Grilling can make some of the most delicious meals and give your food great flavor. Unfortunately, though, it can also create a big mess in your charcoal grill that can be difficult and time consuming to clean up. Your grill can get caked with burnt food and grease and it can make for a messy situation. Having a clean grill is not only good for sanitary issues, but it will help your grilled food taste better. It is also a great idea to give your grill a good, thorough cleaning at the end of the summer before storing it for the winter so it is clean and ready to go at the beginning of next season. Here are some tips that will help you to clean your charcoal grill with ease and get it ready for your next grilling adventure.
Begin by removing all of the grates and any other accessories from inside your grill and then empty out the old ash and coals from the bottom of the charcoal grill. Many people add the charcoal ash to their garden or compost heap, but there are indications that some of the ingredients in it may actually be harmful to plants so it is a better idea just to dispose of it to be on the safe side.
Next, take your garden hose and rinse your grill down, both inside and out. You don’t have to worry about getting the inside of the grill spotless, but giving it a good rinsing will loosen any grease, grime, or leftover food chunks and keep them from negatively affecting the flavor of your food the next time that you grill.
To make your charcoal grill look great wipe down the outside of the grill to remove any dirt, dust, or grime. Remember that the outside of the grill is painted so you don’t want to use an abrasive cleaner or any cleaning tools that could damage the paint or cause scratches. If you do scratch your grill or if the paint is damaged you can touch it up or repaint it using high heat paint specifically designed for painting grills.
The most important, and unfortunately most difficult, part of cleaning your charcoal grill is cleaning the racks or grates. The easiest way to remove grease, grime, and buildup from your grilling grates is to use an oven cleaner which will work to dissolve the grease. Oven cleaner typically takes a while to get to work so you will want to spray it on your grates and leave them alone for an hour or two (or follow the manufacturer’s directions) to give the cleaner time to go to work and loosen the old stuck on food and grime.
After the oven cleaner has had a chance to work you can either wipe the grates off with a clean cloth and water to remove the gunk or for harder jobs use a wire brush to clean them. After all of the dirt has been removed rinse the grates thoroughly several times to ensure that you have removed all of the oven cleaners and replace them inside the grill.
Cleaning your grill can be an easier job if you take some steps to prevent food and grime buildup in the first place. Start by spraying your grilling grates with a non-stick cooking spray each time you grill. This will make removing the grime from the grates much easier while at the same time help to keep your food from sticking making it easier to turn. Rather than letting the grill cool completely and cleaning it before the next time you grill, you should allow it to cool enough to handle and clean it after grilling while the food and grime are still fresh. This will make getting the grates clean a much easier task.
You should also empty out the old ash from your grill each time you use it and add new, fresh charcoal to get the best flavor in your food.
Cleaning a charcoal grill takes time, but it is well worth the effort for the great tasting grilled food that it will give you.