Kitchen Confidence

How To Clean a Grill

By • July 4, 2012 • 8 Comments

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Inspired by conversations on the FOOD52 Hotline, we're sharing tips and tricks that make navigating all of our kitchens easier and more fun. Today, how to clean a grill, with tools you already have lying around.

We know we're getting down to the wire on grilling advice, but here's a tip that will carry you well beyond the Fourth of July: how to clean your grill, using things you already have lying around. All you'll need for this quick hack is a piece of aluminum foil and a pair of tongs. Oh, plus your dirty grill grate and a little bit of elbow grease. 

1. First, cut a length of aluminum foil about the size pictured here -- or, the width of your grill is a good rule of thumb.


2. Once you have your aluminum foil, crumple it into a ball. This will be your main tool, and the bearer of all grill-cleaning magic.

 

3. Position your magical aluminum foil ball snugly in your tongs, and then, with determination and your Olympic strength, use it to scrub the surface of the grill rack. (Hint: this method works even better when the grill is still warm.) The foil will remove all of your stickiest grilling bits in a matter of seconds.

 

And there you have it! Now your grill is good as new, with enough time leftover for kicking back at your barbeque.



Tags: kitchen confidence, grilling, cleaning, how to, how to clean a grill, how-to & diy

Comments (8)

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4 months ago lifeandlarder

I learnt this trick from someone years ago, but my partner always thinks I am crazy and spends $$$ on lots of silly BBQ cleaning brushes all the time. Now in print, it's a legit method. And good point about the used foil. I like the onion idea too. My father always used to cook tomatoes last in the fry pan when he made breakfast, or we were camping. The tomato did the same thing and cleaned the pan, making washing up easy. Al the old school methods that were discounted 30 years ago (by the chemical loving generations), are back in. It's great for our wallet, healthier for us, and much better for the environment.

New_years_kitchen_hlc_only

10 months ago AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

I see that photo of the ball of (apparently clean) aluminum foil and it makes me wish that the instructions did not start by cutting a clean piece of foil. Instead, it really should recommend using the outside of the foil you used to tent your grilled meat, or that you've saved from some other use. I ran the numbers on the environmental impact here. Assuming a ball with the equivalent volume of a 2" cube (an underestimate, I'm sure), and assuming that every member of FOOD52 registered as of June 14 (approximately 137,300) used a new foil ball four times during the summer, the (unnecessary) non-biodegradable solid waste going to landfills = 2,500 cubic feet. At least until recycling services accept used, dirty foil, which most don't . . . . ;o)

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almost 2 years ago AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

I used this method over the weekend, but crumpled up a piece of foil that had been used to tent a steak, so the foil I used was considerably smaller than the piece shown in the photo above. It works really well.Also, I see no reason not to re-use that ball of foil next time. (Everything that had adhered to the grill was burned beyond recognition.) ;o)

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almost 2 years ago J Dave

This sounds great! I am no longer a fan of the wire grill brush, as I had a friend manage to get one of the wires in a burger, ate it and it poked a hole in his intestine. I have been afraid to use one ever since!

Stringio

almost 2 years ago ChrisVeros

I'm noticing lately that a lot of people try to clean their grill when it's cold or when the residue is still gooey and fresh. It's so much easier to preheat the grill for 15 minutes and let it all turn to dust. Then a quick scrub with the wire brush gets it back to spotless. Cleaning the grill when it's cold is a fool's errand.

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almost 2 years ago sexyLAMBCHOPx

Great idea, hcomb. FWIW - Sandra Lee on FN demoed this method of cleaning the grill. Only difference was, I believe the sheet of foil was heated and then crumpled to clean.

New_years_kitchen_hlc_only

almost 2 years ago AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Can you re-use the ball of foil? Or perhaps can you use whatever foil you used for tenting your steak? I cringe when I think of the widespread one-time use of non-renewable, non-recyclable resources such as aluminum foil (and am still searching for a good tenting material that's sustainable . . . . and I generally don't use zipper lock plastic bags either, even for the freezer, unless it's absolutely unavoidable.) ;o)

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almost 2 years ago hbomb

Or you can do what Chileans and Argentians do (where grilling is a way of life) - cut an an onion in half and rub on the grill till it dissapears. Usually a half to a whole onion will do. Better to use this method right before you start grilling instead right after. Its not a big deal of onion parts fall on your charcoal or wood.