I think that charcoal grills are among the easier ones when it comes to cleaning.
Of course it is the best to clean them after each cooking, but when it comes to comprehensive cooking, there are way less actions to perform than with gas grills for example.
The design of a charcoal grill is simple most of the times, it doesn’t have diverse elements like other grills do, which require more maintenance in order to be 100% operational and efficient.
How to Clean a Charcoal Grill - Step by Step
Charcoal grills get dirty quite a lot due to ash, which is why if you cook very often it is a good idea to clean them regularly several times a season.
That way you will restore your grill to its old fresh look and extend its lifespan.
Step 1: Cleaning the inside of a grill
Regardless of the structure of your charcoal grill, you have to clean its inside.
To do that, remove the grates and all the other elements ( like a warming rack ) and put them aside in order to get access to the inside of the grill.
Next remove the ash, if your grill is equipped with a special ash removal system then use it now, if not then try to remove the ash manually.
Next use a sponge and a water and soap mix to clean the internal walls of the grill from the ash residue, old grease and food remains.
The internal walls of the grill get covered with grease and food remains over time. That way it eventually forms lumps that look like something bad was happening to the paint job.
Don’t worry, those are lumps of grease and food remains that are easy to remove using a sponge and a water and soap mix.
I recommend doing it from time to time after being done cooking when the grill is still warm ( not hot ! ), it makes it easier to remove this kind of stains
Step 2: Clean the grill grates
It is the best to do this right before cooking, like I mentioned in case of gas grills. Which means, heat up the grill for about 20-30 minutes, and then use a brush to remove old stains that reside on the surface of grates.
Heating up the grill allows to burn the fat and food remains and makes it easier to clean it, under the temperature the grease and food remains are easier to remove, which makes it a good idea to clean the grill grates before starting to cook.
There are several types of grates, which is why before cleaning you should read this guide and learn several methods of cleaning grates for cooking without damaging the surface.
After cleaning, dry the entire grill, and then put all the elements back where they were.
That’s it, remember to clean the grates before each cooking and to check the amount of ash. After each cleaning make sure that the grill is dry, especially after season ends when the grill will be stored under a cover.
BBQ and grilling are my biggest passions.