While some call all that buildup and grease “seasoning,” let’s call it like it is—dirty grills are nasty and they can make steaks, burgers, and dogs less tasty. But lack of flavor isn’t the only concern with dirty bbq grills—they can also harbor bacteria that can lead to foodborne illness.

The Department of Agriculture attributes the increase in foodborne illness during the summer to dirty grills and improper food handling while cooking out. The leftover food from grilling can harbor bacteria and it attracts pests that can leave pathogens on your grill. The quickest and easiest way to reduce bacteria on your grill is to always heat the grill for 20 minutes before cooking to kill pathogens and bacteria. But your grill will also need a deep cleaning at least twice a year.

Here’s how to clean a grill for better tasting, healthier grilling.

How To Clean A Gas Grill

The best way to clean a grill is to clean it piece by piece. Once you pull out the grates and burner covers, it’s a pretty straightforward job that requires using soap and water.

  • Remove the grates (we’ll cover grate cleaning later)
  • Remove and wash the burner protectors
  • Use a sponge and soapy water to clean the burners. Next, rinse them
  • Inspect the burners to make sure no debris is clogging the gas holes
  • Remove the bottom plates and clean them with your grill brush and soapy water

After you clean your grates, put everything back together, wipe down the exterior of the gas grill, and enjoy clean, safe grilling.

How To Clean BBQ Grill

For conventional BBQ grills that use charcoal, all you need is soapy water and some oven cleaner to get your grill ready for cooking. Here’s how to clean a grill that uses charcoal:

  • Remove the grill grates, large debris, and ash catcher.
  • Spray oven cleaner on the inside of the grill and put the lid back on.
  • Mix up some warm water and dish detergent and wash the exterior of the grill.
  • Put on a face mask and gloves and wipe away the grime and oven cleaner on the inside.
  • Rinse everything inside and out with a garden hose and let the grill air dry.

Clean the grill grates (see below!) before you put your grill back together and enjoy the tasty foods you prepare on your clean charcoal grill.

How To Clean Grill Grates

The last step for how to clean a grill is to get the crud off those grill grates and get them clean and shiny for your next cookout.

  • Mix hot water and dish soap in a bucket.
  • Use an old toothbrush to clean in between the grill grate openings.
  • Soak a Magic Eraser in the soapy water and scrub both sides of the grate.
  • Dry the grill grate with paper towels and apply some vegetable oil to “season” the grates. Added bonus? It can help prevent rust.

Put your clean grill grates back in the grill and get cooking!

Clean Your Grill After Every Use

Before you ask, “Is this really necessary?” Would you ever cook on your stovetop and not wipe up the spills afterward? Cooking on your grill is exactly the same thing.

  • Clean the grates. Use a wooden scraper or cleaning brick to scrape any leftover food off the grates when you’re done cooking. You want your grill still to be warm but not hot. If your grates are made of cast iron, rub on a little cooking oil to keep them seasoned.
  • Dump the coals. Clear out any leftover coals and go over the inside of the grill (including the grates, bottom and ash catcher) with your wire brush. This will help eliminate excess smoke and funky flavors from muddying up your next meal.

Prevent Grilling Messes

Take steps to prevent major messes before they require time-consuming cleanup.

  • Prior to grilling, use tongs to dip a couple of folded pieces of paper towel into vegetable oil. Rub the oil-soaked paper towel along the grates. This process adds an extra non-stick layer and helps your food release easier, saving your dinner and grill. Note that the grill may smoke for a few seconds
  • Use aluminum foil as a baking pan. A sheet of aluminum foil is a real lifesaver when grilling fish (which likes to stick no matter how seasoned your grates are). It’s also great for grilling vegetables as it prevents them from falling through the cracks. Plus, aluminum foil makes cleanup a snap.

We’ll let you tackle your grill, but for cleaning the inside of your home, we’ve got you covered from top to bottom. The Maids offers cleaning services for every home, budget, and cleaning need. And, no matter if you want us there once or once a week, we guarantee you’re going to love what The Maids can do for your home. Get your free estimate today!

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