Summer season is upon us and for many of us, this means it is time for grilling. If you are preparing for summer cookouts and long, warm nights in your backyard or your outdoor dining area, there is another important thing you should take into account: cleaning your gas grill. Whether you’re a novice griller or a BBQ pitmaster, keeping your grill clean is an important part of creating a good meal.
There is perhaps no finer way to spend a summer evening than grilling and eating perfectly juicy steaks with your friends and family. In this sense, all gas grills often have a long lifespan, but that can be shortened if you don’t clean and maintain yours regularly.
Maintaining your gas grill after each use cuts down on the time to make your grill shine, but even if you haven’t cleaned your grill all season, a little effort will get it cooking like new again. Luckily, maintenance and cleaning don’t take too much effort. Read on to find out how to keep your gas grill functioning smoothly and belching meat-searing heat.
Why cleaning your gas grill?
Firstly because outdoor fun is only possible with a grill that is cleaned and maintained throughout the year. There are simple cleaning steps that you can do after every time you grill, along with deeper, semi-annual cleaning steps to keep your grill working its best for years to come. An outdoor grill that is kept clean and maintained will stay in good working order and will ensure that the food you cook on always tastes great.
When should you clean your grill?
How often you clean your grill depends on how much you use it. In general, once a month scrub-down of the grates, bars, and grease management system is a good idea. If you notice your grill isn’t heating up as high as usual, it may be a revealing sign it’s overdue for a cleaning.
Did you know? Too much grease and schmutz in the grill can hinder the effectiveness of the grill and the quality of the food you’re cooking. You don’t want to completely clean off this grease because it can add flavour to your meat, but bear in mind that a hefty build-up of grease can hamper the airflow inside your grill. Always make sure your cleaning leaves just a light layer of barbecue drippings.
We advise you to brush your grill grates after every use. In this sense, you should give your grill a thorough cleaning twice a year, which helps it cook better and last longer. The basic process is the same for gas or charcoal grills; charcoal grills just have fewer parts.
How to clean your gas grill
Here is a shortlist of the tools you will need to give your barbecue its spring tune-up:
- Dish soap
- A paste made with vinegar and baking soda
- Warm water buckets
- Durable gloves
- A roll of paper towel or microfiber towels
- A stiff-bristled brush
❕📢 Before cleaning your grill, don’t forget to disconnect the gas.
After you use your grill, turn the heat on high and leave for 15 minutes. Leaving your grill burning for 15 minutes allows for any remaining grease or food particles leftover from your last use to be burned into ash, and facilitate to be easily removed.
Avoid toxic cleaning formulas
They can impart an off taste to foods and aren’t necessary. Warm water, dish soap and vinegar are all the cleaning power you need. If your grill has stainless steel exterior surfaces, a good stainless steel cleaner (or vinegar) imparts an extra shine.
Leave some grease on
It’s okay if your cooking grills have some grease on them, it keeps them seasoned and helps give them a non-stick quality. Just give them a good brush with your stiff-bristled brush and set them aside.
The sear plates need some cleaning and might be some of the dirtiest parts on your grill. Spray them with the vinegar paste and after that, clean them up with your microfiber cloth and some warm water. They don’t have to be spotless, you just want to get most of the grease off them.
Cleaning the cook box may seem tricky, but it’s actually simple and can have a big impact on the way your grill performs. When your grill is completely cool, carefully remove your cooking grates and bars. Then, using a stainless steel grill brush, brush all excess grease from inside the cook box into the bottom tray.
Clean the side tables with a microfiber towel and stainless steel cleaner. Make sure to buff with the grain. Also, wipe the outside of the grill lid with a paper towel. If your grill is stainless steel, you’ll get the best results by buffing with the grain using a microfiber towel.
Maintaining your grill
You don’t need to do a lot of things to keep your grill in tip-top shape. Following the few tips below will ensure years and years of successful and safe cooking:
1. Clean your grill regularly. As we mentioned before, you should spot clean your grill after each use. Brush the grates, wipe down the exterior, and you’re good to go.
2. Routinely check for propane leaks. On a monthly basis, run some soapy water along the gas line and connections (with the propane turned on). If you see bubbles form, you know there’s a leak, and you either need to tighten the connection or replace the line.
3. Cover your grill as soon as it has cooled down. Keep your grill covered when you are not using it. Most brands make their own covers, which you need to buy separately. If you live in a sunny place and near the sea like the Algarve, it will worth to have your grill covered and protected from becoming dirtier than it needs to be.
As you may notice, taking great care of your grill should be one of your cooking priorities. If you have not maintained your grill properly, over time its performance can diminish.
❕📢 Always remember to inspect for wire brush bristles before cooking your meal.
How often do you clean your grill? Leave us a comment below. You can also share your grill cleaning tips with us and our readers!