Cleaning And Maintaining Your Grill Or Smoker | Grilling with Rich Cleaning And Maintaining Your Grill Or Smoker

Cleaning And Maintaining Your Grill Or Smoker

Posted By: Richard Wachtel
Published: March 31, 2016

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Its time to get your grills ready and cleaned for the upcoming season or if you just want to a deep clean because you haven’t done one in a while, don’t waste any more time. Performing maintenance will not only increase the life span of your grill it will also improve the overall performance and most importantly it does not take long to actually clean.

Cleaning your grates: I clean my grill grates every time that I am ready to grill. But it is always a great idea to do a nice deep clean at least twice a year. Once before the real start of the barbecue season and one time when I close up a grill for the winter. (I have a lot of grills so I rotate which grills I keep in my “winter rotation”.) Here is a simple step by step instructions on how to deep clean your grill grates:

  • Step #1: Remove all the grill grates from your grill and place on the grass or a hard surface
  • Step #2: Using a soapy and wet towel (and some elbow grease) really scrub the grates so that you see just soap on the grill grates. You can also use Brillo pads they work perfectly!
  • Step #3: Let the soap seep into the grill grates and leave them alone for 5-10 minutes
  • Step #4: Using a high powered hose spray the grill grates clean and using some additional elbow grease re use the soappy wet towel to remove any outstanding leftover food crust. Repeat until clean
  • Step #5: Using a towel or a rag dry down the grill grates and place back into the grill.

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Checking for leaks:  Ensuring that the gas cylinder is correctly connected to the hose is so important and it takes two seconds to really check and fix if need be. If you aren’t familiar with the soap test here is what you need to do:

  • Step #1: Combine one part water to one part dish soap in a spray bottle or a small mixing bowl.
  • Step #2: Apply the mixture (or if you are using a spray bottle, spritz or apply using a small brush) to the connection between the gas cylinder and the hose.
  • Step #3: Turn off all the knobs and make sure that your lid is open.
  • Step #4: Turn on your gas
  • Step #5: If you see any growing bubbles that is a sign of a leak that needs to be addressed.

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Cleaning the inside and outside of the grill: Cleaning the inside and the outside of your grill or smoker is going to take a lot of work so be prepared and take your time because if you do take your time and clean your cookers thoroughly you will not have to clean frequently during the summer.

Here are some tips to help you clean your gas grill.

Tip #1: If you have a stainless steel grill only use a product that says “Stainless Steel” and is non-toxic and does not leave a film on the grill. When using the cleaner you should also use a micro-fiber cloth which will prevent scratches on the grill surface.

Tip #2: When you are cleaning the inside of your grill make sure that you remove the grill grates and clean the actual “flavoring bars,” which many gas grills have. In addition to the flavoring bars make sure that you clean the grease pan. To clean your grease pan, you will not need anything special but all you are going to need some good elbow grease and a spatula or a putty knife to get in and clean all of the food bits that might be left over.

Tip #3: Cleaning the inside of your lid is something that very few people do or realize that need to be cleaned. Underneath the top of the grill, you might notice a deposit of grease and smoke that will occur during grilling. To simply clean the leftover grease and smoke: (1) Use a grill brush to scrap away any easy food bits, (2) using warm soapy water and a towel remove the last of the grease and dry off. Simple and easy! Buy doing this you will increase the “life” span of your gas grill and more importantly get some tasty foods.

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Before the first grill or smoke of the season I like to do a nice clean run of the smoker or grill. I simply just add some charcoal and light it on fire and do not place any meat inside it so it is just a nice clean burn. The reason why I do this is because heat is a great way to sanitize anything that you might not want to cook. Here is steps to clean the the inside of the smoker:

Step #1: Using a wire brush and some “elbow” grease scrap the inside walls to remove as much as possible.

Step #2: Prepare your smoker for a cook by using charcoal and nothing else and just let the coals burn off everything that was leftover from your scrapping the inside walls.


Step 3: Clean your grill grates (see above for steps)


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