It’s so easy to forget, isn’t it? Summer ends, the grill goes back into storage, and you might have decided to leave the cleaning for another day. There’s a lot of conflict over the cleaning of a grill. Personal tastes, cooking methods passed down in secret whispers through the generations.
But you have to ask yourself what actually happens if you don’t keep the grill clean, can you get sick from not cleaning your grill? They are important questions, and ones that we are more than happy to answer.
Your Food Will Taste Weird
But the flavor, we hear you say. There are many tales of how not cleaning the grill leads to better flavor over time - same with a toastie maker and that cast iron skillet you love.
The truth is, it’s only going to make your food taste weird and it’s one of the biggest grilling mistakes you can make. Not to mention that not so nice smokey coating your meat will end up with.
It’s Prime Retail for Bacteria
If you don’t clean your grill you might as well open up a mold farm for the world to see. The grill grates eventually become so thick with fat and grease that you won’t even notice the mold growing on it while you’re cooking. It’s the perfect way to get really ill from grilling.
No, just because the BBQ is hot and remains at high levels of heat for an extended period of time does not mean the bacteria goes away. It remains, it lingers, and it will absolutely cling to your meal. The fire doesn’t kill everything, and food poisoning can be a pretty major illness.
Increased Risk of Carcinogens
Fun fact, incinerating meat that is high in fat releases carcinogens. So, when all the grease and fat from your latest meat feast on the fire gets turned into charcoal you’re creating a dangerous situation. All that smoke that rises up from the grill and coats your food could lead to you developing cancer the more you consume the meat that it has touched.
Yup, you could find yourself with a bit of a rodent problem if the grill is left to its own devices. All that old gunk and grease on the grill is the perfect treat for rats and other creatures and once they find it they always know where it is. You may want to give your BBQ a good brush and wash just to get rid of the grime and show scavengers that there is nothing here for them.
You Won’t Notice Maintenance Needs
Whether a classic charcoal grill or a gas grill, maintenance is important to make sure everything is in working order. If you are not checking your grill grate and ensuring it is clean, you’re also not looking at whether or not the burners are clogged, there is rust, or the metal in the grill is cracking. Maintenance is key to a healthy grill, and cleaning is part of that.
How to Clean Your Grill
When you’re done cooking you should clean your grill as soon as possible. You can grab a paper towel and give it a quick wipe down to keep it in good condition, and use a grill brush to really scrub the grates and ensure they remain clear.
You can also use hot soapy water to get rid of tough stains as the heat will help to loosen all the grease, oil, and grime. However, you can also take it a step further - especially if you have gone long enough without cleaning your grill properly. You can use a pressure washer to clean your BBQ grill, and it can be highly effective on the grates as well as the exterior.
It is recommended that you get a pressure washer with a concentrated nozzle as this will help direct the flow of the water and ensure it is intense enough to wash the grate without causing any damage - eliminating those pesky grease stains after grilling. It only takes a few minutes and you’ll find that you’re able to cook good food that tastes good again.
Your grill deserves a thorough clean, and while grilling with old food already caked on has often been seen as a sign of strong flavour - this isn’t the case (or, at least, not in a good sense). It doesn’t matter if you’re using charcoal or gas, you need to be equipped to handle the process like a pro.
So, if it’s been a while, grab the pressure washer and a brush so that you can enjoy meals that don’t just taste better but are also less of a risk to your health.