How to Clean a Charcoal Grill

​Charcoal grill is an essential cooking item that offers a wide range of benefits on grilling /cooking foods. However, if it is used regularly, it will start to build up ash and rust over time. This is why regular cleaning and maintenance are a requirement whether you are using the best grill or not.

How to Clean a Charcoal Grill

What You Need To Clean A Charcoal Grill

​For the overall cleaning

  • ​Grill brush or any cleaning brush
  • ​Aluminum foil
  • ​Plastics or paper bags
  • ​Trash bag
  • ​Putty knife or scrapers
  • ​Hand gloves
  • ​Bucket of water
  • ​Rag
  • ​Soap

For oiling the grates

  • ​Cooking oil that is suitable for high heats (peanut, olive, or canola oil)
  • ​Aluminum foil
  • ​Paper towel
  • ​Tongs

Prevention of fish sticking on the grills

  • ​Fish basket
  • ​Cast iron griddle

When Is The Best Time To Clean A Charcoal Grill

  • Simple cleaning: Everytime you start to grill. Remaining dirt from your last grill can be easily cleaned if the grates are hot; so every after pre-heating the grill, brush of the dirts from the grill grates.
  • Overall cleaning: Clean your grill at least once or twice (if you use it often) during the grilling season. On this way you will have an assurance that no ash, carbon or rust will build up on the grills.

Where Is The Best Location To Clean A Charcoal Grill

​Cleaning a charcoal grill requires brushing and sweeping of ashes so choosing an appropriate area where you can do this is very essential. Choose somewhere outside the house and away from the walking paths; for public grills, somewhere away from the camp site or picnic site can do.

How To Clean A Charcoal Grill

  • ​Prepare all your cleaning supplies. (See the items needed above)
  • ​If the grates are removable, take it off from the grill. Use hand gloves to prevent any stain that may come from ashes and char.
  • ​Clean the grill grate with a grill brush or any other cleaning brush. Remember not to put a lot of force in doing this as grill coats may be peeled off by excessive brushing. If this will happen, not only does it affect the warranty but also its quality cooking ability.
  • ​Clean the charcoal grates (if there’s any) afterwards, still using the grill brush or any other cleaning brush. Only moderate brushing as well.
  • ​Scrub any remaining dirt from the grills by scrubbing it. One of the best scrubbing tools for grates are aluminum foils.
  • ​Clear all the dirt from the bottom of the grill. You can still use the brush or just sweep the dirt using your hands (that are placed inside the plastic or paper bag) into a trash bag.
  • ​Peel any carbon flakes, grease, or peeling paint by using putty knife or scrapers.
  • ​Clean the bottom / exterior part of the grill with a rag, soap and water.
  • ​Empty the ash catcher (if there’s any) on the trash bag. Note that most public grills doesn’t have ash catcher on it.

Oiling The Grate Of Charcoal Grill

Oiling the grill gives an assurance that any kind of food will not stick on it​​​​, thus allowing you to easily flip and turn the food.

  • ​At this point, your grill should be overall cleaned beforehand.
  • ​Heat up the grill for about 10 to 15 minutes.
  • ​Wet a paper towel with just the right amount of oil – should cover all the grates but should not drip form the paper towel. Used a hand gloves if necessary.
  • ​Using a tongs, apply the oil all over the grates. If in case that the paper towel catches fire, immediately throw it in water.
  • ​When the grill is cold, apply the oil all over again.
  • Light the grill and wait for the smoke to stop – this phase tells you that the excess oil has been burned away already.
  • ​You’re ready to grill.

Prevention Of Fish Sticking On The Grill

Compare to meat and vegetables, fish tend to stick more on the grill. Check out the tips below to prevent this from happening.

  • Grill at low temperature: Coat the fish with an olive or corn oil and then grill the fish at a low temperature.
  • ​Use a fish basket: Coat the fish with a high temperature cooking oil and then grill it while placing in a fish basket.
  • ​Use suitable griddle: Coat the griddle with a high temperature cooking oil and then place the fish on the griddle.

Why ​Is ​This ​Maintenance ​Needed

​It’s very tiring to do all of the tasks mentioned but if you will going to take a look at a longer term, proper cleaning and maintenance will definitely make ​any charcoal grill last long. Not only this process will be of benefit to private home users but public grill users can also have an assurance of a safer grilling process and better taste of food!

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