Along with being the greatest pastimes, grilling is a hub for socializing, delicious food, and making memories for family and friends.
It’s always easy to overlook grill cleaning after cooking and enjoying the time of your life with your family. Cleaning is not a fun task, but it needs to be done.
The numerous delicious dishes you have made, produce a by-product in form of grease, oils and leftovers. Which becomes pain over time if you are not prompt enough.
What comes to mind when I tell you that the taste of your food and quality thereof also depends on how clean your cooking utensil or appliance is?
Dirty grill grates can interfere with the grilling process and leave an unpleasant taste on food. Above all, food cooked on a dirty grill grate can harm your health.
In this article, I will show you how to clean different types of grill grates including stainless steel grill grates, Porcelain Grates, and Cast iron Grill grates using different methods.
Importance of Cleaning Grill Grates
When you grill food, the heat burns the fat in the food and most of it falls on the grill surface. Accumulation of this oil over time becomes grease which is thick and hard to remove. Which could even lead to fire when comes in direct contact with flames.
Some food gets burnt on the grill and sticks to it which could be an invitation to various insects, germs and bacteria. And when you bring out the same grill the next time you wanna cook, it will contaminate the food
Nobody wants to feed contaminated meals to their guests, so better clean your cooking appliances before and after cooking.
However, cleaning the grill completely every time you use it is not practical. So how often should you clean your grill or grill grates?
In my opinion, you should clean the grill grates after every 3 – 4 cooking sessions. Also, I would suggest doing a basic cleaning of the grill grates by removing food residue, removing oil spills using paper towels before storing it.
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5 Best Methods to clean grill grates
1. Burning Method
This is the fastest and easiest way to clean a grill grate. The basic idea of this method is to heat the grill very vigorously until all of the stuck up greases burns out.
When you’re done grilling, turn on the burner on high. After 12 – 15 minutes, all the grease should turn into a powder, remove it using a grill brush.
2. Soaking Method
Brushing and burning are common cleaning methods, but the grill grates also must be soaked at least 3-4 times a year. After grilling, let the grill cool off, remove all the grates soak them in a sink or tub filled with warm soapy water. Add some baking powder into it. Let it sit for at least 1 hour. Scrub thoroughly and rinse. Let it dry before replacing it onto the grill.
3. Using Vinegar
Vinegar is one of the most effective solutions for cleaning grill grates. It helps soften the food residue to remove it easily and provides effective cleaning. Vinegar is the best cleaning ingredient in general, it helps clean almost everything.
Using baking soda along with vinegar to clean your grill grates will help you get rid of those tough to remove oil or grease and food residues.
To clean the grill grates, you need to prepare a vinegar solution.
- Add equal parts of water and vinegar into an empty container or a spray bottle.
- Shake the mixture thoroughly
- For the scrubbing part, you can use a crumpled-up aluminium plate.
- Spray the mixture evenly on the grates. Do not forget to spray the bottom of the grate as well.
- Set aside and let the vinegar work for 10-15 minutes.
- Take the crumbled aluminium and give a good scrub to remove all the loosened-up food particles and grease.
- Rinse the grate with clean water. You may as well wash it with dish soap for extra cleaning.
- Pat dry with a kitchen towel or let it air dry.
4. Using Coffee
Using coffee to clean the grill grate may not be the popular approach, but it just gets the work done! What kind of coffee is used doesn’t matter.
- Make a strong cup of coffee.
- Put the grill into the sink.
- Pour the coffee evenly on the grill so as to submerge it completely.
- Wait for the coffee’s natural acids to break down fats and food debris (about 3 – 4 hours).
- After that, scrub it off with an abrasive sponge or a brush.
5. Use an Onion Or Lemon
Trust me, this is another unpopular approach for cleaning grill grates.
Cut the onion or lemon in half, poke a stick or fork through the onion.
Rub the cut side of onion or lemon on the grates and give it a good scrub. Make sure the grill is hot while u do so.
Onions and lemons have acidic enzymes which will help get rid of those rigid grease build-ups.