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How To Clean Your Outdoor Grill the Right Way

by Reyna Thomas

Nothing compares to a meal cooked on your grill in your backyard. Although cleaning your grill might not be as enjoyable as cooking on it, regular maintenance is essential for maximizing its longevity and performance. Long-term food residue and carbon buildup in your grill will result in parts breaking down and even rusting, leaving you searching for replacement parts or a new grill entirely.

A dirty grill is also a fire hazard. All that buildup could lead to some bad flare-ups or even full-blown flames. The flavor of the dish won't benefit from a gross, dirty grill either. While we advise cleaning your grill grates after each meal, you should occasionally give the entire grill a thorough cleaning to keep it in good condition. Thats where this guide comes in! Follow these basic steps below for the best way to deep-clean, and maintain your grill properly.


Preventing dirt from accumulating in the first place is one of the secrets to quick cleanup. Regularly cleaning your grill can make the job simpler when the time comes to give it a good scrub. Even if you don't have time to thoroughly clean the grill grates after each cooking session, quickly wiping them down with some crumpled aluminum foil can help remove charred food remnants and make cleanup simpler the following time. You can even use a piece of foil that has already been used; just ball it up so that the grease is on the inside.

Oiling the grill grates prior to cooking on them is another way to keep the grill clean and make cleanup easy. Before heating the grates, rub a thin layer of cooking oil over them to assist stop food from sticking, scorching, and accumulating.

Although you won't get any char, and your food will have a less smokey flavor, you can also cook food in aluminum foil packets on your grill. This way, you’ll have minimal cleanup every time you use the grill

man ready to clean his gas grill

How To a Clean Grill

Now you know how to prevent your grill from needing a deep clean as frequently; here's how to clean your grill when it does need one.

Quick Prep

If your grill is equipped, turn on all burners to high otherwise, light a low to medium fire and close the lid for about 10 to15 minutes. This will help burn off any residual grease or food on the grates. When done, open the lid, and depending on your grill, turn all burners off or snuff the fire, and disconnect the gas if necessary. Then, allow the grill to cool to a moderate temperature of about 250 to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.

man cleaning bbq grills

After, scrub each grate back to front with a grill brush or wadded ball of foil and allow to completely cool off. If you have a charcoal grill, make sure to throw out any leftover coal and scrape away the grime. If your grates need further cleaning, a quick 20 min soak in mild detergent and water should do the trick.

Charcoal Grills

A charcoal grill's cleanup is pretty simple and definitely has fewer steps than a gas grill. As soon as you've done removing the grill grate and any ashes from the ash catcher. Next, apply oven cleaner to the grill's interior and to the grates. While those parts soak in the cleaner, mix some warm water and dish soap, and wipe down the grill's exterior using a rag or paper towel.

Alternatively, you can clean the grill's interior and grill grates with the same soap and water solution. When done, thoroughly rinse the grill with clean water before wiping it all down and drying it.

man washing inside of charcoal grill

Gas Grills

Because you'll be reaching inside the grill to remove any internal components and eventually the burners, you should always disconnect your gas line beforehand. It's also a good idea to double-check that the burners are off just for good measure.

Once the grill grates are cleaned, remove them and lay them aside. You will then have access to the flame tamers, which you need to clean with a stainless steel wire brush. Check the underside after removing each flame tamer to see if any food remains there as well.

After removing your flame tamers, all that should be left are the burners and, if your grill has them, heat baffles. One at a time, clean the burners on your grill by scrubbing the exterior with a grill brush and clearing the gas ports with a paperclip. The heat baffles, if any, also require a thorough scrubbing.

All internal parts of your grill, excluding the drip pan, should have been removed by this stage. Allowing you to use your wire brush to clean the side walls and firebox walls, which need to be maintained to prevent corrosion from rendering the grill useless. Also, check the underside of the hood for carbon buildup and give it a good scrub with a grill brush.

Now that your drip pan is most likely rather full, all you have to do is remove it from the grill and empty the grease and debris in the garbage. Finally, cleaning a grill's outside is probably the simplest step in the procedure. Wiping down the grill body with a damp towel and mild soap can easily remove dust, dirt, and grime, so don't even consider using an abrasive nylon brush. If you have a stainless-steel grill, you can also just use stainless-steel safe wipes.

man wiping down his gas grill

And then you’re done! Reassemble your grill and use a clean towel to dry it off inside and out. Then, reconnect the propane tank, and you can get back to cooking up some of your fave grill recipes!


Now that your outdoor grill is all clean, you have nothing else to do but break out those steaks, burgers, onions, and anything else your friends and family will enjoy. But, if you neglected your grill past the point of no return, it may be time to revamp your outdoor cooking station. And Classic Maytag Home Appliance Center can help with that! We have a great selection for you and a sales team ready to help you create a dream outdoor cooking setup! If you have any questions while you shop online, just give us a call!