Quick Tips for Cleaning Your Charcoal Grill

I’m a charcoal grill kind of girl. I don’t so much mind the extra effort to manage the coals, and for some reason it just always tastes better to me, as if I’m camping or at a family picnic in a community pavilion. Much like gas grills, charcoal grills require a certain level of maintenance. It’s actually very much the same type of basic grill maintenance, and fortunately, it’s something you can easily do yourself to help make your product last a long time (and help keep your food tasting great, too). I’m getting hungry as I write this!

How to clean and maintain your charcoal grill year-round.

Tip #1: Clean the inside of the lid often. 

Many store-bought grills are lined with a porcelain enamel. With age and wear, grease and smoke collect on the inside of the lid, and if it isn’t cleaned regularly, may begin to look like chipping paint. Even though it is just debris and not toxic, you can still manage this build-up by cleaning the inside of the lid with a mild, soap-and-water solution after every grilling session when the grill is still warm (but not hot!). It should wipe right off.

Tip #2: Clean the grate before cooking. 

Much like with a gas grill, as the charcoal heats up the grilling grate, you can scrape loose debris leftover from your last cooking session using a stainless steel bristled brush. While warm, the residue will scrape away easily and leave you with a surface that your food is less likely to stick to. (Bonus tip about food sticking: This easy grill maintenance article on DIY Network also suggests that you use a little cooking spray, or rub the hot grill with an onion to prevent food from sticking while it cooks, but still be sure to clean the grate well before application.)

Tip #3: The inside bowl of your grill will need to be cleaned periodically too.

Clear it of all charcoal ash and use a a steel wool pad with soap and water to loosen any debris and bring it back to a shiny state.

Tip #4: Steam cleaners make all of this easy, too.

From cleaning the lid, to the bowl, to the debris-ridden grate, a good steam cleaning will help to keep your grill very clean. The hand steamer model I own has a steel head attachment, and it actually gets a lot of use on our oven. Since it’s useful at removing the heavy grease and grime that goes along with cooking, I’ve found that it’s nice to use on the grill too.

How to maintain and clean your oven and grill with a hand steamer.

With these easy maintenance tips, your grill will remain in good condition and provide you with many great meals!

Still need more help? Here’s a helpful video from DIYNetwork.com that explains charcoal grill cleaning in-depth.

Check out the photo gallery below for inspiration on the best grilling spaces.

5 Responses

  1. Jorge Smith says:

    Yeah the proper maintenance can even prolong the life of the gas grills and also maintain the quality of the food made using it. Thanks

  2. how to trade says:

    The clarity in your post is simply great and i could assume you are an expert on this subject. Well with your permission let me to grab your RSS feed to keep updated with forthcoming post. Thanks a million and please keep up the gratifying work

  3. joannajohnson1st says:

    The video is really helpful as well as all the tips above. I've been struggling all my life with getting rid of the greasy burnt food on my BBQ and charcoal grill. I usually use cleaning services, such as http://www.fantasticovencleanersmelbourne.com.au/ , but hopefully, this time I will be able to clean my grill by myself. Wish me luck and thanks for the great tips! :)

  4. [...] enjoyed on the grill, happily. Do you love charcoal grills as much as me? (Impossible.) I wrote up a quick guide for maintaining your grill, with tips applicable to both the charcoal and propane varieties. Happy [...]

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About Emily Fazio 

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I caught the home improvement bug at an early age, and now I'm a full-time DIYer living in Rochester, NY. The projects I cover on my blog Merrypad range ...

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