The first warm evening of spring makes me want to crack open the grill and put on some steaks. But you don’t want to use the grill unless you’ve taken the time to clean it first – squirrels and mice often use grills as a place to hibernate in the winter. And then there’s all that burnt-on yuck that over-wintered there for months. So make sure it’s been cleaned and prepped before the first use of the season. All you need is 30 minutes to clean the gas grill.
Items you will need:
- Grill brush
- Dish soap
- Large utility bucket
- Leaf blower
- Disposable rags
- Spray bottle of distilled white vinegar
- Scrubby sponge
- Old T shirt
Step 1 Remove the grill cover and place it on a line or railing to air out dust and dirt. If you see any signs of a rodent in your grill, throw out the cover and replace it. The germs from the rodents should never be near a place where you prepare food.
Step 2 Use a blower and remove the buildup of leaves and dirt that occurred over the winter. This is where the apron and old T shirt come in handy, because cleaning the grill isn’t hard, it’s just messy. Remove utensils and other items that are loose on your grill. Move the grill to a safe place where you can blow into the tight places without making a huge mess. Use your blower on a low setting to remove dirt and debris.
Step 3 Turn on the propane and light the grill. Before scrubbing the grill, use the heat and flames to burn off anything that may have been left on the grates. This is a simple way to get the grates fairly clean without a lot of work.
Step 4 Turn off the grill and let everything cool down. This step is very important. Go inside and get yourself a glass of iced tea. You don’t want to burn yourself so be patient and wait until it’s completely cool!
Step 5 Disconnect the propane tank from the grill. This is for your safety. You don’t want to work on the grill or the controls and accidentally have the gas turn on.
Step 6 Scrape the grates with the metal grill brush or rolled up foil. Use your metal grill brush or a ball of rolled up foil to remove any ash or debris from the grates. Take your time and get in between each grate with the metal brush as well as on the underneath of the grate. The more you remove in this step will lessen your work in the washing step below.
Step 7 Remove the grates and place them in a bucket with hot water with a touch of dish soap. Let them soak for 15-20 minutes. Use a de-greasing soap or add a touch of rubbing alcohol to the bucket. The alcohol will work to break down the grease on the grates.
Step 8 Cover the heating element with foil and scrape the hood with a wire brush to remove buildup and soot. Protect the heating element from anything scraped off of the interior of the grill. Use foil or a cloth rag to cover the element and protect it from the debris.
Step 9 Wipe the interior and exterior with a damp rag. Don’t use a cleaning chemical in this step. When chemicals mix with heat they give off dangerous fumes. Instead, cut through the grease using the natural acids in straight distilled white vinegar.
Step 10 Finish scrubbing the grates and let them dry. After burn-off and soaking, the grates should be easy to clean. Use a scrubby sponge to clean off the rest of the buildup.
Step 11 Wipe down the exterior and the cover. Use your spray bottle of white vinegar here as well to cut through the dirt and leave the grill looking clean and ready to go. If you have a stainless steel grill, you can use a DROP of olive oil on the exterior to seal it and prevent oxidation.
Now that you know the proper and HEALTHY way to clean the gas grill, break out the marinades, rubs and other “secret sauces” and get your grill on!
For more information on DIY cleaning from Leslie Reichert, check out her website.