It’s time to break out the barbecue. July is National Grilling Month, a great time to host a backyard get-together!
Whether you prefer hot dogs or halibut, cheeseburgers, or charred veggies, everything tastes better on the grill. What’s even better than a mouthful of delicious BBQ? There’s no need to worry about a big mess, too, after you eat. Just clean the grill and you are good to go! Here are some of our favorite easy grill cleaning hacks to try all summer long.
1. Steam it! Use a handheld clothes steamer over your grill and watch it cut through grease. Then wipe it off. Don’t have a clothes steamer? Fill a metal container with boiling water. Place it inside your grill when it’s still hot. The resulting steam should loosen that stuck-on grease.
2. Use wet newspaper: When your grill is still warm, lay a sheet of wet newspaper over it. Then close the lid. Come back in a half hour and you’ll find a greasy, dirty piece of newspaper, which did much of the cleaning work for you. Simply finish it off with a good wipe. Repeat as needed.
3. Clean your grill with an onion: Cut a raw onion in half. Stick a BBQ fork into the rounded part and rub the cut side along the grill grates while they’re still hot. The onion’s juices will create steam and help to remove the bits of food residue.
4. Use leftover beer: If you have half a bottle or can of beer left, don’t throw it out. Pour it over a warm grill. Then scrub with a long-handled wire brush. A scrunched-up piece of aluminum foil works well, too, if you don’t have a brush. If you choose the foil, use tongs to move it around so you don’t burn your hands.
5. Spray it with vinegar: Fill a spray bottle with equal parts white vinegar and water. Spray the solution on a warm grill and leave it for 10 minutes. Then scrub it down. Vinegar is a natural cleaner that’s also food-safe.
6. Scour it with baking soda: Sprinkle some baking soda on the grill. Dissolve some more in water and make a soft paste. Then use a long-handled wire brush to apply the baking soda paste to the grill. Let it sit for 15 minutes. Then wipe it off with a dry cloth. Baking soda’s sandpaper action will have your grill sparkling before you know it.
7. Soak it in coffee: Coffee is naturally acidic and therefore great at loosening up caked-on dirt. So, brew a pot of cheap coffee and pour it into a large container. Then soak your grill grates and utensils for one hour. Rinse and dry the grates and utensils before replacing them.
8. Use an espresso machine cleaning solution: Espresso machines use special cleaning tablets and powders that work on grill parts. Add the tablet to hot water, immerse the grill parts, and let them soak. When the grime has loosened, scrub and rinse them clean.
9. Use your dishwasher: Some grill parts are small enough to fit into a dishwasher. This is an easy hack that will get those parts squeaky clean. For the best results, put them in when they are still warm (remember your pot holders).
10. Extreme temperatures: Fire up your gas grill and close the hood. Let it come to full temperature. Wait at least 30 minutes. Then turn off the heat and scrub it with a wire brush dipped in a bucket of soapy water. Disconnect and remove the tank and let the grill cool completely. Wipe as needed.
Other Grill Cleaning Tips
- Don’t throw water directly on your grill. On charcoal grills, it will make a mess. On any hot grill, it could cause scalding steam to fly back up at you.
- Do not lean over a warm grill while cleaning or you could be hit with that same burning steam.
- If you use a wire brush to scrub your grill, be sure to remove any loose wire brush bristles. Otherwise, they can get in your food.
- Before you use your grill, give it a good coating of sunflower or olive oil. It will help prevent food from sticking to it, and also protect against rust.
- Practice fire safety at all times. Grilling is the most fun when it’s done safely.
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