outdoor grilling party

How To Clean A Grill In Minutes

When summer hits, you want to have every meal outdoors. (And every morning coffee and afternoon ice cream, too.)

So you’re probably using your grill a lot. It makes for yummy burgers, but dealing with the residue isn’t nearly as enjoyable. Here’s the good news: cleaning up your grill isn’t nearly as daunting as it seems—if you do it the right way. We asked Jimmy Shotwell, owner of Memphis Barbeque Supply, for his expert tips.

Tools You’ll Need:

  • Heat-Resistant Gloves
  • Bristle-Free Grill Brush
  • Scraper
  • Spray bottle
  • Aluminum foil
  • Vinegar

STEP 1: Pre-Cleaning Prep

The best way to clean your grill is while it’s hot, ideally after each use. Turn heat to high for about 15 minutes to burn grease and stuck-on food into carbon. You’ll know it’s ready when it stops smoking. Turn grill off.

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STEP 2: Brush And Scrape The Grates

Minutes 12

After the grill has cooled slightly, use a bristle-free grill brush to loosen particles, then scrape grates (top and bottom) to remove residue. For help with stubborn, burnt-on gunk, mix one part vinegar to four parts water and spray or wipe it on grates before scrubbing. You’ll need to heat the grill to high again to burn off the vinegar. Never use oven cleaner or put grates in the dishwasher.

STEP 3: Clean The Inside

Minutes 3-5

Disconnect the propane tank, cover heating elements with foil, apply the vinegar and water mixture on the inside of your gas grill, and scrub it all over with the grill brush. (Excess on grates may also come off with warm soapy water and a thick rag.) Remove the foil, reconnect the propane, and voila!

Repeat these steps every few months to remove grease buildup and help reduce flare-ups. Also, remove and clean your grease tray regularly when the grill is cold.

Other Easy Grill Cleaning Hacks



Grill fork


1. While there’s still some heat in your grill, attach an onion to a fork and rub over the hot bars.

2. The water in the onion steam cleans them and removes any stuck food.



Grill scour pad


1. If you’ve been using your BBQ for the day, once it has started to cool down, cover the grill with water-soaked newspaper and close the lid.

2. Leave it shut for 30 minutes to give it a good steam clean.

3. Scrub off the gunk with a grill scour pad and enjoy!



Baking soda
*Optional: Towels


1. Remove grate from the grill and set on some towels.

2. Sprinkle baking soda on the grill and dissolve some in water.

3. Use a sponge to scrub until all the baking soda is gone and the grill is sparkling.



Scourer or sponge
2 Spray bottles
*Optional: Towels


1. Remove grate from the grill and set on some towels.

2. Mix 500 milliliters of vinegar and the same amount of water in a spray bottle.

3. Spray the solution onto the grill and leave for 10 minutes.

4. Pour vinegar into a second spray bottle and spray on, then scrub to clean the grill and its interior.



Newspaper or rag
Large plastic bin


1. Place grill grate into a large plastic bin and add cola to the bin.

2. Let sit for an hour. Take grate out of tub and scrub with the scouring side of a sponge till all the dirt comes off.

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By Nicole Cherie Jones

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