As the summer weather inches ever closer, it’s a great time to complete your outdoor grill maintenance. With a little bit of elbow grease and all the right tools and techniques, you can ready your barbecue grill for yet another season of great food and fun times.
Not sure how to best clean up your grill without causing damage? Simply use this ultimate guide to outdoor grill maintenance to get the job done right.
Gear Up for the Tough Job Ahead
Proper outdoor grill maintenance demands the right step of tools and cleaning products.
So, gear up by getting:
- Grill brush
- Soft brass bristle brush
- Nylon pipe brush
- Scrub sponge
- Paper towels
- Microfiber rags
- Five-gallon bucket
- Dawn dish soap
You’ll also need a hose nearby, so you can rinse off each part before drying and reassembling your grill.
Fire It Up to Burn Off Leftover Grease
Before you start putting in the work, fire up your grill to let the flames burn off what they can. Bring it up to full temperature and run for 15 to 20 minutes with the lid closed. After that, scrape the cooking surface with your grill brush to help remove stuck-on food and leftover grease.
Cool It All Down Before Moving On
For a gas grill, you’ll want to turn off the burners, remove the propane tank, and let the grill cool down before moving onto the next steps. If you’re cleaning a charcoal grill, let the briquettes cool fully before putting them in a metal container.
Scrub the Cooking Grates in Hot, Soapy Water
Once your outdoor grill is fully cooled, pull out the cooking grates and scrub them in a bucket of hot, soapy water. The Dawn dish soap will break up the remaining grease on the upper and lower surfaces of the grates.
You may need to let the grates soak for up to 30 minutes to soften up the stubborn debris. If you cannot get the debris off, scrub those sections with the soft brass bristle brush. After the grates look sparkling clean, rinse them off and dry them thoroughly.
Wipe Down the Burner Plates and Gas Tubes
Remove the burner plates and gas tubes next, and then clean them the same way as the grates. Remember to clean the inside of the gas tubes with your nylon pipe brush.
Since these parts are made with a thinner metal material, be a bit gentler as you scrub. Once they are clean, rinse, dry, and set them to the side.
Remove All Debris Left Inside the Firebox and Lid
The inside of your firebox and lid gets splattered with grease, spices, and everything in between through each grilling session. So, plan to scrub up those surfaces with a soapy sponge to get them clean.
You may need to first use paper towels to wipe the standing grease into the catch can beneath your grill. Then, work from top to bottom with your sponge, drying each section as you get it clean.
Pull out the catch can beneath the grill and empty it into the garbage can. Then, wash it in your bucket of soapy water. Dry this piece as well and put it with the rest for later.
Clean Up the Outer Surfaces of Your Outdoor Grill
With all the interior surfaces clean, you can focus on making the outside of your barbecue grill shine like new. To do that, all you need is a microfiber rag dipped in hot, soapy water.
For stainless steel grills, wipe in the direction of the grain to avoid marring the surface. Otherwise, just scrub as you see fit. Either way, rinse and dry the surface right after cleaning to prevent water spots.
Don’t forget to wipe down the outside of your propane tank if you have a gas grill. Just use your soapy water and a sponge to get it clean before gently rinsing it off and thoroughly drying its surface.
Reassemble Your Grill and Test It Out
Look over all your grill components and surfaces to confirm that you’re satisfied with the quality of your cleaning efforts. As you do that, look for any rust that needs attention. Depending on the type of grill you have, it’s possible to clean away the rust with a wire wheel, and then cover it with a layer of paint to keep it from spreading.
If you’re happy with the results of your efforts, get busy reassembling your grill, starting with the gas tubes. Then, hook up the propane tank and test it out. If all works as expected, you’re good to go and can start planning your first grilling session of the season.
To minimize the need for extensive cleaning each season, keep a cover on your grill whenever it’s fully cooled down and not in use. A properly fitting cover can reduce the impact of weathering and keep your grill protected from pollen, dirt, and debris flying through the air.
After completing your outdoor grill maintenance, gaze upon your cooking area to see if it could use any upgrades. If so, just call 407-636-7135 to speak to our team at Orlando Outdoor Kitchens. We look forward to helping bring your vision to life, so you can enjoy every grilling season to the fullest.
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