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Thread: How to Clean BBQ Grill Grates?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
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    Denver CO
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    How to Clean BBQ Grill Grates?

    We have an old gas grill whic DH uses mostly. I went to look at it and was grossed out by all the caked on food/burned grease, etc. It was even worse on the underneath side. A grill brush or steel wool won't begin to clean this gunk off. ANy ideas for saoking it in something? I treid the Weber site, but they imagine a clean grill after each use, so it's too late for me.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Columbus, OH
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    5,143
    Clean the grill WHEN IT'S HOT. It makes it so much easier. Take your metal grill brush and scrub it before you put your food on, and then do it after you take it off. That way, you'll cook on a clean surface.

    That being said ... do you have a self-cleaning oven? Pop the grill grates in there, and turn on your oven to clean.
    --Mary Kate--

    "In all our woods there is not a tree so hard to kill as the buckeye. The deepest girdling does not deaden it, and even after it is cut down and worked up into the side of a cabin it will send out young branches, denoting to all the world that Buckeyes are not easily conquered, and could with difficulty be destroyed." - Daniel Drake, 1833

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    West Puget Sound, WA
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    I clicked in hoping someone had given good advice!
    Thanks Mary Kate! - the self-cleaning oven idea sounds like a great one!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
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    IL
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    Here is some info found.

    How To Clean A Gas Grill

    Content provided by California Backyard.

    Warning: Before cleaning, turn your grill off and wait for it to cool. Do not clean your bars or cooking grates in a self-cleaning oven.

    For outside surfaces -- use a warm soapy water solution to clean, and then rinse with water.

    Caution: Do not use oven cleaner, abrasive cleaners (kitchen cleansers), cleaner that contain citrus products, or abrasive cleaning pads on barbecue or cart surfaces.

    Slide out bottom tray -- Remove excess grease, then wash with warm soapy water, then rinse.

    Bars and Cooking Grates -- Clean with a suitable brass bristle brush. As needed, remove from the grill and wash with warm soapy water, then rinse with water.

    Catch Pan -- Disposable foil trays are available, or you can line the catch pan with aluminum foil. To clean the catch pan, wash with warm soapy water, then rinse.

    Thermometer -- Wipe with warm soapy water; clean with plastic scrub ball. Do not put dishwasher or submerge in water.

    Inside cooking module -- Brush any debris off of burner tubes. Do not enlarge burner ports (openings). Wash inside of cooking box with warm soapy water and a water rinse.

    Inside Lid -- While lid is warm, wipe inside with paper towel to prevent grease buildup. Flaking built-up grease resembles paint flakes.

    Stainless steel surfaces -- Wash with a soft cloth and a soap and water solution.

    Plastic surfaces -- Wash with a soft cloth and a soap and water solution. Do not use cleaners that contain acid, mineral spirits or xylene. Rinse well after cleaning. Plastic work surfaces are not to be used as cutting boards.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Location
    North of the ocean, South of the Freeway, Mississippi Gulf Coast
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    3,193
    I've had good success using spray on oven cleaner, but it is rather harsh and smelly, so you have to be careful, and make sure you wash off all the residue.

    HTH!
    Anna
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    A fruit is a vegetable with looks and money.
    Plus, if you let fruit rot, it turns into wine,
    something Brussels sprouts never do.
    P. J. O'Rourke, humorist
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Columbus, OH
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    Okay -- I don't want to be seen as totally ignorant about this whole "self cleaning oven" thing. I don't even HAVE a self-cleaning oven, so I've never tried it. However, I'm fairly sure that was Alton Brown's suggestion, and I know I've read it other places.

    I wonder what California Backyard's reasoning behind their warning is?
    --Mary Kate--

    "In all our woods there is not a tree so hard to kill as the buckeye. The deepest girdling does not deaden it, and even after it is cut down and worked up into the side of a cabin it will send out young branches, denoting to all the world that Buckeyes are not easily conquered, and could with difficulty be destroyed." - Daniel Drake, 1833

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Location
    Near Fresno, CA
    Posts
    6,219
    DH cranks up the heat then scrapes with a wire brush. The other innards he takes out and washes in soapy water.
    *Susan*

    "One of the advantages of being disorderly is that one is constantly making exciting discoveries."

    A.A. Milne

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Marietta, Ga
    Posts
    7,693
    I must admit that the grill that came with our house had so much caked on stuff that I used brillo pads to clean it off. That and a combination of 'charcoal grill cleaner' stuff I found at the grocery store. Now I use a wire brush when it's hot/warm and a light coating of oil to keep it from rusting.

    I think I went through 3 or 4 pads per grate and I had 3 grates.

    We do have a Broilmaster natural gas grill. Very nice. I just replaced all the inside parts this hear. The burners were so rusted they were falling apart, the rock rack could barely hold the rocks, the rocks them selves were old, and the warming rack that was rusted. I'm also working on new wood pieces for the shelf.
    "Mommy, Can we Please, Please, Please have spinach for dinner?" DD2(age 6)

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Columbus, OH
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    Okay, from what I've read, sticking the grill rack in a self-cleaning oven will get it clean. However, if the rack was shiny before hand, it will probably lose some of its shine but it will be clean and safe to cook on. Along the same lines, you can close the top of the grill and crank up the heat to High for 10 minutes. The grease should turn into dust, from what I've read.

    I've also read a suggestion that you can take your grill to a do-it-yourself carwash and turn the hose on it as high as the pressure will let you. I'm imagining the grill flying through the air ... but let me know if anyone tries it.
    --Mary Kate--

    "In all our woods there is not a tree so hard to kill as the buckeye. The deepest girdling does not deaden it, and even after it is cut down and worked up into the side of a cabin it will send out young branches, denoting to all the world that Buckeyes are not easily conquered, and could with difficulty be destroyed." - Daniel Drake, 1833

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Location
    IL
    Posts
    12,505
    Originally posted by MKSquared

    I wonder what California Backyard's reasoning behind their warning is?
    I'm not sure why the warning exactly, but I know that if you leave your oven racks in a self-cleaning oven, they become greyish in color and the finish is dull. Also, some grill racks are black and others may be stainless (like ours are), so maybe they are just generalizing that it shouldn't be done.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Location
    Denver CO
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    911
    Thanks for all the tips. I think I will try the self cleanng oven --the grates are black with goo so I don't care if they get more "discolored". Also, the Weber site had a good method for "seasoning" the grates after they are clean, so I will try that.

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