For Architectural Digest, by Miranda Silva.
Photo: Eric Piasecki
It's officially peak cookout season, which means your grill needs to be in prime condition. Whether you're hosting a backyard party or just regularly cooking meals outdoors, a clean grill doesn't only look better--it works better, too. We asked Kevin Kolman, Weber's grill master (that's his real title!), for his expert advice on cleaning a grill from the hood to the ashes.
Give it a shine
Even if you just forget to cover it for a few days, a grill can quickly go from gleaming to dusty. To wipe down the outside, Kolman recommends glass cleaner and a paper towel for porcelain-coated lids and stainless-steel cleaner and a microfiber towel for stainless-steel ones.
Prep grates ahead of time
Most people know to scrape down grill grates here and there, but Kolman suggests a thorough cleaning before every grilling session. Preheat the grill at a high temperature for ten to 15 minutes with the vents open, then remove any debris with a stainless-steel brush. "This is important because any residue left on the grate could cause food to stick during future grilling," he says.
Clear the way
If you have a gas grill, blocked burner tubes can make for a barbecue disaster by restricting gas flow and even preventing the igniter from lighting up, notes Kolman. With the gas supply turned off, clean the tubes, brushing the portholes with a stainless-steel brush in an up-and-down (never lengthwise) motion.
Do a deep clean
Over time, bits of food that have slipped through the grates can collect in a forgotten, ashy mess. With the grill cool (and gas supply turned off, if applicable), remove the bottom tray and scrape any grime from the inside of the grill with a putty knife, says Kolman. Scrub the grease tray, as well as any warming racks and grill baskets, with a fine steel-wool pad and warm, soapy water. Don't forget to empty out any ash from the trays and replace catch pan liners on a regular basis.
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