Summer is here! Meaning it’s time to get your grill ready for another season of hot dogs, burgers, and other kinds of barbecue. Of course, the very first step is to clean the entire grill of all the pesky remnants from last summer’s barbecuing exploits.
Why? The same grilling techniques that make those Instagram-perfect, delicious char marks on your steaks and burgers also produce carbon deposits on nearly every surface of your grill, including the hood, grates, firebox interior, and bars and burner tubes on gas grills.
Not only are those carbon deposits ugly— grease and those sugary sauces tend to stick to them and harbor bacteria. Excessive carbon buildup can then cause the grill to heat unevenly, not reach peak operating temperature, and the tubes of the gas burner to prematurely fail.
Follow these simple steps to keep your barbecue grill in tip-top shape throughout the summer:
- Use a wire brush and scrub the grill grates after each cooking session, and ensure you remove any loose wire-brush bristles prior to firing up the grill.
- If you’re a frequent barbecuer, say at around once per week, clean the grates with Professor Amos’ Grill and Oven Cleaner once every two months.
- And lastly, twice a grilling season, make sure to give your entire barbecue grill a thorough cleaning with Professor Amos’ Grill and Oven Cleaner, Shock It Clean Concentrate Kit, and our B.O.M. Clean and Polish Kit— all of which will leave your grill perfectly clean and sparkling.
Grill Cleaning Equipment You’ll Need
Go to your local hardware store or online and you’ll find a vast number of grill-cleaning tools, gadgets, and other gizmos. With that being said, nothing beats a long-handled wire brush, wire bottle brush, five-gallon bucket, and a little bit of elbow grease.
Avoid the use of toxic chemicals to clean your grill, since they can transfer an “off taste” to your grilled foods. Instead, all you really need is a bit of warm water mixed with Professor Amos’ Grill and Oven Concentrate.
If your grill has stainless steel exterior surfaces, a good stainless steel or all-purpose cleaner such as Professor Amos’ Shock It Clean Concentrate— in addition to Professor Amos’ B.O.M. Clean and Polish— adds that perfectly pristine shine.
Additionally, you’ll need a pair of long-cuffed rubber gloves, some disposable scouring sponges, and a few cotton rags.
(Tip: When cleaning stainless steel, make sure to wait for an overcast day— the hot sun can make it harder to remove the streaks from stainless steel surfaces. Plus, it’s easier working in cooler weather.)
Burn, Baby Burn
When cleaning a gas grill, start by firing up the grill, shutting the hood, and allowing it to come to full temperature.
Then, wait at least 30 minutes for the high temperature to burn any stuck-on food residue or grease.
Next, dip your wire brush into a bucket of warm and soapy water, and scrub off all the carbon from the grates. Then turn off the gas before disconnecting and removing the propane tank. Allow the grill to cool completely.
For charcoal grills, go ahead and dump the old charcoal briquettes into a metal container. Then, scrape away any built-up charcoal dust and debris with a putty knife.
Let It Soak
Once the grill is cooled down, remove all the grates and flavorizer bars and completely submerge them into a tub filled with a solution of warm water and Professor Amos’ Shock It Clean Concentrate.
Allow the pieces to soak for at least 30 minutes. Remove everything else from the grill that you can easily take off, like the warming racks, burner-control knobs, and grease trays.
Use a Vacuum
When the grill grates and flavorizer bars are removed, the inside of the firebox will be exposed and ready to be cleaned.
Start by placing an empty bucket underneath the firebox, right under the grease tray opening, in order to catch the fallen cleaning solution and flushed out debris.
Then, use a plastic putty knife to scrape off any built-up gunk from within the firebox.
After that, go ahead and use a wet/dry vacuum, whether full-size or portable, to collect any remaining debris. Once the firebox has been cleaned, rinse it out with a garden hose.
After everything has soaked, take them out and scrub them thoroughly with the wire brush.
For the really stubborn gunk, mix some water and Professor Amos’ Grill and Oven Concentrate, and apply it directly to the worst built-up food bits.
Then, rinse all surfaces clean, ensuring that you thoroughly dry the cast-iron grates to avoid rusting. (This is also a good time to inspect the porcelain grates for chips, which will likely lead to rust. Repair any chips you find with porcelain touch-up paint.)
Inspect your burners for signs of erosion or for anything that might be blocking the row of flame-emitting holes. Take a wire brush and brush back and forth across the row of holes. Then use a wire bottle brush to clean out the inside of each tube.
Wash and Wipe
Empty your bucket of dirty water, refilling it with a fresh solution mix afterward.
Then, scrub down the exterior of the grill with a large kitchen sponge. Be wary of the fact that steel wool, metal sponges, and coarse scouring pads may cause scratches, so make sure not to use them on finished surfaces.
After rinsing the outside of the grill, use super-absorbent microfiber towels to wipe down and dry all surfaces.