One of the best things about using a grill is the results it brings to your cooking. Not only does grilled food look delicious thanks to those distinctive grill marks, but it tastes delicious too. Grilling makes fish perfectly tender, and it’s the only way to get beef burgers perfectly seared and mouthwateringly juicy.
In order to get the most out of cooking with your grill, whether an outdoor barbecue grill or a cast-iron griddle, you need to clean and season it regularly. In this article, we’ll be breaking down tips to keep both your outdoor and indoor grills in tip-top condition.
Cleaning your Outdoor Grill
No, you can’t just wipe your grill over with an old dishcloth and some washing up liquid if you want to get great BBQ results this summer. Cleaning your outdoor grill correctly requires a little bit more TLC.
1. Get Rid of Caked on Food
The first tip to remove caked-on, leftover food from previous use is pretty straightforward: simply light some fresh coals and let them work their magic. The coals’ heat will help burn off some of the most stubborn particles and make further cleaning a lot easier.
2. Get Steamy
Secondly, harness the power of steam cleaning to jush up your outdoor grill. After following tip number 1, let the grill cool a little before covering it in old water-drenched newspapers. Then simply close the lid – half an hour should do the trick.
You want to generate a steam cleaning effect, so squeeze out some of the water from the papers before laying them on the grill.
3. Scrub, Scrub, Scrub
If any food has managed to cling on through the sauna and steam room cleaning phases, you’ll need to scrub them away. If you have a wire-bristle grill brush that will work nicely (use one with brass bristles for a porcelain-coated grill), but if you don’t, simply bunch up some aluminum foil and use that to scrub instead.
4. Clean the Outside
Now that your grill is sparkling clean on the inside, it’s time to tackle the outside. Depending on the type of grill, you can either use a washing up liquid/warm water solution or a specialist cleaning spray for stainless steel grills.
A quick tip to keep the outside of your grill protected from the elements is to give it a light coating of baby oil — and we do mean light! This will give it an incredible sheen, so it’s perfect for livening up an older grill too.
Cleaning your Cast Iron Grill
A well-seasoned cast-iron griddle is what you’re aiming for as a home cook since it will cook food evenly and lock in all those delicious flavors. You should never dunk your pan in with the rest of your dishes and cooking utensils, as washing it clean will strip it of all that hard-won seasoning.
5. Dry Washing
A great way to remove all that built-up grime and grease from an iron cooking grill is to dry wash it. Wet a stiff-bristled dish-washing brush, add a squeeze of washing liquid, and then work cleaning your grill with circular motions. Be careful not to soak the grill, however, remember this is a dry wash.
Once you’ve cleaned the whole pan, simply place it on top of a hot stove for 30 to 45 seconds till the water evaporates.
Tips to Maintain your Grill
After you’ve taken the time to clean your grill correctly, you’re going to want to keep it in perfect condition. Following these last few tips will make year-round grill maintenance a breeze.
6. Vacuum your Outdoor Grill
Each time you use your barbecue, use a vacuum to collect any ash or remaining bits of solid food residue. Obviously, you’ll need to wait for the grill to cool down first, and you may want to use an older vacuum cleaner or handheld device.
7. Protect your Cast Iron Grill with Vegetable Oil
To keep your grill pan in great condition, before you start cooking, add a few drops of vegetable oil to the inner surface and wipe over the entire pan using clean paper towels. This will prevent food from baking onto the surface as it’s cooking.
8. Bring a Rusty Grill Back to Life
If your outdoor grill or skillet pan is looking a bit worse for wear, you can quickly and easily bring it back to life with a non-metallic scrubber. Wash any remaining rust away with a mild dishwashing solution, rinse with a clean damp cloth, and clean with a towel. Then, simply re-season with vegetable or sunflower oil.
Bring on BBQ Season!
By following the tips in this article, you’ll be looking forward to the arrival of BBQ season with a freshly-cleaned grill. Meanwhile, if you prefer cooking with an iron grill pan, there’s no excuse not to be grilling all-year-round.