How to Clean Grease off the Outside of a Grill

Chicken being cooked on a barbecue grill

Barbecues are fun and barbecue food is almost always delicious. But somewhere between the cooking and the eating, grease has covered your outdoor grill. This is not a lot of fun nor is cleaning the grease off the grill.

However, you can make the cleaning task easier by using the right cleaning supplies and methods. It will take a little work to get that grease off but, in the end, your grill should look perfect again.

To learn the techniques and about the materials you need, just continue reading our article. It has that information and more. Take a few minutes to see if this information will make your grill cleaning time a lot easier to do.

How to Clean Grease Off the Outside of a Grill

person cleaning an outdoor barbecue grill with a rag

No matter which cleanser or technique you use, the key to cleaning a stainless-steel grill is always the same. You need to go with the grain at all stages of the process in order to keep your grill in top shape.

1. Baking Soda Paste

Baking soda paste being stirred with a popsicle stick in a small finger bowl.

This is an easy mixture to make. Just add 3 parts baking soda to 1 part water and mix. Add the water slowly so you do not get a paste that is too runny. You do not want to have the paste dripping down the sides of the grill and onto your floor.

Next, apply the paste to the greasy stains. You may not have to cover the whole outside, just the parts where the grease resides. Once the paste is on the grease, let it sit for 15 minutes for light grease stains and longer for deep hard to remove stains.

Once that time frame is up, use a damp cloth and wipe the paste away. If your grill is made from stainless steel, spray some stainless-steel polish on the outside and follow the instructions on the can.

Next, rinse the outside of the grill well, using a soft cloth to remove the polish and any baking soda paste residue. Let dry and you are done.

2. Alternative Solutions

Bottle of blue dish soap isolated on a white background

The application of these alternatives will be the same except for the soaking time. You should be able to go lower on that time and get the task done a little faster. Here are some alternatives to use that are safe to use.

  • Dishwashing Soap with Degreasing Formula and Warm to Hot Water – Just a little soap should do the trick
  • Baking Soda and Vinegar – You do not need a paste, but you should put the baking soda on first, wipe it off and then use the vinegar
  • Stainless Steel Cleaner – These products may be a bit expensive, but they are strong and good. Make sure to follow the instructions on the label to get the best results.
  • Commercial Cleaners – These work best on non-stainless-steel grills. Again, you need to follow the instructions on the packaging to get the best results.

Some Grill Cleaning FAQs

1. How often do I clean the outside of my grill?

Calendar page with a toothbrush laying across the page with the word "Cleaning" on the 14th.

You should clean it after every use. This keeps the amount of grease down to a manageable size and prevents it from being burnt or set in. Some people say you should clean it every two weeks but that is letting the grease build up and adding to your workload.

Also, if you do not use your grill that often you can always skip cleaning and wait till the next time you use it to clean the outside. However, you are letting germs and bacteria grow in between cleanings if you wait a long time.

2. Do you need to clean a BBQ after every use?

Dirty barbecue grill grate with hot coals below.

While this is not mandatory, you really should clean it after every use. Why would you want to cook this month’s food on last month’s food? But the cleaning schedule is up to you and your use of the grill.

3. What commercial cleaner should I buy?

Person cleaning a barbecue grill with a scrub brush

There are some very good products on the market that will clean grills well. The key to using commercial cleaners is to find the one made for the metal your grill was made from. That way you are not in danger of damaging the grill or doing a bad cleaning job.

Maintaining A Gas Grill

Gas grill in a lush green backyard with meats and veggies warming on the grill

1. Turn on the grill about 15 minutes prior to cooking to burn off any leftover food from the last time you used it.

2. Buy a grill cover to protect your investment through those long periods of time when it is not in use.

3. Buy a grill brush if you haven’t done so already. Give the grill a good brushing every time you use it, both before and after use.

4. Buy stainless steel polish to protect your grill from rust.

5. Remember to empty your drip tray. Again, some people say to do this every two week but you should do it after every use. That way you have plenty of room for the new grease the next time you barbecue.

Some Final Words

Open gas grill sitting on a concrete patio in a yard surrounded by green trees

Taking care of your outdoor grill is essential if you want great food results and have the grill last a long time. Use the best cleaning technique and cleaning materials that fit the material your grill is made from.

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