking yourself when exactly you should wash the BBQ – before or after use,

Then look no further! We have the answers.

Why should you clean the barbecue grill grates?

Let’s get one thing straight – well-seasoned grill grates can make your steak taste amazing. However, we can’t say the same for food prepared on a dirty and greasy barbecue. You see, if you don’t clean your grill, the food you cook on it will start to taste, well, just bad. Not only that, but leaving your barbecue in a poor condition can affect its performance.

There are two approaches when it comes to cleaning barbecue grill grates:

  • The fast and easy way;
  • The “Why, oh why, didn’t I clean the grill when I had the chance last year?”.

The first method is easy – it’s just a matter of turning your grill on and heating it up to 120°C for 10-15 minutes. After that, grab a brush and scrub the grates clean. Do this after each use of the barbecue to keep it in good shape.

The second scenario involves some elbow grease and plenty of patience. You’ll need to follow the steps described above and use some additional detergents.

If you don’t feel like spending the whole day scrubbing, clean the BBQ grill after every use. This will prevent dirt and grease build-up.

How to clean a BBQ grill

Before you attack the built-up grime, you need to know the proper approach. The cleaning method depends highly on the type of grill grate you own. The most popular materials are stainless steel, cast iron and porcelain.

So, here is how to clean barbecue grill grates:

How to clean a cast iron grill

Cast iron is one of the best materials for grilling. It heats up evenly and retains the temperature for a good period of time. Cast iron is very durable, but it has one big weakness – water damage. If you expose the material to any sort of moisture, you are condemning it to rust.

Here is how to clean cast iron BBQ grates:

  1. Scrub.

    Take a wire brush and gently remove all leftover food bits from the grate.

  2. Prepare a cleaning solution.

    Mix four parts water and one part white vinegar in a spray bottle.

  3. Spray.

    Thoroughly spray the grill with the solution.

  4. Wipe.

    Wipe the grill grates with a paper towel.

  5. Repeat.

    Keep spraying and scrubbing until all food particles are gone.

  6. Wash.

    Using a sponge and some mild soap, wipe any grease off the grill grates.

  7. Rinse.

    Remove any soap residue from the barbecue with some warm water.

  8. Dry.

    As we mentioned earlier, cast iron hates water. So, remember to dry the grates thoroughly. If you skip this step, you’ll end up with a rusty grill.

How to clean a stainless steel barbecue grill

Like cast iron, stainless steel also handles higher temperatures well. However, it has one additional quality: it doesn’t rust. Similar to how you clean oven racks, it’s quite simple.

So, here’s how to clean stainless steel BBQ grates:

  1. Create a cleaning solution.
    Mix two parts white vinegar and one part baking soda in a plain rubbish bag.
  2. Put in the grill grates.
    Place the grill grates inside the bag and secure it with a rubber band.
  3. Let them sit.
    Leave the grates in the bad overnight.
  4. Wash.
    Get the grates out in the morning and wash them with some water. If you see any food bits still stuck on, gently scrub them away with a brush.
  5. Rinse.
    Rinse the grates with some cool water.
  6. Dry.
    Dry the grill grates thoroughly with a towel.

How to clean porcelain grill grates

Porcelain grills come with a number of benefits, like the fact that they don’t need oil seasoning and hold heat pretty well. However, when it comes to maintenance, this type of grill grate is quite capricious.

So, how do you clean porcelain grill grates?

  1. Heat.
    Warm up the grill grates to make cleaning them easier. Burn off the leftover food bits, turn off the grill and let it cool before proceeding.
  2. Scrub.
    Gently scrub the grates clean with a plastic soft-bristle brush. Metal or wire brushes can chip the porcelain, exposing the metal underneath.
  3. Scrub hard to reach areas.
    Get an old toothbrush and clean the hard to reach areas in between the grates.
  4. Flip and repeat.
    Flip the grate over and repeat.

And voila! Your porcelain grill grates are now shiny and clean.

How to season grill grates

Every passionate cook out there knows that cast iron grates perform best if seasoned regularly with oil. You’ve probably noticed yourself that with every use of the grill, the food tends to stick less and less to it.

However, we aren’t saying you should never clean your barbecue again.

After you wash your cast iron or stainless steel grill, smear a small amount of plant-based oil on the grates to protect them from rust.

  1. Clean.
    Clean the grill grates using one of the methods described above.
  2. Oil.
    Apply a bit of vegetable oil to the grates with a paper towel.
  3. Heat.
    Heat up the barbecue and let the oil burn away.
  4. Repeat.
    Keep oiling and heating up the grates several times.

Great! You have now revived your grill.

Does every grill type require seasoning?

The answer is no. If you have a porcelain grill, you don’t need to season it with oil. The same goes for porcelain-enamelled cast iron and stainless steel grill grates. The layer of porcelain protects the grates from rust, which eliminates the need for oil.

When you use any of these grill models, just heat up the appliance 15 minutes before you start cooking and apply some oil to your food.

No time to clean your barbecue?

Cleaning your grill requires quite a lot of elbow grease, literally. It’s messy, sticky, time-consuming and overall just not a pleasant way to spend an afternoon. So, why not call someone to clean the thing for you?

We here at Fantastic Services offer barbecue and grill cleaning. It doesn’t matter if you own a charcoal grill, hooded grill, smoker, or spit roasters – we can take care of the greasy situation. The experts we work with can thoroughly inspect your appliance, wash all of its removable parts in a special dip tank, filled with an effective cleaning solution, and put your appliance back together in no time.

Spend your free time where it matters – let Fantastic Services handle the rest!

Learn what oven and barbecue cleaning solutions we offer here!

Learn more

Takeaways

  • Make sure to clean your grill after every use to keep it in good shape.
  • Always dry out cast iron grill grates after washing them with water. If you don’t, they will rust.
  • Apply vegetable oil to stainless steel and cast iron grills to protect them.
  • Be careful when cleaning porcelain grates. You can damage them by scratching their surface.
  • Porcelain grate grills don’t require oil seasoning like other types of barbecues. The same goes for porcelain-enamelled cast iron grates and porcelain-enamelled steel cooking grates.

***

We hope you found this post on how to clean BBQ grates helpful. If you have any experience or some cleaning tips and tricks, please share your thoughts in the comments below!

Image source: shutterstock / Arina P Habich

  • Last update: March 5, 2020

Posted in Cleaning Guides, Oven Cleaning

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