the modern gal’s guide to mastering how to clean (& deep clean!) your grill

the modern gal’s guide to mastering how to clean (& deep clean!) your grill this summer. cleaning your grill regularly is, hands down, the most important thing you can do to keep it burning the way it’s designed to. this post will show you how to properly clean your grill after every use, as well as how to deep clean a gas grill at the beginning of the grilling season. the modern gal's guide to mastering how to clean (& deep clean!) your grill this summer. cleaning your grill regularly is, hands down, the most important thing you can do to keep it burning the way it's designed to. this post will show you how to properly clean your grill after every use, as well as how to deep clean a gas grill at the beginning of the grilling season. #playswellwithbutter #grilling #grillingtips #grillingstation #outdoorgrilling #grillingDIY #howtogrill #howtocleangrill #howtocleangrillgrates #grillingforbeginners

plays well with butter is all about helping you find the confidence to really own your spot behind the grill this summer. {learn more about the pwwb let’s grill, girls! series here.}

can i let you in on a little secret?

like…the-most-important-thing-you-can-do-for-easy-&-flavorful-grilling-all-summer-long kind of secret?!

&…the-easiest-way-to-get-the-most-life-out-of-your-(probably expensive?)-grill kind of secret??

here’s the secret: you gotta take care of your grill & keep it clean. 

yep, you read that right: hands down, the most important thing you can do for your grill is to keep your grill properly cleaned.

womp womp, kind of boring, right? i get it. but honestly, there are no sexy secrets here. cleaning your grill is really the most important thing you can do to keep it burning the way it’s designed to, keeping you grilling the way you want to. 

before starting this grilling series, chris & i talked about whether it might be time to replace our weber genesis ii, despite only grilling on it for 4 seasons. it was honestly in pretty rough shape. it looked nothing like the gorgeous, shiny grill we were so proud to buy shortly after we got married. worse yet, its performance was beginning to suffer. the burn was inefficient (we had to light it to its highest heat settings just to get “medium” heat) & inconsistent (the grillable space had reduced to just a couple hot spots). 

the reason our grill was in such rough shape is that we weren’t cleaning & maintaining our grill the way we should have been. the bad news? that’s totally on us – it’s totally preventable, but we were majorly slacking. the good news? regular grill maintenance is super easy & a deep clean is only suggested annually.

how often should a grill be cleaned?

every single time you use it! simply put, cleaning after every use prevents food residue & grease from building up on your grill. 

i get that it may seem a little overboard, but it really couldn’t be easier. all you have to do is: 

  • clean the grill grates (step-by-step rundown below!)
  • cover your grill

we debated whether we needed to buy a grill cover when we got our grill, but it is one of the best investments you can make. a good grill cover will protect your grill from rain (maybe even snow if you’re in minnesota 😉) & will prevent rust & other weather-related wear & tear. this is the grill cover we use for our weber genesis ii, though you should buy a grill cover designed for your specific grill model. {check out the other must-have grilling equipment i suggest having in your grilling set up here!}

how to clean grill grates

keeping grill grates clean is very easy!

each time you fire up your grill…

  1. heat your grill to its highest temperature & let it burn for 5-10 minutes, allowing any residue or debris on the grill grates to burn off.
  2. after burning for 5-10 minutes, brush the grill grates using a wire brush. this is the wire brush we use, though you will want to find one made by the same manufacturer as your grill so you don’t damage your grill’s grates.
  3. bring your grill down to the cooking temp needed for whatever you’re grilling & grill away!
  4. optional: repeat steps 1-2 when you finish cooking on the grill. not necessary, but we find it’s easiest to keep our grill grates clean if we clean them before & after grilling. 

depending on how often you grill, we also suggest using a degreaser or grate cleaner to clean the grill grates every few weeks or once a month. weber has an excellent grate cleaner that we love using. if you don’t have access to grate cleaner, hot soapy water with a squeeze of lemon juice will also do the trick. 

how to deep clean a grill (+ step-by-step video!)

 


there are several major steps in an annual deep clean, which can be broken down by the area of the grill you’ll be focusing on:

  • grill grates
  • grill burners
  • grill bucket
  • exterior

how to deep clean grill grates: 

check the integrity of your grates: if they are beginning to flake away actual metal (not just food debris), or they are rusting through, it is time to replace them. the good news is grill grates are very simple to replace – you just drop new ones on in. 

if they’re just a little dirty, a little grate cleaner & elbow grease should get them back into great shape!

how to deep clean grill burners: 

  • check the integrity of your flavorizer bars (the metal triangle pieces that cover the burners). the same logic from examining the grill grates applies. if the flavorizer bars are rusting through, it is time to replace them. flavorizer bars are also very simple to replace – you just drop new ones in. if they are just a little dirty, a simple scrape with a metal brush should knock the debris off. 
  • examine the burner tubes for any holes or damage. if there are any holes (other than the small pinholes where flames come through), it is time to replace the burner tubes (this is slightly more in-depth & we won’t go into it in this tutorial; check youtube for some great step-by-step videos!).
  • clean the burners: if the burner tubes aren’t showing any damage, use a simple wire brush to scrape the burners clean. be sure to scrape the burners across the pinholes, not along the line of them. if the burners are getting weak & you scrape along the line of the holes you can potentially break the metal & shorten the life of the burners (see video).

if your grill has performance issues & burns unevenly, the cleaning the grill burners should remedy it! for example, our grill was only giving flame in the back half because the front burner holes were plugged by debris. 

how to deep clean a grill bucket: 

with the grates and flavorizer bars removed from the grill, you will likely see burned food remnants, debris & ash in the bottom of the grill. simply use a shop vac to remove all the debris from the bucket of the grill. not only does it remove the debris, this also helps with airflow & will provide more even cooking moving forward.

if you want to, you can also use a degreaser or grate cleaner to clean out the inside of the grill bucket. 

how to deep clean the exterior of a grill: 

  • wipe down the exterior of the grill. we like using weber’s porcelain grill cleaner. again, we always like to purchase cleaning products from the same company that made our grill since they are specifically designed for grills manufactured by the grill company & they are designed to be food safe.
  • treat stainless steel. again, we like to use weber’s stainless steel polish, but you can use any kitchen stainless steel cleaner you like best. 

wrapping up!

with this small amount of maintenance, after each use & annually, your grill should be working like new! 

if this all still feels new to you, i encourage you to head over to this grilling 101 post, where i dive into more details about must-have grilling equipment & how to light your grill. (videos included!)

ready to hit the grill? me too! be sure to check out this post for the 7 marinades you need this grilling season. at our house, a good marinade is at the heart of grilling season, & i’m positive these 7 marinades will be on repeat at your house this summer! be sure to give @playswellwithbutter a follow on instagram– i’ll be teaching you how to grill up some goodness all summer long & i can’t wait for you to join me! 

your turn!: do you have any other grill cleaning tips or tricks you love to use at your house? or, do you have any other questions about how to clean a grill that i can help answer? drop a comment below – i’d love to chat!!!

don’t forget to pin for later!!!

the modern gal's guide to mastering how to clean (& deep clean!) your grill this summer. cleaning your grill regularly is, hands down, the most important thing you can do to keep it burning the way it's designed to. this post will show you how to properly clean your grill after every use, as well as how to deep clean a gas grill at the beginning of the grilling season. #playswellwithbutter #grilling #grillingtips #grillingstation #outdoorgrilling #grillingDIY #howtogrill #howtocleangrill #howtocleangrillgrates #grillingforbeginners

thank you so much for reading & supporting plays well with butter. this post includes affiliate links for products i truly love & use on the reg in my own home. all opinions are always my own! should you make a purchase using one of these links, pwwb with earn a small commission at no extra cost to you, which helps me continue to bring you great original content.  💜💜💜

About jess

i help modern gals turn everyday moments into celebrations with recipes that are just as easy as they are elegant.

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