A Good Stuff Guide to a Clean Grill in 6 Easy Steps

If you are like us at The Good Stuff Unlimited, you use your grill at least two or three times a week throughout the year – Summer, Fall, Winter (yes, Winter) and Spring.  Given the preparation and time required for the perfect outcome (e.g., a juicy steak, perfectly BBQ’d chicken or something more exotic like a day’s long smoked butt!) and fact that you can get a little mess on your grilling apron from time to time and that a good outcome requires a little extra effort, we certainly classify a “good grill’n” as The Good Stuff.  To keep it “Unlimited” however, you need to take care of your grill.  Whether you are a simple Weber Smokey Joe fan, a gas grill pro (e.g., Char-Broil, Weber, or Dyna-Glo), a dedicated craftsman (dude or gal) that likes the Big Green Egg or KamadoJoe or someone who likes the combined technology and smokey-performance of a Traeger (which is on my wish list) – you have to take care of your grill. 

At the Good Stuff Unlimited, we recommend cleaning your gas grill regularly to not only avoid shortening the lifespan of your BBQ equipment but will also keep it working at top performance.  Also, a crud-filled grill can be a fire hazard which a sure way to ruin your next family back-yard BBQ event.  So, we decided to put together this Good Stuff Guide to provide a road map for how to keep your grill gunk free and firing up your favorite meats for a long time to come.  Since we use a gas grill (a Weber Spirit E-210), this Good Stuff Guide focuses on key steps to take to clean your own grill based upon a gas grill framework. 

What Should You Do In Between Cleanings?

  • Buy / Use a Cover to use in between grilling to protect it from nature (i.e., weather, wild life, pollen, etc). A couple of suggestions: The VicTsing Grill Cover, or the Unicook Heavy Duty Waterproof Grill Cover.
  • Check for gas leaks. Using some soap and water, check for leaks in the gas line and connections – if you see bubbles when the gas is off, there is a leak and you’ll need to make a repair to the line or connector (assuming you checked to be sure you tightened the connection). 
  • After each use and while the grill is still hot, take five minutes and brush the grates with a heavy duty grill brush.
  • Another trick is to crank the grill up to high and let it go for 20 minutes. This will “cook off” some of the excess gook.  Brush once more before you let it cool down. 

Cleaning Your Gas Grill

What you’ll need:

Before you get started, we would suggest unfolding a large box (or a few smaller boxes) and lay the cardboard out as a cleaning surface to protect your deck or driveway.  There is a lot of nasty goop that comes off in the cleaning process and you want to avoid staining those surfaces. 

  1. Remove and scrub cooking grates. Brush the grates thoroughly with grill brush knocking the loose crud on to the cardboard.  Scrape away as much of the residue, chunks of charred meat and other gunk with a good dose of elbow grease.  Then, use the scraper to help loosen some of the stubborn hunks of goo.  Repeat this on the other side of the grates and set them on to the cardboard.

    Once you have brushed and scraped the grates well, spray both sides with the Easy-Off BBQ spray and let them sit.  The can recommends sitting for 40 minutes so you can leave them to soak while you move on to the rest of the grill.  I found that if you have some shade while they are soaking, the spray seems to penetrate better instead of drying out too quickly.  Before you move on, clean up the debris from the cardboard.

  1. Remove and wash the “flavorizer” bars (i.e., the triangle shaped burner protectors). After brushing off any excess residue, use a sponge and soapy water to clean each and lay out in the sun (if you can) to dry.  We recommend keeping each over the bucket while you wash them to try and capture as much of the grime as possible – the water will turn dark brown to black because of the filth. 

  1. Clean off the burner tubes. Before you clean these, do some research to determine if your burner tubes are easy to remove and clean.  We opted to keep ours in place to avoid screwing up the set up or damaging them.  Using a damp sponge (with a little soapy water) clean off as much grime as you can.  A good idea is to rinse out the sponge and wipe off excess soap before restarting.  You may be surprised at how much comes off during this process but it’s critical to your grill performing at its best. 
  1. Remove gunk from the cook box. The cook box is the bottom part of your grill and you will likely have a tremendous buildup of gook and filth.  Our grill has what Weber calls a “Grease Management System” which includes two removable plates that capture grease and residue.  Before you begin cleaning, remove any similar plates like this and brush the gunk into a trash bag.  To really clean these, we needed the scraper end of our small brush to remove the layer of crud.  We opted not to clean them further with a sponge but you certainly could do that.  The smaller, removable plate can be recovered with aluminum foil which makes it easy to clean out in between full cleaning sessions. 

Next, you will want to take your small brush and get after as much grime as you can in the cook box.  As debris collects, simply brush it down the hole created by the plate removal in to the very bottom of the grill (in our case where the propane tanks sits) – this is where you can use your shop vac to suck up what will be a mess! 

  1. Cleaning the grill lid. As Weber points out on their site, over time, grease and smoke vapors converge to form carbon deposits that collect on the inside of your grill lid.  This will often look like peeling paint.  While they won’t hurt you, it’s still a little nasty to have them drop on to your food so it’s a good idea to clean them off regularly.  To clean the inside of the lid, simply brush the flecks away and use a song or rag to wipe away the debris. 

  2. Now it’s time to enjoy The Good Stuff by reassembling your grill, selecting your favorite cut of meat and cook’n up something memorable! Enjoy!

    You can also learn more about each of the products above by clicking here.

    If you have additional ideas on what we should add to this guide or suggestions for other post ideas in the spirit of The Good Stuff Unlimited, please let us know.  Until next time, here's to finding time for your Good Stuff!

    The TGSU Team!

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