Start with a cold BBQ. Use plastic throw-away gloves on your hands if you’d like. You’re going to begin by scrubbing off any easy, loose bits stuck on the upper rack and grills. Use an appropriate brush that your grill manufacturer recommends for the type of material that your racks are made of. This is a plastic grill brush; some are made of metal bristles. On the right is a smaller metal brush to get in between the individual grills (optional).
Once you’ve taken off the loose stuff, lift out the upper rack and the grills below and put them on a sheet of old newspaper on a table or on the ground for now.
Once you remove the grills, on some models you will see underneath the “flavorizer bars” that disperse heat that go over the actual gas burners. Lift each one up and brush them off into a garbage bag. Then set them aside for now with the grill racks.
These are the gas burner tubes. You’ll want to lightly brush over them to remove any debris blocking them. Now we’ll get into the amazing (disgusting) stuff that’s probably sitting there on the bottom of your grill!
This is the ‘catch pan’ underneath the grill that catches all the grease from what you’ve grilled. This is a definite ‘change frequently’ item! You want to be careful it doesn’t overflow. You can buy these disposable aluminum liners at the local hardware store or just use aluminum foil to fit in the pan snugly and cover the edges.
Now the scraping begins! You’ll need a flat kitchen tool of some sort (in this picture, an old spatula is used) to scrap the debris off the bottom of the grill through the slots into the bottom tray (see picture in middle). Once you feel satisfied that the bottom of the grill is empty enough, pull out the bottom tray and dump it in your garbage bag and put it back in place. This grill had 2.5 pounds of debris in the bottom of the grill! Ugh!
Now you’ll reassemble the pieces back into the BBQ grill before the final cleaning steps. Start with reinserting your newly lined ‘catch pan’. Then put back the flavorizer bars, and the grills. Throw out the newspaper that your grill racks were on.
Now with the racks back in, light the grill, and turn it to high. Close the lid. We timed it in 5-minute increments and it took 20 minutes for us to feel satisfied that we’d burned off all the remaining debris from the grills. There will be a lot of smoke at first and then it will diminish – a good indicator that it’s done. Allow grill to cool as it will be very hot.
After the grill has cooled down, turn the gas off, remove the knobs from the front (these pull off easily) and use a stainless steel or other non-abrasive cleaner for the outside of your grill. Check your owner’s manual for what the manufacturer recommends or ask at your local hardware store.
Also wipe down the rest of the outside of the grill with wet paper towel or other non-abrasive cleaner your manufacturer recommends. Living in a coastal community, it’s important to wipe down the outside of your grill at least once a quarter.
Open the doors below the grill and brush out that area and then wipe it down. With these steps you’ll also decrease the likelihood of outdoor bugs being attracted to your grill… Look at the condition of your grill cover and consider investing in a new one if it feels brittle or it’s torn.
See what shape your BBQ utensils are in, and reward yourself with something new like a light to fit around the handle for when it gets dark – and get grillin’! You go girl!
WHAT’S FOR DINNER?!
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