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Since Memorial Day traditionally marks the beginning of the cookout season, one thing that an awful lot of us will be doing on or shortly before the long holiday weekend is to get to work cleaning barbecue grills to prepare them for the holiday’s – and the season’s grilling.

While most serious barbecue enthusiasts will clean their grills after every use, your grill is still going to need a thorough cleaning before you fire it up for the year’s first big cookout. Of course, if you tend to start a little earlier, then you may have already done some sort of cleaning, but even so, it never hurts to do a good job of it; the cleaner your grill, the better your food will taste. Keep reading for a few barbecue grill cleaning tips to help you get everything ready for your big cookout season kickoff:

The Most Important Tools: Wire Brush and Scraper

The tools you’ll use the most are also the simplest: your scraper and wire brush. The best time to clean your grill this way is actually after a barbecuing when the grill is still warm, but for your Memorial Day cookout you’ll need to give the grill a good scraping and brushing beforehand. Don’t be afraid to put some elbow grease into it, since a clean grill will definitely be worth the effort. To make things a little easier, especially if there is a lot of buildup to clean off of your grill, start by taking the grate out of your grill and give it a good hosing down before you do anything else.

Cleaning Barbecue GrillsUsing a Grill Stone

A grill stone is something that you may want to invest in if you grill frequently, since it requires a lot less effort to remove residue from the grate this way. These extremely abrasive stones make short work of even relatively tough grill messes, but like a wire brush, you may not want to use this tool to for cleaning your barbecue grill if the grate is made from ceramic rather than metal.

Working With Iron Grates

If your grill’s grate is cast iron, then remember to take proper care of it; just as you would with a cast iron skillet, your grate will last far longer if you oil it after use to prevent rust. Make sure to do this after you finish cleaning it, rubbing it down with a paper towel dipped in a little vegetable oil.

Portable and Semi-Portable Charcoal Grills

As long as you’re cleaning off the grate, you may as well go beyond just dumping out the ashes from your portable or semi-portable grill. Once it’s cooled down, scrape or brush out the inside and if possible, hose it down as well.

A clean grill makes for a great Memorial Day barbecue, so feel free to get started early with these barbecue grill cleaning tips before you get the first barbecue of the year underway.

Originally Published in Our Issue Issue #1 May 31, 2011 Newsletter

Picture, recipes and/or content upgraded: 04-14-16

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Christine Szalay-Kudra

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