How to Steam-Clean Your Grill Grates

Yes, you can steam-clean grill grates. And it's way safer than using lighter fluid and a wire brush!

Cookout season is here and we couldn’t be happier. The memories of delicious burgers and barbecued eats linger fondly in our hearts and minds all summer. But if we don’t get to them, the greasy remnants of a dozen barbecues will be stick to your grill grates for just as long.

Some people swear by cleaning their grills with lighter fluid and singeing off the excess pieces of food. However, there is a safer way. You can steam clean your grill! Here’s how.

How to Steam-Clean Grill Grates

Step 1: Get the heat going

Heat up your grill to 600ºF, then remove or turn off the heat source.

Step 2: Add some water

Place a tin of water directly on the grates. A large vegetable can or a small coffee can work well for this step.

Step 3: Let ‘er steam

Close the lid and let the grill steam for 30 minutes.

Step 4: Scrub away

Use a silicone sponge (we like Scrubby’s) to loosen fatty deposits and dirty buildup. Ta-da! Now go enjoy your clean grill.

More grill care tips and tricks:

This steam-cleaning method gets the grill spic and span without adding chemical residue to the grill or the air. Plus, you don’t need a wire brush—which can be dangerous.

To prevent build-up in the first place, run half of an onion across the grates after you’ve finished grilling. The acidity in the onion will help cut through some of the stuck-on fat and oil. Plus, onions have antibacterial properties that can help keep your cooking surface clean.

Now that you know how to clean up even the gooiest mess, try these incredible grilled burgers.

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Cathryn Jakicic
Cathy Jakicic has written about everything from business and bacteria to beads and baking in her career —but she greatly prefers the last two. She is a baker and a crafter and loves to try new recipes for both.