Best Time of the Year for Full Cleanup


 

Willard

TVWBB Member
For those of us in the Northeast, who use our grill a bit less during the winter months, when is the best time to give our "daily drivers" a thorough cleanup?

We cook at least twice a week, four at the most.

This is the first time of my life that I have a grill as prior to July of this year, and for the previous 30 years, I lived in apartments in New York City.
 
When you stop using it for the winter, if ever. Otherwise, keep on grillin. If the lid has buildup that begins to peel, use a ball of aluminum foil, a grill brush, or such to scrub it off (dry). Some people never clean their grill up. Some people just empty ashes and clean the cooking grate. I'm sure some people clean the inside until it sparkles. I just don't know anyone like the latter.
 

TimA

TVWBB Fan
Yup, I also don’t subscribe to the deep clean mindset. At most the grate comes off and I scrape the inside of the bowl clean, all the grease and ash build up, and that’s it. Occasionally do inside the lid as well. Other than that, the grates get a quick brush before food goes on and that’s it.

I do have some SimpleGreen and 0000 steel wool that I got for the outside, as I like my colors to look as good as possible (Glen Blue, red, Spring Green, Avocado, and black, etc). They are all covered. Inside is dirty, outside clean.
 

Brian B Atlanta

TVWBB Wizard
You mention bowl, which makes me think this is a charcoal kettle, not a gasser. Are grease fires more of a concern for gassers? I've had minor grease fires with a kettle that did no damage, and I've seen warped and bowed gasser cookboxes, which lead me to believe that gassers are more prone to damage caused by grease fires.
Its the nature of the beast Ed on the gassers that large drip tray if you use it quite a bit burgers ribeyes or whatever and don't bother to clean that tray for the summer or worse guessing some people might not clean it for a year or longer there is alot of crap that accumulates in that large tray so when it lights up you can get a pretty good grease fire going. I have a Silver C got it cheap then discovered it had a bulge on the right side of the firebox for sure a grease fire. Was fortunate found a free Silver B so was able to swap out the firebox but whatever every few months or so I pull the large tray and clean it not anal about it have a few beers put it on top of a box simple green razor blade takes 5 or 10 minutes I always use disposable trays for the small tray they last a long time though does not seem alot of grease makes it way down there.

I was over my son in laws tonight gave him a 1000 first thing I asked him when did you clean the large tray last taught him well as when I gave it to him I made sure to tell him he needs to do that every 2-3 mos the answer was last week. He also cleaned up the flavorizer bars with a wire brush after heating for 15 minutes.

The difference just talking about my performer is when doing a spatchcock chicken I have the baskets on either side but I line the middle with foil and if doing wings they are on the outside with the baskets in the middle so I am using foil around the outside under those wings. Obviously when I go to use it the next time I am tossing that foil away so there is not a ton of grease getting thru to the bowl. Which once or twice a year same drill but I always check the sweeps to make sure they are turning freely.

I have never had a grease fire in the Silver C nor the Performer.
 

Joe Anshien

TVWBB Guru
For those of us in the Northeast, who use our grill a bit less during the winter months, when is the best time to give our "daily drivers" a thorough cleanup?

We cook at least twice a week, four at the most.

This is the first time of my life that I have a grill as prior to July of this year, and for the previous 30 years, I lived in apartments in New York City.
Now or the next warm day when you can make time, as you want to use the hose and that is no fun when its too cold. I take everything out of the cook box including burners, and spray with simple green. I use a heavy duty stainless steel pad on everything. After scrubbing the burners, spray water inside and out then let them dry vertical against a wall so water comes out the opening. Check the igniter. Put back together and grill trouble free all winter. Some time mid to late spring I do it again to make sure no summer problems. The rest of the year is just a little scraping and wiping.
 

Bruce

TVWBB 1-Star Olympian
Yah, if you are putting it in storage for the winter, a reall good cleaning is probably wise, but otherwise, just clean it when it starts to get gunked up. How in depth you do your cleaning is up to you. At a minimum, you want to scrape the cooking grates clean. Then pull out the flavorizer bars and knock off the burnt on loose stuff. No need to try to get them spotless and shiny. Then scrape the cook box out with a putty knife or similar. Empty all the scrapings out of the large grease pan and smaller drip pan and put in a new disposable drip pan. If the bigger grease pan is gunked up, scrape it out and if you like, hit it will some oven/grill cleaner and household steel wool. If the burners look pretty dirty and especially if you are getting uneven flames, then you might want to pull them out and clean them up. Sometimes just a quick cook box scrape is all you need. Do the other stuff as necessary. The lid really doesn't need a lot of maintenance, but if you want to knock the loose stuff off once in a while, then go ahead.
Then, an overall good wipe down on the exterior portions of the grill every so often will keep it looking nice.
 

Timothy F. Lewis

TVWBB Olympian
Well, living in Michigan, I grill all year round. Dump ashes, clean grate now and then. Once in a while scrape some gunk out. Build another cook and don’t worry too much is my method. Every once in a great while I get the bug to scrub the kettle then I get a few things out grab a support beer and then forget about it and grill some brats!
I have given this old kettle a full cleaning three times in probably 20 years. Do what makes you comfortable.
 

Bruce

TVWBB 1-Star Olympian
Timothy, that is pretty much the way I do my gas grills. AS NEEDED. I do give them a pretty good thurough cleaning about once a year, but I don't even scrape the cooking grates between every cook. As needed.

It is called "seasoning".
 

Bob Bailey

TVWBB Super Fan
Don't really do any deep cleans. The norm for me is dumping ashes and cleaning grates. Additionally the Traeger gets vacuumed out, new foil on the drip tray and the temp, sensor cleaned ~every 8 hours of use. I do eyeball the smoker/grills after almost every use and will take care of things like excessive grease buildup and flaky residue as needed. When exteriors star looking bad, I break out a spray bottle of Simple Green and spiffy them up a bit.
 

Steve Petrone

TVWBB Diamond Member
To those who may not thoroughly clean gas grills i.e. those who have not experienced a grease fire, please reconsider.

I experienced a grease fire on a friends weber gas grill. I could have easily burned down a million dollar cabin. Thank God for a bag of flour.

Edit: Upon returning home, I cleaned my grill...still shocked how much grease/gunk was in my 'clean' grill.
 
To those who may not thoroughly clean gas grills i.e. those who have not experienced a grease fire, please reconsider.

I experienced a grease fire on a friends weber gas grill. I could have easily burned down a million dollar cabin. Thank God for a bag of flour.

Edit: Upon returning home, I cleaned my grill...still shocked how much grease/gunk was in my 'clean' grill.

I tend to just scrape out the big grease accumulation from my gasser. A cold day is best if I just want to scrape it. The grease is coagulated and scrapes better. This gets 90% of the grease and reduces the hazard to something reasonable. But, since I rebuilt my gasser, I hardly ever use it for anything except some veggies. I don't like cleaning it and so the fatty meat like chicken thighs and wings go on the charcoal komado, where the grease gets either consumed or swept out with the ash.
 

Scott Saw

New member
I burn off the grease every so often in my WSC. It gets greasy just using it as a smoker. The outside cleans up with dishsoap and warm water
 

TimA

TVWBB Fan
I missed that the post was made about a gasser, and responded with my kettles. I’m just so used to talking charcoal charcoal charcoal on here haha. My apologies.

My gassers don’t get used enough to require a clean. When they were used a lot, I would routinely, well maybe a couple months, take out the grates and scrape accumulated grease into the drip pan but that’s it. Grates are never scrubbed and cleaned, just a quick brush before food goes on
 

Timothy F. Lewis

TVWBB Olympian
To those who may not thoroughly clean gas grills i.e. those who have not experienced a grease fire, please reconsider.

I experienced a grease fire on a friends weber gas grill. I could have easily burned down a million dollar cabin. Thank God for a bag of flour.

Edit: Upon returning home, I cleaned my grill...still shocked how much grease/gunk was in my 'clean' grill.
FLOUR!!!???????
NONONONONONONONO! Never flour, baking soda, sand, corn meal maybe but never flour, the fine particulate can cause an explosion! Ever heard of grain elevators exploding? There was a Robin Hood flour mill elevator explosion when I was a kid and news shows showed how it can happen.
I understand the “I need it right now!” Thought but, for crying out loud Thad could have caused more problems that it, luckily, solved. If you’re worried about the remotest possibility have a fire extinguisher or a box of soda close by, NEVER flour!
 

Timothy F. Lewis

TVWBB Olympian
I get it but, soda is cheap, if I’m going somewhere and am expected to cook on their grill, I bring equipment. I will add a box of soda!
That’s easy enough, good safety tip!

Now, as for more winterizing, I just swapped the RiverCity woodworks handles out for old ones and am trying to decide of I want to put the cover on. If I do, it will interfere with the solar light and I’m not sure I want to lose that when I need it most!
 

EricV.

TVWBB Pro
Well, living in Michigan, I grill all year round. Dump ashes, clean grate now and then. Once in a while scrape some gunk out. Build another cook and don’t worry too much is my method. Every once in a great while I get the bug to scrub the kettle then I get a few things out grab a support beer and then forget about it and grill some brats!
I have given this old kettle a full cleaning three times in probably 20 years. Do what makes you comfortable.
I second this approach, time to move on.......
 

John K BBQ

TVWBB Pro
I think on a weber gas, you gotta clean out the grease catching system (tray and pan) as needed. How often really depends on how often you cook and what you cook. I'd rather clean more often than less often because if you wait too long it becomes a really miserable job and can create safety concerns. Grease fires on gas grills can get serious because unlike a charcoal grill you can't shut off the air to gas grill. The "deep clean" is less necessary in my opinion. I try to keep my grill grates and flavorizors and cook chamber presentable, but I don't "deep clean".
 

Bruce

TVWBB 1-Star Olympian
I agree with the folks that fell a grill doesn't have to be cleaned out after a couple cooks. But, some people seem to think they don't need to be cleaned out at all and that can get dangerous. This is a Spirit II. 20211018_152831.jpg 20211018_152851.jpg
 

 

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