How to Clean a Gas Grill – Tips for Maintaining Your BBQ
May 10, 2019
We all know that cleaning any piece of equipment isn’t the type of fun we imagine having on a Saturday afternoon. But that’s exactly what I did one Saturday not too long ago. There are numerous benefits to giving your grill, whether its’ the main one you use at home or for tailgating, a deep clean at least once a year. Over time, all sorts of food, grease, and debris will build up on the components of your grill. This can lead to your grill underperforming and leaving you wondering if you need to replace anything. A good cleaning can help prevent that. To help you along, we’ve put together some tips on how to clean a gas grill to show you that it doesn’t take much to give your grill a well deserved scrub.
The Tailgating Spot has affiliate partnerships. These do not influence editorial content, though we may earn commissions for products purchased via product links. If you like what we do here at The Tailgating Spot and would like to support us, you can help us out by shopping through our links.
1. Preheat the Grill
You can begin by preheating the grill for at least 15 minutes on high heat. This process will help loosen any left over food and grease, which makes it easier to remove.
2. Turn Off Your Gas Source
After your grill is nice and hot, turn off your burners and turn the gas off. You could even unhook and remove the propane tank at this point.
3. Cleaning the Grates
There are a couple tools you can use to clean the grill grates. You can use a stiff wire/plastic wire brush dipped in water. Note, if you don’t want to use a stiff wire brush as they can leave little pieces of wire on the grate, another option is using a wooden board scraper. If you end up using a brush, I would suggest that you wet it down to clean the grate, as it gives you the added benefit of creating steam in the process of cleaning. Adding some dish soap to the water can also help dissolve grease.
Another option is to use a specially formulated grill cleaner. It leaves a clinging foam, which will quickly penetrate baked on food, grease, and carbon deposits. Between the two, I prefer the dish soap. When are you done, and the grate is cool, wipe the grate with a damp cloth to remove any residue or bristles.
A good tip to consider doing after each use is to clean the grates while the grill is still warm to remove any food that is stuck on.
4. Coat Grates
Once the grates are cleaned and have cooled down, lightly coat the grates with a spray cooking oil or vegetable oil poured onto a paper towel. This will reduce the amount of stuck on food the next time you cook out. Another great option for coating your grates is using some Grate Chef Non-Stick Grill Wipes. I’ve used these wipes to coat my grates right before I start grilling and they work very well.
5. Clean Heat Deflectors
The next step is to remove the heat deflectors located over the burners. The heat deflectors can be cleaned with a brush, dish soap, and some water. When you’re finished cleaning the heat deflectors, they can be set out to air dry or be dried with a towel. Keeping these parts clean will reduce future flare-ups.
6. Clean the Burners
Your next step is to remove the burners themselves. Over time, things like rust, food, and debris can cause a blockage to some of the gas ports in the burners. This leads to uneven or weak burning. We’ll want to remove any blockages using a stiff wire brush. When you’re cleaning the ports, it’s best to brush across the ports themselves. Brushing length wise may push more debris into the burner holes. Clean the burner valve with soapy water. You’ll also want to run water through the inside of the valve to remove any debris.
7. Clean Cook Box
Now that we have an empty cook box, you can clean it using a brush and warm soapy water. Before you start, it’s best to remove (if you haven’t already) the propane tank below and place a bucket under the cook box to catch the dirty water. When you’re finished with the cook box, you can then move on to the underside of the lid. Use the brush to scrape off any debris. After that’s completed, just rinse out the cook box with a garden hose or a bucket of water.
8. Reinstall Parts
Once you are finished with all of the steps above, you can towel dry the burners and re-install them. After the burners, reinstall the heat deflectors and the place the grates back on towards the top of the grill.
9. Clean the Exterior
When washing the outside of a stainless steel grill, I typcially use a specially formulated stainless steel cleaner. There are a wide variety of stainless steel cleaners, but I found that the CitruSafe cleaner does a good job. For best results, use a microfiber cloth or paper towel and clean the outside of the grill with the grain of the stainless steel. Ceramic, porcelain, and painted steel surfaces can be cleaned using soap and water.
Another thing to consider is using a grill cover in between uses. Covering your grill will help keep it clean and extend its overall life. If you’re storing your grill outdoors, you don’t need to worry about detaching the propane tank from the grill. If you’re storing indoors, you should always remove the propane tank and keep it outside, away from direct sunlight.
We’ve come to the end of our gas grill cleaning tutorial. Hopefully you have found that it doesn’t take too much to maintain your grill and keep it functioning well. By giving your grill a good, deep clean at least once a year you’ll find that it will perform better and last you for years to come. Besides, any proud grill master will want their grill to be in top shape when tailgating season begins. If you have any questions or other grill cleaning tips that you’d like to share, feel free to sound off in the comments below!