Discover how to perform the best deep clean on your gas grill to keep it working like new every time. From degreasing burners to seasoning grill grates, here’s how to get grill cleaning right with minimal effort.
Keeping your propane or natural gas grill clean is the best way to keep it running efficiently for years while also ensuring good food hygiene.
Let’s face it – we’ve all been guilty of putting the cleanup off until days, if not weeks, later. After you’ve served your food, the last thing you want to do is to start scrubbing.
However, even regular basic cleans can go a long way to ensuring the longevity of your beloved grill. This could potentially save you significant money in the long term.
From scrubbing the grill grates to clearing the burners, discover how to clean a gas grill to keep it running like new every time.
How Often Should You Clean Your Gas Grill?
You should always clean your gas grill thoroughly at least every six months (more if you are using it a lot). A monthly or bi-monthly deep clean is a good idea if you use your grill every week. Also, if you notice a lot of grime under the grates or the burners aren’t working like they once did, it is a clear sign you should clean it.
If your grill has sat without use for a while (like over the winter), cleaning it before its first use of the season is a good idea.
There is however one rule to always abide by, regardless of use frequency: Always clean the grill grates between uses. Because they come into direct contact with your food, it stands to reason that they need to be clean and ready for each use. You clean plates, pans, and baking trays between uses – your grill grates should be no different.
- Grill Brush
- Sponges and Scouring Pads
- Paper Clips (to clean inside the burner holes)
- Grill Scraper
- Grill Cleaning Solution (or stainless steel cleaner if you have a stainless steel grill)
- Warm Soapy Water
- Tarpaulin or Cover (for any furniture and surfaces you want to protect)
Step-By-Step Deep Clean
Safety first: Before cleaning, ensure you have turned off the supply from your propane tank or natural gas line. You can disconnect it completely if you prefer, and move your grill to a well-ventilated area.
You may also put it on a tarp to stop the cleaner from interacting with the surfaces you’re cleaning on. Also, be prepared to replace the water regularly throughout. It will get dirty.
Disassemble the Grill
Time to take the grill apart. The main structure can remain, but grates, drip trays, and burner assemblies need to be taken off, and you may need to remove anything blocking the way of the burners.
Heat Shields & Flavorizer Bars
Heat shields take a lot of punishment. They are usually situated right in the firing line for grease and other debris from the grill, so cleaning them regularly is a priority before they get too dirty. Always check with your manual to see where your heat shields are, and whether they are removable. This can result in easier cleaning.
To clean the heat shields, use hot soapy water and a scourer, ensuring you remove any grease that has built up or burned on.
If you have a Weber gas grill, you may have flavorizer bars. They function in a similar way, and divert any grease away from the burners, plus they can add a flavor similar to what you would get from a charcoal grill. The bottom line is that flavorizer bars are cleaned in the exact same way.
The burners may be tricky to clean. If you’re lucky, the heat shields will have protected them from too much debris, and if this is the case then wiping with a scourer or sponge and your soapy water will suffice. However, the most important thing (and a common issue) is to check the holes in the burner. If they have anything stuck in them it can be a serious issue and make your grill inconsistent in terms of heat.
You can use a paperclip for this, you just need to unwind it before poking in the blocked holes to clear them. A badly clogged burner might need replacing, but hopefully your paperclip can do the trick.
You will have already taken the drip tray out at the start of the process. When it is time to clean it you will notice that it is not a pleasant job, as there is probably a lot of grease and fat that has hardened onto the tray. Use your metal scraper first to get rid of the most stubborn grease.
Next, we recommend soaking the tray in your hot, soapy water to loosen the grease and begin the cleaning, before thoroughly scrubbing clean with your scourer.
Cleaning your grill’s grates is critical as they make contact with the food you eat and need to be cleaned every time you use them, but a deep clean will be more thorough. Remove your grates and soak them in hot soapy water for a thorough clean.
After soaking, scrub down thoroughly using your hot water solution, either using more liquid dish soap or a specific grill cleaning solution. Run the brush parallel to the grates as you scrub, to prevent the soap and dirt from spraying around.
A proper cleaning brush, built with a grill in mind, will save a lot of time and effort and can be picked up easily online.
If your grates are cast iron rather than stainless steel, ensure you’re careful to avoid rust. To do this, you need to clean cast iron grill grates once the grill has cooled after cooking. Use a vinegar-water solution (not soapy water) to wipe down the grates before using a wire brush to scrape them clean. Wipe with a dry towel before leaving to dry outside naturally before placing the grates back in your grill.
Interior Walls & Surfaces
The walls and surfaces of the grill also need to be cleaned, as grease can splatter on them. Once again, you’ve guessed it, hot soapy water will do the trick for this.
Anything Left in the Bottom
If there is anything at all left in the bottom of the grill in the way of debris, brush it away before giving the bottom of the grill a clean with your water solution. Do this last as the debris from other areas could fall from the grates into the burners or the bottom of the grill.
There’s no harm in giving your grill a spruce up on the outside, too. This helps to keep your grill looking fantastic, but also helps with longevity. Replacing a grill can be expensive so keep yours clean to ensure you reach the maximum lifespan.
Reassemble the Grill
Once you’ve cleaned the grill thoroughly and let the components dry, it is time to reassemble and put all the parts back together, as per the manual given to you by the manufacturer. Run the grill for 10-15 mins to burn away any other residue before you start cooking.
Regular Maintenance Tips
Keep your grill in working order with these easy grill maintenance and care tips.
Oil Grates Regularly
The process of oiling the grates is called seasoning, and it is best done while the grill is still hot. Soak some paper towels in vegetable oil, and use this to rub along the grates. Use your BBQ tools for this, don’t risk your hands.
This stops food from getting stuck to the grates, but it is also a good way to prevent corrosion and keep your grills in good condition for longer.
Check Gas Lines
This is easily done, but crucial for safety. Inspect the lines regularly during grilling season. Put some soapy water on the line (only a small amount) and run gas to the grill. If you get any bubbles, there’s a leak you need to address.
Invest in a Grill Cover
A grill cover prevents foreign objects from making their way in, reducing the impact of any negative weather, and generally protects your grill when it spends a lot of time out of use. If you’ve just spent hours cleaning your grill, you’ll want to protect it for as long as possible before it needs another deep clean. A grill cover is your best protection.