Grilling 101: Cleaning a Gas Grill

Keep your gas grill functioning at its best with a little loving care! Cleaning a gas grill is important not only for sanitary reasons, but it helps to keep the components of your grill working properly. Knowing what products to use and how to do so, will protect and preserve your grill for years of use.

Products and Tools for Cleaning a Gas Grill

The first thing you need when cleaning a gas grill is a good cleaner. But, when it comes to cleansers and grills, stay away from harsh chemicals. There are two reasons for this. First, this is a cooking surface! Therefore, harsh cleansers must be removed completely from the grill. You should never spray a hose inside the grill, so it is difficult to clean out the cleanser residue entirely. Second, the hard cleansers may damage the surface of the grill.

A bottle of Traeger All Natural cleaner

We recommend using Traeger Cleaner for all grill and smoker cleaning. Made from plant-based materials, this cleanser is non-toxic, non-flammable, biodegradable, and food safe. It works best when sprayed on the surface, left to sit for five minutes, then wiped with a wet rag. It works wonders on the inside and outside of your grill and you can rest assured knowing it is safe for you and the grill.

When it comes to tools for cleaning a gas grill, stay away from abrasive scrubbers and metal scrapers. These tools can remove finishes on the inside and outside of the grill, leaving it susceptible to rust and corrosion. The only exception is stainless steel grill grates. This surface can handle cleansers (like our fav: Bar Keeper’s Friend) and scouring pads. But stay away from aggressive cleaners on all painted/coated surfaces.

A plastic spatula is used to clean the grill grates

We love this plastic spreader for reaching small spaces. And this sturdy spatula works wonders on large surfaces. This grill brush is the best for grill grates. The tightly wound steel fibers remove stubborn food residue from the top and the side of the grates. This brush (available with a short or long handle) will be your trusty companion for every grilled meal.

A grill brush in use

Every Use Clean

Keep your gas grill ready to use by cleaning your grill grates every time you use the grill. It is easiest to clean the grill grates while the grill is hot.

Grill brush is scrubbing the gas grill grates

So, your best bet for keeping those grates clean is to clean them after each use. Remove your food and scrub clean with a grill brush. If you forget to clean the grill, which we often do, preheat your grill for 15 minutes, then scrub clean.

Quick Clean

Grills can quickly become fire hazards without the proper maintenance and care. Leftover food debris in your cook box can catch fire. So, they need to be cleaned out every month or so, depending on how often the grill is used.

Weber grills have a removable bottom that easily slides out of the grill. The first step to quick cleaning is to remove this tray and scrape the food into the garbage can.

The Weber grill cook box is being removed.

Next, grab the grease pan and empty it into the garbage can. If a pan liner was used, this step can be completed in just a few seconds. If not, scrape clean and wash in the sink in warm, soapy water.

The gas grill drip tray being cleaned.

These few steps require just a few extra minutes, but they will sufficiently prevent dangerous flare-ups in a gas grill.

Deep Clean Your Gas Grill

Once or twice a year, the interior of a gas grill should be thoroughly cleaned. This process requires more effort, but it can be accomplished in an hour or so.

Start and the top of the grill and work down, moving burnt food and debris down as you go.

Lid: Over time, grease and smoke vapors slowly change into carbon and form deposits on the inside of your lid. These deposits will eventually peel, looking like peeling paint. These deposits are non-toxic, but the flakes could fall onto your food if you do not clean the lid regularly. To clean the lid, brush or scrape the carbonized grease to remove. Further clean with a spritz of Traeger Cleaner, followed by a thorough wiping with a wet rag.

Cooking Grates: Clean your grill grates every time you use your grill to prevent excessive build-up. To further clean stainless steel grates, use Bar Keepers Friend and a scouring pad to shine the steel. Porcelain-coated steel grates should only be cleaned with warm, soapy water and a soft rag.

Inner Pieces: Remove the pieces of the grill that can be removed. For most Weber grill models, this is the Flavorizer Bars and the heat deflectors. Clean them off with a plastic scraper. These pieces can rust, due to exposure to high heat and food drippings. They don’t need to be replaced unless they have holes and cracks in them.

Heat Source: The burner tubes are the key to optimum performance. The portholes along the tubes should be cleaned with a clean wire brush or toothbrush. Never use a brush that has been used to clean the cooking grates, as this can transfer grease from the grates onto the burners.

A grill brush is cleaning the grill burner tube.

Cookbox: Look inside the cookbox for any grease or food accumulation. This can cause flare-ups. Use a plastic scraper to scrape debris off the sides and bottom into the opening at the bottom, if there is one. If there is no opening, use a shop vac to remove the debris.

Grease Tray: Remove the slide-out grease pan by pulling the tray out from underneath the cookbox. Discard disposable drip pan if necessary. If a disposable drip pan is not used, scrape grease out and wash with warm soapy water.

Outside: Spray grill with Traeger Cleaner and wipe with a wet rag.

Be Safe When Cleaning a Gas Grill:

  • Never clean grill interior while warm. Let cool completely before cleaning.
  • Stay away from harsh chemicals and cleansers.
  • Don’t use metal scrapers or abrasive scrubbers.
  • Never spray a hose inside the grill.

Want info on how to clean a pellet grill? Check out our post here.

Shop grills and accessories at GYGI.COM.

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