Fire up the grill. When the temperatures rise, it’s the perfect opportunity to take cooking outdoors. Burgers, hot dogs, steak and chicken all get a big flavor boost when cooked over an open flame or hot coals. But if the inside of your grill looks more like a charcoal briquette than metal, you may be dismayed from using it as often as you’d like. Here are some tips to keep your grill clean and ready-to-go whenever the moment strikes. 

Clean 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 good, stiff wire brush 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. One note, porcelain grates shouldn’t be cleaned with a wire brush as any chips or scrapes will expose the metal underneath allowing water to seep in and rust to form. Use a soft-bristled or nylon brush instead. 
  • Dump the coals. Clear out any leftover coals and completely 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 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 in vegetable oil and rub along the grates. The grill will smoke for a second but will quickly subside. This extra non-stick layer helps your food release easier, saving your dinner and grill. 
  • Use aluminum foil as a baking pan. A sheet of aluminum foil is a real lifesaver when grilling fish (which likes to stick to matter how seasoned your grates are). It’s also great for grilling slices vegetables as it prevents them from falling through the cracks. Aluminum foil makes cleanup a snap, much easier than washing a fussy metal basket. 

Give It A Deep Clean 

Once or twice a year your grill needs a really deep clean.  

  • Charcoal grills. Fill a bucket with warm, soapy water and scrub down the inside and outside of your grill. Rinse. Use your wire brush to scrub off any crust that’s developed on the inside but switch to a microfiber or soft cloth for the outside to avoid scratching.  
  • Gas grills. Once a year lift out the cooking grate and clean off the barrier above the burners. Make sure to disconnect the gas before taking out the cooking mechanisms. Give the burners a good once over to make sure none are clogged. Replace any lava rocks or ceramic briquettes. Scrub the inside with soapy water, rinse. 
  • Soak the grates. No matter if you’re using gas or charcoal, give the grates a good soak. Mix 2 cups of vinegar and 1 cup of baking soda in a garbage bags, add grates and seal with a rubber band then let soak overnight. Remove the grates and rinse with water. Scrub off any remaining food. Rinse again and let dry. 

We’ll let you tackle your grill, but when it comes to 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 need. And, no matter if you want us there once or once a week, each job is done to the highest specifications, guaranteed. Get your free estimate today! 

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