Regular cleaning and routine maintenance can add years to your grill’s life.
Nothing says summer like the smoky smell of barbecue on the grill. But before you fire it up for your club’s next member event or dinner service, it’s important to make sure your grill is clean and ready. Regular cleaning and routine maintenance can add years to your grill’s life—and save you valuable capital dollars in both the short and long term.
According to a leading outdoor grill manufacturer, there are three simple steps for cleaning your grill before the busiest part of your season.
Be prepared. “A pail of soap and warm water, a sponge, paper towels and a good grill scrub brush are all cleaning necessities,” says the manufacturer.
Once you’ve gathered your supplies, begin by wiping down the exterior and interior to remove any grease splatters, food debris or dirt. Make sure you get under the lid and around the edges of the grill. And be sure to check air vents to remove any debris. This will ensure free air flow and limit fire hazards.
Use some elbow grease on those grates. For the grates, a wire-bristled grill brush is strong enough to remove cooked-on food and rust. After using the brush, wipe the debris away with a sturdy sponge. (Be sure to replace your grill brush every season.)
You can also remove the grates from the grill and clean them with soap and water. For stuck-on food that’s particularly stubborn, try either soaking the grates, or spraying them with a solution of equal parts vinegar and water. Leave the solution on for about an hour, and then wipe the grates clean.
Re-season/cure it. “After a thorough cleaning, coat the grates with vegetable oil,” the manufacturer recommends. “If you put them in the oven at 450°F for a couple of hours, you can ‘cure’ them and get them ready for reuse.”
While cleaning your club’s grill, take the time to evaluate it for any needed maintenance.
“Check your burners for any holes,” suggests the manufacturer. “If you see any, replace those burners. Also, examine any tubes or hoses for spider nests, or cracks and leaks.”
Also be sure to check that ignition parts aren’t covered in grease. You can do a “leak test” by putting soapy water on hoses, regulators and valves. Turn on the gas and look for any bubbles. If you see bubbles, gas is leaking, and parts must be replaced.
NOTE: Regardless of what type of grill you have, always refer to the owner’s manual before cleaning or disassembling your outdoor commercial grill.