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How to Clean and Maintain Your Propane Grill
May 11, 2022
Written By Adam Buckallew
Summer, summer, summertime. Time to sit back and unwind – and enjoy freshly grilled foods. Whether you’re preparing burgers and brats or steaks and kabobs, you will want to ensure your propane grill is ready for your next cookout. The following tips will help you clean and maintain your propane grill.
Start the new season by giving your grill a good cleaning. Even if you’re a year-round griller or you have used your grill a few times already, the warmer weather provides a great opportunity to get your grill into shape. After all, a clean grill is not only safer, but it will also cook better and last longer.
Check the Propane Connection
Always check your grill’s propane connection before starting a new cooking season. To start, reconnect your propane tank and open the valve. Next, brush or spray soapy water onto the connections to check for leaks. Expanding bubbles indicate a leak. Follow this procedure every time you replace a cylinder.
Clean the Interior
Grease, food debris, and even insects can keep a grill from functioning as it should. Clean all grill surfaces thoroughly and inspect them for damaged or worn parts. Before you get started, you will want to have a few trusty tools: a long-handled wire brush, a wire bottle brush, a plastic putty knife, scouring pads and grease-cutting dish soap.
- Use a wire brush to clean debris off the flame tamers (also known as heat tents or flavorizer bars).
- The burner tubes, located under the flame tamers, can be inviting spots for spiders and insects to crawl inside during the grilling offseason. Clean them out to ensure the ports where the flames come out are clear. Even small blockages can create fire hazards. A wire bottle brush works well on the holes. Be sure you place the tubes back in their proper place before igniting the grill.
- Once the burner tubes are clean, keep working down to the firebox and drip pan. A plastic putty knife or scraper can help remove accumulated crud. You want to keep your firebox and drip pan relatively clean because excess food and grease build-up can lead to a fire.
- To prevent buildup, grates should be scrubbed with a wire brush or grill cleaning brick. Heating the grill to 500-550 degrees can help clean the grates. To do a deeper clean, you can soak the grates in warm, soapy water to remove greasy accumulations.
- Soapy water and a scouring pad work well to clean the inside of the hood.
Don’t Forget the Exterior
There are several different types of exterior grill surfaces and they all require their own cleaning methods.
- For stainless steel surfaces, start by cleaning with hot, soapy water to remove grease and grime. After removing any gunk and drying the outside, use a specialized stainless-steel cleaner to polish the exterior. Buffing with a microfiber towel will leave it looking nice and shiny.
- Porcelain-coated grill lids should be cleaned with soapy water and then wiped down with paper or microfiber towels. Glass cleaner works well for polishing the cover.
- Lids with powder coating can be cleaned with mild dish soap and water. Dry with paper or microfiber towels. Do not use stainless steel cleaning solutions on these surfaces, or it may cause damage.
- On painted lids, use sandpaper and scrapers to remove corrosion or wash with soap and water. Once dry, paint the lid according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Scrubbing with hot, soapy water works well to remove any grease spots found on knobs or the exterior of the cookbox.
Additional Tips to Clean and Maintain Your Propane Grill
- Before cleaning, place a tarp under your grill to protect your porch or patio pavement from grease and debris.
- Whether it’s assembly, use, maintenance, cleaning, or storage, make your grill manufacturer’s instructions your go-to resource for safe grilling.
- Keep your grill outdoors and at least ten feet from the house on a level surface that is clear of outdoor furniture, overhead trees, or other potential fire hazards.
- Protect your grill whenever it’s not in use with a cover made of waterproof, breathable material, such as heavy-duty polyester.
- Always store propane cylinders upright in a secure position and never keep them in your car.
- Plan to clean your grill thoroughly at least twice a year to keep it in top shape.
If you ever have a question about propane service or safety, contact your local MFA Oil office.