Whether you keep your grill in the garage or under a weatherproof cover, it will be begging for a thorough cleaning. Even if it’s not covered in dust or infested with spiders and you cleaned it the last time you used it, your gas grill has been sitting for a long time and so will have found a buildup of dirt, grease and bacteria. its way to its surfaces. Before you start cooking meals, wipe them thoroughly. But where do you start and what do you clean it with?
To help you restore your grill to its former glory and polish it into the best gas grill you’ve ever seen, we asked some experts for their tips on how to get your gas grill spick and span after hibernation. Here’s what you need to know.
Jakob is a retired health worker who became a pit master in his golden years. He and his wife founded Barbecue Pals, an online blog where they share informative grilling guidelines, delicious recipes and humorous take on the world of BBQ.
Why do you need to clean a grill after winter?
While it’s perfectly safe to use a gas grill in the winter, I can almost guarantee you haven’t. After being out of service for the past three months (probably even more), your gas grill is inevitably in need of a serious refresh. After all, you don’t cook on a countertop that hasn’t been cleaned for fifteen minutes.
“Cleaning a gas grill after winter is an essential step in making sure it’s ready for grilling season,” said Jakob Miller, pitmaster and founder of the blog Barbecue Pals. (opens in new tab). “It’s important to get rid of any accumulated grease and grime that has accumulated during the winter months.”
Because your barbecue is mainly made of metal, it also needs proper care and attention to prevent it from rusting or becoming dull in the future. “Like anything else, your grill deserves a little maintenance now and then and using the right products can extend the life of your grill and keep it looking like new all year round,” explains Dan Cooper, Head of Grill Master at Weber, out. (opens in new tab).
What are the risks if you don’t clean your grill?
I’m all for making the spontaneous decision to fire up your grill at the first sign of warm weather, but I also know the last thing you want to do is give it a deep clean, especially if you have guests in have nearby. You might be tempted to skip cleaning altogether, maybe wipe it with a soapy cloth if you have the time, but there are some real risks involved in not properly cleaning your grill after winter.
Not only can neglecting your first season cleaning cause damage such as rust and corrosion over time, but it can also pose a more serious health risk. “Not cleaning your gas grill after a long time can lead to a buildup of grease and grime, which can lead to flare-ups and uneven cooking,” says Jakob. To ensure that your food is cooked properly and to avoid a fire hazard, it is vital that you clean your outdoor grill before cooking.
What’s the best way to clean a barbecue that’s been stored for the winter?
Now that that’s done, it’s time to answer the question of how to actually clean a grill. This isn’t your run-of-the-mill damp cloth and antibacterial spray job – you’ll need the right tools and cleaning supplies if you want to do this thoroughly.
Before you begin, Dan instructs you to disconnect your gas cylinder and first consult your owner’s manual for directions on your specific model. He then has a simple 4-step method to clean your device.
Step 1: The burn off
This first step is essential to make this task as easy and hassle-free as possible. According to Dan, you should start by heating your grill to maximum temperature for about 30 minutes. “Beware that the dirtier the cooking grates are, the more they will smoke,” he says. “Once the grill stops smoking, it has generally burned off most of the old leftover grease and grease. Turn off your grill.”
Step 2: Clean the grille
While your barbecue is still hot, brush the grill grates with a stainless steel barbecue brush. As Dan points out, “This will remove any leftover residue or debris left over from the burn.” Wear protective gloves to do this, as the grates are hot and the bristles are sharp.
Step 3: Disassemble
Once your grill has completely cooled down, you can safely remove all grates and internal parts and use a grill brush and scraper to clean everything. “The initial burn should come off hard to remove carbon deposits from the cookbox, and this will ensure that all the grease channels are clear,” says Dan. You’ll probably want to switch to a pair of rubber gloves at this stage, as things can get pretty messy.
If your grill has a grease tray, now is the time to remove it and clean it in your sink with hot, soapy water. Don’t be tempted to put parts in the dishwasher with a pressure washer as this can cause certain parts to rust. “When you’re done, put all the clean parts back in the grill,” says Dan. “Very lightly oiling your grill grates with a grill grate oil, such as sunflower oil, can help prolong their life.”
Step 4: Clean the outside
Finally, you can turn your attention to the outer parts of your grill. Dan suggests using an enamel and stainless steel cleaner for a shiny grill. “For the best shine, I use a microfiber cloth to polish,” he says. Just remember to check your gas tank and valves and replace them if necessary, then you’re good to go.
The top three grill cleaning products
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GrillArt Grill Brush and Scraper, Amazon.
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