Wednesday, June 25, 2008

A summer chore -- cleaning the grill...

I've been struggling with my grill this's dirty, the gas burners aren't heating properly, the cooking isn't even, and on and on. So today I decided I just HAD to clean the beast. I consulted my favorite book, Better Basics for the Home , for help, but the only thing I could find was info. on oven cleaners so I applied her suggestions to my grill.

You'll need:
A grill scraper/wire brush
A spray bottle of water
A box of plain baking soda
Hot soapy water or degreaser
A paper sack or garbage can

Scrape grates, remove them and let them soak in hot soapy water. Scrape everything inside the grill so it falls down into that little mess-catching tray. Remove tray, empty and scrape again. Put the tray back in and spray all the surfaces with water. Sprinkle baking soda all over everything. The water will cause it to stick to the sides and bottom. Spray water over the soda lightly. Let it sit, but keep on spraying it every so often so it continues to loosen the gunk. You want the baking soda moistened, but not dripping. After about 4 or 5 times of this I let it dry completely. You might need to repeat the spraying longer if your grill is really bad. You can leave it overnight to dry if you want to.
Now scrape all that dried gunk off into the mess-catching tray again. Dump into your paper sack or garbage can and scrape again. The last step I did was to take a little wisk broom and brush off all the surfaces. Pay special attention to the gas burners to see that all those little holes are visible and not plugged. Dump the little mess-catching tray again. You know, the grill is not sparkling clean (it's an outdoor grill after all) but most of the greasy gunk is gone. Dump the pan again and then finish off by washing the mess-catching tray and grates with hot soapy water and degreaser.
Before assembling the grill, I tested the gas burners to make sure they all lit up well. If not, turn off the grill and take a wire brush and run it over all the little holes to loosen any stuff away. Brush with wisk broom and check it again. My gas lit up perfectly with no plugged holes!
I'm so thrilled with the results, and it didn't even take me as long is it might have normally with commercial oven cleaner (OH THE FUMES and all that gooey gunk running over in the grill).
If you have an especially tough job, you can mix half baking soda and half washing soda to sprinkle into the grill. The washing soda is a stronger cleaner than the plain baking soda. They really are two different things. You can usually find washing soda in the laundry section of your store. The best part of this job is that it's non-toxic and all-natural. Let me know if you try this and if it works for you.

Now, onto the grilling!
Here's an old post about cooking with a grill wok.


  1. Sounds like a lot of work but I know it is worth it. We use our grill almost everyday all year around. I cleaned mine earlier this summer but it could use a tone up. Dianntha

  2. I think I'll get my husband to read this post...


  3. Yummm, we are having grilled steaks tonight. Love Clarice

  4. A messy job, but always sooo nice after its done. Thank you for the 'natural' cleaning recipe!



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