Ahhhhh! The coming of summer, boating, swimming hiking, cleaning your grill, yes you heard me cleaning your gas grill.
I know it doesn’t sound like fun, but if you are anything like me you love to cook out. Well at least you like the results, brats, steaks and burgers, now I’m talking your language.
But you need to do a little maintenance of the grill to keep it cooking and grilling just right; so below are some helpful tips on how to keep your gas grill, well grilling!
Gas Griller’s Toolbox – any excuse for tools is a good one if you ask me.Store the following tools near your grill for quick, easy, regular cleanups:
- Brass wire grill brush
- Stainless steel wire brush
- Soap-embedded, fine steel wool pads (0 to 000 grade)
- Mild dish soap
- Sponge or dishcloth
- Plastic or Teflon® scraper
- 1″ putty knife
- Fitted foil Catch Pan Liners
Every time you grill: Clean the cooking grate. Before or after grilling, burn off any residue by simply turning the grill on high until the smoke stops, then brush the cooking grates with a brass wire grill brush. Easy! I have found that if I’m cooking steaks, I clean the grill right after cooking that gives your steaks time to allow the juices to return.
Change the Catch Pan Liner. You can buy replacement Drip Pans from your local grill dealer. These pans are made to fit your catch pan under the bottom tray of your gas grill. Just make sure that you take the model number and style of grill with you to your local dealer. If anything this is a first grilling of the year step.
Remove smoke stains from the grill lid and side burner cover. Carefully remove any smoke stains from the grill lid with a soapy, fine steel wool pad and a very light touch. For the stainless steel side burner cover, use only warm, soapy water and a sponge or dishcloth even fine steel wool will scratch it.
Clean the Flavorizer Bars. You really don’t ever need to remove the Flavorizer Bars from your grill to clean them, since preheating the grill and burning off residue by turning the grill on “high” is enough to turn any accumulated debris to ashes. Occasionally brushing the bars off with a brass grill brush or scraping them with a nylon, plastic or Teflon-putty knife should be sufficient maintenance. Just be careful not to gouge the porcelain-enamel finish.
Clean the warming racks and control panel. A soapy, fine steel wool pad will keep the warming racks clean and free of smoke stains and debris. It will also remove grease spots and stains from the control panel, but use a very light touch so as to not scratch the control panel. Rinse thoroughly.
Clean the outside of the end caps and cook box. You should clean up grease drippings on these exterior surfaces as soon as possible. Grease is toxic to painted surfaces. Use mild, soapy water and rinse thoroughly. Harsh or lemon-based cleaners can ruin the paint finish so stick to soap and water. I try to wipe the cook box down as the grill is cooling.
If you need to touch up the paint on the end caps and cook box, use high heat-resistant (up to 700F) Barbecue Black or Fireplace Black spray paint.
(Please note that this paint is only for the outside of the end caps and cook box, not for any porcelain-enameled finishes.) First wash the surface to be painted and rough up any bare spots with fine sandpaper. Then cover the porcelain hood with paper or cardboard to prevent over-spraying onto the porcelain finish. Spray only the outside of the lid end caps. For the cook box, first cover any other parts of the grill with paper or cardboard, and then use the spray to touch up bare spots.
Clean the bottom tray. Remove the cool (never hot!) bottom tray from under the grill and place over a trash can. Carefully scrape the inside with a 1″ putty knife or other straight, flat object. Push the residue out through the bottom hole into the trash can. To deep clean the tray, use warm, soapy water and a soapy, fine steel wool pad, being careful not to scratch the porcelain finish. NEVER line the bottom tray with foil, as grease can accumulate in the creases in the foil and cause a grease fire.
Never do the following to your gas grill:
Never wax or paint the lid. The finish on your grill is baked-on porcelain enamel, so you never have to wax or paint it. This finish is glossier and much more durable than paint, and wax will only streak when the grill gets hot. So just wipe the lid down with warm, soapy water when it gets dusty or dirty. Easy!
Never use oven cleaner on your gas grill. Oven cleaner is not friendly to the painted surfaces of your grill; it can remove the paint.
If you keep up a maintenance program on your grill you will have years of cooking pleasure, I have had the same gas grill for eons, and I’m still able to burn my food beyond recognition.