These are the workhorses of your cooker and because they come in direct contact with your food, they need to be clean. Start by removing the cool grates and wiping or brushing off as much of the big, loose debris as you can with a mesh or nylon scrub pad or a brush. In a sink or large bucket, mix up a sudsy solution of a grease-cutting dish liquid, like Dawn, and hot water and place the grates in to soak. If they don’t completely fit in, immerse one half, soak, then flip it over to get the other side. After soaking 15 to 30 minutes, put on some rubber gloves (like GH Seal holder, Playtex) and scrub the grates clean with a sturdy grill brush or scrubbing pad. Take extra care with porcelain grates, because you don't want to damage them.
For metal and cast iron grill grates, coat lightly with a high temperature oil like Canola or Peanut oil – wipe off any excessive oil, install the grates and fire up the grill. Heat the grill on high and let it burn for ~30 mins. This will burn all the solvents and impurities off of the heating elements, grill grates, etc. Note that porcelain grates won’t need a coat of oil, but will benefit from the burn in process to remove any chemicals/impurities that were applied by the manufacturer.
When finished, you’ll have ears of corn with varying degrees of husk and silk clinging to golden, lightly charred corn and you’ll probably be wondering how the heck to husk it. Remove the ears from the grill and cool for five minutes. Then you should be able to easily pull back the husks and silk. Use a clean kitchen towel to wipe away any unwanted silk or charred husk flakes.
If scrubbing isn’t your thing, there's Carbona’s 2-in-1 Oven Rack and Grill Cleaner. This kit contains a large zip-top bag and a 16 oz. bottle of cleaner. Simply place your grates in the bag, pour in the liquid, seal the bag and shake gently so the cleaner coats the racks. Let it sit (away from children and pets) eight hours, or even overnight. Afterward, remove the racks from the bag, lightly scrub away any stubborn residue and rinse them well. In our GH Institute Cleaning Lab tests, even grates from a charcoal smoker came out clean with virtually no effort, thanks to this product.
Outdoor grilling is a great way to get together with family and friends and enjoy tasty food. However, the outdoor fun is only possible with a grill that is cleaned and maintained throughout the year. There are a few simple cleaning steps that you can do after every time you grill, along with deeper, semi-annual cleaning steps to keep your grill working its best for years to come. An outdoor grill that is kept clean and maintained will stay in good working order and will ensure that the food you cook on it always tastes great.