How To Clean Your Stainless Steel Grill Grates & Keep Them Looking Like New
If you love your grill as much as I do, you want to keep it looking as pretty as possible. Keeping your grill clean serves another purpose, other than looking great, it ensures that your Napoleon barbecue is in top working order and remains that way for its entire life. It’s easy to take care of the outside of the grill, just follow the instructions found in our article What is Stainless Steel & How to Care For It. However, since your cooking grids bear the brunt of barbecue life, you want to know how to clean them, and how to get your stainless steel grill grates looking like new again.
How to Clean BBQ Grates
The best way to clean stainless steel BBQ grates is to clean them after each use. Give your stainless steel cooking grids a scrub with your stainless steel grill brush, or our bristle free grill brush. Doing this while the grill is still hot will mean you don’t have to do it when you go to cook next time, and goes a long way to ensuring your stainless steel cooking grates remain looking like new.
Two Simple Steps To Keeping Grids Clean:
- Clean your grids while the grill is hot after you are done barbecuing. It’s a great way to pass the time while your meat is resting.
- If you forgot, preheat your grill to 500°F+ (high) for 10 to 15 minutes before you begin cooking. Once the grill has gotten nice and hot, use the brush to clear away any debris from your last grilling session.
Stubborn Stains on Your Grids
Unfortunately, from time to time, something stubborn sticks to your cooking surface, don’t fret. Try these tips instead.
- A sheet of foil, shiny side down, over the offending area while the grill is heating up to 500°F (high) should loosen the problem. When the grill is hot just brush the offending detritus away with your grill brush. **Please consider wearing Heat Resistant Barbecue Gloves when doing this as the grill will be very hot.**
- As a last resort, soaking your filthy stainless steel grids in hot water, then scrubbing gently will help get your grids squeaky clean. Just remember that in doing this, you are stripping off the seasoning you have built up and the grids will need to be re-seasoned. Don’t worry you can reapply that seasoning by following our instructions on how to season your stainless steel cooking grates.
Why does the tinfoil trick work? The tinfoil will form a concentrated convection (like when you grill with the lid down) over the offending area. This also traps steam if there is moisture present. It will break down the baked on gunk so that it is easier to remove with a grill brush, very similar to when you turn on the self cleaning in your oven.
How To Get Your Stainless Grill Grates Looking Like New
To get those grids looking brand new… well, you can’t. Once used, your cooking grids will begin developing what is called a patina. It’s a combination of discoloration from heat, and a buildup of oils on your barbecue cooking grates that will protect the stainless steel from corrosion and create a non-stick surface for you to cook on. That isn’t to say that you can’t have some nice looking grids. As outlined in the video, if you use a great, high-temperature oil like Crisco, palm oil, or lard to season your grids every few uses, and keep those grills clean, the grids will remain in great condition.
As always, we recommend that you exercise caution when using a grill brush and remember to perform proper grill brush maintenance to ensure that you aren’t losing bristles.