When it is grilling season, you need to make sure to clean your grill thoroughly. If you find a dirty grill grate disgusting, then you should not leave it that way. It is recommended that you do a thorough cleaning aside from just brushing it two times a year. The frequency of cleaning depends on how many times you use it. You will find it easy to clean grill grates if you do not allow debris to build up. Here, you will find out the best ways of doing it.
Cleaning Cast Iron Grates
Grill grates made of cast iron are known for their durability, tolerance for high temperatures, and they also give an even surface for cooking. Iron is tough and able to withstand almost everything except for water because it can get rusty. Let’s now learn how to clean cast iron grill grates. You first have to burn off the food that has been left on them after your barbecue. After that, allow them to cool and use a nylon cleaning brush to scrub them. After the grates have been cleaned, use vegetable oil to dry and saturate them to prevent the formation of rust.
Cleaning Your Charcoal Grill Grates
Charcoal burning grills have issues that are related to generating a lot of ash. After you have used the barbecue, empty the ashes. If you leave a pile of ash on the grill, it will collect moisture and dirt and will be unusable next time. To clean the ash, use a metal or plastic bucket. Drop the ashes and coals in there after they are cool using a nice grill brush. Then, transfer the ash you collected to the garbage once the bucket is full. Ash cleaning is even easier once you choose lump charcoal because it creates less amount of ash as compared to briquettes.
How to Clean Grill Grates with Vinegar
You need to mix equal parts of water and vinegar, then pour half of it in a bucket and the other half in a spray bottle. Use it to spray the surface. If it is a gas grill, remove the grates before spraying so that water and debris to not go on the burner. After that, scrub it using a wire grill brush so the sticky grease is loosened. Remove the food residue and char as well. Then soak the grates and burner shield if there is any in hot soapy water. Dip a clean rag in the bucket and then wring it out before using it to wipe the inside surfaces. This includes the hood. Make sure to change the rags so the surface remains clean. After that, apply some olive oil to the grill grates using a clean rag. If you oil the grill grates on a regular basis, cleaning becomes easier.
How to Clean Rust from Grill Grates
Rusting is a common problem if you don’t do barbecues that often. It builds up with time but, fortunately, it can be removed. You can use lemon juice and detergent. Lemon juice is good for dissolving rust. You should mix the lemon juice with powder detergent and water so you can form a paste, then apply the paste to the rusty grates and leave it there overnight. Scrub it with warm water using a sponge or soft cloth to remove the rust. Then rinse it with warm water.
Soda can also be used for removing rust from grill grates because it has phosphoric acid which is the main ingredient in products that are used for getting rid of rust. Cover the rusty part in soda and leave it overnight, then use water to rinse it and scrub the area using a clean sponge or soft cloth.
In Case Food Is Stuck
If the food won’t come off after one use or if it is an annual deep cleanse, don’t worry. Use an age old solution. Soaking the grates in baking soda and vinegar should work miracles. It’s a simple yet effective trick. They form a substance that breaks apart any burnt food on the grates. After that, put the grill grates in a clean garbage bag and seal it using a rubber band. Let it soak overnight.
Now, take the grates out of the bag and rinse with water. You should see the stuck food falling off from the grill grates, but in case there is something that is still stuck, you should not have a hard time scrubbing it off. Rinse it with water and pat to dry.
Cleaning your grill grates is part of maintenance to keep your grill in good condition for many years to come. Just keep these tips in mind. Happy grilling!