How To Clean A Charcoal Grill?

Grills are of various types, but their sole purpose is to cook tasty and delightful food differently. Among all grills, the charcoal-powered grill is capable of giving the classical barbecue taste. It uses charcoal as fuel to cook food with softness and tenderness.

Do you know a charcoal grill produces more mess, like ash and grime, than other grills? And over some time, it loses its effectiveness if you do not clean it always. If you do not know how to clean a charcoal grill, you will get a complete guide in this post.


Why Do You Need To Clean Charcoal Grill?

Following are the reasons why I suggest you to clean the charcoal grill:

Improves Efficiency

Burning charcoal produces smoke, so cleaning your grill will lessen the time you usually need to cook food. Furthermore, this will save money as well. The less time spent on lighting and maintaining the grill, the more efficient you will be.

Increase Lifespan

Cleaning your grill regularly will help increase its lifespan. When you clean your grill, it will start working like new again. It is because dirty or clogged filters may cause problems in filtering out smoke and heat from the firewood used in making charcoal. Keeping your grill clean will prolong its life and enable you to enjoy its benefits for a long time.

For Better Food Takes

When you cook food on a dirty or dirty surface, the taste can get affected by several factors, including ash, fat, grease, etc. Food taste can have adverse effects if you do not clean the dirt off your grill. Therefore, regular cleaning of charcoal grills is essential for improving the flavor of your grilled foods and making them more appealing.

Removes Unwanted Stains

A dirty grill can be caused by many stains on the grill’s surface. It can also get stained due to unwanted substances in the foodstuff you cook on or during the cooking process. This makes it necessary for you to clean your charcoal grill as soon as possible, so there is no chance of getting stains on its surface.

Prevents Rusting

Un-cleaned grills often rust because of moisture accumulation inside them, so they cannot remain rust-free even after long periods. You should clean your charcoal grill regularly so that there is no chance for rusting to occur in the future, either due to water or other harmful substances that might accumulate inside it over time.

Things You Need To Clean Your Charcoal Grill

You need this mandatory equipment for adequately cleaning your charcoal grill:

Grill Brush

The grill brush is a mandatory item to use on your charcoal grill because it will help you clean the grates and other parts of the grill. You can utilize it to clean the grates of your charcoal grill after you have finished cooking on them. Surprisingly, you can use it for multi-purpose.


Aluminum Foil


The aluminum foil is another essential tool for properly cleaning your charcoal grill, especially if it has been left unused for some time. The foil will help keep the heat from escaping from the grills and ensure that they are not damaged by water or other substances.


The fork comes in handy when you want to remove food from your barbecue grill grates or when you need to move an object, such as a piece of onion.


Bristle Brush

It will help you clean every part of the grill, including the significant and other parts that may be hard to reach. The bristles on this brush allow you to get into hard-to-reach spots, like around the burners and under grates. You can also hold the grill with one hand while using it because it has a long handle.

Paper Bag

Paper bags are the best option because they are affordable and you can reuse them as well. Therefore, you will not have to buy paper towels repeatedly. You only need to place your hands inside the paper bag and wipe the grill. A sponge or a cloth is also an excellent choice to clean up any messes on your grill.

Rubber Hand Gloves

Rubber hand gloves are another great tool when cleaning your charcoal grill. They protect your hands from burns or cuts while working with hot surfaces like plastic, steel, or porcelain-coated grills. They will help prevent dirt from getting into the pores of your skin, which could lead to infections or skin grafts later on down the road if not properly cared for.

How To Clean A Charcoal Grill? Step By Step

You should remember to clean your charcoal grill from both outside and inside. 

Grill Cleaning From Outside

Follow these steps to clean your charcoal grill from the outside:

  1. Use a stiff brush and a bucket of soapy water to scrub the grill’s exterior.
  2. Rinse off the grill with a hose, and then use a sponge or rag to wipe off any excess soap.
  3. Wipe down the grills with a clean rag, and then pour some ammonia into a spray bottle and mist over all surfaces of the grill.
  4. Allow the entire grill to dry before you begin cooking again, as leaving food on your grill will cause it to rust quickly.

Grill Cleaning From Inside

Follow these steps to clean your charcoal grill from the inside:

  1. Unscrew the grill’s handle and remove the grates.
  2. Remove the grill’s burner grate.
  3. Unscrew the side covers and remove the side panels/grills.
  4. Open the lid of your charcoal grill and remove any ash or debris accumulated inside it.
  5. Take out a large bowl, a damp cloth, and a bottle of dish soap to clean your charcoal grill from the inside.
  6. Fill up the owl with water, followed by adding a small amount of dish soap, and mix them competently.
  7. Now pour this mixture into the charcoal grill through the holes at its bottom (make sure to cover all openings).
  8. Use a brush to scrub away any charred foods or grease accumulated on your grates using high-pressure water from a hose or sprayer.
  9. After that, dry up all the parts and accessories of your charcoal grill by letting it dry in the open air.

How To Clean Rust Off Charcoal?

You should follow these instructions to remove rust from the charcoal grill:

  1. Take the charcoal grill outside and spray it with a degreaser or cleaner.
  2. You may need help from a friend if there is too much rust on your grill. Let it sit for 1 hour to collect all the dirt and debris in one area. Next, scrub off the remaining rust with a wire brush.
  3. Once you have removed as much of the rust as possible, use steel wool to scrub off any remaining residue left behind by the degreaser or cleaner.

How Often Should I Clean Charcoal Grill?

It depends on your grill’s maintenance routine and how you use it. In general, if you clean your grill regularly, you can expect to be able to use it for several years. However, if you do not clean your grill often enough or use it in a filthy manner, you may need to clean it more frequently.

The charcoal you use also determines how often you need to clean your charcoal grill. If you use hardwood charcoal, this is more demanding than lump charcoal (which does not require as much maintenance). Hardwood only requires about once every two weeks for cleaning. Lump charcoal requires at least twice as much time for a cleaning because it is so dirty.

How To Clean Charcoal Grill Grates?

If you own a charcoal grill, you can clean your grates with ease by following the below-given steps:

  1. Using an ash-removing tool or a soft brush to brush off all the ash from the grates.
  2. Spray the grill with non-stick cooking spray and let it sit for a few minutes. It will allow the grease to be absorbed into the metal and prevent it from sticking to your hands while cleaning.
  3. Wipe down each section of your grill with an absorbent cloth or paper towel until it looks clean. You can repeat the process with another dry cloth or paper towel and wipe down the entire surface for better results.

What To Do With Charcoal After Grilling?

Charcoal Grilling produces a lot of smoke and ash that you have to dispose of after the grilling session is over. Some tips that will help you do so are given-below.

  1. Using a large bucket or garbage can, dispose of the ash from your grill. It will be easier if you have a gas grill with no ash collection system, but if you have one, collect it in an empty can or another container. Your backyard or other outdoor space around your house can also be used to dump it.
  2. To dispose of the ashes in your yard, try not to let them sit too long before adding them to the compost pile. They may contain chemicals that could damage plants and trees in your yard.

People Ask For!

No. Every time the grill is used, it should be cleaned to prevent bacteria from building up. If you do not clean your grill regularly, food will begin to stick to the grates and become unappetizing. As a result, your grill may have a shorter life expectancy and become more challenging to maintain.

Final Words

A well-cleaned grill propels up the charcoal’s flames, resulting in a more efficient cook. Cleaning the grill also reduces the smell of burnt foods on its surface. To clean the said grill successfully, you need to use the right tools, methods, and gears.

My recommendation is to keep your grill clean throughout the year. Not just because it is mandatory but also decreases the maintenance cost of a clean grill.

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