How to Clean a Charcoal Grill

charcoal grill detail

How Often Should You Clean Your Charcoal Grill?

The first thing you need to understand before you learn how to clean a charcoal grill is how often you should do it. If you own one and use it quite often, you should give it a good cleaning session at least twice per season. Even if you do not use it a lot, make sure you give it a deep cleaning once in every season. Thoroughly cleaning a charcoal grill prevents the buildup of carbon or ash within it and rust on the grates of the charcoal grill.

Equipment You Will Need

Here are the important tools you need for giving your charcoal grill a thorough cleaning session:

  • A grill brush or any kind of coarse cleaning brush
  • Aluminum Foil
  • Paper bags
  • A putty knife or bristle brush
  • Fork


And now to learn the steps of how to clean a charcoal grill. You will be surprised at how remarkably simple it is.

  1. Gather all of the supplies mentioned above. Make sure you have everything in hand.
  2. Remove the grill grate from your charcoal grill and clean it using a coarse cleaning brush or a grill brush.
  3. Kettle charcoal grills have a separate grate for charcoal. If you have one of those, then you should remove that and repeat the same process like with the grill grate and clean it up properly.
  4. Make a ball with the aluminum foil and use it for scrubbing. You’d be surprised how good a job the ball of aluminum can do in scrubbing both the grates.
  5. Now for the bottom of the grill and the lid. Wipe out or brush off any and all debris from the bottom of the grill. Sweep it out and collect it in the paper bag so you can dispose it off properly. Use a bristle brush or a putty knife to peel off carbon flakes and grease.
  6. Put it all back together and that is just about it.

Preventing Food From Sticking To The Grate

There are a few other considerations you need to make so you can learn how to clean the charcoal grill and maintain it properly. Always make sure that you check the ash collector of the grill before you start grilling. Empty it out if it is full.

Every time you are about to start grilling, you should preheat the grill. After preheating the grill, brush the grate with a wadded piece of aluminum foil or a coarse cleaning brush to remove the leftover burnt food from the previous session.

Brush the grates after you’re done grilling so that there is less clean up to do every time you start a grilling session.

Last but not least, make sure you oil the grate before you start cooking. This will help to prevent any of your food sticking to the grates while you’re grilling.

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