Are you looking for the best possible ways to clean your greasy grill grates? If yes, then this article is for you. Grilling season is just around the corner and it’s high time for you to clean your grill grates. Before planning a barbecue party in your backyard, the first thing you need to do is to clean off all the remnants from your last cooking adventure. Take out all the necessary cleaning tools and cleaning agents to scrape off all the grease and food residue that has accumulated on your cooking grills over time. Cleaning the grill grates not only improves the quality of your food but also prolongs the life of your grills. However, most people overlook this cleaning step which results in rust deposition and damage to the cooking grates. Whether you are a seasoned griller or a beginner to outdoor cooking, you need to know how to clean grill grates properly after every use.
Why Cleaning Grill Grates Is Essential?
Cleaning your cooking grates every two months not only reduces the rust buildup but also prevents bacteria from growing on your grills. Those black crusts on your grill grates are mostly carbon deposits that aren’t just ugly but can affect the flavor of your food and even become a health hazard. Researches have shown that the carbon deposits on barbecue grills contain carcinogen chemicals that can potentially cause cancer.
With the help of deep cleaning, you can get rid of these stubborn black crusts on your cooking grates. These black crusts are made up of food debris, grease, and carbon deposits if you don’t regularly clean your grates. Carbon deposits that build up on your grills not only tend to develop rust but also trap bacteria that can harm your health. Besides this, an excessive accumulation of carbon can cause the cooking grills to heat evenly which slows down the cooking time. But don’t worry; we have got you covered. In this ultimate guide, we will share some amazing cleaning tips on how to clean grill grates at home like a pro. So without further ado, let’s get started!
Determine Your Grill Type Before Cleaning
Before cleaning your cooking grates, determine whether it is made of cast iron, stainless steel, or porcelain. Because the cleaning method and the products you use to clean the cooking grates largely depend on the material these are made up of. Cast iron grates are more powerful than porcelain grates and can withstand aggressive cleaning whereas porcelain grates are resistant to rust. So always keep these cleaning tips in mind before starting the cleaning process.
Cast Iron Grates
One of the most incredible benefits of having cast iron grates is that they are durable and last longer than others. Moreover, cast iron grates can retain heat and have non-stick properties which make it an ideal choice for grillers. Cast iron grates are tough so these can withstand aggressive cleaning with wire brushes. However, these grates are prone to rust buildup therefore we recommend you apply vegetable oil on these grates to prevent rust formation.
Stainless Steel Grates
Stainless steel grates are resistant to rust and corrosion and are much easier to clean than the cast iron grates. Moreover, these grates are durable and can stand the test of time if maintained properly. As compared to cast iron and porcelain grates, stainless steel grates require little maintenance. But it doesn’t mean you won’t pay attention to these grates. Even rust-proof cooking grates can develop rust over time if not cleaned properly. Therefore, always make sure to apply a light coat of vegetable oil after cleaning these grates to prevent them from rust formation.
These grates are resistant to rust and corrosion as long as their metal coating is intact. Aggressive cleaning with wire brushes can cause its coating to wear off and makes it prone to rust formation. Therefore, you suggest you use nylon or soft bristled brushes rather than wire brushes to clean it gently. Then apply a thin layer of vegetable oil on its surface to prevent it from rusting and corrosion.
How To Choose The Right Cleaning Tools To Clean The Cooking Grates?
When it comes to cleaning the grill grates, there are dozens of grill-cleaning tools and agents available in the market. As I have already mentioned you need to determine your grate type before choosing a cleaning tool or agent. Not every cleaning tool is suitable for your grate type so choose wisely. Some grillers opt for traditional metal brushes without knowing that they can be hazardous to your health. Doctors recommend not using wire brushes to clean off the food residue and grease from your grill grates. There is a downside to using wire brushes as their bristles can break off and get into your food while grilling. Then if you accidentally swallow one, it can get into your throat and can rupture your esophagus, stomach, liver, or intestines. In this blog, we have mentioned some grilling cleaning tools and agents which are commonly used by grillers.
Grill-Cleaning Tools and Agents
The best grill cleaning tools include a long-handled grill brush which is designed with tough bristles to scrape off all the grease and food residue. Besides this, you can also use baking soda, vinegar, or a grease-cutting dishwasher to remove the charred food and grease from your barbecue grill. Avoid using any harsh chemical or cleaning agent to remove grease as it can impart a strong flavor to your food and also affect your health. If you have stainless steel grates then you will need some scouring sponges, distilled white vinegar, baking soda, and a few cotton rags to clean off all the debris and grease from it.
4 Incredible Cleaning Methods to Clean Grill Grates
For most people, grill cleaning is a quite daunting task but it doesn’t take much time and effort. All you need to do is to choose the right cleaning tool and method. In this blog, we have mentioned four ways to clean your grill grates effectively.
It is considered the simplest and quickest way to clean off dirty and grimy grill grates. Once you are done with your grilling then turn on the burners on a high flame with the lid off especially if you are using a charcoal grill to remove the grease and food residue. After 15 minutes, use a metal brush or whatever brush you have depending on your grate type to clean the grates.
2. Clean With Warm and Soapy Water
Along with the Burn off method, we recommend you clean your grimy grill grates with hot and soapy water once a month to remove all the grease and food particles. This cleaning method will ensure that there is no buildup of carbon deposits lingering on your grates.
- Firstly scrub off your grates.
- Then soak it in warm water for almost an hour then rinse it.
- Next place the grates back into the grill, cover the lid, and heat it.
- Remove it after some time and then use a grill brush to scrape off any additional residue or buildup off your grates.
3. Use Distilled Vinegar or Grill Spray
Cleaning your cooking grates with warm and soapy water is considered the most preferred method. However, some grillers prefer distilled water or grill spray to clean charred food or grease from the grates. You can also use this technique to wipe off grease and sauces from your grill grates.
· Firstly, mix two cups of white vinegar with two cups of water in a spray bottle.
· Now apply this spray over your grill grates and wait for 10 minutes
· After 10 minutes, brush off all the debris using a grill brush.
On the other hand, if you are using a grill spray to clean the grills then carefully read the manufacturer’s instructions mentioned on the bottle.
Last but not least, steam cleaning is considered an effective grilling cleaning method. All you need is some water and a sponge to perform this technique.
- Firstly heat your cooking grill at 600°F then turn off the burner.
- Then place a larger container of water onto the grill grates
- Close the lid and allow it to steam for half an hour.
- After that, use a silicone sponge to loosen the residue.
After the cleaning, never forget to apply a thin layer of vegetable oil over the grates. It protects against rust and prolongs the life of your grates.
The Bottom Line
In conclusion, deep cleaning your grill grates not only protects them from wear and tear but also extends their lifespan. Moreover, it improves your food taste and ensures good health. Whether you are a newbie or an experienced griller, you can use these cleaning methods to thoroughly clean your cooking grates. In this guide, you will learn how to clean grill grates at home using simple cleaning tools and tricks.