Simple Steps To Cleaning a Charcoal Grill

In Grill Maintenance by marketninjas

When I was considering the purchase of a charcoal grill for my backyard BBQ party plans, I wondered how I could keep it for a long time after this one event. So, I did some research to pull together some simple steps for cleaning a charcoal grill.

What are the simple steps to cleaning a charcoal grill? In short, you can clean a charcoal grill with just a few supplies, including a grill cleaning brush, aluminum foil, and some plastic bags. All you will need to do in order to actually clean the grill is use your brush to scrub off all of the residue and additional debris.

Use the plastic bags to collect all of the additional substances to extract them from the grill, and use an additional bag over your hand as a glove. The aluminum foil can be balled up to use as another scrubber to catch all of the smaller stuck-on materials. You should check and clean every area of your grill from top to bottom in doing this.

Charcoal grills are a very popular option among grill owners and people who love to host backyard BBQ parties. They are easy to use and provide the exact result that is expected at these types of outings.

If you already have a charcoal grill in your yard or you are planning to purchase one, it is vital that you keep up with the maintenance to ensure that you will be able to use it for years down the line. In this article, we will break down the simple steps for exactly how you can clean your charcoal grill.

Simple Steps To Cleaning a Charcoal Grill

Charcoal grills can be used for a variety of purposes from cooking up ribs for a neighborhood BBQ in your back yard, or smoking a few fillets of salmon for an easy and delicious weeknight dinner.

Using a charcoal grill is relatively simple, and only requires a few minimal steps to come out with the perfect result. The same concept goes for cleaning this type of equipment, as well.

Cleaning your charcoal grill is just as important as following through with the correct steps to use it properly. The lists down below will walk you through how you can do this step-by-step, with many more details to follow throughout the rest of this section.

Here is what you will need:

  • A grill brush or similar cleaning brush (with coarse bristles)
  • Aluminum foil
  • Paper/plastic bags
  • Bristle brush or putty knife

To begin this tutorial, we will be going over everything that you will need to get started. First and most importantly, you will need a grill brush or some kind of similar cleaning brush for the actual task of scrubbing the grates and getting rid of residue.

If you do not have a designated grill cleaning brush, don’t worry. Just try to find something equally as functional that has coarse enough bristles to really give your grill a good clean. Ideally it will have some kind of handle that you will be able to hold onto in order to do the hard scrubbing that will be required.

Next, you will need some aluminum foil. Depending on how dirty your grill is at the time you are cleaning it and the size fo the grates, you might just need to bring the whole roll with you. This will be explained later on in this section.

Additionally, you will need some paper or plastic bags, whichever ones you have immediate access to. This will really be for waste, and can double as a glove for your hand if you don’t have any.

Finally, you will need an extra bristle brush or a putty knife to help you get off all of the tough residue that might not be targeted by the brush alone.

Simple Steps To Cleaning a Charcoal Grill:

  1. Get all of your cleaning supplies together
  2. Remove the grill grate if possible, and clean both the grill grate and charcoal grate with the cleaning brush.
  3. Ball up the aluminum foil and scrub the grate to get any additional residue
  4. Clean the bottom of the grill along with the lid for any debris
  5. Use the plastic/paper bags for disposal and a cover for your hand to grab out the additional materials
  6. Reassemble your grill and you will be done

When you are ready to clean your grill, you will start by getting all of your cleaning supplies together, which were laid out in the previous list. You can remove the grill grate if possible to make it easier to clean everything thoroughly, but this is not required if you can’t.

Whether you remove the grate or not, you will proceed by cleaning both the grill grate and the charcoal grate, using your cleaning brush. This should be done with firm back and forth motions, applying pressure to the grates directly with the bristles.

Next, you will need to use the aluminum foil in order to get into the smaller places with a little bit more of a traction. Do this by balling up the foil into something that can fit into your hand and use it to scrub the grate to get any additional residue off.

This should be used just like you would use a sponge, and will help you to scratch the grates with any burnt food or materials flaking off toward the bottom.

Clean the bottom of the grill along with the lid for any debris. When you are cleaning your grill, you shouldn’t neglect any area of it, even though you don’t necessarily use it to cook.

Use the plastic or paper bags for disposal of the debris that falls from the grates and the inside of the grill. This includes everything that you have scraped off with the brush as well as your extra grill brush or putty knife.

If you don’t have gloves with you and you want to keep your hands clean during this task, take one of the bags and use it as a glove to scoop it into the other bag. When you are done with this, you will assemble your grill back into place.

Barbecuing with propane is an easy-to-learn process that can get your grilling your food in no time.  Propane grills can be much cleaner than charcoal grills however some people prefer the taste of meat grilled over charcoal to that of propane.  Nothing beats the simplicity of using a propane grill however and if you want a delicious grilled steak and you’ve only got 20 minutes to prepare than propane is definitely for you.

When shopping for a propane grill online it’s important to take the time to look at the customer reviews.  We’ve gone through and selected the best options for propane barbecues so you don’t have to.  

Once you have your grill, select the right meat for your dinner and add your delicious sides and after opening the value, lighting the grill and letting it warm up just long enough you’ll be on our way to a delicious meal in no time!

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How To Maintain a Charcoal Grill

Along with just cleaning your charcoal grill when you are done using it, you will need to take some additional steps in order to maintain it and make sure that everything is working properly.

Having a sparkling clean grill is one thing, but one that doesn’t work for the purpose that you need it to will not have much use.

In this section, we will be going over some easy ways that you can make sure your charcoal grill is well-maintained, along with spotless and cleaned. Take a look at the list down below to get some insight on this process.

How To Maintain a Charcoal Grill:

  • Come up with a regular cleaning schedule and follow through with it (ex. Before or after each grilling session)
  • Frequently check the parts and components of your grill to detect any needed repairs
  • Replace parts as needed
  • Make sure the ash catcher is empty before and after each use
  • Clean the grill grates before you grill
  • Use oil on hot grill grates before you grill (to prevent sticking and messes for later)

The first step of your charcoal grill maintenance routine is to come up with a regular cleaning schedule and follow through with it. This can be anything from before using it, after you are done, or a few times a week.

Frequently check the parts and components of your grill to detect any needed repairs between uses and as it is sitting in your yard. Replace parts as needed to keep everything in good condition.

Before and after using, you should make sure that the ash catcher is empty. This will help you to maintain the quality of your grill and make it easier to keep it clean.

Clean off the grill grates before you grill. This doesn’t have to include the entire deep cleaning routine as discussed in the previous section, but they should be briefly wipes off.

Using oil on hot grill grates before you grill will help you to avoid sticking food and messes that you will have to clean up later on.

Why Is It Important To Clean and Maintain a Charcoal Grill?

After reading all about cleaning and maintaining a charcoal grill, you might be wondering why any of this is important to follow through with.

The significance of a clean and well-maintained charcoal grill will be outlined in this section, with more details to follow the quick list down below.

Here are some reasons why it is important to clean and maintain a charcoal grill:

  • To avoid carbon buildup on the grates
    Cleaning up residue of old food and germs
  • Getting rid of the bacteria that can be sitting on the grill or come in contact with the grates while outside/in storage
  • Extending the overall lifetime of your grill
  • Avoiding repairs and replacement parts too soon

It is important to clean and maintain a charcoal grill to avoid carbon buildup on the grates. This can be unsafe when you are preparing food on the surface with other materials left on it.

Similarly, you will need to clean up the residue of old food and germs, as well as get rid of the bacteria that can be sitting on the grill or come in contact with the grill while it is not in use. If you are using an outdoor grill somewhere in a park or public area, there is a risk that animals and birds could have been on the grates with no trace.

Cleaning and maintenance is vital in extending the overall lifetime of your grill in general. It will help you to avoid repairs and replacement parts too soon, and will ultimately allow you to keep your equipment for many years after your initial purchase.

As you can see, cleaning your charcoal grill can be done in just a few simple steps. While it is true that these types of grills can get messy fast, you have the ability to maintain it properly and prevent build up before it becomes too severe.

With the helpful steps and tips that were offered in this article, you will be on your way to cleaning your charcoal grill until it is sparkling clean, while also maintaining the quality at the same time.

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