So I had a BBQ party that went perfectly, with all my guests raving about my gas grill and the dishes it had created. I was feeling great until the last guest left, and I found myself standing before a house that looked like it’d been caught in a cyclone, and more importantly – facing a grill that was dripping with grease and barbeque sauce, and food leftovers.
This wiped the grin off my face and any hope for rest I had.
Every time I’m faced with the prospect of cleaning my BBQ, I cringe and often wonder how daunting a process it can seem to newbie grillers. While we are quite the culinary wizards while using our grill, we are a lot less enthusiastic when it comes to scrubbing it down. So, I’m putting together some smart tips on how to clean a gas grill that shows you how cleaning needn’t always be a nightmare, and how you can get the best out of your gas grill.
Table of Contents
BBQ Grill Cleaning Overview
Why Is It Important?
One of the most important things I consider while picking a Gas Grill is how easy maintenance will be. While gas grills are a lot easier to clean than other types the fact is, it won’t do it by itself. For this tutorial we will be cleaning our Broil King Regal S590 Pro Grill that we love.
Whether it is routine maintenance or an end-of-season scrub down, de-crusting isn’t fun. The carbon deposits on grills are not just downright ugly and tell-tale signs of poor upkeep; they are also grounds for festering bacteria. Carbon accumulation can cause uneven heating, which can ruin that perfectly seared steak. Furthermore, build-up of unsafe grease on your grill can hinder gas flow to your ports and also create flair ups.
The bottom line is, a clean grill is a well-functioning grill. Cleaning your gas grill regularly helps you use it for the longest possible time, and make the most out of it. With a little effort you can ensure that your grill performs better, and that will reflect in the quality of food you make.
What Tools or Equipment Do I Need?
If you’re looking to clean a gas grill with minimal effort, you’d be surprised at how much easier life can get when you use the right tools. Among various other grill cleaning supplies available in the market, this is what works best for me:
- Grill Brush, or other coarse cleaning brush
- Soft cloth/rags (to wipe) and/or paper towels
- Wire bristle brush
- Soap and water
- Sponge or scouring pad
- Gloves (optional)
- White vinegar or baking soda
- Shop Vac
Some Optional Product that we specifically like to use :
Spray Nine BBQ Grill Cleaner
Grate Chef Non Stick Grill Wipes
Weiman Stainless Steel Cleaner
GrillPro Venturi Cleaning Brush
Grillstone Cleaning Blocks
Review Your Grill Manufacturers Cleaning Suggestions
Always remember that not all grills are the same. With every gas grill – there are hundreds of brands – there are different cooking grates, valves, burners, heating systems etc. With this in mind, the best source of cleaning advice whether it is a quick scrub down after each use, or a deeper cleaning at the beginning of the grilling season, is the user manual that comes with your grill.
Every barbeque is designed using different materials, and so there are always best practices to follow depending on what type of grill you are using. Cleaning suggestions are usually included in the user manual that comes with your grill so make sure you go through it once, especially if you’re cleaning your grill for the first time.
Manuals include some great cleaning tips and advice that are specific to a grill’s system and parts. Additionally, they also help you dismantle and re-assemble various grill parts for a thorough cleaning job. Some other things to remember as you clean your grill gates and burners are the following:
- Make sure your grill is cool to the touch
- Always disconnect the propane tank/natural gas before you begin cleaning your gas grill
- Keep an eye out for burners catching rust
- Ensure that you clean the Venturi tubes (the tubes that connect the burner to the control valves) regularly
- Avoid storing extra cylinders indoors; If you do need to change them, do it in an outdoor space
- NEVER use cylinders that are past their expiration date
- Once you finish washing and wiping down the different parts of your grill, allow them to dry out completely before putting them together again. If left moist, they can become grounds for mold growth which is worse than grease or carbon build up.
Cleaning Your Gas Grill After Every Use
How often you clean your gas grill depends on how much you use it. Generally speaking, a once a month scrub-down of grates, bars, and grease management system is a good idea. A deeper cleaning routine can be followed in the beginning of or at the end of a grilling season.
Logically, the cleaner you keep your grill after every use, the less tedious the cleaning process can be.
After Use/Daily Cleaning
- Oiling the grates with a brush and vegetable oil prior to each use will help prevent food from sticking to the grates, keeping the grates overall cleaner.
- Generally speaking, after each use it is a good idea to leave the BBQ on for about 5-10 minutes to burn off any excess liquid or food. After the 10-15 min, scrub the grates with either a wire brush or grill block.
- Remember to cover your barbecue once it has cooled. Keeping the grill covered when not in use protects it from the elements (rain and sun) and keeps debris (leaves, bird droppings) off or out of your grill.
For most of us, using a grill is highly seasonal – in some seasons we use it regularly, and in some others we tuck it away.
While it’s always good to give your grill a brush down after every use, routine deep cleaning is a very important part of owning a grill. The general rule of thumb when it comes to deep cleaning a gas grill is that is it done at the beginning of every season which is usually, summer, spring, and fall. How often you deep clean your grill, will directly relate to how often you use your grill. If you are using your bbq every day, then you will want to complete a deep cleaning of your grill more often…. possibly even monthly.
Whether you have already cleaned your grill before putting it away in the last season or are dealing with stubborn grime and lodged food, deep cleaning is your best bet.
Inside Grill Cleaning
Here we will cover how to clean the inside of your grill step by step. This is a more tedious process so give yourself 30-45 minutes to complete.
- While cleaning the interior of your gas grill, be sure to turn off the gas supply to the grill. Exchange or build-up of dangerous gases during cleaning increases the chances of accidents and injuries.
- Begin by scrubbing the grates (using a bbq block or bbq brush) just as you would during you daily cleaning, to remove any larger debris stuck to the grates.
- Remove the grates and scrub them clean with a wire brush. Let the scrubbed grate sit in a tub of warm, soapy water for about 10 minutes before scrubbing off any stubborn residue on the grates. This is where we add a little bit of Spray Nine BBQ Cleaner onto the grates prior to soaking. If choosing to use a bbq cleaner, be sure to rinse the grates really well following.
- Be sure to clean both sides of the grates.
Flavorizers and Burner Covers
- Once the grates are removed; you may notice a lot of chunky excess burnt food and grease. These larger particles can be removed by simply vacuuming using a shop vac.
- Remove any metal plates or coverings over burners (flavorizers and burner covers) and scrub them clean using a sponge or scouring pad dipped in soapy water. These plates protect the burners and are exposed to a lot of heat making them prone to grease build-up.
- Sometimes the grease can be really caked onto the burner covers; using a small wire brush to break away the build up can be helpful.
- Gently wipe off any grime off the burners.
- Remove the burners according to your manufacturers instructions.
- Build-up of any kind in the burner tubes can be quite dangerous as it restricts gas flow through the tubes, preventing the burners from lighting properly. A stainless steel wire brush can be used to brush the portholes in an up-and-down fashion to clear any collected grime.
- Remember to unclog burner holes using a toothpick or cleaning tool to dislodge any objects that are blocking the flow of gas and use the venturi brush to clean the inside of the burner.
- Scrape off any charred drippings from the bottom of the grill surface. Again, prior to a wipe down, the shop vac works really well for picking up the larger chunks of debris.
- For models that have a removable bottom pan, you can simply take it out and scrape the debris away.
- Once all the major chunks are cleaned up, clean the bottom of the grill with a sponge to remove any residual grime.
- Drippings and food scraps tend to get collected under the burners of the grill, so make sure you clean this area out thoroughly.
- Check the sides and the underside of the lid for any crusted food or flaking paint. Use a scraper to gently scrub away any flecks, but make sure that you do not scratch the metal or scrape off the paint as this could lead to rusting and corrosion.
- Once all the parts are cleaned, reassemble you grill by replacing your grill grates, burner covers and everything else back in place.
- Turn on the gas and fire up your grill on a high temperature with the lid closed for about 15 minutes. This burns off any remaining soap or cleaner you used while cleaning the insides of your grill.
- Turn off the gas and oil the grates. Oiling the grates prevents your food from sticking to the surface. You can rub Canola oil on the surface of your hot grates, with tongs. As an alternative, you can also use the non stick grill wipes.
Exterior Grill Cleaning
- Make sure the gas valve is completely closed before beginning to clean the grill.
- Most grills have a disposable drip pan/cup that is under the grill. Clean the surface of the drip pan and replace the liner with a fresh aluminum or tin plate.
- If your drip can is not disposable, simply wipe off the grime with paper towels and wash the drip pan with soapy water.
- Soap solutions work like a charm on most parts of your grill, so a soapy solution and soft cloth or cotton rags are all you need to wipe down the exterior of the grill.
- Wiping the surfaces with a cloth dipped in soap solution avoids food bits sticking to the metal, reducing the risk of corrosion.
- Knobs need a little more attention since a lot of food particles get lodge in the crevices; wipe the side panels and burners too to get any drippings that may have accumulated over time.
- Remember to rinse away any remaining soap, because the soap may form spots after drying.
- Liquid stainless steel or glass cleaners give a shiny finish to your metal surfaces; so, if your grill has stainless steel cabinets or lids, spray a liquid cleaner on the surface and wipe it away with a soft cloth or paper towel.
Tips For A Long Lasting Barbeque Grill
Maintenance is a continuous thing and a little cleaning can make a world of difference in your grill’s upkeep. There are somethings you can do after each use, so that cleaning doesn’t get overwhelming.
- Oiling the surface of the grill before each use with a paper towel dipped in vegetable oil makes sure that your grates are clean and food does not stick to them that easily.
- Grill grates are easiest to clean while they are still hot. You can clean the grates after each use by running a bristled wire brush along the length of the grates – this helps dislodge any food particles that are likely to get stuck to the grates after drying.
- Make it a point to check your gas line for leaks at the start of a new grilling season, and more regularly in months when your usage is high.
- You can check for gas leaks by applying soapy water along the length of the gas line using a rag or brush. Concentrate more around connections and valves. Look for a bubbles – this indicates leaking gas. Typically you can smell leaking propane or natural gas so that is usually your first indicator.
- Between every 3-4 uses, heat up the grill without any food in it. Allowing the heat to build inside the grill for 10-15 minutes effectively burns off any drippings and helps prevent grime build-up.
- Grills are not something you buy every day. Make sure you cover your grill between uses, so that it is protected from external elements.
Your Life Made Better
Owning a grill is not just about creating wonders with it. It comes as an entire package – the smells, the experience, the scrubbing, nuts and bolts, all of it. Maintaining a clean, shiny grill is a small price we pay for the amazing stuff we get to do with it. Now that your grill is clean, maybe it is time to plan that perfect grill and barbecue station you’ve been dreaming about. Or if the grill is impossible to clean, simply upgrade it with a one of our new favorites.