How to Clean Your Propane Grill the Right Way
Grilling season is upon us, but before you light up your grill, you need to do a little spring cleaning to ensure your food comes out tasting as well as it can. Since most grills sit unused for months on end, now is the time to thoroughly clean your propane grill so it will cook smoothly all season long.
Why Should You Clean Your Propane Grill?
Simply put, cleaning your grill keeps it working properly and extends the life of your grill. Bacteria, grease and grime build up over time. It’s important to keep your grill clean to prevent these things from entering the food you cook, as well.
The Supplies You Need to Clean your Grill
First, you need to gather the right cleaning supplies. A thorough cleaning of your grill requires:
- a grill brush
- a bucket of warm soapy water (dish soap is best)
- a soft cloth
- the appropriate cleaner for the exterior of your grill
- paper towels
- aluminum foil
- dishwashing gloves.
Once you have all of your cleaning supplies, it’s time to get to it!
Preheating Your Grill
Before you start cleaning, preheat your grill for 10-15 minutes. This helps old, dried-on food and debris burn off before you start scrubbing. After the grill is preheated, turn it off, disconnect the propane line, and let it cool to a warm, but not hot temperature. You want to make sure you can comfortably touch the surfaces of your grill without burning yourself before you begin cleaning.
Cleaning the Inside of Your Propane Grill
Now that your grill has cooled to a warm temperature, its time to start the real work. First you must make sure all the dials are in the off position. Next, put on your gloves to protect your hands from the grease and grime. Using your grill brush, scrub the grates. Then remove them from the grill and place them in a bucket filled with warm, soapy water. While the grates soak, scrub the metal plates with your grill brush, and add them to the bucket for a bit.
Next, it’s time to clean the inside of the grill hood. Place a sheet of aluminum foil over the heating elements to catch any dirt or debris that will fall down during cleaning. Scrub the inside of the grill hood and the area above the heating elements. Wipe those areas down with a paper towel, and then remove the foil and put it in the trash. You can then scrub the heating elements gently with the grill brush.
Now, check the drip pan. It’s either time to clean it or replace it. If it looks too worn (most only last six months depending on how often you grill), simply throw it away and replace it with a new one. If it’s still in usable condition, scrub it with the grill brush before adding it to the bucket to soak.
That bucket is quite full now, so it’s time to remove the grates and plates and clean them with the grill brush, too. After a thorough scrubbing, rinse them off with clean water and put them back in the grill in their appropriate places. You then can scrub the drip pan one more time, rinse it off, and put that back in the grill as well.
Cleaning the Outside of Your Propane Grill
Now that the inside is clean, it’s time to focus on the exterior of your grill. Depending on the material from which your grill is made, you either need to use more warm, soapy water or a stainless steel cleaner (note: stainless steel cleaner needs only to be used on stainless steel grills. For all other grills, just use warm, soapy water). Simply wipe down your grill using the appropriate cleaner and a soft cloth.
Now that your grill is reassembled and sparkling clean, you can reconnect the propane line. At last, your grill is ready to use! But before you grill, here are some general maintenance tips:
- You may want to oil the grates to prevent food from sticking so easily. Vegetable oil works just fine.
- Use your grill brush to scrub the grates after every time you grill, while the grill is still slightly warm, to prevent food build-up.
- Use a grill cover to protect your grill and keep the exterior clean in between uses.
Ready, set, grill! Let the outdoor cooking season begin in a cleaner and tastier way now your propane grill is ready to go!
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