Our homes extend into the outdoors as summer arrives and we head out to fire up the grill. So before you roll up your sleeves to dig into your juicy, grilled fare, roll up your sleeves and serve up some elbow grease to give your outdoor grill some much-needed TLC.
Why You Should Clean Your Grill
Much like your home, your grill is an investment that deserves regular care. Whether you’re using a gas grill or charcoal grill, consistent maintenance can ensure safer grilling, improve grill performance, and extend the lifespan of your investment. Cleaning your grill is simple and it has many, delicious benefits!
Tip #1: Safety First
- Keep children and pets away from the grill during cleaning.
Whether it is hot or not, debris and particles released by cleaning could be unsafe or cause irritation for children or furry friends.
- Position a tarp beneath the grill to catch grease and char fragments.
This is especially useful for quick clean up and the preservation of your wood or concrete porch surfaces.
- Turn OFF gas grills before cleaning.
Turn off the gas at its source—the propane tank.
- Be sure a charcoal grill is not too hot before cleaning.
Charcoal grill grates are cleaned most easily when the grill is hot. The heat works with your water and brush to steam-clean the grates. But remember, if the grill is too hot, the heat or steam produced by cleaning could burn your skin.
Tip #2: When You Should Clean Your Grill
Your grill should get a good interior cleaning at least twice a year—more often if you grill frequently. Basic grate cleaning should happen with every other use of the grill. Now, you may be tempted to wield your grate brush after every use, but the char the grates develop during grilling will help protect the grilling surface between uses. So once your grilling is complete, scrape large debris off of the grates, but leave the cleaning for later… a good excuse to go ahead and dig-in to your feast!
Tip #3: Foil or Oil?
Now that your grill is primed and ready, it’s time to light it up and try some new recipes or old favorites. So how do you protect your grill during use? Some folks put down a sheet of aluminum foil to protect the grates and discourage food sticking, especially for more delicate items like fish. While this can be helpful, what is grilling without those signature grill marks? Alternately, treating your grates with vegetable oil after cleaning is a tried and true tactic to protect grates from the elements. The oil will help preserve your beloved grill and ensure that the catch of the day makes it to your plate instead of the bottom of the grill.
We know every grill master has a tip of their own!—so leave us a comment and share your wise words on grill care and use.