Thanks to the age of convenience, it’s so much easier than ever before to clean your grill. Vinegar is an affordable option for greasy grates with no required degreaser. After cooking messy meat that doesn’t want to come off your grill brush then scrub away all that grease!
Cleaning your grill grates is a great way to keep them looking like new and working well. It is important that the grates are thoroughly cleaned before you put them away for storage or they can rust. There are many ways to clean the grill grates on your BBQ! One of them is with vinegar. Vinegar is a great cleaner because it has low pH levels which means it doesn’t corrode metal like bleach does. And unlike soap which can leave behind an oily film over the grates, vinegar leaves no residue or odor at all. Vinegar will also help break down any tough protein deposits making them easier to remove with a brush or scraper later. It’s also safe for most types of grills, including stainless steel and porcelain coated cast iron. How to clean grill grates with vinegar? Find out here!
Why you should clean your grill grates
– A dirty grill grates will ruin your barbecue.
That’s the main reason to take care of you grill grate. Another reason is that it makes it much easier to clean the actual cooking surface, making life easier for whoever has to clean up after you are done barbecuing. You could easily save yourself 15 minutes or half an hour if you would only take the time to properly clean your grill grate before using it again! But besides all these practical reasons it also looks very disgusting when somebody comes over and starts preparing food on a dirty grill that hasn’t been cleaned in months, seasons or even years. So, yes, there are several good reasons why you should regularly clean your BBQ grill grate.
– Preventing rust
Getting rid of rust is pretty difficult, you might be wondering how this could be related to what should I clean my grill grate with. The thing is, if your grates are rusted they can cause flaking onto your food which you eat and that would not be something healthy or tasty at all. You might think that this will not happen because the grate just sits above the fire and doesn’t actually come into contact with it but think about it, there is still ash on it from the last barbecue-session. What do you think happens when the ashes get so hot that they turn into sparks? They fly around anyhow and eventually land somewhere. And where exactly do you think those flying sparks land first?
– Keeps your grate straight
I have seen a lot of grates that weren’t straight, but actually bent or at least not completely flat anymore. This might be caused by rusting which causes the metal to get soft and eventually get bent. There also is another reason why your grate can get warped: If you put it away when it’s still hot from cooking, the excess heat will cause the metal to expand and thus warp your grate slightly. So always give it some time to cool off before you put it somewhere so this won’t happen either.
– You can clean it with almost anything
It doesn’t really matter what you use to clean your grate as long as it’s not something that can damage the metal itself! Things like steel wool are pretty good for cleaning, but they are also very hard on the grate and can cause scratches which will make cooking more difficult later on. Some people even swear by using lemon juice because this is supposed to be acidic enough to remove all kinds of dirt without harming the actual metal.
– It looks better
As I already mentioned, a dirty grill grate looks pretty bad and you might be wondering why this is even an argument. The thing is, if you would only take the time to clean your grill before preparing any food on it people could actually see that it’s cleaner than usual and this would add to the overall impression of your barbecue skills! So whenever you want to impress others with your cooking just remember: Cleaning equals better results – after all, what kind of chef wouldn’t give everything he has to create the perfect meal?
Can you use vinegar to clean grill grates?
There are dozens of different ways to clean grill grates; all of them involve scrubbing with something. However, the problem with most materials is that they scratch off the nonstick coating. Vinegar, however, does not have this issue.
How to clean grill grates with vinegar? Vinegar is a mild acid, which will effectively break up the burnt-on food without harming your grate’s surface. The acetic acid in vinegar actually helps prevent future buildups by killing bacteria and other microorganisms that live off fats and starches on dirty surfaces.
Of course, you can just use soap or another household cleaner to get rid of large amounts of stuck-on foods, but what about when comes time to cook something? When the food starts to burn, if it’s left on the grate for more than a few seconds, there is a chance that it will leave behind small carbonized crumbs which are almost impossible to remove. Enter vinegar, whose mild acidity can once again save you from having to scrub away at your grill afterwards.
Vinegar works great on its own when dealing with large amounts of stuck-on food. However, if you want an even more powerful cleaner/degreaser, try using baking soda.[F2] It has enough power to make food fall right off of metal surfaces—yes, even cast iron—and can be used either with or without water. Baking soda mixes well with vinegar to make a powerful cleaner.
How to clean grill grates with vinegar
How to clean grill grates with vinegar? Here are some easy steps to clean those dirty grill grates:
*Note: this method should not harm stainless steel or cast iron grill grates. You may want to test a small spot first if you have a different type of metal grate.
– Soak your dirty grate with distilled white vinegar (the smell will dissipate once it dries). Vinegar is an acetic acid which makes it great at dissolving grease and other organic materials on surfaces (R). I soaked mine overnight, but you only need to do it for as long as it takes for the visible grease to dissolve.
– Once your grill grate has soaked, use tongs and gloves (the vinegar will burn skin so you don’t want to get it on your hands) to remove the grate from the container. Place the grate over a fire proof/heat safe surface (i.e. NOT flammable or heat reactive).
– Use a paper towel soaked in distilled white vinegar to scrub off remaining gunk until the metal looks clean again. Repeat if necessary.
– To prevent future build up, heat your grill before each use and make sure food cannot fall between grates (there’s probably not much space there anyway, but still).
The process did work, but it didn’t get rid of the black gunk that was stuck to the grate in some spots. This may be because my grates are very dirty or maybe because I didn’t soak them long enough. You can always repeat this process if necessary to remove any residue still on the grate after you are done cleaning. Also, make sure to rinse your grill grates with water when you are done cleaning them to remove any remaining vinegar (it will eat away at your aluminum siding or whatever else if left on for too long).
You may also want to use a stainless steel brush before heating up your grill in order to loosen any burnt-on grease and food particles. This is important if you have one of those fancy grills with the removable grates.
The benefits of cleaning your grill grates
Cleaning your grill grates on a regular basis is important for getting the best results when cooking.
Grill grates need to be scrubbed with soapy water and rinsed clean, then wiped dry. Use a stiff wire brush to remove any leftover food particles from between the grates themselves. This will allow you to cook more effectively, with better browning and uniform cooking, and most importantly it prevents toxins from developing in your food that may come from burning old grease deposits from previous use.
Even though you have been using the same grill for many years this cleaning routine should still apply. The reason being is that there is bacteria living in all porous surfaces such as wood or charcoal, even stainless steel can retain some of these organisms. So if your grill has been used in the past every season, good food handling practices becomes even more critical.
Grease from cooking can also catch fire and when this happens it is important to clean the grates thoroughly before reusing them. If you witness a grease fire on your grates allow them to cool completely then soak them in a 50/50 mixture of water and vinegar overnight, make sure they are submerged to ensure all burned particles will be removed when you take them out in the morning. Afterward, scrub with a stiff brush under running water and dry completely before putting away for future use or allowing guests to cook on these same grates without cleaning first.
In addition you will want clean your utensils after every use as well. This will prevent cross contamination of your food and you can ensure that bacteria from raw meat is not brought into contact with ready-to-eat foods such as veggies or bread.
Flare-ups are a normal part of grilling, but it is important to keep them under control so they do not burn the food and soot up the cooking grates and hood and cause damage. One way to aid in this process is to lightly spray the grill surface with water which will help steam up any grease flare ups instantly, eliminating their chances to become out of hand. You should also not move your meat around too much on the cooking surface as this could lead to burning as well as an uneven cook all around for whatever cut of meat you may be preparing.
Besides having a clean grill with no stuck on food or scorch marks, there are other benefits to maintaining your grilling utensils in good condition. This includes keeping the cooking elements covered when not in use along with keeping any access doors closed to avoid dust and debris entering into the workings of your grill. Replacing filters also becomes easier when they are kept clean, which is why it is important to season your grill at least once in the beginning after purchasing it new before using for the first time.
As mentioned earlier, taking care of your grill grate can prevent toxins from forming when you cook which is very important especially when dealing with meats like ground beef that has been known to sometimes carry harmful bacteria which are easily killed by thorough cooking, but can survive in lower temps to lead to food poisoning if undercooked.
So next time you are cleaning your grill just remember that what you are doing isn’t just for the look of it, it is so that you have a clean safe environment for cooking on which will give you great tasting food and peace of mind while eating your meal, not to mention it may save someone else’s life.
What type of vinegar works best for cleaning the grates
Vinegar is a multi-purpose product that can be used to clean and shine many surfaces in the home. One such surface it’s great for polishing, cleaning and shining is your barbecue grill.
It’s [sic] ability to break down dirt, grease and grime make it an effective way to get rid of food and other contaminants on the surface of your grill so you don’t ingest these harmful chemicals while eating. However, there are different types of vinegar available at supermarkets and specialty stores so you should know how best to use each type before purchasing one.
Distilled white vinegar is perhaps the most commonly found type but apple cider vinegar works well too. The main difference between the two products is that distilled white vinegar has a more concentrated strength while apple cider vinegar is milder.
The reason why you should use a milder form of vinegar, like apple cider vinegar, is because it won’t ruin your food’s natural flavors by coming into contact with the raw meat. Distilled white vinegar however breaks down the chemical substances on the surface of your grill that transfer into your food when cooking. This may or may not affect the taste of your grilled dish, but either way it doesn’t hurt to be safe!
How to clean grill grates with vinegar? No matter what type you end up choosing for cleaning purposes, make sure you dilute the product before applying directly onto surfaces. Also remember to let the solution sit on surface for at least five minutes so it can lift away stubborn dirt and grime.
After that, just rinse off the vinegar with cold water and your grill is good to use!
Once finished with this make sure you dry your grill completely so it doesn’t rust in any area!
How to clean grill grates with vinegar?- Conclusion
If you’ve been struggling with how to clean your grill grate, don’t worry. We have just the solution for you! Cleaning your grill grates with vinegar is a great way to keep them clean and maintain the right temperature. Vinegar will help remove any build up of grease, food particles or bacteria that may be causing too much heat loss on the surface area of your grate. It’s also an effective way to make cleaning easier by removing all those stubborn spots you’ve been trying to scrub off for weeks now. So if you want a quick fix for dirty cooking surfaces, stop using chemicals and try some good old-fashioned white distilled vinegar! Just mix it in equal parts water then use as normal after spraying down both sides of each metal grid before cooking again. Happy grilling!
How do you clean grill grates without scrubbing?
We’ve all been there: You fire up the grill to make dinner and you forget to clean the grates before grilling (again). When cooking is done, you do a little scrubbing with a wire brush and wonder why the next meal tastes like last night’s steak.
You could try other approaches — we list 4 smart ones in this post — but we believe that steaming is the best way to get rid of stuck-on food without wrecking your grill. Here are four ways to go about it.
– Option 1: Rig up a pan filled with water underneath your grate, place over high heat for several minutes, then use tongs or wadded-up paper towels to wipe away any residue.
– Option 2: Fill a sturdy aluminum roasting pan about one-third full with water, add a couple of foil-wrapped bricks (or rocks), and place the grill grate on top. Bring the water to a boil over medium heat, then use tongs or wadded paper towels to wipe away any residue.
– Option 3: Place your soaked-in-water grill grate in an oven set at 200 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 minutes or so. The hot moist environment will make it easy to remove any stuck-on food without burning yourself or damaging the grate’s porcelain coating. Use gloves, if you like. Watch out for steam burns.
– Option 4: If all else fails, break out the sandpaper and grit your teeth; scrubbing is abrasive, so you need to be careful not to make the problem worse.
How to clean cast iron grill grates with vinegar
Do you want to grill a better tasting steak or burger? Does your cast iron grate have a tough time grilling? Here is the solution.
The high heat needed for grilling causes food to stick to the cast iron grate when cooking. The residue builds up and when left on long enough gets hard, causing food to definitely stick in addition to creating off flavors. To clean cast iron grill grates it is suggested that you use oven cleaner (the active ingredient in which seems like magic) however there are always other options too! Here is an easy way of how to clean cast iron grill grates using vinegar.
– Step 1: Remove the Grill Grates from the BBQ Grill
To begin cleaning your cast iron ribbed grill grates, you will need to remove them from your BBQ grill. This is best done with tin snips since the grates are most likely still hot, so be careful when removing them.
– Step 2: Make a Vinegar Solution
Get a large clean bucket and put in about 1/2 gallon of vinegar (use more for larger quantities).
– Step 3: Soak Then Scrub
Once you have removed the cast iron ribbed grate from your grill, immediately submerge it into the vinegar solution. Allow this to sit overnight. The next day when you come back to clean cast iron grate, scrub any food or grease off with an old toothbrush that has been dipped in the vinegar solution. You may also use steel wool pads (the kind used for cleaning pots and pans)
– Step 4: Rinse with Water
Once you have scrubbed off all the residue from grilling, rinse the cast iron ribbed grate under hot running water. The acid in the vinegar should help to remove any hard build up or stuck on food so it can be easily rinsed away.
Now your cast iron grill grate is clean! This process of how to clean cast iron grill grates using vinegar will not harm your grill or its finish since the vinegar only contacts the grates themselves, not touching any painted or plated surfaces. Now that you know how to clean cast iron grill grates , go get one step closer to perfecting your barbecue technique!
>> How to clean grill grates with vinegar – See more: Homemade vinegar FAQs