Are you a fan of barbecue parties and grilled food?
Then you must already know that there are four types of grills mainly, such as Gas Grill, Charcoal Grill, Electric Grill and Portable Grill.
Now, as much as you like to grill various foodstuff, you must also know how to maintain the grill regardless of where you use it, right?
Here, Grill Maintenance Tips for each type of Grill have been discussed along with dos and don’ts. Just keep on reading to find out the best ways to take care of your favourite appliance.
Gas Grills use natural gas and/or propane as a fuel for cooking. These Grills are convenient for those who prefer preparing a meal quickly and cleaning hassle-free. Cooking in Gas Grills makes the grill markings on your food but, does not provide smoky flavour.
While buying your Gas Grill, ensure it is protected with black aluminium paint for leaving outdoors. Models with porcelain covered and steel bars are ideal for cooking and cleaning. Gas Grill made of bent sheets of stainless steel with steel rods may look new. However, it is difficult to maintain. Gas Grills having good quality iron grates have to be removed for washing by hand.
Gas Grill Maintenance Tips:
- Burn off the grease:
Since briquettes distribute heat to cooking grates, ensure these are clear from grease for best results. Before using Gas Grill, turn over briquettes and close lid, heat on high for 15 minutes.
- Clean cooking grates:
After burning off the grease and debris, allow the Gas Grill some time for cooling off. Remove the briquettes and grates for scrubbing and cleaning. Using a grill brush and warm soapy warm water, clean them. Dry with towel. Fix the cooking grates to the briquettes.
- Clean tubes and burner:
Ensure the propane tank of your Gas Grill is turned off. Detach and remove all briquettes, cooking grates and gas tubes from the burner. Clean these gas tubes with warm soapy water and dry using a towel. Use a damp cloth to wipe the burner to clean and dry using a towel. Using a burner brush or toothpick, clean each port on the burner.
- Wash Grill:
Protect the gas valves from being damaged by covering them with aluminium foil. Use grill brush that is long-handled and stiff-wired brush and warm soapy warm water. Clean both surfaces of the Gas Grill, rinse well with water, and dry with a towel. Reattach all the gas tubes and burners.
- Stock fuel levels:
Ensure your propane and natural gas supply for next grilling. If your tank is rusty or damaged, then recycle by returning it to the propane supplier.
End of the season perform the following :
- Burn off the grease
- Clean cooking grates
- Properly clean burner and tubes
- Make sure to clean the Gas Grill
Storing Gas Grill:
At the end of the season, clean the Gas Grill following all steps mentioned. Cover it with vinyl or weather cover available online or offline store. If you store the Gas Grill outdoors, then you may leave the propane tank attached. If you move it indoors, then disconnect propane tank. Leave it upright outside in some shady area not close to any dyer or furnace vents. Cover all connections to the gas line so that insects are not attracted.
Charcoal Grills use charcoal briquettes, fire powder, and/or charcoal from natural wood to cook. Food cooked in Charcoal Grills takes time. But, you get a smoky flavour and grill markings. Preheating takes 45 minutes before you can slowly prepare your meal. After every use, you have to dispose of the ashes and unburned charcoal. There are classical, round, kettle-shaped, Charcoal Grill and other modern models available in the market.
One popular model is the horizontal barrel made of halved steel oil barrels. Most Charcoal Grills come with porcelain covered steel bars or plated steel that can be easily cleaned.
Charcoal Grill Maintenance Tips:
Before the Grilling Season:
- Burn grease and debris:
Burn the Grill for half an hour to remove the grease and debris. Allow it to cool down before cleaning. Use a grill brush and warm soapy warm water to clean cooking grates and surfaces. You might want to change this brush every year to ensure there is no loose bristle.
- Remove grates and clean:
Remove both charcoal grate and cooking grate from your Charcoal Grill. Scrape off chunks of charcoal, ash and other debris from grates. Soak them in warm soapy water for two hours. Using scrubber brush and/or steel wool and warm soapy water, wash inside of lid and bowl. Also, clean, rinse and dry the firebox if present.
- Oiling cooking grate:
After cleaning the cooking grate with a scraper, grill brush or crumpled foil, you need to apply oil. Use a rag or folded paper towel, apply a thin layer of vegetable or Olive oil. Hence, the cooking grate does not rust and food particles do not stick to it.
During grilling season:
- Removing ash:
After every use, dispose ash, unburned charcoal and debris from the bowl, cook-box and collecting receptacle. Too much-collected ash blocks air vents such that temperature cannot be controlled.
- Cleaning bowl and lid:
After every use, remove the charcoal grate to access the bowl. Scrape to clean inside and bottom of the bowl. You may use warm soapy water or regular dish-washing soap and water. Rinse well and dry using a towel. The inside of lid gets stained with smoke, grease, and food particles. If the lid is not cleaned regularly, then the accumulated heavy debris flakes onto your food. After it has cooled, use a damp paper towel or cloth and wipe the lid.
- Clean charcoal and cooking grates:
After every use, always clean charcoal and cooking grates. Clean cooking grate while it is still warm to remove loosened food particles and grease. Use a folded paper towel or rag and vegetable or olive oil. Apply a thin layer of oil on the cooking grate. This prevents rusting and food particles from sticking to it while cooking.
End of Grilling season:
Follow each step mentioned below :
- Remove ashes.
- Clean inside and bottom of bowl and lid.
- Clean cooking and charcoal grates.
- Apply oil on the cooking grate.
- Cover Charcoal Grill with vinyl or waterproof cover and store safely.
Electric Grills use electricity and heated grill plates for cooking indoors and outdoors. Your cooked food in Electric Grills has grill markings. However, you cannot enjoy the smoky flavour in food like you do after cooking in Charcoal Grills. Since city dwellers cannot use Gas and Charcoal Grills in congested areas, they prefer using Electric Grills. Most city dwellers live in a flat, apartment or condominium and have less space at home.
They have to safely place their Electric Grill on the counter surface and use recommended Voltage. Also, they should ensure the Electric Grill is far from fire or water sources. Placing Electric Grill on the countertop is handy since you can prepare your cheese sandwich or burger. Some users like to use the Electric Grill on their outdoor patio.
Electric Grill Maintenance Tips:
While cooking, meat particles stick to non-stick plates making the cleaning process challenging. Here are two methods of cleaning Indoor Countertop Electric Grills and one method of Outdoor Electric Grill.
Indoor Countertop Electric Grills:
- Safety in cleaning: Always follow the instructions from the manufacturer of your Electric Grill. Ensure it is safe to place the detachable parts in your washing machine for thorough cleaning. Leave all the parts of the Electric Grill to dry out completely before reassembling.
After cooking, unplug your Indoor Countertop Electric Grill. Ensure you do not get electrocuted while cleaning. You can take advantage of cleaning the grill plates while they are still warm. After using the Electric Grill unplug and allow it to cool off slightly for about 10 minutes.
- Scrape with Rubber Spatula: Use the rubber spatula provided from the manufacturer of your Electrical Grill. Scrape off leftover food and debris. Ensure you do not use any rough cleaning pads that might scratch the non-stick grill plates. Use the rubber spatula for scraping along the services and the ridges of the grill surface.
- Cleaning the Plates: Wet a soft sponge or cloth and completely wring out the last drop of water. Wipe down the plates. You would find the sponge turning greasy and dirty very quickly. Constantly rinse the sponge in water until it is clean and wring out before use. If required, then you may use dishwashing soap with the sponge to get rid of stubborn stains.
- Cleaning the Dripping tray: Detach all your Electric Grill parts including all the plates and dripping tray. After removing the dripping tray, wash it well with warm soapy water. You may use regular dish soap and warm water for cleaning with a wet sponge or soft rag. Thoroughly dry the dripping tray and the grilling plates with paper towels. These also remove any leftover debris and water.
Alternate Indoor Countertop Electric Grills:
- Safety: Before using the Electric Grill, ensure every part is fully dry especially near the plug. Using dishcloth, wipe to dry inside and outside, top to bottom of your Electric Grill. After cooking in your Electric Grill, unplug and allow it to cool for 5 minutes.
- Packing with wet paper towels: Wet paper towels and place them between pates while the Electric grill is still warm. Depending on the thickness of your paper towels, you might have to add more wet paper towels. Without tearing the paper towels, grab the food particles stuck to the cooking grate. Close the lid and allow paper towels to steam clean for 1 minute. You may leave them till the plates cool off completely. This procedure loosens the grease. Open your Electric Grill’s lid and wipe the plates using damp paper towels or sponge. You may use hot water and dishwashing soap for cleaning and scrubbing the Grill plates.
Outdoor Electric Grill:
- Safety: After use, make sure to turn off the Electric Grill and unplug. Allow it to cool off slightly. While still warm, use a stainless steel brush to scrape cooking grates and remove food debris.
- Cleaning Liner: Electric Grill has a liner under the grates. Remove liner and clean with the rubber spatula to scrape off food debris. In case the liner is very dirty, use a wet soapy sponge for cleaning.
- Cleaning Lid: Using a damp soft cloth, wipe inside and outside of the lid of your Electric Grill. Ensure the cloth does not drip to get the inside of your Grill wet. Also, never place the Electric Grill under water.
- Cleaning Grates: In case your Grill is not very dirty, you may skip this step. Remove the grates and clean in warm soapy water with a soft sponge of cloth. You may wash the grates as recommended and/or scrape it with a steel brush.
- Annual Treatment: Once a year, combine 2 cups vinegar and 1 cup baking soda in a trash bag. Place dirty grates into the same trash bag and leave it overnight to remove debris. In the morning, you would find the clean grates.
Portable Grills use either propane or charcoal depending on the model. These are sold in numerous sizes and shapes. Yet, all can be easily moved from one location to another used for tailgating. These Portable Grills are smaller than other grills. Hence, you cannot cook for several people at the same time. While purchasing your Portable Grill, ensure it is durable and light weighted to carry around. If you always prepare a meal for 4-6 people, then buy the most compatible model.
Portable Grill Maintenance Tips:
To clean Portable Gas Grill:
- Spot Cleaning: After every grilling session, turn on the grate to high for 15 minutes to burn debris. Wait till the Portable Gas Grill cools off. Using a long-handled hard-wired brush remove the loose food particles from the cooking grate. Wipe down the exterior with a damp cloth.
- After the end of season clean well: After the end of grilling season, clean the portable gas grill well. Allow the grill to completely cool off. Scrub the cooking grates with soapy warm water and dry with a towel. After removing the burner protectors, soak them in a container of warm soapy water. Using an old sponge, remove and wipe the murky grime from the burners.
Wash the inside walls with steel wool pads and warm soapy water. Detach the plates from the bottom of the grill. Remove and scrape off big chunks using your wired grill brush. You can place these place these plates and burner protector in a bucket full of warm soapy water. After scrubbing and washing all the removed parts of the Portable Gas Grill, let them dry thoroughly. Put all the parts together and cover the Grill with vinyl or weather cover for winter.
To clean the Portable Charcoal Grill:
- Clean grill grates: The cooking grate might have grease and debris from its previous use. Heat the cooking grate of the Portable Charcoal Grill for 15 minutes. This burns off the grease and loosens the food stuck to the grate. Using a long-handled hard-wired grill brush remove the stubborn particles and spots.
- Grease grill grates: In order to prevent the sticking of food to the cooking grates, apply grease to it. Hold the folded paper towel with tongs so that you do not get burned. Use this folded paper to apply vegetable or Olive oil to the cooking grate. Also, grease the cooking grates the same way such that it does not get rusted.
- Remove ashes: After preparing your meal on the portable Charcoal Grill, allow the ashes to cool off completely. Thereafter, dispose of the ashes in a sealed metal container.
- Wash out the inside: When the Grill season is over, wash and scrub the interior walls of the portable charcoal grill. Use a steel wool pad dipped in soapy warm water.
How to clean the outside of a Stainless Steel Grill?
- Prep Grill: Use water to wash very well the outside of the Stainless Steel Grill. Using a rag, remove the loose dirt and debris and clean it thoroughly.
- Clean stains: Whenever you notice any light stains on your Stainless Steel Grill, you should clean using steel spray, stainless steel wipes, and window cleaning spray. For best results, you should clean using grains.
- Remove stains caused by smoke: First, soak a paper towel in Calcium, Lime and Rust Remover. Place the same paper towel on stain caused by smoke. Leave the paper towel on the spot for minimum five minutes. Wipe the smoky stain with a fresh paper towel and rinse the surface with water. Repeat this process several times till the stain completely disappears.
- Remove scratches: You can apply stainless steel polish with grain in order to remove any scratches or fading.
Dos and Don’ts of Grill Maintenance Tips:
- Do keep your Grill clean:
Your Gas Grill burner must be turned off and your Electric Grill must be plugged out.
Ensure you take the above steps for your safety precautions. After every use, always clean the Grill to prevent rusting.
While it is still considerable hot, you have to clean your Charcoal Grill. Sprinkle some water and use a suitable brush to clean the cooking grates. When the cooking grates have been cleaned, leave the Charcoal Grill alone to cool down. Dispose of the ash and unburned charcoal and gently clean the cook-box with warm soapy water.
- Do deep cleaning often:
Deep clean your Grill regularly. Detach cooking grate safely from the Grill and soak in solution for one hour. Make the solution with hot water, 1 cup of gentle dish detergent and quarter cup baking soda. Use a suitable wired brush, soft cloth or rubber spatulas for removing loosen food debris. In addition, you must clean the burner with soft fabric and warm soapy water.
Further, clean the holes present on the burner and the inlet hole too, a pipe-brush. Thoroughly clean and dry the dripping trays at the bottom of the Grill. Ensure moisture does not build up and cause rusting.
- Do clean and polish the Exterior:
The exterior of a Stainless Steel Grill is made of varying thickness of different quality metal. It gets susceptible to staining that leads to rusting. Always clean the outside of your Grill with mild dishwashing soap, rinse, dry and polish.
- Do Oil the Grill:
After you clean the cooking grate, apply a layer of grease or vegetable oil. Use a folded paper towel or cloth for applying oil. This prevents rusting and food particles sticking to the cooking grate.
- Do cover your Grill and store indoors in winter:
At the end of the grilling season, clean the Grill following the instructions given above. Purchase a vinyl cover or weather cover compatible with your Grill from an online or offline store. Cover your Grill to protect it from harsh climates of winter seasons.
Excessive humidity, rain, snow, frost etc cause rusting to your Grill that gets damages rapidly. If possible, then move the Grill to your garage or to any area with covered shade. People living by the sea should know the suspended salt particles in the atmosphere causes corrosion to their Grills. It is recommended that people living near the sea should protect their Grills with appropriate covers.
- Don’t use Aerosol can of Vegetable Oil:
It has been discovered that Aerosol can of vegetable oil explode near flames. Hence, do not spray from the aerosol can of vegetable oil. Instead, apply oil with a soft cloth or paper towel.
- Don’t pour liquids directly onto your grill:
Abstain from pouring excessive BBQ sauce into Grill cooking grates since it leads to clogging and/or rusting. So, always marinade the food in the kitchen long before grilling.
So, here is all that you need to know to take care of your grilling machine. So that it delivers the best results and you can enjoy your barbecue parties safely, it is extremely important that grills be maintained properly.
You can refer to this ready guide which has been made to help you take the best care of grilling machine.