Saturday, January 24, 2009

Coming Clean on the Grill

This post is dedicated to cleaning GrillGrates during abnormal and nearly continuous use. Two of my best friends never clean their GrillGrates. My buddies are part of the reason we developed the hard anodized version- they are hard on their GrillGrates and they are hard on me! You guys run your grills hard and are grilling all the time, and I do appreciate grilling and dining with you. Thank you for being my in-house testing and torture team.
Tommy Boy called me on Saturday night wanting to know where his GrillGrates were. After the last time we grilled together I went over to his house the next day and took them off his grill to see how well I could resuscitate them. Remarkably well
thank you!

UPDATE: This link is to a more recent entry about SAVORING a SEASONED GrillGrate I have come to really appreciate well seasoned GrillGrates and have learned a lot from our friends!

The GrillGrate on the left is hard anodized with silver clean rails, the GrillGrate on the right is the Gourmet GrillGrate coated with RealEase- both GrillGrates have seen months of continuous grilling.

Now that I am a student of GrillGrate care and proper preparation here is a recap of what I've learned from studying my friends grill hygiene habits.

1. Clean GrillGrates are easy- just focus on the top rail grilling surface. Clean rails give you a huge edge on the grill and a sense of culinary excellence. A clean, hot GrillGrate is ready to deliver a perfectly seared and sizzling meal. No sticking or random grill chunks please. It is ok to oil GrillGrates especially during break-in when they are new. Weber Grilling Spray is highly recommended since it is non-flammable. The Gourmet GrillGrates with the RealEase coating will not require oiling as much, and clean-up well in the sink, but we're not talking gourmet here.

2. Achieving clean GrillGrates is easy. The best time to clean GrillGrates is during grill warm-up. Use a Grill Pad or Wire Brush on the rails lightly to remove any blackened remains. The rails should come shiny clean. Dip the brush or pad in water or spray hot GrillGrates for steam cleaning. Its not as easy to clean up after the meal- its better to allow the Grates to cool and re-heat. If are grilling a three course meal, then run a wet brush or spray water over the GrillGrates and get them 80-90%. Don't over-brush- what does not come off the next time you warm-up your grill.

3. Clean GrillGrates in the sink occasionally if you feel inclined. GrillGrates will clean as much or as little as you want. DO let them blacken in on the sides and valleys- no need to clean there just keep debris out of the valleys- and DON't drive yourself crazy trying to clean these areas- its seasoning! If you want to give your GrillGrates a bath- you'll be amazed how easy the top rails release the grime and char. A brief soak and the rails come perfectly clean with a sponge or brillo. I can almost see myself in the shine. No harsh caustics, just regular dish soap. And no dishwasher. Try it every once in a while- Tom, Randy... (Update MAY 2009- I have not put my GrillGrates in the sink for months. Once they are seasoned the rails clean easily and I just keep the valleys clear of debris.) I have to admit that less is more and again you guys have shown me the way!

4. I 've learned that there are two kinds of grillers.
The hard core, year-round griller which I believe is 90% of us and the Gourmet Grillers who treat their GrillGrates like cookware. The fastidious are hard core too they just clean up after themselves better. The RealEase coating does deliver unbelievable non-stick and clean-up. Now we call them Gourmet GrillGrates but they are not for you Tom or Randy- the hard anodize are for you. Thanks for teaching me that and Tom- your GrillGrates are back on your grill nice and clean by the way. Carry on.
GrillGrate, Eat Well!

Tell me how you clean your GrillGrates- please leave a comment below. THANKS- Brad.


Emily Jane said...

Thanks for cleaning my Grates Mr Barrett,I never would have thought that they could have been cleaned that well. I'll have to get started grilling again. Your Grills are the Gratest!!
Tommy Boy

Anonymous said...

I had not cleaned mine for over a year and they were getting pretty grungy in the valleys.
Even the holes were getting blocked up
My grill brush was not long enough to clean between the rails.
So I put them on the driveway and blasted them with the pressure washer
Now I am also thinking about using the steam cleaner that I recently found at a yard sale.
Now I need a couple of 20 inchers

a73elkyss said...

Well, I just so happened to have one of those "As Seen on TV" gadgets called a "Scuncii Steamer". For the most part it didn't quite live up to the TV hype (big surprise, huh?).
But it does come with two Copper Brushes. They are round in shape, and small, about the diameter of a quarter.
I heat up the GrillGrates just a bit, maybe 300 degree's. Heat up the Scuncii steamer. Then use the steamer to clean just the top rails. The head of the Scuncii copper brush won't get inside the rails. The combination of a hot grate and hot steam water work pretty well. The top rails come out nice and clean and the inside rails stay "seasoned".
Oh, before I start my cooking, I always use Avocado oil on my GrillGrates (before heating them up). It has a high smoke/flash point, over 500 degree's. This prevents any food from sticking to the top rails.
I would NOT recommend to anyone to go purchase a Scuncii steamer just for cleaning the grill, but if you have one around, it might be worth a try.
I think once the Scuncii dies, I’ll just get one of those Grate Chef Steaming Brushes.