There’s nothing that compares to the smokey taste of a grilled steak or burger. Sure, you can always cook meats such as these on your stove, but it doesn’t have the same rich flavor achieved by grilling. This is one of the reasons why so many home chefs prefer grilling. But if you plan on grilling, you’ll need to clean the grate on a regular basis.
There are several ways to clean a grill grate, although one of the easiest is to simply burn off the remaining food and debris. Create a hot bed of coals and close the lid to your fire pit or grill. After 15-20 minutes, most of the food should have burned off.
Some sources recommend cleaning grill grates by placing them in the oven. Assuming your oven has a “self-cleaning” mode, you could remove the grate and place it inside the oven using this setting. The high heat should make easy work of even the most stubborn food and debris. Keep in mind, however, that self-cleaning ovens can take between 1.5 to 4 hours to complete, during which you won’t be able to open or use the oven.
Another idea is to cover your grate with aluminum foil and then burn off the food and debris. The aluminum foil works by magnifying the heat, making the cleaning process just a little easier. Just 10-15 minutes of high heat with the grate covered in aluminum foil should clean it.
If you have a high-quality steel grate, you can probably clean it using nothing more than a wire grill brush. Of course, it’s a good idea to heat up the grate beforehand, after which you can brush the surface to remove any food or debris and oil it with any kind of cooking oil.
Cleaning your grill grate is only half the battle. Unless you follow some basic maintenance and care tips, you’ll find yourself brushing and scraping it after each use. The golden rule of grilling is to never place anything inorganic on the grill. This includes, but is not limited to, plastic, styrofoam, and chemicals used to pressure treat wood. These items can stick to your grate, making it difficult to clean. And to make matters worse, many inorganic items release toxic fumes when burned.
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