What you’ll need:
Grill brush or grill stone
Paper towels or cleaning towels
1. Full a bucket or container with water and add a squirt or two of dishwashing soap and mix.
2. Be sure the gas is off and the grates are cool, then disconnect the gas.
3. Take out the grill grates and clean them on both sides with your soapy water and grill brush, or grill stone, making sure to get any burned bits completely off. If you are cleaning a charcoal grill, be sure to clean the grates while they are still hot, and use a brush that releases water, or sprinkle water on the grates, to create steam. Be sure that your brush is in good condition, and always check to ensure that no loose bristles remain on the cooking surface. With most grills, you can brush cooking oil on after the grates are cleaned, or just before cooking to prevent sticking.
4. Be sure to clean your burner protectors, also known as flame tamers, vaporizer bars, or heat tents. Check for rust or erosion, and replace them if necessary!
5. Carefully brush off the burner tubes, paying attention to ensure the gas ports are free of debris. Clogged burners may cause uneven cooking heat and can cause your burners to fail prematurely.
6. Remove all debris from the bottom of the grill and wipe it out really well, making sure to remove any peeling paint or stuck-on debris.
7. Clean the grease tray and the areas around it. It is important to check the tray every time you grill, as buildup of grease has the potential to cause a fire!
8. Wipe down the entire exterior, including the lid, as well as any side trays and extensions.
9. Check your fuel line for cracks. Brush soapy water on the fuel line when the gas is connected, and if bubbles form on the line, it indicates a leak. Try tightening the connection, or replace the line if necessary.
10. Rinse out the venturi tubes, which are tubes that connect the burners to the control valves, and combines gas and air to feed the burners. Insects and spiders like to hide in these tubes, so it’s important to clean them out! Scrub with soapy water, making sure that all holes are clear, and rinse out by placing a hose head on the end.
11. Check your ignition system by turning off the gas, pushing the ignition button, and looking for a spark. If you don’t see one, make sure your pressure regulator is secured tightly to the tank.
12. Check your fuel levels to make sure you are not running out! You can check your tank gauge, or if you don’t have one, pour water onto the side of the tank. Move your hand down the wet area, noticing the temperature difference. The fuel level is where the tank will begin to feel cool.
Things to remember:
You should thoroughly clean your grill at least twice a year, but if you grill frequently, you’ll need to clean it more often.
After every use, you can turn your grill back on and burn any leftover food and grease residue off between cleanings, and brush off any ash or debris.
Keep your grill covered to protect it from the elements and to keep dirt and debris from collecting.
To avoid damaging your grill, be sure to check the manufacturer’s instructions before you clean, as it may have specific cleaning instructions.
Have any other tips on how to clean your grill? Share them with us in the comments!