Summer is rapidly approaching in the Algarve, meaning it’s time to clean the barbecue grids of all remnants from last season’s cooking adventures. As you know, barbecue cooking grids can get messy very quickly. Think of it as when you want to use a frying pan and cook something with leftover goo. Well, your barbecue grids share pretty much the same principle and should have proper hygiene.
Caring for your barbecue grids doesn’t need to be a chore, so we decided to put together this helpful guide on how to clean your cooking grids (stainless steel and cast iron), so you can give them the love they deserve!
How often should you clean your barbecue grids?
⚠️ Old residues on your grill are not the ingredient you want to help flavour your food, plus, it just isn’t safe or hygienic, so preparation is key when it comes to successful outdoor cooking.
How often you clean your cooking grids depends on how often you’re grilling, but whether you have stainless-steel or cast-iron grids, you should always clean them immediately after use. Most pitmasters who regularly grill adopt monthly cleaning routines. As for deep cleaning, we advise doing it twice a year!
What equipment do you need for cleaning your barbecue cooking grids?
Here is a shortlist of the tools you will need to clean your cooking grids to make them look like new:
- Grill Brush: scrubbing away the grease and grime is easier with a sturdy brush, and there are plenty of great options on the market depending on your needs. We recommend stainless steel coil brushes or wooden grill scrapers.
- Paper towel or cleaning cloth: You’ll need to wipe down your grill grids. Use any soft, non-abrasive fabric or sponge to pick up bits of remains. We advise using super-absorbent microfiber towels.
- Non-abrasive soap, salt, or baking soda: Try not to use harsh chemicals for cleaning the grill, instead you can create a cleaning paste with baking soda, salt, and a tablespoon of water. There are also especific cleaners depending on the material.
- Warm water buckets and durable gloves: This might be a no-brainer but we have to mention it. It’s much easier to wash the grease off gloves or throw them away than scrubbing it off your hands.
How to clean your cast iron cooking grids?
One of the best reasons to purchase a grill made from cast iron is that the tough metal is so durable. To prevent rust and food build-up on your cast iron cooking grids, you need to make sure you’re following the proper cleaning procedures. You’ll have cast iron cooking grids that last a lifetime if done correctly.
Let’s take a deeper look at it and get to know how to clean your cast iron cooking grids safely and effectively.
First of all, it’s better to clean sooner than later, so give it a clean immediately after every use, our advice? Try cleaning it while it’s still warm (but after the fire is entirely out). This will allow the food particles leftover to come off much easier before it hardens. Use a damp paper towel or a cleaning cloth to wipe off those grids.
If there are particles of food stuck too stubborn to come off quickly on the grids, first cover them with salt or baking soda, add a small amount of hot water (together it will create a cleaning paste-like texture), now it’s time to use your muscle and scrub! Similarly, you could use non-abrasive soap or detergent as well as a wire brush or a nylon sponge to scrub the food build-up away.
Then, follow up with a hot water rinse and dry the grids completely with a cloth. Make sure they’re really dry!
#ProTip. Prevention is the best medicine. After cleaning and drying your barbecue grates, apply a skinny layer of vegetable oil to prevent rusting. This will keep food from sticking! We recommend wiping away extra oil when seasoning to avoid building a sticky coating.
How to clean your stainless steel grill grids?
It is hard not to be seduced by a shiny stainless steel grill, but just because they call it stainless doesn’t mean it won’t stain! A thin layer of chromium oxide protects stainless steel grill grates. When dirt and grease build up on this coating, it does not work correctly and can lead to corrosion.
Here are the steps to clean your grill and keep it in good condition:
Once the grill grids are cooled, use a grill brush to clean off the remaining food particles. Avoid using toxic chemicals to clean your grill. Instead, all you need is some warm water, grease-cutting dish soap, and a paste made of white vinegar and baking soda or salt.
First, use a soft cloth or sponge damped with the paste-like texture to wipe down the grids (Follow the grain of the metal as you clean), then rinse thoroughly with clean water, and last but not least dry with the microfiber towels. ⚠️Remember: Do not allow the surface to remain wet!
Are you already dreaming about the summer season in the Algarve? Mmmm, the smells of delicious foods and the ability to grill a wide range of mouth-watering delights will attract your friends like a magnet! Just make sure whether you have stainless-steel or cast-iron grids, they’re clean and spotless before cooking your BBQ recipes!
What are your grill-cleaning tricks and hacks? Let us know in the comments section below! 👇🏻