6.29.20

BBQ cleaning tips

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Close up photo of a turner turning over meat on a grill
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Simple ways to keep your grill in top shape and ready for a cookout.

Hot dogs, brats, veggies and burgers all taste better when cooked on the grill. They also leave behind a chargrilled mess. Use these tips to keep your grill clean and ready for your next cookout.

Turn up the heat

Start your grill cleaning by turning the heat up to high and closing the lid for 10-15 minutes. This will burn off a lot of the cooking debris. Turn off the burners and let the grill cool until just warm before scrubbing away what remains.

No brush? No problem!

If you don’t have a wire brush you can still get your grill clean. Ball up a piece of aluminum foil and use your tongs as a handle. Alternatively, cut a large onion in half and use your grilling fork to move it across the grates.

Steam clean (without a machine)

Use the power of steam to loosen baked-on debris. Fill a tin with water; nothing fancy needed here—a large soup can or small coffee can will work. After placing the can on the grates, turn the heat up to high so the water boils and close the lid. Let the steam work for 30 minutes, then turn off the heat. When the grill cools down, use a scrubber or brush away the debris.

Extra cleaning power

You don’t need to buy expensive grill cleaners because you probably have items on hand that will do the job. Half a bottle of beer can be poured over warm grates to break up oil and grease. Household vinegar in a spray bottle works well, too. After applying the beer or vinegar, follow up with a brush, balled up aluminum or half an onion to remove debris. If using a wire brush, afterward be sure to wipe down the grates with a soft cloth in case any stray wires came off.

Prep for the next grill session

When the grates are clean, coat them with oil to help prevent food sticking the next time you grill. Use either a cooking spray or pour cooking oil on a folded paper towel and apply a light coat.

Deep cleaning

To extend the life of your grill, deep clean at least once a season and more if you grill a lot. Deep cleans require disconnecting the gas and cleaning the heat deflector and burners. The Home Depot’s video shows how to do it.

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