Charcoal grills tend to accumulate more gunk, grease, and debris when compared to even small gas grills because of the coal used when grilling. The last thing you want is a thick carbon or ash build-up in your grill grates when you decide to use it. Cleaning charcoal grills also ensure that you get the best flavor possible with your food.
Ideally you want to clean it before grilling season starts so you’ll have plenty of time to clean it.You’ll only need a few items and fortunately it won’t take long before you get it all nice and clean again.
Here is what you’ll need to clean your charcoal grill:
1. First off, take off the lid and give it a good cleaning with a wet, soapy sponge. Most charcoal grills today come with lids coated in porcelain enamel that accumulate grease and smoke when used frequently. To avoid chipping, remove the build-up by thoroughly wiping it down with a sponge and it should come right off.
2. Take out the grill grates and give them a good scrub. Use your grill brush and use enough force to brush out any stubborn gunk build-up from the grates. Make sure to brush the bottom side as well.
If the debris doesn’t come off easily, you can use a soap and water solution to soften it up. Dip your grill brush in a bucket of soapy water and generously scrub on the grill grates until it comes off. Once it’s clean, set it aside and let dry.
3. Clean the inside bowl of the charcoal grill. This is where drippings, grease, ash, and other nasty gunk-build up collects so you’ll need to use a steel wool pad to dislodge any stubborn build-up. Grab your steel wool and scrub on the bowl, making sure to remove the gunk left behind.
Once you’ve removed the gunk, grab your sponge and wipe it down to clean off any grease and meat drippings.
4. Take out the ash pan and dispose of ashes properly. Grab an old rag and wipe down the whole grill to remove further grease. Use another dry rag to wipe down the lid and once the grates have dried, put it back together and now your charcoal grill is ready for another smokin’ hot grillin’!
A little bit of cleaning will go a long way when it comes to your charcoal grill. Since it uses coals as a heat source, charcoal grills tend to flare up more than gas grills. That’s why you want to clean the grates once a significant amount of build-up is visible to avoid burning your food when grilling.
If you haven’t cleaned your charcoal or gas grill in a very long time, you’ll find that warm soap or water won’t do a great job in removing the gunk and grime. In this case, you can use a baking soda solution to really penetrate the dirt and help loosen it once you give it a deep clean.
Lemon is also a great alternative for cleaning hardened gunk and grease in your grill grates. You can slice a lemon in half and dip it in a cup of baking soda and start rubbing it on the grates and other parts of the grill that have stubborn dirt in it. The acids will help dissolve the gunk and make it easier to remove once you give it a good scrub.
Cleaning your grill doesn’t need to take you forever, but you do need to clean it very well to prolong its lifespan and give you a tasty, juicy, appetizing meal each time you use it!