After seeing my neighbor’s grill almost go up in flames as she tried to grill some chicken (not kidding—my husband even ran over with a fire extinguisher), I realized I was long overdue for a thorough deep cleaning of my gas Weber Spirit grill. And while scraping a dirty grill isn’t my favorite way to pass time, the payoff was SO worth it.
We all know the grilling basics—scrape the grates clean after preheating, change the drip tray when full—but often we avoid doing a thorough deep clean of our gas grills. And I get it. Heck, I’ve been developing grill recipes and deep cleaning grills at work for years, and even I still put off cleaning my gas grill at home.
Deep cleaning a gas grill can be messy, intimidating, and not at all glamorous. But it’s so important to do, both for safety reasons and to ensure that your grill ignites and works properly for better results. Aim to deep clean your grill twice a year. I recommend taking the time at the end of the summer before putting your grill away for the season.
Don't know where to start? I’m here to walk you through the process so that you can clean your grill with confidence.
What You’ll Need
- Two plastic bins big enough to fit the cooking grates and grease tray
- A tarp or cut-up trash bags to put under your work station
- Dish soap
- Rubber gloves
- Grill brush or heavy-duty bristle brush
- Grill floss (optional)
- Grill grease spray (optional)
- Scraping tool (a paint scraper works best)
- Stainless-steel wool
Before You Start
Make sure that your grill is fully cooled and the propane is turned off. Gloves are a must to protect your hands. Leave the grease tray and drip pan in place to start (we’ll clean those at the end).
Step 1. Set up your work station.
Fill one bin with warm soapy water and the other with clean water. Lay a tarp or cut-up trash bags under your work station to keep your yard/patio pretty. (Since we have our water bins on a table, we placed a cut-up trash bag under the grill.) The more you contain the mess from the start, the easier cleanup will be.
Step 2. Scrape cooking grates and flavorizer bars.
(Yes, "flavorizer bars" is the actual name for those triangular bars that rest on top of the burners. Note that your gas grill may not have these.) Wear gloves and use a wire grill brush, grill floss (if you have it), and a scraper. Good ol' elbow grease is the key to your success. Work over the grill, scraping everything directly into the grill's cookbox to control the mess. Pull out the grease tray and dump the accumulated scrapings as needed.
Step 3. Soak scraped grates and flavorizer bars in soapy water.
Once the remaining debris is softened after soaking, circle back to scrub the grates and bars clean using stainless-steel wool and a bristle brush. Dip the grates and bars in the clean water bin, and then set them out to dry. Your goal is not perfection; these will never look all shiny and new again. The goal is to remove the caked-on, carbonized grease.
Step 4. Scrape and scrub upper and lower cookbox and burner tubes.
Start high and work your way down, scraping everything into the grease tray. Leave the burner tubes in place, but give them a light scrape as well. Optionally, use a grill grease spray at this point. Follow up with a bristle brush or steel wool. Once all the stuck-on gunk (yes, that’s a technical term) is removed, use a wet rag for a final finish to remove any remaining loose particles. Inspect and gently clean the igniters, making sure that they are clear of debris.
Step 5. Clean grease tray and replace disposable drip pan.
Once the rest of the interior of the grill is cleaned, replace the disposable pan inside your grease tray (if your grill has one) and scrape down the tray itself over a trash can or tarped area for easy cleanup. Soak the tray in the soapy water bin (if necessary), scrub it, and then rinse it in the clean water bin.
Step 6. Clean inside of grill cabinet and exterior of grill.
Don't forget to dust the cobwebs and add that final sparkle to your grill. Scrub the inside cabinets, cooking knobs, and exterior with hot soapy water and a rag.
Step 7. Discard water and grill scrapings.
Dump the water bins far away from your grilling and dining area. (There shouldn’t be too much grease in either of them, but be conscious of where you're dumping them.) Tie up the trash bag that contains the grill scrapings and transfer it to a covered garbage can to avoid unwanted pests and critters.