Well-Done Grill Prep: Itâ€™s All About the Tools
Your grill is coming out of hibernation. And like any cranky beast, it has to be handled carefully. Sure, itâ€™s tempting to give it all a quick swipe with paper towels. The heat will burn stuff off anyway, right? Not so.
Giving your gas grill a thorough cleaning with the proper tools will help it cook more efficiently and make those steaks and burgers taste better.
Gloves for You
Protect your hands with rubber gloves. Youâ€™ve got scrubbing, brushing and scraping to do. Ordinary kitchen gloves work just fine â€“ you donâ€™t want to use your grilling gloves. Keep those away from cleaning solutions.
Stainless Steel Cleaner and Soft Washcloths
Stainless steel looks nice and shiny but it requires extra care. Beware, it scratches easily. Use a stainless-steel cleaner and a terry or microfiber cloth to clean the outside of the grill base and the outside of the lid. Rub with the grain, not against it. Clean the inside of the lid with warm water, so thereâ€™s no cleaner residue over the cooking surface. Avoid paper towels. They may look flimsy, but they can scratch a steel finish.
A Good Grill Brush or Two
You should have both a long-handled brush and a small brush to get into hard-to-reach places. Use a stainless steel brush on stainless steel grates and a nylon or brass brush on porcelain-coated cast iron or porcelain-coated steel grates. Remove the grate and give it a vigorous brushing, then rinse with water. If the grate is particularly grubby, try this vinegar and baking soda trick.
Garbage Bag, Vinegar and Baking Soda
For deep cleaning, place the grate in a heavy duty garbage bag. Add a mixture of 2 cups vinegar and 1 cup baking soda, tie it up and let soak overnight. Take it out, give it a good brushing again and rinse thoroughly with water.
Paint Scraper for Trays
Remove any drip trays from the bottom of the grill and scrub them clean. A paint scraper works well on any stubborn burned-on â€śdrips.â€ť Rinse well. Depending on your grill style, you may be able to line these with aluminum foil to save you work next time.
Garden Hose and Fresh Air
Remember the grill cover. Why put a winter-weary cover over a clean grill? Turn a plastic cover inside out and give it a good spray with the garden hose â€“ let dry in the sun.
Speaking of hoses, do check that your propane tank and hose are both clean and in good order, with no holes or loose connections.
There you go â€“ your grill prep is extremely well done!