It's just as important to keep your charcoal grill clean and well-maintained as it is a gas grill. Cleaning it out thoroughly at least once during the grilling season — twice if you grill food frequently — helps prevent carbon, ash, and rust buildup. Fortunately, it isn't difficult to clean a charcoal grill, and you can even purchase the supplies you need, such as grill cleaning tools, online. So, to clean and maintain your charcoal grill, follow these steps.
The Beginning of Grilling Season
At the beginning of grilling season, it's important to clean your charcoal grill thoroughly. Remember, even though you'll be using your grill on and off throughout the season, you probably won't spend much time cleaning the grill.
To get your grill ready for the grilling season, you'll need:
- Trash bag
- Grill cleaning tools, such as an ash shovel and steel wool scrubber
- Warm, soapy water
- Dump any ashes in your grill into a trash bag. If you have a large charcoal grill and you can't dump out the ashes, use an ash shovel to scoop any excess ashes into the trash.
- Use warm, soapy water and a washcloth to thoroughly clean the inside and outside of the grill. If you find stubborn stains or stuck-on grease, you can easily remove it using warm, soapy water and a steel-wool scrubber.
- Rinse away the warm, soapy water, and let your grill dry.
Before Each Use
Before you use your grill, you need to clean the grate to remove any stuck-on food particles or debris.
To clean the grate, you'll need:
- Lighter fluid
- Grill brush
- Long-handled tongs
- Paper towels
- Cooking oil
- Place the charcoal in the fire box and light it. Wait for the flames to die down and place the lid on the grill. Let the grill get warm.
- Remove the lid from the grill.
- Use your grill brush to brush the grate, removing any stuck-on food particles and debris.
- Fold a paper towel in half, and pick it up with your long-handled tongs.
- Dip the paper towel in the cooking oil, and lightly rub the oil on the grate. You don't want the oil to drip on the coals, so use as little oil as possible. Oiling the grate helps prevent food from sticking to it as you cook.
The End of Grilling Season
There isn't much you need to do at the end of grilling season to maintain your grill. All you need to do is remove the ashes from the ash catcher, wipe down the outside of the grill, and cover it. You can clean the grate off at the end of the season if you want, but that's completely up to you. You'll be cleaning the grate before you use the grill again anyways.
Cleaning and maintaining a charcoal grill isn't hard. Once you have the right grill cleaning tools and supplies, the job itself is simple. For more information, contact Grillbots LLC or a similar company.