Cleaning and maintaining your outdoor grill is as important as your grilling skills. Following a regular maintenance schedule not only prolongs the life of a grill but ensures the food you’re cooking will always taste great.
Here are some basic steps for keeping your grill in top condition. Grills have different features, so always check your owner’s manual for specific instructions.
Gas Grill Cleaning After Every Use
Grill brush, either stainless steel with scraper, or nylon brush
Mild dish soap and water
Clean rags or cloths
Food-safe degreaser (optional)
Exterior grill cleaner (optional)
1. Burn off leftover food and grease. Turn the heat to high for 15 minutes, or until the grill stops smoking, and then turn it off. Any grease or food particles will have turned to ash for easy removal.
2. Clean the grates. While the grates are cooling down and still warm, turn off the gas and disconnect it. Use a stainless-steel brush to brush off any ash from the grates (make sure no wire bristles are left on the grate). A crumpled-up piece of aluminum foil can be used instead of a brush. If the grates are cool, use a wet nylon grill brush.
If you want a more thorough cleaning (not required after every use), remove the grates and wipe them down with a sponge dipped in soapy water. Rinse, and make sure they’re completely dry before replacing.
3. Clean the inside walls and under the hood. Wipe the inside walls and under the hood with a paper towel while the grill is still warm. For stubborn deposits, first cover the grates with aluminum foil to protect them. Then use a degreaser, or soap and water, and scrub with a nylon brush. Rinse, and wipe dry.
4. Clean the grease tray and drip pan, or drip cup/pan. Remove the grease tray, and clean it with warm soapy water, then rinse. Make sure the drip pan that fits on top of the grease tray is not overflowing. If it is, replace the disposable foil drip pan with a new one.
Some grease-catching setups have a hole in the grease tray, and a drip pan or cup below that catches the grease. If the pan is full, empty it, wipe it with a paper towel, and clean it with warm soapy water. Replace disposable drip cups that are full with a new one.
5. Clean the outside of the grill. Make a cleaning solution of mild dish soap and water. Wipe the exterior parts of the grill, including the grill controls, with a rag or cloth dipped in the soapy solution. Rinse with a different rag and clear water, then dry thoroughly.
You can also buy an exterior grill cleaner that’s appropriate for both stainless steel and porcelain grills.
6. Cover Your Grill. Keep your grill covered when not in use to protect it from the elements and from excess dirt. Most brands have their own covers that you can buy separately.
Gas Grill Semi-Annual Cleaning
A thorough cleaning should be done in the spring before using the grill, and again in the fall when storing it for the winter. If grilling regularly year-round, a deep cleaning should be done every month, or when the grime is noticeable.
Extra equipment needed:
Small diameter bottle brush, pipe cleaner, or venturi (spider) brush
paper clip, or tiny drill bit
1. Clean the grill grates thoroughly. Remove the grates, and clean with a degreaser, or soak them in warm soapy water. Then scrub clean with a nylon grill brush or scrubbing sponge. Be sure to clean both sides, then rinse and dry. When dry, you can rub on vegetable oil to prevent rust.
2. Remove and wash the burn protectors. Put them in a soapy bucket and scrub well with a sponge. Rinse and dry.
3. Clean out burners and venturi tubes. Insects often nest in venturi tubes over the winter, and even during the summer grilling season. The venturi tubes are the pipes that connect the burner tubes to the grill control valves. Spiders in particular love to spin their webs in these tubes, which block the free flow of gas. This blockage can result in a flash fire if not removed.
To clean, remove the burners and attached venturi tubes, and insert a small diameter bottle brush or pipe cleaner into the venturi tubes. You can also purchase a special venturi brush, also called a spider brush. When finished, shake out any debris.Next, scrub the outside of the burner tube with a nylon brush to remove food residue and dirt. Brush side-to-side rather than up-and-down to avoid pushing any debris deeper into the tube holes. For clogged holes, use a paperclip, or a tiny drill bit to clear them. Then rinse the tubes with plain water, and dry. Replace with new burners if the holes are cracked or deteriorating.
4. Clean the inside of the grill. After removing the grates, burner protectors, and burner and venturi tubes, clean out the inside bottom of the grill. Use a stainless-steel grill or nylon brush to brush all loose debris and grease from the inside the grill into the bottom tray. Remove the tray and discard its contents. Then wash the tray with soapy water, rinse, and dry before replacing.
To lift the remaining burnt-on grease and food from the bottom section, use warm soapy water or a grill degreaser, and scrub with a nylon brush. Rinse, and apply the degreaser or soapy water a second time if needed, followed by another rinse.You can use a garden hose to rinse if there’s a drain hole at the bottom of the grill. Wipe the interior dry when finished.
For the walls and inside of the hood, use soapy water or a degreaser and a nylon brush. Then rinse and dry.
These safety actions should be done at least weekly if you grill every day. Otherwise, perform these safety actions once a month, every time you replace or refill a propane tank, and at the beginning and end of the grilling season.
1. Check the gas hose and valve connections. Inspect the gas hose for cracks, rips, or holes. Replace before you use your grill again if there’s visible damage. Also make sure the hose isn’t bent so the gas can flow freely.
Next, check for invisible leaks in the hose. Mix a 50/50 solution of dish soap and water in a bowl or spray bottle, making sure it’s sudsy. Paint the mixture on the gas valve, regulator, and hose with a brush, or spray it on. Then turn on the gas and apply or spray more of the soap mixture on the hose. If any soap bubbles form, there’s a leak in that area. Apply the soap mixture to any side burner valve connections as well.
2. Check the propane tank. Look for any punctures, dents, or rust. If you think your tank may have a leak, get it inspected by a professional gas supplier.
Your major appliances are an important investment. You can rely on C&W Appliance Service to protect that investment. Call us at (855) 358-1496 or contact us online for all your repair and maintenance needs.