Spring is here! The sweet smell of flowers, cut grass and hamburgers on the grill fill the air!
Ah, the thrill of firing up the grill for the first time in Spring. It’s like a long-awaited reunion with an old friend – one that’s been waiting for you to come back and share dinner. There’s something special about that first sizzle of the season – the sound of the flames licking at the grill grates, the smell of the smoke wafting through the air, and the anticipation of the delicious food that’s about to be cooked. It’s a moment that’s worth savoring.
For many of us though, our trusty grill has been hibernating all Winter, waiting for us to wake it up and show it some love. So before you start cooking, it’s important to make sure your grill is clean and ready to go.
To help you Grill Masters prepare, we’ve compiled a list of cleaning hacks that will make cleaning your grill a breeze.
Clean the Grill Cover
Cleaning your grill cover is like trying to fold a fitted sheet – First, you’ll need to wrestle the cover off the grill, which is no easy feat. It’s like trying to remove a giant sheet of cling wrap from your grill.
Once you remove the cover give it a quick shake to remove the debris accumulated over Winter.
If there is a lot of dust and cobwebs you may want to consider giving the grill cover a good vacuuming beforehand.
Next fill a bucket with warm water, 1 Cup Vinegar and 1 Tablespoon of Dish Soap.
Lay the grill cover on the ground and with a soft bristle brush scrub in the cleaning solution in the bucket.
Clean both sides and then turn the grill cover inside out and repeat the process on the inside of the cover.
If you have heavy staining or areas of mildew, allow the cleaning solution to sit on the area for 15 -30 minutes to help break down the dirt, grime and mildew.
If there is a lot of grease we recommend adding 1 Teaspoon of Dawn Powerwash to your cleaning solution.
Next using a garden hose spray down the grill cover inside and out to rinse away the soap residue.
Finally, gently place the grill cover over the deck railing, or on concrete in the sun and allow it to dry completely. After one side dries, flip the cover over so the underside can dry.
(You may need to turn the grill cover inside out again to allow the inside to dry completely)
The benefits of a clean grill cover?
It keeps dust and debris away from your cook surface.
Also, it extends the life of your grill by protecting it from rain, snow and sun damage.
Clean the Grill Grates
Hopefully your grill grates are still clean from your pre-Winter cleaning. But if you are like us, when we get a sunny Winter day, sometimes we have been known to break out the grill and a parka for a quick Winter Barbeque!
Sometimes the simpler the better. Here are some cleaning hacks to get your grill grates ready to go.
Lemon and Salt
Cut a lemon in half and then pour ½ a Cup of Salt on a small plate.
Press the cut half of the lemon in the salt-
Next rub the salt and lemon on the grill grates
(Use only on a cold or slightly warm grill)
The salt acts as an abrasive cleaner and works well as the lemon juice breaks down the grease and grime on the grill grates.
(Throw away the lemon when you are done!)
A popular cleaning hack to clean your grill grates is as your grill is warming cut an onion in half.
Using a grilling fork, rub the cut side of the onion on the grill.
As the onion juice starts to steam, this will help break down the grease and grime on the grill.
(Throw away the onion when you are done!)
Deep Cleaning the Grill Grates
One great cleaning hack to deep clean your grill grates is to mix a small bucket of warm water, 2 Cups of Vinegar and 1 Tablespoon of Dish Soap. (Add Dawn Powerwash to the really dirty grates.)
Place the grill grates in a large heavy duty, unused garbage bag.
(You can also use a large plastic storage container)
Pour the cleaning mixture in the garbage bag and seal the top of the bag with a rubber band.
Let the grill grates sit in the garbage bag with the cleaning mixture overnight.
(We recommend leaving the garbage bag in the driveway in a safe location or on the lawn. Reason being, if the rubber band comes loose you don’t want that greasy mess in your garage or on your deck!)
The next day, use a soft bristle brush or sponge and wipe the broken down grease and grime from the grill grates.
Rinse well and you are done!
Clean The Inside of the Grill?
You may be wondering, who sees the inside of the grill? That is where the fire, grease and soot come together to create a baked-on mess. While your guests may never get the inside of your grill, there are good reasons to clean it.
Not only does cleaning the inside of the grill keep the grill sanitary, it also helps with keeping your grill in good working order thus helping it to last longer.
To clean the inside of the grill our most handy tool is a small putty knife.
Use the putty knife to gently scrape away the top layers of soot and grease.
Next we like to spray on Dawn Powerwash then with a bucket of warm water and a sponge we thoroughly clean the inside of the grill lid and inner sides.
It may be necessary to repeat the scrubbing several times to remove as much soot and grease as possible.
This is a great time to check the grease pan.
Remove the grease pan, empty and clean thoroughly with a degreaser
Use this time to inspect your grill.
Are the igniters working properly?
Are the burners clear of debris and heating evenly?
Are the connectors and gas hoses securely attached and in good shape?
Always remember, Safety First!
Clean Outside of Your Grill
After a lot of great grilling, the front and side areas of your grill can quickly be covered with grease and food debris.
We like to use a bucket of warm water and 1 Tablespoon of Dish Soap.
With our 3 Towel System:
The first microfiber towel is dipped in the cleaning solution to clean
The second is a damp water only microfiber towel to rinse
The third is a dry microfiber towel to dry and buff
Wipe down, clean and dry buff the outside of the grill.
Carefully remove the knobs. Clean underneath with the same process above. Soak the knobs in the bucket of warm water for 10-15 minutes. Buff dry.
There you have it! Go ahead and get your grill on!