How to Clean Your Grill

How to Clean Your Grill


Do me a favor: Please clean your grill.

Your grill grate better be squeaky clean or food will absolutely, positively stick (especially high-protein items like meat). Not only will sticking badly damage the food, it removes those groovy (literally) grill marks.

Now, I’m not a very neat person, but here’s my plan: I never clean the grate after I use it; I clean it before I use it.

1. Fold old dish towel in thirds

2. Roll tightly.

3. Tie roast-style with butcher’s twine.

4. Clean grate with pumice stone, then brush. Light fire and heat grill.

5. Barely saturate the bottom of the towel with veggie oil and scrub grate in direction of rods. If flames jump up, the towel has too much oil on it. You’ll have to clean the grate again to remove soot.

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20 Comments

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  1. 1
    Wardo

    Sorry to post again. After reading more I would like to say for those of of you who have a gas grill and access to a pressure washer, try it. You will find that your grill will be as good as new. If you wish you can take the different pieces out of grill and clean them separately. This method works for an oven as well, although I recommend taking parts to be cleaned outside of your house. I am so invested with different items that compliment my grill such as a digital thermometer and a rotisserie, that I consider the pressure washer just another tool to help me cook great tasting food that is safe for everyone to eat

  2. 2
    Wardo

    I have a large grill-smoker. Right before I use it I pressure wash it. I very rarely have to scrub anything while cleaning. If i i do a rag is usually all it takes. I realize that not everyone has a P.W. but for those that do I highly recommend this method. No chemicals during cleaning, then a little oil on the grates before you start and your set.

  3. 4
    Greg Talbott

    No No No
    Don’t used anything abrasive on the grates, especially ceramics. Lemon juice or vinegar on a wad of paper towels will do, soaking helps loosen most anything.
    Alton you know this better than Bill Nye!!!!!!

  4. 5
    Cody McNeil

    I have cast iron grill grates, but they get messy… I bake them off and it seems to work pretty well but there is still stuff on them… I guess it is good enough…

  5. 6
    Ray

    Alton, can you suggest a good grill brush. Everything I’ve been reading lately tells you not to use wire brushes because of the risk of ingesting the pieces of wire. Can you recommend an alternative

    • 7
      Capn

      A big piece of steel wool held in a pair of tongs will do the trick. Rarely does anything fall off, and if it does it’s big enough you notice it.

  6. 8
    Pammy

    I use Thomas Kellers onion trick. Cut an onion in 1/2, dip in oil, heat grill and use it to clean the grill. It works grate 🙂 (sorry)

  7. 9
    Ruth

    Alton, can you suggest how often and with what to clean the inside of the grill? Someone had already ask the same question. My problem isn’t the grates, its the grease that splatters and misses the drip tray. Chicken is the biggest culprit, I can’t begin to tell you how many times I’ve had charred chicken.
    Thanks much.

  8. 10
    Cynthia Ann Swan

    What about cleaning the INSIDE of the gas grill, you know, where the stuff has dropped, stuck, burned, etc. What to do?

    • 11
      Lisa

      Exactly. I keep complaining to my husband that this is a real problem. I won’t eat anything off this grill anymore. “That gives it flavor.” Um hum. Lighter fluid flavor in my propane-grilled food. Not having it.

  9. 15
    Debbie

    I preheat my grill, then clean it with a wadded up ball of aluminum foil and tongs. Afterwards, I clean the residue off with a paper towel with a good dollop of avocado oil on it.

  10. 16
    Tammy

    Will that take off baked on gunk? My hubby usually heats it to burn the gunk off then uses the brush. He isn’t using his grill. If your way works better I’ll do that.

    • 20
      Lunchbox

      Kevin, I have been using this technique for several years. I normally rinse the towel out and then wash it with my jeans or other “heavily soiled” items. Don’t use the god towels for this. It is possible that they could be permanently stained.

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