The best way to clean grills and grates – CNET

<pre><pre>The best way to clean grills and grates - CNET

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How to clean your grill safely


Dirty grills are dangerous fire hazards. Fat accumulations cause nasty flare-ups, even full-blown fires. And aside from the fact that an evil grill is a threat to your life and your home, it won't do the taste of food a favor either.

However, there is no need to panic. Here in this guide you will find simple steps for deep cleaning and proper maintenance of your grill. As a result, your food tastes better, performs optimally and lasts longer. I've been waiting for a propane powered grill for this item, but a lot of my advice also applies to charcoal grills, pellet smokers, and kamado grills.

If you want to learn more about BBQ facilities, don't miss our selection for that best gas grills for 2020,

Continue reading: The best coolers for summer 2020

Outdoor grills get dirty in no time.

Chris Monroe / CNET

1. Open it and pull it apart

First you need to open the grill and remove the different parts. This way you can access the main grill chamber. Typically, heavy food scraps sit under the bars and tend to fall and fat drips.

Start with a cold grill. Open the hood, remove the grillage and set it aside. Some propane gas models also have one or more metal heat diffusers that rest over the burners. If your grill has them, take them out.

2. Clean the inside

Inside the grill, also known as the "grill box", a lot of fat and food residues often accumulate. Use a cheap spatula (metal or plastic) or an old spatula to scrape the sides of the grill chamber off as much dirt as possible.

Any thin, flat tool is enough. Just make sure it has a good surface or grip. You may also want to buy a pair of work gloves as this is inevitably a dirty job.

Ash collects on charcoal and wood pellet grills in their coal shells and fire pits. This in turn limits the airflow and ultimately affects cooking performance. With pellet grills, ash can misfire the pellet system. Sometimes this situation leads to a precarious overfire condition when too much fuel ignites at once.

Avoid this by regularly removing ash deposits from your grill. Make sure this only when the ashes have cooled completely

3. Clean the burner tubes

If you have a gas grill, the burner tubes often clog. A symptom of dirty burners is a reduced flame size. You can also burn with an orange color instead of the usual blue. Both indicate unusually low temperatures and an under-supplied grill.

Typically, a gas grill has multiple burner tubes, although some may only have one. Use a nylon or steel wire brush to gently clean the small holes in the tubes. Make sure that you brush outwards from the center of the tube and move sideways (not up and down). Otherwise, you can push dirt into the pipe or holes instead of removing them.

Use a metal scraper instead of a steel brush with bristles.

Chris Monroe / CNET

4. Clean the grids

Put the grill back together, turn it on to the highest temperature and close the hood. There may even be a cleaning level on your burner dials. After a few minutes, open the lid and scrape off the grates vigorously with a metal brush without bristles. One I particularly like is Taylor's $ 15 Grill Bristleless Scraper. This brush has several surfaces and edges to attack and remove dirt from the grill grates. It even has a practical bottle opener.

According to Taylor, you can find this tool in stores and it is also sold online by Amazon. If you can't wait that long, use a nylon brush, but make sure you only do so when the grill is cold. Another option is the Sumpri Grill Brush and Scraper, worth $ 15. It is made of stainless steel and is also bristle-free. Although I haven't used it personally, it seems to be popular with Amazon buyers.

There may come a time, perhaps at the beginning of the barbecue season, when thorough cleaning is required. To loosen stubborn, carbonated dirt, place your grids in soapy water overnight. Another option is to beat the grates with an aerosol grill cleaner like Simply Green.

A metal scraper removes dirt without leaving dangerous bristles behind.

Chris Monroe / CNET

5. Prevent future accumulations

Certain practices can help prevent dirt and grease build-up. One method is to grease the grids of your hot grill with a little cooking oil just before cooking. With that in mind, scrubbing your grill grates with a raw onion is another tactic you can try. If you have a grill brush without bristles, it is a good idea to scrape off your hot grates both before and after grilling.

Another tactic is to scrub hot grill grates with the open side of an onion (cut in half). The idea here is that it spices the grates and adds moisture at the same time. Organic compounds that break down stubborn grease and dirt are also said to be released. I've found that it's not as effective as scrubbing, but it definitely creates a wonderful smell.

Of course, a full cleaning every few months is the best way to enjoy a grill that is in full swing. A little elbow grease is enough.