How To Get Your Outdoor Grill Clean & Ready for Summer

updated Apr 30, 2019
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(Image credit: Ashley Poskin)

It’s time to take advantage of those warmer weekends by spending time on your home’s exterior, and prepping your grill for the season is a great project to get you started. You could always start with cleaning your gutters —but grilled veggies and BBQ chicken just seem like a much better reward for completely the task.

What You Need

  • Clean rags (terrycloth are best) or paper towels
  • Rubber gloves
  • Sponges
  • Grill brush
  • Glass Cleaner
  • Dish soap
  • Warm water


Clean the interior: Before venturing in, let the grill run for 10-15 minutes to loosen the remaining food particles from last season. While the grill is cooling off a bit, scrape any flakes off the top and bottom of the castings inside the grill with the flat side of your grill brush, or a paint scraper.

(Image credit: Ashley Poskin)

You might think all that burnt-on char adds to the flavor of your dishes, but it really doesn’t; built-up gunk will keep your grill from preforming the way it was intended. So grab a Brillo pad or a rough textured sponge, dish soap, and warm water and get to work on those grids! Pre-soak the grids in a bath of warm, soapy water for an hour or so, before your start scrubbing and it’ll go much faster. Then, while those grids are soaking, get down to the bottom of the grill and remove any loose charcoal or debris.

(Image credit: Ashley Poskin)

Clean the exterior: For big dried blobs of BBQ sauce, and who-knows-what else, just grab a sponge and some warm soapy water.

(Image credit: Ashley Poskin)

Terrycloth and window cleaner should remove grease streaks from both stainless steel and other exterior surfaces. If you have stainless steel cleaner — even better.

(Image credit: Ashley Poskin)

Don’t forget to open up the cabinet doors and clean out under the grill as well. The grease trap is usually located behind the doors, and if your grill has been out all winter like ours, you’re sure to find a few cobwebs and leaves leftover from fall (and maybe a random citronella candle or two).

(Image credit: Ashley Poskin)

Check the gas levels and refill the propane tank if needed (or stock up on more charcoal): If you don’t already have a grill gauge, get one. This handy little accessory will keep the party going and ensure you don’t run out of gas at the least convenient times. For the die-hard charcoal grill fans, invest in a charcoal keeper and never again worry about accidentally leaving the bag of charcoal out in the rain.

To make sure everything is in working order, fire up the grill and let it burn for 5-10 minutes before adding any food.

Protect your investment: Always be sure to shield your grill with a cover that fits. This is a great habit to get into throughout grilling season, but you’ll especially want to cover it during the harsh winter seasons when its not in use.

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