HomeBackyardHow-TosHow to Clean a Grill in 3 Easy Steps

How to Clean a Grill in 3 Easy Steps

by Jim Casey
photo by Outsider

Is the grate on your backyard grill starting to resemble one of those stationary charcoal grills at your local park that’s caked in burnt food particles and greasy residue? Seriously, how often do you clean your grill? Not just scrape it with the closest stick you can find? Really clean it? A common methodology is to hope the next fire in the grill burns off the accumulated gunk. And while that may get you through the grill’s next use, it’s not exactly doing the job correctly.

For starters, the burnt food particles and grease that accumulate on the grate can harbor bacteria and mold. Secondly, the gunk can stick to your food or keep your food stuck to the grill. In addition, the crusty residue—especially on the underside of the grate—can cause a grease fire.

However, you can get your grill grates looking like new in no time. And all you need are a few items.

  • Baking Soda
  • Boiling Water
  • Grill Stone
  • Cooler or Plastic Tote (big enough to fit your grates)

Baking soda is our go-to cleaning agent for grill grates because it is both non-toxic and dissolves grease. In addition, we prefer a non-toxic grill stone over a wire grill brush, which can lose bristles that remain on the grate (and ultimately could get stuck to your food).

1. Soak


Place your grate(s) in a plastic tote or cooler (image 1). Cover the grates with baking soda (2). Cove the grates with boiling water (3). Let the grates soak for at least one hour (4).

2. Scrub

Remove the grates from the tote. There will be a lot of oozing gunk, so prepare to get your hands dirty. Clean and dry the grates with a cotton cloth (or lots of paper towels). Scrub both sides of the grates with a grill stone (image above).

3. Oil

Right before you use your grill the next time—and while the grill is still cold—lightly coat both sides of the grates with vegetable oil (image above). Now you’re ready to cook.