How to Clean Your Grill: General Grill Maintenance + How to Deep Clean A Grill

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Cleaning your grill is, hands down, the most important thing you can do to keep it burning the way it's designed to. This post will walk you through how to properly clean your grill before & after every use, plus how to deep clean a gas grill at the beginning of each grilling season, with step-by-step instructions & a video. Once you get into the habit of cleaning grill grates & deep cleaning your grill a couple of times a season, your grill will thank you!
Weber Genesis II gas grill shown on deck. In the background, a blossoming tree and a house with beige siding.

Cleaning your grill is, hands down, the most important thing you can do to keep it burning the way it’s designed to. This post will walk you through how to properly clean your grill before & after every use, plus how to deep clean a gas grill at the beginning of each grilling season, with step-by-step instructions & a video. Once you get into the habit of cleaning grill grates & deep cleaning your grill a couple of times a season, your grill will thank you!

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In case you missed it!: How to Clean Your Grill is part of Grilling 101 in the Plays Well With Butter Annual Grilling Series, a free content series dedicated to helping you find the confidence to really own your spot behind the grill this summer. Learn more about our 3rd Annual Grilling series or sign up below to get our best grilling tips straight to your inbox!

The most important thing you can do for your grill? Clean it!

If I can let you in on my #1 grilling season secret, it’s this: hands down, the most important thing you can do for your grill is to keep it properly cleaned. Pretty simple, right? Keeping your grill well-cleaned throughout the grilling season will keep it burning the way it’s designed to, meaning you can keep grilling the way you want to!

Before launching the first-ever PWWB Annual Grilling Series back in 2019, Chris & I thought be time to replace our beloved Weber Genesis II. At that point, we had only grilled with it for 4 seasons but it was 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 achieve “medium” heat) & inconsistent (the grillable space had reduced to just a couple hot spots). 

After a hefty deep clean we realized the reason our grill was in such rough shape wasn’t because of its quality or its age – it was because we weren’t cleaning & maintaining our grill the way we should have been all along. The bad news? That was totally on us – the poor condition of our grill was totally preventable but we were majorly slacking. The good news? Regular grill maintenance is super easy & a deep clean is only suggested annually, & we’re here to help walk you through both!

Your Comprehensive Guide to Grill Cleaning – Let’s Get Started!

Consider this post your go-to guide for cleaning & deep cleaning your grill. You’ll learn (click for shortcuts!)…

Weber Genesis II gas grill shown on deck. In the background, a blossoming tree and a house with beige siding.

How Often Should You Clean Your Grill?

Simply put – every single time you use it! A quick, general cleaning after every use prevents food residue & grease from building up on your grill. While it may seem a little overboard to clean after every single use, it really couldn’t be easier.

In addition to general maintenance, you should also deep clean your grill at least once a year. Deep cleaning gives each component of your grill a little extra love & care to ensure your grill is in tip-top shape for seasons to come.

Walking you through the exact how-to for both general grill maintenance & deep cleaning a grill below!

General Grill Maintenance for Each Use

Cleaning grill grates is the easiest & most important thing you can do to ensure your grill performs as intended. Because when grill grates come into direct contact with your food, you want to be sure you are cleaning grill grates regularly. Not only will this help prevent your food from sticking to them as you grill, but it’ll also prevent rusting.

To properly clean your grill, follow these simple 5 steps each time you fire it up…

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Weber Genesis II gas grill shown on deck. In the background, a blossoming tree and a house with beige siding.

How to Clean Your Grill: General Grill Maintenance


Description

Cleaning grill grates is the easiest & most important thing you can do to ensure your grill performs as intended. Because when grill grates come into direct contact with your food, you want to be sure you are cleaning grill grates regularly. Not only will this help prevent your food from sticking to them as you grill, but it’ll also prevent rusting.


Instructions

To properly clean your grill, follow these simple 5 steps each time you fire it up:

  1. Heat the 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. Brush the grill grates: After burning at high heat 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 the grill down to cooking temp for whatever you’re grilling. Here are our favorite grilling recipes!
  4. Repeat Steps 1-2: When you finish cooking on the grill, repeat Steps 1-2, heating the grill to its highest temperature for 5-10 minutes, then brushing the grill grates. Shut off the grill & allow to cool completely.
  5. Cover your grill. A grill cover is one of the best investments you can make when purchasing a grill. A good grill cover will protect your grill, preventing rust or 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 to ensure proper fit & protection. {Check out the other must-have grilling equipment for your grilling set-up!}



Notes

  • Depending on how often you grill, we suggest also using a degreaser or grate cleaner for cleaning grill grates every few weeks, or at least once a month. Weber has an excellent grate cleaner that we love. If you don’t have access to grate cleaner, hot soapy water with a squeeze of lemon juice will do the trick!

Keywords: how to clean a grill, how to clean grill grates, general grill maintenance

How to Deep Clean a Gas Grill – Step-by-Step Tutorial with Video

In addition to general maintenance, you should dedicate time to deep cleaning your grill at least once a year. Deep cleaning gives each component of your grill a little extra love & care to ensure your grill is in tip-top shape for seasons to come.

To properly deep clean your grill, focus on these 4 key areas once a grilling season…

Print
clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
Weber Genesis II gas grill shown on deck. In the background, a blossoming tree and a house with beige siding.

How to Deep Clean a Gas Grill


Description

Aim to deep clean your grill at least once a year. Deep cleaning gives each component of your grill a little extra love & care to ensure your grill is in tip-top shape for seasons to come.

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:

  1. Grill Grates
  2. Grill Burners
  3. Grill Bucket
  4. Exterior


Instructions

  1. Deep Cleaning Grill Grates: First, check the integrity of your grates. If they’re a little dirty, a little grate cleaner & elbow grease should get them back into great shape! If the grill grates are beginning to flake away actual metal (not just food debris), or if they are rusting through, it is, unfortunately, time to replace them. The good news is grill grates are very simple to replace (you just drop new ones on in!) & replacing grill grates is a heck of a lot more affordable than replacing an entire grill. If needed, order replacement grates directly through your grill’s manufacturer.
  2. Deep Cleaning Gas Grill Burners: If your gas grill burns unevenly, the culprit may be food debris. The good news? Cleaning the burners should fix it! Here’s what you’ll do…
    1. Check the integrity of the flavorizer bars. Flavorizer bars are the metal triangle pieces that cover the burners on a gas grill. The same logic from examining the grill grates applies. If they are just a little dirty, a simple scrape with a metal brush should knock any debris right off. If the flavorizer bars are rusting through, it is time to replace them. Order replacement flavorizer bars, as needed, directly through your grill’s manufacturer. Flavorizer bars are also very simple to replace – you simply drop new ones in.
    2. Cleaning gas grill burners: First, 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! 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).
  3. Deep Cleaning a Grill Bucket: With the grates and flavorizer bars removed from the grill, you will likely see burned food remnants, debris & ash that have collected in the bottom of the grill. Use a shop vac to remove all the debris from the grill bucket. Not only will this remove the debris, but it also helps with airflow, providing a more even cook moving forward. If desired, use a degreaser or grate cleaner to clean out the inside of the grill bucket.
  4. Deep Cleaning the Exterior of a Grill: 
    1. Wipe down the exterior: We doing so using Weber’s porcelain exterior grill cleaner. Again, we always suggest purchasing cleaning products from your grill’s manufacturer, since they are likely specifically designed for use on their grills.
    2. 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.


Keywords: how to clean a grill, , how to deep clean a grill, deep cleaning a grill

Ready to Hit the Grill?

If this all still feels new to you, I encourage you to head over to Grilling 101, a compilation of tips & tricks for all of the grilling basics – everything from how to light your grill to how to clean your grill.

All this talk about grilling have you feelin’ ready to hit the grill? Me too! Be sure to check out this post for my 15 go-to marinades you need this grilling season. At our house, a good marinade is at the heart of grilling season. I’m positive these marinades will be on repeat at your house this summer! For even more grilled goodness, be sure to check out all of our Grilling & Smoking recipes.

& lastly! Be sure to give @playswellwithbutter a follow on Instagram – I’ll be teaching you how to grill up some goodness all summer long, & we have so much fun on Instagram!

Want more grilling tips & recipes?

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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 will earn a small commission at no extra cost to you, which helps me continue to bring you great original & free content.

Hi there, I'm Jess!

If there’s 1 thing to know about me, it’s this: I am head-over-heels in love with food. I’m on a mission to make weeknight cooking flavorful, fast, & fun for other foodies, & PWWB is where I share foolproof recipes that deliver major flavor with minimal effort. Other true loves: pretty shoes, puppies, Grey’s Anatomy, & my cozy kitchen in Minneapolis, MN.

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Comments

  1. 7.15.19

    This is a fabulous video. We just purchased a new napolean grill this year as our other one caught everything on fire lol. But now watching this, we probably could have just cleaned the old one way better. Ill be taking much better care of my new grill! Looking forward to checking out the rest of your grilling posts as I need to learn how to grill so that everything doesn’t come out burnt on the outside and juicy on the inside! Ha!

    • 1.27.21
      Erin @ Plays Well With Butter said:

      Julie, so happy to hear that you found the video helpful! Giving your grill a deep clean each year will definitely help extend it’s life, Happy Grilling!