Like any good relationship, you need to put some work into the one you have with your grill. Luckily the time spent keeping  a clean grill is minimal and the payback for the effort is worth it. Whether you prefer cooking with charcoal or gas, one thing remains the same – routine and yearly cleaning and maintenance is essential for great grilling.  It doesn’t matter if you’re dealing with a top-of-line model or a cheap knock-off, with proper maintenance, any grill is bound to keep you cooking for a long time.

Cleaning the Grill Grate

After getting a fire going, the first thing you need to do is clean the grill grate. The grill grate will see the most action since food will come into direct contact with it so most of your cleaning attention should be focused here.

Cooking with high heat gives you a great advantage in easily achieving a clean grill grate. Each time the grill is fired up, let the grate heat up over the new heat for at least five minutes. This will burn away some food that may be remaining, then use a grill brush  to brush the remaining food pieces off.

If you haven’t already, invest in a good grill brush with a long handle and firm bristles or scouring pad.

Oiling the Grate

After cleaning the grate, oiling your grill grate helps prevent food from sticking when cooking. To do this, dip a wadded paper towel in a little oil and while using tongs wipe the oil evenly over the grate. Be careful not to use too much oil, because that’s an easy way to start a good flare-up so a little goes a long way here. If the item you are about to grill already has oil on or in it, you do not have to oil your grate if you don’t feel it’s necessary.

Don’t Clean the Grill Grate After Grilling

So you’re done cooking and the grill grate is covered with the blackened remains of the food you just grilled. While it’s still warm, you clean that nastiness off, right? Wrong. If you’re a Mr. Clean, this may pain you to no end, but keeping the grate dirty here is a good thing. Go ahead and pick off any large pieces of food that may still be there, but the blackness encasing the grate will actually help protect it between cooking. Even though you have your grill covered, this adds another level of protection, arming you against dreaded rust.

Cleaning Your Grill

Cleaning the grill grate is very important, the rest of the grill—not so much. About once a month we recommend that you take a rag and some cleaner to the outside of the grill to keep it looking nice and shiny, but inside is another story.

Grilling over and over seasons the inside of your grill. This seasoning is important as it aids with temperature control. A grill that’s been used a lot with a good layer of seasoning will be easier to hold at a specific temperature over a new one. Anyone who has ever tried to use a regular grill as smoker to make some barbecue will know the importance of this.

When it comes to the inside, you can give it a wipe-down with a dry paper towel to remove any fallen food or excess ash, but never go scrubbing it like you might the outside of the grill. So the inside of your grill might be a black, sticky mess, but it’s a mess you can be proud to own.

How to Store Your Grill

Grill cover! It may be obvious, but covering your grill is a must if you’re keeping it outdoors. It doesn’t matter if you’re dealing with a top-of-line model or a cheap knock-off, every grill will last a long time if you simply have a grill cover. Keeping a grill exposed to the elements can cause your grill to die an early death.


Looking at these tips, it all seems so simple. The daily maintenance is so minor compared to all the greatness your grill can achieve. If you have any questions regarding grills, call the experts at Increte of Houston at 281.499.3990 or send us an online message.