Why You Probably Don't Need Special Cleaners For Your Grill

You've likely heard the myth that grills never need cleaning because heat kills germs, but be skeptical of that notion. Caked-on remnants of food doused in sauces, butter, and spices may be the charred remains of your last deliciously grilled dinner, but that doesn't mean they're safe to cook on, or to eat. You don't want them hanging around to attract critters and surely you won't want to taste them on your next grill-night dinner steak. Popular Mechanics explains that bacteria in those leftover food particles can stick to carbon deposits on the grill, and the deposits may cause uneven heating while cooking.

Fortunately, cleaning your grill is easier than you think and, likely, you won't need any special cleaners to keep it in tip-top summer shape. Commercially available grill-cleaning solutions may seem convenient, but, says Popular Mechanics, chemicals in cleaning products can leach into your food and alter the taste. The good news is that you don't need them if you clean your grill the old-fashioned way. 

What you need to clean your grill

Derek Wolf, of Over the Fire Cooking, advocates heat, elbow grease, and brush scrubbing for removing accumulated dirt and grease on a grill, according to NBC News. Whether it's a charcoal or gas version, you'll want to scrub off any rust, ash, or carbon accumulation on the grates. The Kitchn recommends deep cleaning a couple of times during the active grilling season. 

Basic cleaning supplies for grills include a standard, coarse cleaning brush with sturdy bristles. Clean the grill grate as well as the charcoal grate if you have one, and then use a ball of aluminum foil to knock off any stubborn food remnants. Remember to clean the bottom of the grill, empty ash catchers, and scrape off any black carbon flakes, using an empty bag to dispose of the debris.

Maintaining your grill during the season is simple; just preheat and use the scrubbing brush to knock off food particles from your previous grilling session. Prevent buildup and sticking by brushing the grate or your food with a light coat of cooking oil before starting to grill. No special cleaners are needed, and now you're ready to shine — just grab that apron and get grilling.