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As Martha Stewart knows, a dirty grill can put you at risk for frequent flare-ups caused by grease and grime.
I’m not Martha, but I know that looking at a dirty grill makes me wonder about the cooking and cleaning standards of the owner.
Most modern grills are just not that hard to clean. Here is the 411.
Gas grill how-to
1. Unhook the gas line; remove all grates.
2. Wearing rubber gloves and using a putty knife, scrape off any grease and carbonized food inside the cookbox. Wash the cookbox and drip pan using a sponge with water and dish soap; clean the inside of the lid.
3. Discard the drip pan’s foil liner, and scrape away any debris. Replace the liner (do this frequently over the season) to prevent flareups.
4. Rinse everything with a hose.
5. If the holes in the cookbox’s burner tubes are clogged, use a grill brush to clean them, scrubbing across the tube openings. If the blockage is deeper inside the tube, excavate it with an unbent coat hanger.
6. Tackle any metal bars above the burner tubes with the grill brush, then put back the cooking grates and reattach the gas line.
7. Turn all burners to high and close the lid. Wait until the temperature hits 500 degrees, about 15 minutes, then scrape the grates with the grill brush. Wear oven mitts.
Charcoal grill how-to
1. Remove both grates. Using the grill’s ash sweeper, push ashes and food into the ash catcher; discard debris.
2. Scrub inside the grill’s bowl using a grill brush with water and dish soap.
3. Replace the charcoal grate. Fill the grill’s bottom with charcoal and light it. Replace the cooking grate.
4. With the lid off, preheat the grill to 500 degrees, about 15 minutes. Scrape the grate with the grill brush. Wear oven mitts.
Susan Woody has been a home and garden writer for more than 20 years and is an advanced Master Gardener.