In the long-standing rivalry of charcoal vs. gas, an increasing number of people are choosing a gas grill. This type of barbecue offers a number of benefits, including quick, convenient heating and cheaper fuel. However, they still need to be cleaned regularly in order to stay in top working condition. If you own a gas grill, make sure you regularly complete a deep clean by following these steps.
Step-by-step Guide on Cleaning a Gas Grill
Step 1: Turn Off the Gas Supply
Before you do any cleaning, be sure to turn off the supply of gas to your grill. You can flip the switch to the “Off” position for a quick clean. If you want to do a deeper clean, detach the gas tank and set it aside so you can really get in there and scrub.
Step 2: Scrub the Cooking Grate
Remove the cooking grate from the grill. Use a grill brush with stiff wire bristles dipped in warm, soapy water to scrape off any buildup on the grate. Be sure to clean both the top and the underside of the grate. Once most of the buildup has been removed, wipe the grate down with a clean, damp cloth to remove any remaining residue or brush bristles.
If your gas grill has a porcelain-coated grill grate instead of one made of metal, do not use abrasive cleaning tools while cleaning. Instead, use a cloth or sponge with hot water and strong detergent. Always use extra caution when scrubbing this type of grill grate.
Step 3: Clean the Grill Lid
Brush out any residue from the lid and wash it with a cleaning solution designed to cut through grease. If certain pieces of residue are cooked on, use a stiff bristle brush to dislodge them.
Step 4: Wash the Burner Shields
The burner mechanisms under the cooking grate are covered by protective pieces. These shields may be made of V-shaped metal tents, lava stones, or ceramic briquettes. Remove the burner shields and clean each one to remove built-up grime and grease. Use warm soapy water and a sponge to wash them.
Step 5: Wipe Off the Burners
If the burners themselves have any residue on them, wipe them off carefully with a damp sponge or cloth. This removes any grime that might prevent the burners from heating up properly. Be sure that the gas ports are completely clean and free of any blockages.
Step 6: Clean Out the Bottom of the Grill
Food, oil, or grease will fall down through the grate and collect on the bottom of the grill. Make sure you thoroughly clean out this area by brushing off any debris. To scrape off any particularly cooked on pieces, you may need a stiff bristle brush or a putty knife. Once everything has been brushed or scraped off the bottom, wipe it out with a damp cloth.
Step 7: Empty the Grease Tray
Pull out the grease collection tray and dispose of any grease inside. You may need to use a putty knife to scrape out the cooled, hardened grease. Then, use warm soapy water to wash it out. Some grills use disposable grease trays instead, so you may just need to dispose of the old tray and replace it with a new one.
Step 8: Wipe Down the Grill’s Exterior
Use warm, soapy water to wash the outside of the grill. Be sure to clean the handles and side tables as well. If you prefer, you can hose down the entire grill when you’re done and let it air dry. To get a stainless-steel grill looking especially fresh, use a stainless-steel cleaner and a microfiber cloth to finish it off.
Once you’re done with this step, you can replace the grease collection tray, burner shields, and cooking grate.
Gas Grill Cleaning Maintenance and Safety
When you’re cleaning your gas grill, there are a few things you’ll want to do for safety purposes and to ensure you get a deeper clean. Keep these tips in mind as you prepare to clean your grill:
- In addition to an occasional deep clean on your gas grill two or three times per year, make sure you are doing a light clean after each use. Simply brush off the grill grates and wipe down any major pieces of residue or grease on the lid or exterior.
- The best time to give your gas grill a more thorough clean is shortly after grilling. You can begin brushing the cooking grate while the grill is still warm; use oven mitts for extra protection during this step. Then, allow the grill to cool further before continuing with the next steps.
- Always dispose of grease properly when cleaning your grill. Even if you only have a little bit of grease in the collection tray to get rid of, keep in mind that grease should never be washed down the drain. Instead, place it into an empty can or jar, allow it to harden, then throw it away.
- Have your owner’s manual handy while you perform a deep clean. It helps to have this guide close by in case you need more information about certain parts or how to detach and reattach pieces for cleaning.
- Avoid the aluminum foil “trick” often recommended for cleaning a gas grill. Some resources suggest covering the cooking grate with aluminum foil and turning the grill on high. The idea is that the bits stuck to your cooking grate will just turn to dry ash, so once everything cools down, you can easily brush it off. Today’s grills often aren’t made with parts meant to withstand that type of heat, causing this method to potentially melt parts or create a fire hazard.
- Keep your grill cleaner by protecting it with a grill cover when not in use.
- Your gas grill can offer plenty of fun food options for your family. Make sure you keep yours in great shape by regularly following these steps for deep cleaning a gas grill. If you keep up with brief cleanings after each use, you should only need to deep clean the grill about once a month.