Whether you prefer cooking with charcoal or gas, one thing remains the same — cleaning and maintenance are essential for great grilling. To you it may be a grill or a barbeque or even a bbq, but whatever you call it, a wire brush or grill stones, rags or paper towels, cooking oil and some cleaning supplies are all you’ll need to make sure it’s safe and running great every time you fire it up.
FUN & RELIABLE GRILLING EVERY TIME
Gas grills are born to live outside, all year round, come rain or shine. Maintenance, however, is key to ensure the grill’s reliability and superb functionality for years to come. A bit of maintenance with every use, will go a long way and keep you grilling like a pro – every time.
The first time you use your grill
When you purchase a new grill, you should wipe it down inside and outside using a damp cloth, before barbecuing for the first time. Polish the exterior using Weber’s grill cleaner for exterior enamel – it applies a protective coat, making the grill easier to clean in future. Wash the cooking grate and place it and the other burners and Flavorizer Bars in the grill and light it. Allow the grate to ‘burn off’ at high heat for 10-15 minutes. This makes future cleaning much easier.
After every time you have used your grill, you should brush off the cooking grate, while it is still hot. If you do this, you only need to spend 10-15 seconds. It will take a lot longer to get the same result, when the grill is cold. It will also be harder on the brush if you wait. Clean the grill exterior using a cloth dipped in soapy water and wrung, then polish it with a dry cloth.
Choosing a grill brush
A grill brush is a must for everyone. You need one with stainless steel or brass bristles. If you have a cast-iron grate, use a soft sponge or brush. You should replace your grill brush at least once a year, as it will begin to lose bristles as it gets worn. Check your grill brush regularly, and wipe the cooking grate with a cloth dipped in cooking oil (not olive oil) before use, to mop up any loose bristles, which could otherwise stick to the food. Note! Always use a seperate brush for grates and burners, as to not block the burner jets with excess grease.
Cooking grate care
Always grease the cooking grate before and after barbecuing to prevent food from sticking. Never use olive oil. Use a neutral cooking oil and apply it using a piece of paper towel and barbecue tongs.
Cast-iron grates require different care – for example, you should never use a hard steel brush to clean them. Gas grill brushes all have brass or stainless steel bristles and may be used. To avoid your cast-iron grate rusting, it is very important that you grease it thoroughly using a neutral cooking oil following use, on both sides. You should regularly clean the grate more thoroughly by immersing it in hot, scalding soap water. Then rinse it, and place it back in the grill. Burn it off on high heat for 15 minutes and scrub off any remaining grease and dirt using a brush. Grease it again thoroughly using cooking oil.
Clean the lower interior and burners
Whether you have a charcoal or gas grill, you should regularly scrape all the grease out of the bottom of the grill, as this helps prevent flare-ups. If you have a gas grill, remember to clean the burners by running a grill brush over them, to prevent the jets getting blocked. It is important to use a grill brush dedicated to this purpose! If you use the same brush you use to clean the cooking grate, grease and food residue will be deposited in the jets. During your annual, more thorough cleaning, you can take the burners out of the grill, when cold, and wash them and clean out the holes using a needle. Then wipe them with a tea towel and put them back in the grill.
After repeated use, flakes may appear on the inside of the lid, which flakes and comes off. All Gas charcoal grills are porcelain-enameled, not painted – so the flakes are not paint, but rather charred fat residue. You can remove them using elbow grease, hot water and sulfone.
It is a good idea to regularly use Weber’s grill cleaner for exterior enamel. In addition to dissolving fat and other grime, it adds a protective layer to the grill, making it easier to keep clean. This grill cleaner is also ideal to use, if the welds on your grill develop any surface rust. This can easily be removed by spraying on the cleaner and wiping with a cloth or soft sponge. Always polish afterwards using a dry cloth. Alternatively, you can use non-acidic oil (WD40), but never use this inside the grill.
Avoid steel tools
Never use steel tools on the inside or exterior of the grill. Most Gas grills are porcelain-enameled and steel tools may damage the coating.
Give the Flavorizer® Bars in your gas grill a thorough clean a few times a year. Turn all of burners up to full power and let the grill stand for 10 minutes. Allow it to cool. Remove the Flavorizer® Bars and brush them using a grill brush. You can also immerse them in soapy water occasionally, using a soft sponge to clean them. Rinse them thoroughly and wipe off with a tea towel, before putting them back in the grill.
If you have a grill with a stainless steel lid, doors or work surfaces, it is a good idea to clean them using Weber’s grill cleaner designed for this material. Note! Remember that it should not be used on stainless steel grates.
Inspect the gas hose
If you own a gas grill, it is important to regularly inspect the gas hose for leaks or damage. Gas leaks can be dangerous. Look for cracks on the hose, and contact your closets dealer to replace it, if you find even the smallest surface crack. If you are not sure whether it is leaking, you can do a test using soapy water. Apply soapy water to the hose, one section at a time. If bubbles appear, it must be replaced. Also see test procedure in your user manual.
ONE LAST QUICK OUTDOOR GRILL CLEANING TIP
When cooking keep some salt handy. If any grease splatters on to your cement, stone or wood patio, sprinkle heavily with salt and grind it in with your foot. It will absorb the grease and help prevent stains. Sweep off and reapply if needed. Make sure you always keep your grill covered to protect it from the elements and critters. Most grills will come with an appropriate cover, so be sure to throw it on after each use. Even a sunny day can heat up your grill and damage the outer layers.
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