How To Properly Clean A Grill

The festive yet casual culture of grilling is something that millions of people look forward to every year when the weather warms up and gives way to a more outdoor-focused lifestyle. If you've ever attended a backyard party or a summertime soirée, you've undoubtedly felt the good vibes that come with cooking virtually anything over an open fire.

Known as one of the healthiest cooking methods, grilling has earned its feel-good reputation in more ways than one (via Better Health). In addition to being the official cooking method of a good time, grilling is also a nearly universal tradition shared and practiced by many cultures all over the world. According to the Food Network, the origins of grilling our food began shortly after the advent of fire — that is, a half-million years ago. Basically, the history of the grill is the history of man. Even cavemen knew the secret to a perfectly grilled steak or grilled mushroom.

Properly maintaining your grill is important

Grilling is a culture unto itself, but there is more that goes into this practice than you may think. The art of grilling is something that can be deeply personal and cultural. According to Kitchen Stories, signature grilled meals differ greatly all over the world. In the middle east, you'll find kabobs; in Mexico, barbacoa. In the United States, one of the favorites is old-fashioned ribs.

Regardless of why you feel drawn toward the BBQ, it's best to make sure that you have the basics of safety and maintenance down first. According to the National Fire Protection Association, there are more than 10,000 grill-related home fires in the United States each year. Grilling can cause a buildup of highly flammable grease and oil in the grill itself, leading to unsafe conditions. To avoid this potentially dangerous situation, learning how to properly clean and maintain the grill is necessary.

Cleaning your grill is a multistep process

A happy grill is a clean grill — plus, it is also safer and works more efficiently. First, start by acquiring the right tools for the job. According to Popular Mechanics, you'll need some grease-removing dish soap and a wire brush. A positive attitude couldn't hurt either. If your grill is in need of a deeper cleaning, consider finding something metal to function as a scraper — think a baker's bench scrape or a long-handled barbecue spatula, rubber gloves may also be useful here.

Next, if necessary, remove the grates and use the bench scrape or spatula to remove any thick buildup. Once the larger debris has been removed, return the grates and turn your grill on to full temperature and burn off any remaining residue, let heat for 30 minutes, and then cool completely. Lastly, do not forget to replace the liner in your grease tray.