If you want the best-tasting BBQ each and every time you fire up the grill, then you need to apply some basic care, cleaning, and maintenance to your cooking surfaces on a regular basis. All the fuel sources, oils, and seasonings you cook with can leave behind residue, as do the fats and grease of the foods you are cooking.
These can affect the taste and even cook time of your food, so keeping a clean grill can help avoid flavor mishaps or under-cooked meat. It also ensures your grill will have a long life. We show you our favorite cleaners below, along with tips on how to clean your grill and some of the best accessories you can use for a cleaner cooking experience.
|Weber Professional Strength Degreaser||Check The Price!|
|Goo Gone Grill and Grate Cleaner||Check The Price!|
|Easy Off Professional Oven & Grill Cleaner||Check The Price!|
|Break-Up Professional Oven & Grill Cleaner||Check The Price!|
|Zep Heavy-Duty Oven and Grill Cleaner||Check The Price!|
What is a Grill Cleaner?
A grill cleaner is a special purpose solution designed to dissolve stubborn greases, sugars, and oils left behind by your grilling exploits. Most are spray-on; some come with purpose-created accessories for application. There are also dozens of different brushes and scraping tools that, supposedly, assist the process.
Benefits of Using a Grill Cleaner
Even if you use a grill brush or crank it to max heat and let remnants burn-off after each use, there will still be residues that require a deeper cleaning every now and then.
Grill cleaners break up any leftover carbons from prior meals; these can cause your food to take on the smells of other foods and seasonings. They also create excess smoke while you cook that may speed up or change your cook times. Even worse, built-up grease can start a fire, which means ruining a good steak might be the least of your problems.
Grill Cleaner Accessories
Grill cleaners are not designed as a stand alone product, and are designed to work with grill cleaning tools. Grill cleaner brushes and grill scrapers are great for cleaning after every use, but they can also be utilized with a cleaner to help break up tough, stuck on foods.
If you’re looking for a good grill brush, we recommend one that is stainless steel with secure bristles.
GRILLART Grill Brush and Scraper
Stainless steel, woven grill brush with attached scraper.
You can also use kitchen sponges, nylon bristle brushes, and textured scrubs often used for cleaning pots and pans. These are generally inexpensive and easy to toss in the trash after use; they rarely clean up well once you’ve used them for a good grill scrubbing.
Types of Grill Cleaners
Which one you use will depend on how dirty your grill is and its construction. You will want to have several on-hand for the different surfaces of the grill to ensure proper treatment.
- Heavy Duty Cleaners to cut into the carbon and grease left behind by frequent use.
- Soft Cleaners are used with a damp cloth and work well on non-stick coated surfaces for light, frequent cleaning and regular use.
- Stainless Steel outdoor surfaces and lids need special stainless steel cleaners.
- All-Rounders work well on just about any surface to cut through grease and dirt, but you may want to avoid using these on coated grates.
How and When to Clean Your Grill
Although you should brush off and scrape your grill grates and empty grease traps on a regular basis, once every month or two is enough for a deep clean depending on your usage. You also should take your BBQ apart at least once a year (more if you use it year round) for a deeper clean that gets into all the small cracks and crevices.
Along with a cleaning solution, be sure to have some good scrubby brushes as discussed above and gloves for hand protection.
When cleaning, remove your grill grates, drawers, and any other easy-to-remove parts. You can soak these if needed as well as give them a good scrubbing. Be sure to clean the inside of the lid, bottom of your grill, and the outside. Depending on the type of material your grill is made from, you may want to re-oil it after cleaning as a means to help keep it well seasoned.
One cheap cleaner is a regular de-greasing dish soap, but to really get your grates and grill clean, you should invest in some of the specialized products listed below.
Top 5 Grill Cleaners
The following grill cleaners are our favorites based on overall value, and ease of use. Because these are cooking surfaces, we try to only use non-toxic ingredients. We also want to be sure that they leave no residues, smells, or chemicals.
Best Heavy-Duty Cleaner For Most Grills: Weber Professional Strength Degreaser
Made by an industry leader in home grilling, this is a non-toxic formula that has a pleasant citrus scent. We found it powers through the worst grime and grease build up, and it’s made for use on all grill surfaces. It has an excellent biodegradable standard for safety, and helps keep you from wasting fuel to burn off grill residue.
This is the high-end choice for most grills, but it’s typically twice the price of other cleaners.
Best Natural Cleaner: Goo Gone Grill and Grate Cleaner
Goo Gone is a popular brand known for the removal of tough, stuck-on substances. This gel based cleaner is thicker and more viscous to help it stay where it’s sprayed. It’s perfect for vertical surfaces; it’s completely non-toxic and works on all surfaces except aluminum and faux stainless steel.
Best All-Around Kitchen and Grill Cleaner: Easy Off Professional Oven & Grill Cleaner
The Easy Off Professional Cleaner is designed for both kitchen and grill use and helps cut through tough grease both in and on your oven, pots and pans, and grill. It’s incredibly easy to use: spray, wait a few minutes, and then wipe off the grease. Afterwards, we recommend a thorough washing with non-toxic soap and water. The smell is strong, but that’s how you know it’s working.
Best Grill Cleaner for Both Warm and Cold Surfaces: Break-Up Professional Oven & Grill Cleaner
If you like to start your clean up immediately after cooking, this is a great grill cleaning option as it works well for both cold and hot surfaces. It’s self-scouring, which helps save your arms and reduce the effort to get the clean you need. It’s also safe for most surfaces and can be used both in the kitchen and on the grill!
Another All-Around Option: Zep Heavy-Duty Oven and Grill Cleaner
Created for an easy aerosol application for both grills and ovens, Zep is an all around option that provides heavy duty cleaning for carbons, sugars, grease, oils, and baked-on foods. You can use it for almost all surfaces you cook or bake on for an easy, wipe clean result. It works best on warm to hot surfaces.
Keeping your grill clean is essential for long-term reliability and great-tasting food all year round. It also helps avoid dangerous situations from carbon and grease build-up. The highlighted cleaners are all durable and get the job done the first time without having to apply too much effort on your part. Simply spray, wait a few minutes, and scrub.
Be sure to pay close attention to the surfaces they work best for and also consider the ingredients. Some are designed with chemicals, but do rinse clean to avoid any cross-contamination; others are more natural.
We’d love to hear which works best for you! And, as always, please share!