Cleaning and Maintaining Your Outdoor Grille

grill_cleaningMany of us have long maintained the practice of grilling ‘round the calendar, but whether you are a four-season addict or merely a fair-weather practitioner, cleaning and maintenance of your outdoor grille is something that needs to be done on a regular basis, for reasons of health, appearance and efficiency.  Whether you buy a ready-made grille or griddle cleaning kit or improvise with your own tools, here are some tips to keep your grille happy, healthy and clean.  And while the specifics of how to go about the process may vary from unit to unit; these guidelines apply to all popular grilles, such as Twin Eagles, Lynx and Fire Magic.

First off, while some parts of the cleaning process may be done periodically, but regularly, you will want to clean the grate after every usage.  It is important to remove the residue from your food before bacteria growth becomes rampant.  I know we all like to remember a outstanding meal, but if you’ve just enjoyed a wonderful grilled steak dinner, and want to preserve the memory, take a picture, rather than leaving behind bits of “memorabilia.”  There are numerous grille cleaning sprays, etc. out there which do a good job, many of them environmentally friendly.  You may scrub the grates with a grille brush, or use a trick that many are now using.  Place an onion at the end of a barbecue prong and scrub the surface with this.  Or, if you don’t like the smell of an onion (shame on you); a good alternative is to use an apple.  Cleaning the grate not only protects your health, but the grate will be clean to produce those wonderful score marks that enhance the appearance of your food.  And, it will help prevent your grate from rusting.  If your outdoor grille has grille grates that have porcelain, you will want to preheat your grille to high, and brush the grate with a stiff wire brush.  The next time you use your grille, apply oil to the grate.   In the process of spreading the oil with a stiff material, you will also give that grate a second wipe-down.

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