Getting the best-tasting BBQ starts with knowing how to clean a dirty BBQ grill. Although some barbecue aficionados (like my husband) swear a dirty grill is just one that’s been seasoned with a lot of flavor, to me using months of creosote and grease build-up to “flavor” my food is disgusting. Now, while it’s true a that preheating a grill will probably kill any really nasty bacteria, that grease build-up contributes to cooking flareups, and the char caused by such flareups is linked to cancer. It also tastes nasty, so why not start with a clean grill?
How To Clean A Dirty BBQ Grill
Clean the grates: The easiest way to clean the grill grates/racks is by rubbing them with a steel-bristled brush immediately after cooking your meal. The grease is still hot at that point and should slip right off. If you’ve got years of buildup, you’ll probably need the more labor-intensive approach of waiting until the grate cools completely, then spraying it with oven cleaner and shoving it in a garbage bag to sit overnight. The next day, use the steel-bristled brush and garden hose and give the grate a good scrub. The gunk should come right off. (Do note: if you have a cast iron grill grate, you’ll want to season it with oil after cleaning.)
Clean the interior: Once a year, empty your grill, including any fixtures. Using hot, soapy water and a good scouring pad, get in there and clean all the burnt-on gunk. With a gas grill, follow the manufacturer’s instructions on disconnecting the gas and checking the burners and hose.
Clean the exterior: Grills that are left uncovered year-round will develop rust spots. Inspect and treat yours to prolong the life of your grill. Use Bar Keeper’s Friend on stainless steel grills, and regular soapy water on all other types. Lightly sand and prime rust spots, then paint them using a matching grill paint, available from most hardware stores.
Where do you come down on the whole to clean or not to clean debate?