Grilling food is an enjoyable experience from the perspective of the person behind the grill and in front of the plate. Food tastes better outside; when it is BBQ’d, it’s another level.
Prepping your food takes time, and you must assemble all the grilling tools, spices and marinades. You finally make it to the backyard and open up the grill. However, you find food and debris stuck from the last time you had a BBQ. Cleaning it can be a hassle, but it doesn’t have to be.
Here is how to clean gas grill gates before and after cooking:
Type of Gas Grill Grates
Your gas grills consist of components called grates. There are several grill grates, depending on what you have, that will dictate the cleaning method. The grates include:
- Cast Iron: These durable grates are perfect for high temperatures, even cooking, but their worst enemy is water. They rust easily, so cleaning well when you grill is a must.
- Porcelain: These does not rust, but you need to be careful with them because if you scratch off the surface, you expose the metal underneath. You never want to scrub these with a metal brush, or you will get rust.
- Stainless Steel: These are fairly rust-resistant and can take intense heat. It is a common type of grate that you will come across.
How to Clean Gas Grill Grates
While scrubbing with a brush is a good before and after practice when grilling, you should thoroughly clean your grates to have a clean, disinfected surface to cook your food.
This is an essential tool for a grill master, and you should have a booth with a metal and nylon brush in your arsenal. Use the nylon brush for all surfaces and the wire brush on cast iron and stainless steel to remove rust. This is a good practice to brush your grill after use when it cools down a bit.
Then remove as much debris as you can. Dipping the brush in water will create steam to help lift off stubborn food particles. Wipe down the grates with a cloth or paper towel if necessary.
2. Tin Foil
Tin foil is not just for conspiracy hats because it makes a great grill cleaner. All you need to do is crumble a piece of foil into a ball and go to work on the grates.
Make sure they are still warm but not hot so you can get off burnt food easier. The foil will mould itself around grates to get at all the surfaces, and you can give a good, hard scrub.
This is the lazy way of cleaning, and the hope is that using high heat will burn off all the food and debris. If your grill doesn’t get hot enough to do the trick, you can place your grates in your oven and turn it up high or on self-clean.
Put some tin foil on the top of the grates to create more heat and let it go for 15-30 minutes. The residue should turn white and easily brush off. After they are cooled down, wash them with soap and water, and you are all set.
4. DIY Methods
You can use common ingredients in your home to clean your grates, including:
- Baking soda
- Corn husks
Cut an onion in half and stick a fork to make a handle. Then simply scrub the grate while it’s warm until the debris lifts and washes away. An onion has acids that are effective in breaking down fat and grease and will steam clean it simultaneously. Sprinkle some salt on the onion to add to the scrubbing power.
Vinegar, along with baking soda, is an all-purpose cleaner around the home, and for your grill grate, it will do wonders. Mix vinegar with water in a spray bottle at a 60/40 ratio and spray all over. Let it sit for 5 minutes and then wipe off. You can also leave it on while you use your brush to get double cleaning action.
5. Deep Cleaning
You should do a deep cleaning on your grates twice a year to remove all rust, stains and hard-to-reach debris. There are a few methods that work well.
Coffee has natural acids that can eat away dried-on food, so brew up a batch and let the grate soak in it for 3-4 hours.
Vinegar mixed with baking soda is a potent cleaner that causes a chemical reaction to dissolve and clean debris on your grates. You can use a garbage bag or large tub with a mix of 2 cups vinegar and 1 cup baking soda and submerge the grates overnight. In the morning, wash them with soap and water, and you have a perfectly clean grate for another six months.
Don’t let dirty grates cramp your grilling game. Use these methods on how to clean grill grates, and then you can get on with the mastery of grilling your family’s favourite food.