If you’re king of the grill, then you should know how important it is to keep your grill grates clean. Those leftover bits of burned food can harbor bacteria, attract bugs, and affect the taste of the next meal you cook up. Plus, it just looks gross!
Here are three methods to try out when it’s time to get all that crusty gunk gone.
Method 1: Elbow Grease
Probably my least favorite method, this one just involves good old fashioned elbow grease. The upside is that it doesn’t involve any chemicals or weird smells. Fear not, though—there are some tricks that can make this method a bit easier.
Soak your grates in a sink of hot water, with a solution of 1/4 cup of Dawn—this will help break through the grease—and 1/4 cup of baking soda. Let it sit for an hour. Then use steel wool pads to scrub it clean.
You can also try this crazy little trick that involves vinegar and a half of an onion. First, heat up your grill, then spray a little white vinegar on the grates to help loosen the residue. Then scrub the grate firmly with an onion sliced in half.
Method 2: Gadgets
Wire brushes are out, ever since it was reported that a woman had to have emergency surgery after ingesting a single stray bristle that had fallen off the metal grill cleaning brush and found its way into the hamburger she ate. There are a couple good alternatives, though.
The metal helix grill brush is a great alternative to a metal bristle brush. It uses a metal mesh in place of the bristles to ensure nothing will ever fall out or wear down. A stone grill cleaner is also a good idea. Made of a porous stone, it will mold around the grill grates and to remove any burned on food and debris from both the top and in between the grates
Method 3: Science
I think this is the coolest method, just because it appeals to my inner science geek. Well, that—and it takes the least amount of effort. Just be sure to do this outside, because there will be some fumes involved.
Place your crusty grill grates in a plastic garbage bag. Mix 3 cups of ammonia and 3 cups of white vinegar together. Add 1 cup of baking soda to the mix and then gently but quickly pour the mixture into the garbage bag and seal the bag shut. Shake the bag to be sure that the grates are covered in the mixture, then allow to sit in the sun for 24 hours.
Remove the grate from the bag and you should be good to go. You shouldn’t need to scrub a thing, as the cleaning solution will soften and break down all food particles, allowing the water to rinse them away.