How to Clean a Charcoal Grill

It is just the perfect time to begin preparing for some backyard barbecues, particularly with the summer fast approaching.

That being said, it is very important that you learn how to clean a charcoal grill before you start cooking.

It’s pretty evident that grease and food particles would have piled up over time on the grates and other surfaces.

How to Clean a Charcoal Grill

And this will not only affect the taste of your food but also create a fire hazard.

The truth is that knowing how to clean a charcoal grill will let you work better during the peak grilling season and keep your food tasting better, whether you are hosting a party or just planning on taking advantage of the weather to cook meals outdoors frequently.

Supplies For Cleaning A Grill

  • Scraper tool
  • Mr. Clean Magic Eraser Extra Durable
  • Wire grill brush or curly steel scour pad (as a substitute, you can make a DIY grill brush with balled-up aluminum foil and 12-inch tongs).
  • Dish gloves
  • Gentle but grease-busting dish soap (I suggest you go for Dawn Dish Soap)

How to Clean a Charcoal Grill

If you are patient, you will find out that charcoal grills are simple to use, but they are fast when it comes to building up grime.

Make sure that the grill is totally cooled down before you start cleaning.

Keep in mind that treating a burn will only add additional time to your grill cleaning routine.

  • So, first, remove the grates from the inside of the grill and also remove all the old ashes.
  • Before doing this, ensure that the ashes are totally cooled. Also, stay away from adding water to the coals to cool them due to the fact that this creates a chemical reaction that will erode the metal of your grill.
  • Some charcoal grills come with ash catchers that you will find beneath the bowl, so you need to ensure that you also check for ashes there.
  • Just get a garden trowel and use it to scoop out the ashes, if you want to go analog.
  • And I consider sucking the ashes out with a vacuum hose attachment to be a more effective and modern solution for the ashes. You can go for shop vacs, as they work perfectly well for this.
  • So, that being done, get a metal trash can or plastic bag and carefully dispose of the ashes in it.
  • To remove any residual ash, hose out your grill and its lid.
  • Put your gloves on, get a bucket, and mix a squirt of dish soap like Dawn with some hot water in it.
  • Then, begin scrubbing the inside of your grill with a scouring pad.
  • Just spray the degreaser all over the interior of the grill if the inside of your grill is still extremely gross after your initial hot water and dish soap scrub.
  • After that, make sure you allow it to sit for around 20 minutes to soften any accumulated grease.
  • Also, use the said degreaser to clean your grill. Clean your grill grates while the degreaser is setting on your grill.
  • And, if necessary, use your scraper tool. And, when it comes to washing the exterior of the grill, use your dish soap and hot water solution.
  • Now, wipe the cleaner off with a paper towel or rag when the grease has loosened from the inside of the grill, and rinse all the grill surfaces with clean, hot water.
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How Often Should You Clean Your Grill?

The short and straightforward answer to the above question is that it’s actually based strongly on how you clean it and how frequently you use the grill.

However, generally, you need to be able to give your grill grates a good wipe-down after each use.

Plus, you should devote time to deep cleaning, which should be done once a year, at a minimum.

But it’s actually wise that you repeat that process even more often if you are grilling several times a week this summer.

And a good rule of thumb that you should always keep in mind is that you clean the grill at the beginning and end of the grilling season.

How Often Should You Clean Your Charcoal Grill?

How often you use your grill is what determines how often you clean it, which answers the above question.

In my opinion, I consider giving your charcoal grill a quick clean using a wire brush to get rid of food particles after each cookout to be the best way to clean a charcoal grill after use.

In the case of deep cleaning, you should clean your charcoal grill at the beginning and end of each season.

Or, you can just do it at least once a year, if you grill throughout the year.

If your grill is struggling to heat up to its full temperature, which is around 500, then you should know it is time for deep cleaning.

And, follow the following charcoal grill cleaning guidelines if you intend to prevent premature part failure or dangerous flare-ups:

To avoid rust buildup, I strongly suggest that you clean your grill grates after each use.

And using hot soapy water and a scrub brush or a ball of aluminum foil is the best way to clean a charcoal grill after use.

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In the case of public grills, make sure that you clean them before each use, given the fact that you don’t know when they were last used or what was cooked on them.

At least once a month, the grease trap or collection tray should be cleaned, and if you are grilling several times a week, then you should clean it more often.

In addition, keep in mind that you have to clean the grease tray after cooking fattier cuts of meat such as lamb, burgers, rib steaks, and bone-in, skin-on chicken.

Final Thoughts on Cleaning a Charcoal Grill

You might be wondering why you need to clean your charcoal grill.

Cleaning a charcoal grill after every use and doing a deep cleaning at least once a year does help the grill function and perform at its best throughout the year.

Cleaning after use and also doing a yearly deep cleaning will help you stop the buildup of grease and food particles.

It will help heat up your grill faster and cook more evenly, preventing premature part failure. That way, your grill will last longer.

And, lastly, it keeps your grill from rusting and deteriorating and prevents the carbon deposits from growing bacteria and affecting the flavor of your favorite foods.

Now, this concludes this guide, as you now know perfectly well how to clean a charcoal grill.

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