You should perform a simple grill cleaning after each use. It’s best to do this after you’ve finished cooking. When the grate has cooled down and is still quite warm, grab your grill brush and clean any food debris that has stuck to the grate. The only thing that is needed for this is a wire brush.
See what other Food52 readers are saying. While gas grills don’t require the level of cleaning required for charcoal grills after each use, they should be cleaned thoroughly at the beginning and end of each grilling season to keep them in top grilling condition. Don’t just keep your charcoal grill from cleaning old charcoal, but keep your charcoal grill with regular maintenance. And the very first step is to clean the entire grill from all the remnants of last summer’s cooking adventures.
Apart from the detailed cleaning that should be done every few months when grilling, you should also clean it locally after each use. When the cooking grates and flavoring bars are removed, the interior of the firebox is exposed and can be cleaned. To clean a gas grill, first light the grill, close the hood and let it reach full temperature. Immediately after each cooking session, brush off grates and racks when they are cooler but still warm, and use a high-quality stainless steel grill brush to remove food debris.
This is critical for gas grills because the high temperatures can bake on grease and food, making it difficult to clean the grates and racks once they cool down and the grease hardens. You should only remove the ash when the grill has completely cooled down. Wait until the day after you finish cooking. The best way to clean a grill is to start while the grill surface is warm, but wait for the surface to cool down so that you don’t get burned. This seasonal or annual cleaning requires easy disassembly so you can clean each part separately and dry it thoroughly before you reassemble the grill.
Even if you’ve wiped the grill before setting it down for winter, it’s important to start each new barbecue season with a thorough clean. Most people find it most satisfying to do this thorough cleaning at the end of the barbecue season before storing the grill for winter. Get a grill cover or store your grill in a garage or shed to keep it clean and protected from the elements. Keep charcoal grills in the best condition by cleaning them after each use and cleaning them thoroughly before and after each barbecue season.