How to Clean an Outdoor Grill

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Cooking outside on the grill is a great summer-time activity that many people enjoy. When the weather cooperates, cooking out (or having a barbecue) can be done several times each week. There is just something about grilling food that makes it taste better. Whether you are a fan of charcoal grills for their sense of tradition and distinct flavor, or you prefer gas grills for their ease of use and quick start-up time, there is one thing in common you both must deal with at some point or another: cleaning the grill. After using your grill several times, it is often not enough to just scrape it with a hard wire brush. There are many store brand cleaners that can aid you with the task of cleaning the grill, but most of these contain toxic chemicals that you don't want anywhere near your food, your skin, your eyes, or your lungs. There is an easy way to clean your grill using baking soda, and this will save you money, as well as helping you to avoid the harsh store bought cleaners.

Things You'll Need

  • Baking soda
  • Wire brush
  • Water
  • Dry cloth
  • Measuring cup
  • Measuring spoon
  • Measure 1/4 cup of water in a measuring cup, and set it aside.

  • Pour 1/4 cup of baking soda (use a measuring spoon) into the water.

  • Stir the baking soda and water until the consistency is a thick paste. You don't want the paste to be too thin, otherwise it will not adhere well to the grill. If you need to, add more baking soda to thicken the paste to the desired level.

  • Remove the grill covers and prop them up against a wall.

  • Apply the paste to the grill covers with a wire brush. Make sure you concentrate more on the upside where all the food particle gunk is located. The underside should be much cleaner from the flames burning so closely to it.

  • Allow the paste to dry for 15 minutes.

  • Wipe the grill covers off with a clean, dry cloth, and then place the covers back onto the grill.

  • Ignite the grill and allow it to burn hot for at least 15 minutes before adding any food. This will ensure that the flames burn off any residue from the baking soda paste.

Tips & Warnings

  • If your grill covers are too heavy to move, you can scrub them with the paste right on the grill, just make sure you wipe off as much of the paste as you can. Also, try not to let the paste drip down into the gas/charcoal chamber.
  • If you are using a charcoal grill, you can light the charcoal while the grill covers are removed, this will ensure that the coals will be hot enough to burn off the paste residue quickly. Just watch your fingers while placing the grill covers back on!
  • Never try to move the grill covers while they're still hot.

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