When it comes to grilling, it’s a two way street. Your grill provides you with delicious, seared protein and vegetables – it’s only fair to keep your grill happy. After all, it’s practically part of the family! Treat your grill like you want to be treated and make sure to keep it in tip top shape.
Keep it Clean!
Get a good fire going and get to work! The best time to clean a grill is right after using it. This will crusty good buildup and will save you time down the line. It’s better to tackle it right away, so that you don’t spend 3 precious weekend hours scraping things off the grates. Simply close the grill top and walk away for 5-7 minutes.
This is where your grill brush comes in. Gently use the brush to scrape off any food that hasn’t been burned away. Your grill brush should have a long handle and tight, firm bristles. Pretend it’s a huge toothbrush and that the grates of the grill are your teeth! Just gently push away debris until they are free from food residue.
Oiling Your Grates
While it isn’t strictly necessary, we’re fans of lightly oiling our grill grates. Not only does it prevent food from sticking to it the next time you grill, it just feels like you’re taking extra care of your precious grill.
Simply dip a cloth napkin (or paper towel, whichever you prefer) into a bit of vegetable or olive oil. Treat it as if it’s a cast iron skillet and wipe it evenly across the grates. Don’t go overboard (we don’t want any fires!), so use a small amount of oil and work from there. If we’re using an oily marinade we typically skip this step, as oil in the marinade takes care of the meat, but this is perfect for items like veggies and kabobs.
Now that your grill is spotless and you’re all done eating all the delicious food you made with fire, what on earth are you going to do with those goals? (If you have a gas grill feel free to skip this part and head inside for a refreshing beverage!) Keep a simple bucket or container to use as a coal dump. Keeping used coal in your grill can be dubious, as the coals can collect moisture and congeal into one big hard piece. Avoid this by dumping the coals out after every use. You’ll thank us later.
If your grill is outside and not under a covered patio, make sure to cover it once it’s cooled down. It’s not exactly rocket science, but if you’d like to avoid a rusty grill, simply cover it with a tarp or an official grill cover.