How to Clean an Outdoor GrillBarbecues are the quintessential summer experience. Everyone agrees that eating and drinking with friends in gorgeous weather is what summer’s all about. In anticipation of warm months full of cook-outs, go over this quick refresher on how to clean your outdoor grill.

Safety First

Always check to make sure the grill is off and cool to the touch before cleaning. If you have a propane tank, disconnect the propane before cleaning.

Step One: Grates and Drip Pan

In the case of your grill, cleaning is a safety concern. Grease and debris can accumulate on barbecue grates and drip pans. If left to build up for too long, grease on a grill can start a fire (and grease fires are tricky to put out). To clean, remove the grate and pan, scrape off debris, and rinse with warm water. Set aside and let dry completely. Clean your grill frequently, depending on much you use it.

(For food safety reasons, you should also scrub your grate with a grill brush before each cooking or after, while the grate is still warm.)

Step Two: the Hood

A house cleaning tip from Maids by Trade. How to Clean an Outdoor Grill.Under the Hood: Cover the heating elements with foil to protect them. Use an abrasive grill brush to scrape off the grease and grime the hood has accumulated. Wipe the walls with damp rag or paper towel.

Outside of the Hood: Wipe down with a damp cloth or paper towel.

Step Three: the Heating Elements

Remove the foil from the heating elements and scrub down with a grill brush until all the debris and grime is gone. Replace the drip pan and grate inside the grill. If applicable, reconnect the propane tank.

Weather Protection

Your grill will last longer and worker better if it’s protected from inclement weather. Cover your grill with a tarp each winter. Make sure it is fully covered and there are no holes in the tarp. If possible, you can also put your covered grill in your garage.

Clean the Outdoor Grill and Get Ready for Summer

Now that your grill is clean, it’s time to fire it up again! Throughout the summer, clean your grill a few more times to make sure your food tastes the best it can and that you’re keeping yourself safe. Adjust how often you clean to how often your grill is used.