The Best Method of Cleaning and Maintaining Your Grill

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With grilling season around the corner, meaning summer cookouts, burgers, and barbecues, it also means it’s time to clean your grill thoroughly.

Although cleaning your grill should be done after every time you use it, we sometimes slack in that, and thus a deep and thorough clean may be necessary.

What Causes Your Grill to Get Dirty

The cooking process, which makes those picture-perfect flavorful char marks on your foods, also produces carbon deposits on basically every interior surface of your grill. Besides this, the grates, flavoring bars, tubes on your gas grillers, and the firebox itself can become dirty and grimy.

These carbon deposits are well-known breeding grounds for bacteria. Carbon build-up can cause your grill to heat unevenly and not operate properly, causing temperature and tube failure.

Not only is dirt build-up extremely unhealthy, but it will also damage your grill in the long run.

A few factors that cause build-up in your grill are;

  • Oil and Grease – Oils and grease and juices from the foods you cook on your grill can become sticky and grimy and build up in your grill if not cleaned regularly and properly, which can be very unhygienic and unhealthy.
  • Carbon – carbons build up and damage your grill in the long run, which is one of the most common causes of dirt and builds up in your grill.
  • Dust – dust and rain droplets or other environmental elements can cause your grill to become dirty.
  • Coal and Fuel – Depending on what you use, such as charcoal, propane, or wood, these elements likewise leave a harmful residue that can become toxic in time.

Why Cleaning Your Grill Regularly is Important

There are two major reasons for cleaning your grill thoroughly on a regular basis and lightly after every grill or use. This is mainly for HYGIENE and to prevent DAMAGE to your grill.

Brushing your grill down after every use and doing a thorough clean around every three months, depending on how regularly you use your grill, is vital. The Build-up of grease, carbons, dust, and other particles such as fats and juices from foods can become a very unhealthy breeding ground for germs and bacteria and damage your grill and make it less effective useful.

Gunk and build-up also tend to give bad odors and flavors to your food, which is unwanted and unhealthy at most.

How to Clean Your Grill Properly and Safely

Here are the best steps to clean your Grill properly and safely without damaging any fragile parts or surface;

First Use

When using your Grill for the first time, it is essential to wipe it down with a wet or damp microfiber cloth or sponge. Using the proper Grill cleaner for your grill brand and model will apply a protective coat making the grill so much easier to clean in the future and prolonging its life in turn.

You will also need to ash off the Burners, Flavoriser bars, and the Grill and turn it up to high heat to burn off all excess germs and dirt and prevent future build-up, making cleaning much easier.

Everyday Cleaning

You must clean your grill after every use. Brush off the cooking grate while it is still hot as it will be much hared and take much longer when it is closed. Throw away the excess brunt coal or wood and clean the area by brushing it off lightly. You can clean the grill exterior with warm soapy water and a soft cloth, then rinse and pat it dry.

The Grill Brush

If you own a Grill, then a proper grill brush is an absolute must-have. You will need a brush with stainless steel or brass bristles unless you have a cast iron grate, then a soft sponge needs to be used. Make sure to replace your Grill brush at least once a year or when the bristles become worn out and damaged. Make sure to mop up and clean up all loose brush bristles after cleaning and before cooking on your grill again, as you do not want to find these in your food.

The Grate

If your grease your grate with cooking oil or olive oil before using it, the food is less likely to get stuck to your grill.

You should never use a hard steel brush for cleaning with cast-iron grates, but rather a soft sponge, and a cast iron grate must be well oiled after use and cleaning to prevent rusting.
Unlike the Cast iron Grate, you can clean a normal grated with a steel or brass brush.

Interior and Burners

With a Gas grill, you will need to clean the burners, and with other fuelled grills, the lower parts and interior needs cleaning. You will regularly need to scrape all the dirt and remains from the bottom of your grill to prevent flare-ups. Run your grill brush over your burners to prevent the jets from becoming clogged after every use. During your bi-annual thorough cleaning, you can remove the burners, wash them properly, and then wipe them dry with a towel and place them back in the grill.


You will notice that some flakes will appear on the inside of the lid of your grill after repeated use of your grill, which can flake and fall off. Most Weber grills and Porcelainenabled grills ten to flake. In fact, this is not painted, but charred fat deposits on your grill lid, which you can easily scrub off with hot water, some sulfone, and a bit of elbow grease.

Exterior Maintenance

Using the proper grill cleaner on the exterior of your grill will dissolve fat and grime and add a protective layer making it easier to keep clean. Do this by spraying on your grill cleaner and using a sponge to scrub, then wipe with a wet cloth and dry off your grill. Use a dry cloth to polish the exterior of your grill afterward.

The Flavorizer Bars

The Falvorizer bars on your gas grill need to be thoroughly cleaned a couple of times a year to function correctly. Turn all your burners up to full power for around ten minutes and allow them to cool. Remove the flavorized bars and brush them down with your grill brush; you can also immerse them in warm soapy water and sponge clean them. Make sure to dry them thoroughly and place them back in the grill.

Stainless Steel Parts

Stainless steel lids, doors, or even the grate and surfaces must be cleaned with a product for this purpose ideally.

The Gas Hose

If you have a gas grill, you will need to inspect the gas hose regularly for damages or leaks, as these can be quite dangerous. Look for cracks on the hose, and replace any damaged parts immediately, even if you find the smallest surface cracks. Apply soapy water to your hose and check if bubbles appear; these will indicate holes or cracks in the hose.

By following these simple steps, you will maintain and clean your grill effectively. Take heed to avoid stainless steel tools when cleaning the inside or exterior of your grill, as most grills are porcelain enameled and may become damaged using a steel brush.
Never use steel tools on the inside or exterior of the grill. Most Weber grills are porcelain-enameled, and steel tools may damage the coating.

To Conclude

From these steps, you can easily clean your grill and maintain its integrity for many years to come. Always keep in mind that your grill’s hygiene affects the flavor of your food, your health, and the longevity of your grill.

About the Author

John Max

John Max is a registered dietitian and certified strength and conditioning specialist based out of Manhattan, NY. He has worked with people of all age groups. In addition, John also has years of practical food knowledge, and hands-on cooking led John to create this website and contribute his knowledge on healthy grilling techniques. John also regularly tests and analyzes the benefits and features of as many grills as possible. Without a surprise, many of our readers love his reviews and testing style for how thorough and straightforward they are.