Most barbecue enthusiasts would agree: the perfect sear is the holy grail of grilled meat. If your meat isn’t searing properly, you can likely blame carbonized grease buildup on and under your grates (read: you haven’t cleaned your grill in awhile). The following cleaning process is involved, and you’ll need to do it once a year, but it’s well worth it and promises a grilling season worthy of the effort.
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You’ll need a long-handled brush (avoid wire because the bristles can get lodged in the grates and end up in food), a large container for soaking components filled with hot water, heavy duty degreaser (dish soap can work too), rubber gloves, a wet/dry vac, and a sponge. In some cases, a steam cleaner can make light of the job.
Brush grates and remove them from the grill, soak in large container with hot water and soap or degreaser. Leave them to soak for at least 30 minutes to loosen gunk.
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While soaking, use Shop-Vac to vacuum out crusty bits from the inside of the barbecue.
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Empty the grease trap – it’s the small container under the grill that collects all the grease drippings. This gets messy so be careful. You might consider laying newspaper down on the ground in your work area before doing this to catch any spills.
Use the steam cleaner to blast out greasy areas on the barbecue’s interior walls and wipe clean (you can do this with the grease trap, too). You can scrub this area with a sponge, but I find steam much more effective. Wipe clean with old rags or paper towel.
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Wearing gloves, clean grates in bucket filled with hot water and degreaser, using a sponge. Consider steam-cleaning or scrubbing with a long-handled brush if stubborn.
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Clean the outside of the barbecue with the sponge that’s dipped in hot soapy water; make sure to wear your gloves! You may need a couple of sponges as the sponge will become quite dirty. A steam cleaner can help to blast off greasy build up, too. Wipe clean with an old rag or paper towels.
Rinse and dry, replace. Grill and enjoy!
Photography by Constance Mariena.
This story appeared in the Spring/Summer 2019 issue of The Inspired Home Journal, titled “Get Rid of the Grime.”