No gathering is complete without people sharing a meal and barbecue is one of the finest dishes that you can share with your family and friends. The tasty aroma of steaks cooking over a fireplace will get everyone excited and will definitely make your meeting memorable.
After you are done enjoying your meal and bonding with your guests, the next thing that you have to do is to clean your grill. You don’t have to do it immediately but it is important that you do it regularly to keep it in the best condition.
Most people ignore this important aspect and the consequences are usually costly. A dirty grill usually has germs and they get into the food that is being prepared.
Can you get sick from a dirty grill? Yes, you can and it could leave you sick for days. To prevent this from happening, check how to clean grill grates with vinegar. This is what you need to do to keep them spotlessly clean and ready for the next cookout.
How does grill grates get dirty?
When preparing the dishes that you love on a grill, oil drips from the steaks and settles on the grill grates as a result of the excess heat. Some of the oil may evaporate from the surface but with continued use, a lot of leftover oil settles on them and forms a coat.
Burned food also collects on them as a result of the excess heat as well and in no time, your grill will be full of dirt and all sorts of grime. Dust settles on the grates when it is in storage and this makes your grill a hotbed of germs and all manner dirty things.
How often should you clean grill grates?
It is, therefore, important for you to scrub your grill regularly to remove all the visible and invisible germs on your cooking device. Maybe you won’t do it every time you use it, but you should clean them at least after every 4 or 5 cookouts.
If you won’t scrub them regularly you could get health complications. Vinegar is one of the natural products that you can use to clean the grates. How to do it?
Cleaning your grill grates with vinegar
Most people hardly believe that vinegar has other benefits other than as a dressing for salad but you will be surprised to find out that it is one of the effective cleaning agents for grill grates.
It is an acid and it eats into the oils and grease residue on the grates leaving them clean and free of germs. It also works on the burnt food particles left on the grill.
Which vinegar is best for cleaning?
I recommend using white vinegar as it has the most acid of all kinds of vinegar out there. It won’t leave stains after cleaning also. However, you can also use apple cider vinegar but it is less acidic so it has less cleaning power.
What to use to clean grill grates?
Here is what you need to have to clean your grill grates using vinegar.
- White vinegar
- Aluminum foil
- Baking soda (optional)
- Spray bottle
- Kitchen towel
The cleaning procedure
- Add equal amounts of the vinegar solution and clean water into the spray bottle. You should make sure that you have enough mixture to soak the whole surface of your grill grates.
- Place the lid of the spray bottle back on and shake the mixture vigorously to ensure that the vinegar and the water mix properly.
- Fold your piece of aluminum foil into a small square for effective scrubbing.
- Spray the mixture on grill grates. Turn it around and spray the bottom part as well.
- Leave the mixture to settle on them for about 10 minutes.
- Spray some mixture on the aluminum foil and begin scrubbing the grates to remove the grease and food particles. Scrub the top and when there are no stains left, turn them around and clean the bottom as well.
- Rinse them with running water to wash off all the residues. Get the kitchen towel to dry the grill. You can also let the grates to air dry.
- Dispose of the used up aluminum foil in your garbage can.
This method will ensure that your cooking grates are clean, free of germs, and ready for use. You can, therefore, prepare all the meals that you love without the worry that they could get contaminated.
Use the remaining solution to clean the outer parts of your grill as well. If you don’t like the smell of vinegar, use a diluted solution to clean the grates. You can also replace the aluminum foil with a piece of cotton cloth for scrubbing.
Vinegar to water ratio for cleaning a grill
You can use 50/50 of vinegar and water solution to clean it. However, you can use 1/2 water-vinegar solution if you have old stains and grease on the grill grates.
How does vinegar clean grease?
It has an acid that is a perfect degreaser. It will dissolve and soften the grease, dirt, and dirty spots so you will be able to have a germ-free cooking surface for the next meal preparation.
Do you have to rinse after cleaning with vinegar?
Vinegar is a natural agent so you don’t have to rinse the grates with water after cleaning. If you will spray them with the vinegar solution and clean them with the aluminum foil you will have the grill prepared for the cooking.
Cleaning grill grates with vinegar and baking soda
If you find out that the above procedure doesn’t leave your grates spotlessly clean, then you should consider a deep cleaning process that relies on vinegar and baking soda. Before spraying the grates with the vinegar solution, you should sprinkle some baking soda on them.
How to use baking soda and vinegar to clean the grill grates?
Baking soda is a powerful cleaning agent that will soften even the toughest stains. Sprinkle the baking soda on every part of the charcoal grill for effective clean-up. Spray the vinegar solution on them and scrub with aluminum foil after 10 to 15 minutes.
Another way of making sure that your grates get the best cleaning treatment is to heat up the grill slightly. Heat loosens the dirt particles and makes them easier to clean.
What can I soak my grill grates in to clean them?
Another great idea after you finished your barbecue party is to take off the grates and soak them in the vinegar solution. Prepare a container where you will put them to soak.
Take some baking soda and vinegar (about 1 dl) and soak them overnight in the solution. This is a great way to have a deep clean of your grill grates. I suggest that you do it at least once a month.
Use natural grill grate cleaner
Now you know how to clean your grill grates with vinegar and baking soda. It is important for you to maintain your grill regularly. Maybe you won’t clean it every time you used it but it is important that you maintain it as clean as possible to avoid contamination and other health issues.
Using vinegar for cleaning your grates is a natural solution that works. It is a degreaser that will remove the food particles and melt the fat away. You can also add baking soda to the process if your cooking device is dirtier. These two will cause a chemical reaction that will help you to have a germ-free grill in no time without any chemicals.