How to Clean Stainless Steel Grill

How to Clean Stainless Steel Grill

Keeping a stainless steel grill looking pristine requires time and attention. The more that grills are used and when harsh environmental conditions exist, the more the stainless and grates will need cleaned.

To properly clean a stainless steel grill, allow it to cool and rub a wire grill brush to remove leftover food on any grate. Choose whether to clean it daily, weekly, or monthly (at most) and that will determine if you need to soak the grates or not before scrubbing.

Knowing how to clean your grill can be helpful to make great food outdoors. Consistency goes a long way when cooking on a grate by keeping the inside of a grill less dirty and more clean.

Things Needed For Proper Cleaning

There are a few items you'll need to get going for the cleaning process of a stainless steel grill. The list consists of required and recommended items.

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How to Clean Inside of the Grill: Soak and Scrub

There is no work around for grills when it comes to keeping them clean. Remember that it's a matter of health, safety, and hygiene. Leaving the grill unclean means you increase the possibility of food poisoning.

There are times when you are busy or just straight-up lazy. If you have skipped cleaning for some time, consider a deep cleaning to eliminate the baked-on food and grease using a wire brush.

1. Burn grease and grime away

The burning of food and spilling on the grill cannot be avoided. Even an expert will need to have a soft brush ready to remove debris regularly. As you prepare food for guests, burn the grates afterwards on a regular basis as upkeep.

Answer to this question: How do I get baked on grease off my stainless steel grill?

“It’s good practice to burn off any food residue left on your grill by turning all your burners to high for 15 minutes before grilling,” -Kevin Kolman

2. Prepare soapy water

A hot, soapy bucket of water will work well for prepping the grates to scrub. Anything Dawn brand will work; concentrated dish soap can be easily rinsed and will help break down fats and grime.

The best Dawn dish soap you will ever use: Dawn Platinum Powerwash Dish Spray

3. Soak the grates if needed

Mix hot water and dishwashing detergent, then let it soak the grates or outside of the grill for at least 10 minutes. To remove hard grease and grime, overnight soaking of the grates can help.

Mixing baking soda with vinegar and leaving the grill soaked overnight can really break down build-up if needed. You can then hose down the grates after soaking and use a cloth wipe to remove the debris.

Grilling tip: you can apply vegetable oil on the grates before adding anything to barbecue. The vegetable oil will prevent food from sticking on the grill.

4. Scrub your grill grates and then scrub some more

Grab your grill brush and start scrubbing. Continue with the brush to remove any accumulated debris that has built-up over time.

Remove Remaining Charred and Baked on Foods

Charred barbecue food can spoil flavor. Make sure to scrub any grates well and prepare it for the next cook-off. You're going to need to put elbow grease into this part.

Maintenance is the key. Regular use of a grill brush on the grates will keep the grill clean.

Want less scrubbing and cleaning? An alternative method to deep cleaning is to cover the rack with foil before cooking and make slits with a spatula or other grill tool, then remove the foil when finished grilling.

5. Deep clean the surface

Maintaining an admirable grill means proper attention is a must. There is a need to clean regularly because of the burnt food that accumulates on the rack and eventually leads to a negative smell. Cleaning it or burning it off will prep the grill rack for the next cookout.

6. Prevent build-up on grates

With common use, it can be difficult to follow all the processes when it comes to cleaning each part. When the workload gets overwhelming, you might consider cleaning the stainless steel grill once a week.

When you plan to clean weekly, take your time and do it well.  The dividends will pay off.

You can also clean the grill sparingly, once a month or even a year. All this is based on your regular usage and maintenance.

How to Clean the Outside of the Grill: Polishing & Protecting

A grill’s high heat can also have a negative effect on stainless. Try something like Weber or Char-Broil suggests - a dedicated stainless steel cleaner. Use a soft cloth or microfiber cloth. Avoid using a paper towel since they can too rough and scratch the surface. Also, avoid harsh cleaners like bleach.

Make sure to wipe with the grain of the stainless finish, which is usually from [longest] side to side. Rinse with clean water if you’re using soapy water to grab the remaining dirt. Dry with a good, clean soft cloth­ to prevent water stains that can occur from air-drying.

Cleaning on a regular basis can keep it looking new. Try to take a few minutes after each barbecue with a grill brush to scrub a grate or two. This will help make sure next time you use it, it's looking great and ready-to-go.

Read more: How To Choose The Best Gas Grill

Remember that cleaning exterior stainless is not as simple as cleaning regular metal. You cannot use steel wool or wire brushes as they may cause scratches or also pits that will get filled with debris.

If you want to clean the grill without much effort, then vinegar is the solution to use. You may dilute vinegar with equal parts of water and spray it over the grill. Give around 10 minutes to sit and soak.

People do consider polishing the stainless grill so that it appears shiny and new. However, it is not recommended by manufacturers as the polish when getting hot can leave a discolored film. Use a polish externally on the doors and side shelves to help keep corrosion away.

Cover the Grill with a Protective Layer

Once the grill is clean and looking like new, let it sit and dry. To add additional protection, add a tarp or proper cover over it. The cover will easily work as another layer to keep the grill in good shape and not get dirty.

What is the best cleaner for stainless steel grills?

Even with a few uses, eventually the exterior stainless steel will lose its bright look on the outside. If you're tempted to use a stainless steel cleaner, take that thought and push it to the side. All you need is dish detergent and warm water.

Never use abrasive products or cleaners. Also, some stainless steel polishes will discolor under intense heat and make your grill look worse. The last thing anyone wants is to cover their grill with products that will change the appearance of stainless.

Final Thoughts on Stainless Steel Grill Cleaning

Cleaning can be a real downer, but it doesn't have to be. Even though the term brings a chill down the spine, remember these things to keep it pain-free when cleaning your stainless steel grill.

  • Say no to harsh cleaners and for speedy cleaning mix dish detergent with hot water, then soak the grill
  • Use an old soft cloth to ensure no scratches.
  • Avoid steel brushes and steel wool pads for exterior cleaning.
  • Always rinse with clean water and dry with a soft clean cloth.

Cleaning the grill is crucial for great food. It simply cannot be ignored. This job might become monotonous, but do it enough and you will start developing an admiration towards cleaning the grill.

The best option is moderation. Clean it at frequent intervals so that you don't have to spend hours on the whole process each time it is time to clean.

More resources to find out more on having a clean stainless grill: