Since your grill serves you so well, shouldn't you return the favor?
Maintenance of any type of equipment you're planning to utilize for cooking purposes should be cleaned often.
Especially your outdoor grill.
So whether you fire up the grates every week or twice a year, a thorough spring cleaning is necessary for safe and tasty cooking.
Go grab your sponge and soapy water, because I'll be taking you through several ways of cleaning your grill.
If it's electric, gas, charcoal or pellet, look no further than this article.
Why Is It so Essential to Clean My Grill?
We're all familiar with germs - you know those tiny particles that have the sinister ability to make us sick for days.
Usually, we're taught the basics of keeping bacteria at bay during kindergarten. So I'll keep this section short.
Whether you're using your grill every day or once a month, it's easy sometimes to forget just how important a thorough clean is.
If you took the fast track after your last BBQ party and left the grates filled with burnt food residue, it's likely to come back and haunt you.
This burnt debris is no joke. It actually contains harmful amino acids and chemicals.
When you leave bits from your hamburger patty or slow-cooked ribs on the grates, the next time you're cooking, these pieces will burn further. This, in turn, triggers a reaction which could cause an array of health problems.
So, needless to say, it's essential to remember to scrape off the grates—both before and after cooking.
Germs and health issues aside, a charred grill is also a major fire hazard waiting to happen.
All the grease which drips onto the grease tray could start a fire. It occurs as the grease in the pan reaches its maximum temperature and therefore explodes, leaving you with a burnt grill.
Because of this risk, you should prep your station with tools to put out a grease fire. Always keep a few items, such as baking soda, salt and a fire extinguisher near your grill.
You should never throw water or flour on a grease fire as this could cause an even worse flare-up. Instead, look for ways to smother the flames. Baking soda is an excellent tool as it prevents oxygen from getting through.
But to prevent all of this from occurring, remember to check the grease tray often. Empty it as soon as it begins to build up and, of course, keep the grates clean to prevent debris from dripping down.
How Often Should I Clean My Grill?
Ideally, you should clean your grill after every use.
This doesn't mean a thorough wash, but at least scrape the leftovers off the grates. And, if you're using a charcoal grill, empty the coals, so it's ready for the next use.
The best time to scrape the grates is right after you've finished grilling - while they're still hot. This way, food residue hasn’t had time to settle yet and is therefore easier to remove.
How often you should give your grill an out-and-out cleanse depends on how often you grill and which kind of grill you're using. For charcoal grills, it's generally once a month that you should give it a good clean out. Whereas for gas and pellets, it's more of an annual event.
But in saying this, if you're grilling on a daily basis throughout the year, you should try to do this more than once a year.
How to Clean Your Grill
Now that we're aware of the importance of cleaning and how often, it's time to move on to the how-to.
How you'll clean your grill is not the same for every type.
So below you'll find short guides on how to clean your specific grill - whether it's charcoal or pellet, electric or propane gas.
How to Clean Your Gas Grill
How to Clean Your Electric Grill
How to Clean Your Charcoal Grill
How to Clean Your Pellet Grill
Having a clean grill is essential for proper cooking.
Dirt and debris are not only hazards to your health, but also for the well-being of your grill.
By keeping your grill clean, you're ensuring that it will stay with you for another season of grilling parties and good food.