Cleaning Your BBQ Grill: Why and How
Summer is great for numerous occasions and activities, but one of the best activities that you could do with your friends and family is having a nice BBQ together. You can prepare some of the most delicious food imaginable and forget your worries in the sun as you talk or play with them in your backyard. However, you must understand that your grill needs to be properly maintained and cleaned regularly. This is important because the quality of the food and the performance of your grill will depend on it. Read on to learn more about how you can keep your grill clean and why you should do it.
Why Do You Need to Clean Your BBQ Grill?
You must understand that cleaning your BBQ grill regularly is hygienic and can keep you safe in numerous ways. Not to mention that the quality of the food will be good or bad depending on how clean your grill is. You will find all the necessary reasons why you should keep it clean below.
It Prevents Excessive Buildup
You can rest assured that regular cleaning can prevent excessive buildup of grime, grease, and gunk all over and inside your grill. The buildup can negatively impact the flame size on your burner and it will make your grilling time longer. The low temperature is because of the abnormal buildup of grease that is blocking the burners. The flames need to be blue and not burn with an orange flame color or appearance. This is a red flag to watch for in any stove or grill because it’s dangerous. Also, it will make your grill inefficient and the cooking performance will be hindered significantly. This will increase cooking time and you will waste a lot of power, pellets, charcoal, and other types of fuel because of it.
It’s Necessary Before and After Your BBQ Party
You need to realize the necessity of cleaning your grill before and after your party, which will make the process easier in the long run. The time you spend cleaning it will be short if you regularly clean everything in the grill thoroughly. If you’re living in South Florida, you will know that the BBQ season is near because of the hot Florida summers. The grill cleaning specialists that cover the Palm Beach and Broward County areas understand how the process can be time-consuming, especially on the day of your BBQ cookout. This is why you need to plan ahead and see if you will need to hire help to get everything ready before your party. This will give you an idea of how the process works and you will get more insight on how to disassemble and assemble every component in your grill to clean it thoroughly and prevent any mistakes.
It Prevents Rodents and Insects
Cleaning your grill can prevent rodents and insects from infesting your grill. BBQ season is mostly in the summer and this means hot sunny weather. This can attract a lot of pests that can smell the grease and gunk inside your grill. This is why you need to rodent-proof your grill and have a pest control plan to prevent any annoying infestations. Allowing this to happen can be extremely detrimental to your health because pests can spread diseases and harmful bacteria. For the sake of the health and wellbeing of everyone that will eat the food you prepare, you should always make sure to use various repellants like mothballs, peppermint, or cloves. If you have the budget for it, you could invest in an ultrasonic pest repelling device that emits sound waves that prevent pests from coming near your grill.
To Prevent Cancer
Cleaning your grill is essential in preventing diseases such as cancer. The ash that remains, the gunk, the coated grease, and the burned food bits can develop dangerous chemicals and amino acids that can cause cancer. These chemicals poison the food without leaving any trace but it can leave decayed acids that can ruin the taste of food. You will notice something wrong with your steaks and it will taste very odd. If people come to you asking about tasting something weird in the food, then this is a huge red flag that your grill might need a thorough cleaning.
It Can Be a Major Fire Hazard
The last thing you need is a major fire hazard that can ruin your BBQ cookout. You need to understand that a dirty grill can cause sudden fires that are difficult to control. The ash that accumulates inside the firebox will limit the airflow, which can cause a lot of misfiring and over-firing moments while cooking. This is extremely dangerous because that will make the grill ignite at once very quickly. It can get you or anyone near the grill hurt or the tablecloths nearby might catch the flames, causing a huge fire in your backyard to spread. You need to avoid this at all costs because you don’t want to cook on a ticking time bomb that can ruin your lovely BBQ cookout!
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How to Clean Your BBQ Grill
You need to learn how to clean your BBQ grill effectively to be ready for your next cookout. You will find the necessary steps and some of the best methods for your cleaning needs below.
Get Your Tools Ready
You will need to get your tools ready before you start cleaning the grill. You can’t be too careful because some of the tight spots can be difficult to reach. This is why you need specific tools and equipment that can make the grill cleaning process hassle-free. You will need to learn how to use them properly if you want to get the job done correctly. You will need a wire brush and a wire bottle brush. They are also known as bristle brushes. You will also need a putty knife, metal spatula, a non-bristle wooden scraper, sponges, paper towels, clean pieces of cloth rags, rubber gloves, a bucket, dish soap, and dishwasher detergent. Depending on your budget and what you have, you will need either a vacuum or a pressure washer. In some cases, you might need both, but it depends on your grill.
The Disassembly Phase
The disassembly phase is the first step before you start cleaning your grill. You need to start opening it up and removing all the parts. Once you do that, you will have an easier time getting to the main grill chamber that is below your grates. Don’t be surprised by the amount of grease and random food bits in that area because this is where they all end up dripping into during a cookout. But don’t worry, you will be able to de-grease your entire grill in no time before the big cookout day. After opening the hood and removing the grates, carefully start removing the metal heat diffusers that are on top of the burner. Most grill models have those diffusers and you need to take them out if you want to clean everything thoroughly.
Start Scraping Every Part
You will need to start scraping every part of your grill box. This is the interior area of your grill that will have all the gunk and grease that needs to be scraped off. You should use your putty knife or metal spatula to scrape off any gunk and grease that are sticking to the interior area of the grill as well as any other part you disassembled. If you have the budget, you could use a non-bristle wooden scraper to get rid of all the coated gunk thoroughly. Remember to use your gloves because it’s going to get messy! Make sure the interior of the grill box is free of all sticking grease. Also, don’t forget about the sides of the grill chamber.
Clearing the Debris
After scraping every part, you will see all the gunk debris down at the bottom of the interior area along with remaining ash particles, if you use a charcoal grill. This is where you use your vacuum to quickly clear everything. This will clear the interior grill box and firebox so it can be ready for further cleaning. Make sure you have long connector cables if you’re cleaning the grill outside. Another way to clear the debris is by using a pressure washer, but you will need to put a bucket or two under the firebox to catch all the water. This will clear everything and give the interior a nice and thorough cleaning.
Washing, Brushing, and Scrubbing
Now it’s time to wash and scrub your grates, burner tubes, and bars. You can bring them all and soak them in your bucket of dish soap and detergent. You need to leave them soaking for about 30 minutes before you scrub and wash them. The burner tubes will be tricky to clean, but it can be a lot easier if you use your wire/bristle bottle brush because it’s thin enough to get inside the tube. Do not do the up and down motion. We recommend brushing everything from the center and then outwards to the sides for better results. The up and down motion will push debris back into the burner holes. Afterward, rinse and repeat and then wash everything with water.
Your grates would have a lot of grime and gunk, but soaking it should help you get rid of everything coating the grates. Start brushing the grates thoroughly with your wire/bristle brush. If you find it difficult to get rid of the grime or gunk, then you should leave it to soak in the soap overnight. Make sure to brush, wash, and scrub the hood of the grill too. There are chemical products that you could use that can speed things up, but it’s not a necessity if you want everything to be done with green and environmentally-friendly products. Afterward, leave everything to dry for 10 to 15 minutes.
Smart and Simple Methods of Cleaning Hard-To-Remove Grease
You can start using some of these simple and smart methods of cleaning for the best results. Vinegar will be quite handy for cleaning grills. You can put some vinegar in a water spray bottle and spray every part of your grill. Let it soak for 10 minutes, brush everything thoroughly, and then rinse it with water. You could soak your grates, tools, and burner tubes in coffee to get rid of the hard-to-remove bits. Coffee has enough acids that can loosen up the coated grease and grime to make the cleaning process easier. Also, you could use baking soda on all the parts that need scrubbing for an easier time with your sponge. It will make the grill sparkling clean!
Another way to loosen and remove hard-to-remove grime or grease is by using an onion. Just cut the onion in half and rub both halves all over your grill, whether it’s your grates, bars, or the interior parts. Onions have strong enzymes and organic compounds that can break down any sticking particles that are hard to get rid of. Also, you could use some beer if you’re willing to part with some. Just warm up your grill and then pour some beer all over the greasy areas of your grill that are giving you a hard time. Let it soak for five minutes, and then use your bristle brush to scrape and clean everything. All the coated gunk and grease will come right off smoothly.
If you want to have a great time with your loved ones at your next BBQ, you need to make sure that everything is ready for the big day. Whether it’s the ingredients, utensils, cooking tools, oil, propane, charcoal, plastic plates, cups, napkins, and so much more. But the most important thing you need to prepare for is cleaning before you start grilling. Your grill needs to be spotless and squeaky clean. It will save you such a hassle, the quality of your experience will be much better, and your BBQ will be such a big hit!