Outdoor grilling season is winding down (although here in California with the Santa Ana winds, it's still so warm that some prefer to cook outside to prevent heating up the entire house), and some people may find that it's better to cook their Thanksgiving turkey in their gas grill. But as we head into the indoor season, it's best to give your grill a once-over before it retreats into hibernation for the winter.
It's always best to clean your grill when it's still warm but not hot. Warm enough that you can get grease, burnt grime, and food scraps off, but not so hot that you burn yourself.
Charcoal grills often prove to be the dirtiest and most high-maintenance. Ash build up can block the vents, creating a fire risk and reducing the ability to control grilling temperatures. It's imperative that the ash be cleaned out after each use. The bowl can be rinsed out with soap and water and a scrubbed with a steel or brillo pad to be rid of blackened charr and caked on food and grease.
On any grill, whether charcoal, gas, or pellet, the grill gates should be heated to burn off any food scraps. Pellet grill gates can be removed and soaked in warm, soapy water. For grill gates that can't be removed, scrub the gates with a stiff brush or abrasive pad and then coat with vegetable oil to prevent rusting.
Stainless steel gates are the easiest to clean and can handle the most rigorous brushes and scrapers. Many brushes come with scrapers to attack really stubborn spots. Porcelain gates can be easily damaged and therefore require softer brushes than steel or aluminum. Iron gates and porcelain gates tend to do better when treated with a nylon or bamboo brush.
A flat top grill doesn't have gates, but still needs to be warmed to help soften food and caked on debris. Then soak with a baking soda-warm water mixture and scrub with a stiff brush. Just be prepared to spend a couple of hours and expend a lot of elbow grease to get your grill sparkling clean!
Paige Blu Industries Inc. offers commercial cleaning services in the Greater Los Angeles Area.