How to Care for Your BBQ Grill

Follow our detailed maintenance guide to keep your gas, charcoal, or pellet grill in great shape for many seasons to come

All grills, whether gas or charcoal, need regular maintenance to work well. Use this guide to learn the best cleaning methods for gas and charcoal grills, so you cook delicious BBQ for many years to come.  

What stage are you at in your current grilling season?   


Before you start grilling, follow these tips to prep for the season.  

Gas Grills  

If you've had your gas grill in storage for the last few months, inspect it thoroughly for cobwebs or insects in the lid and grates.  

Fill up a bucket with clean water and add a few drops of dish soap. Use that mixture and a rag to wipe down your grill, inside and outside. Remove leftover debris or scraps from your grates using a non-wire brush, scraper, or grillstone. If you didn’t scrub off the grates before storing your grill for the off-season, they may need to be soaked.  

If your grates are aluminum, you can soak them in hot, soapy water. If you have cast iron grates, you won't be able to soak them, because cast iron is prone to rust. Instead, heat your grill for about 20 minutes to burn off any residue. If there’s anything left, scrape your grates clean.  

With any gas appliance, it’s always a good idea to check your connection points. Inspect your Natural Gas or Propane hose for holes or splits. Connect your Propane tank or turn your gas valve on, then spritz the hose with a mixture of dish soap and water. If you see any bubbles, there’s a leak and you’ll need to replace the hose.  

Charcoal Grills  

Just like a gas grill, inspect your charcoal grill for debris, cobwebs, and insects after you take it out of storage. Wipe down the inside and outside using warm, soapy water.  

You can also build a fire inside your grill and let it burn for about half an hour. This will bake off any food scraps or grease stuck to your grates and the inside walls or bottom of your grill.  

If you have aluminum grates, you can remove them and soak them in hot, soapy water. Otherwise, use your non-wire brush, scraper, or grillstone to scrape away any remaining debris.  

We also recommend greasing your grates with vegetable or olive oil. This prevents food from sticking when you fire up your grill for the first time.  

wrench icon Pro Tip:

We do not recommended using a wired grill brush to clean your grates. The bristles can break off and end up in your food, resulting in a serious health risk.


Prolong the life of your gas or charcoal grill with the following routine maintenance steps.  

Gas Grills  

Each time you ignite your gas grill, pre-heat it for about 10-15 minutes. This helps loosen any leftover food scraps stuck to the grates. Scrape off your grates with a non-wire brush, scraper, or grillstone before you start cooking. 

Since all the grease will accumulate in the drip tray, you’ll need to empty it out after every use. An overfilled drip tray can create a huge mess and affect the performance of your grill. 

Regularly clean the inside your grill lid, too. Carbon can build up after a few cooking sessions, which may flake off into your food if you don’t remove it.  

Charcoal Grills  

Charcoal grills can generate a lot of debris. Empty the ash receptacle regularly to prevent it from blocking the air vents. If they’re clogged, it can be difficult to control the grill temperature.  

Wipe out the inside of your grill lid every few weeks to prevent ash, grease, and other debris from building up. When your grill is cool enough, you can use a clean rag and your water/dish soap mixture.  

After each use, while the grill is still warm, scrape the grate clean. The heat makes it easier to remove food residue and grease. We also recommend oiling your grates after cleaning them off to prevent food from sticking and protect them from rust. 


Follow these tips to keep your grill in great condition during the winter months. 

Gas Grills  

Before storing your grill for the winter months, remove any residue from your grates with a non-wire brush, scraper, or grillstone. Additionally, wipe down your grill with warm, soapy water from the inside out.

Remove your aluminum grates and drip tray to soak them in hot water, or pre-heat your cast iron grates and scrape them clean. Be sure to wipe down the inside walls and bottom of your grill, too.  

Prior to packing your grill away, inspect the burners to make sure they aren’t clogged. With your grates removed, ignite your burners and monitor the flames. An uneven flame pattern will indicate dirty burners. Use a small pipe cleaner or a small brush to clean the ports along the side of the burners.  

Once your grill is clean and completely dry, you can reassemble your components. Then, disconnect your gas supply and store your grill in a cool, dry place until the next grilling season. We also recommend purchasing a fitted, weatherproof cover for your grill.  

Charcoal Grills  

Remove all the ashes from your charcoal grill and give it a thorough wash from the inside out with warm, soapy water. Heat your grill up to burn off residue from cast-iron grates or remove aluminum grates and soak them in hot water.  

When your grill is dry, replace the grates and make sure they’re well-oiled. Then, cover your charcoal grill with a fitted, weatherproof cover and store it in a cool, dry place. When you’re ready to bring it out again, your pre-season maintenance will be a breeze!  


Have any questions about cleaning your grill? Call our team of NFI certified experts today at 800.919.1904


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