How to Clean a Charcoal Grill with Different Tips and Techniques

Maintenance is all it takes to ensure you get the maximum value for your money from a charcoal grill. One problem people often face with charcoal grill is that with time it starts to rust. Iron and rust may seem almost impossible, but with proper maintenance, you can avoid it. If you don’t properly maintain your charcoal grill, it will eventually deteriorate beyond what you can use. The number one rule in maintaining a charcoal grill is cleaning the grill immediately after every grilling session. Let your grill cool down and then ensure you clean it ASAP. Do not let your grill sit around your back yard with all that grease and ash for days. Let’s start, how to clean a charcoal grill from here.

What You Will Need to Clean Charcoal Grill?

All you need to clean charcoal grills properly are everyday household items like:

  • Screwdrivers or spanner
  • Sponge
  • Clean rag
  • Grill brush (wire brush)
  • Scrapper
  • Putty knife
  • Dish soap
  • Baking soda
  • Bucket of water

Step by Step Instruction to Clean Charcoal Grills

charcoal grill

1. Locate a Suitable Area to Clean

Find a location where you can clean the Grill. Somewhere away from your campsite, or your walking path. While cleaning the grill, you would be removing a lot of ash and char, choose a location that prevents it from being tracked around your vicinity. Cleaning a grill in your yard is a bad idea.

2. Dismantle the Grill

Get the screwdriver and spanner and start to dismantle the grill. Different charcoal grill models have a slightly different configuration. So, disassemble the grill slowly, and ensure you take note of where each nut and screw ought to go. If you are not a tools-person, stick with removing the cooking grates and charcoal grate and try to clean off as much dirt as you can. But if you know how to dismantle a grill, then disassemble it so you can clean those tough to reach spots.

3. Dispose of Ash

Take off the ashtray or pan and dispose of it properly. Ash may seem small, but they can cause a lot of nuisance if you do not dispose of the ash correctly. Pour the ash in a plastic bag before disposing of it.

4. Brush the Dirt from the Grates

Ideally, soak the cooking grate in water for some a while (45 – 60 minutes would be enough) to make the dirt or meat residue soft and easy to remove. Soak the grill in a large bucket of water, add dish soap, and a little baking soda. After soaking, you can use a sponge, or grill brush to clean the grill, depending on how dirty the grates are.

5. Remove Soot and Dirt from the Grill’s Lid and Bottom

Use a scraper to get rid of the soot and dirt on the lid and bottom of the grill. When using the scrapper, be careful, so you do not peel off the coating. You can also use a brush to remove any encrusted bit on its lid and bottom. If you notice signs of rusting, use the bristle brush to remove it. Also, wipe the exterior of the grill’s top and body with a sponge and soapy water and then dry it with a rag.

6. Reassemble the Grate and Store

After cleaning, reassemble the grill grate before storing it. Replace every nut and screw in the right place and tighten it accordingly. Shake the charcoal grill slightly to check if it is firm and sturdy. Then, your grill is now clean and set for storage.

Important Notes

  • When grilling in public or on your own, to make cleaning easier spread kitchen foil on the cooking grate and then poke holes in them before lighting the grill.
  • You can cut a lemon in half, and use it to clean the cooking grate. Then use a dry rag to clean the surface dry. The lemon will help you get the dirt off, and at the same time prevent any chemical residue.
  • When using a bristle free brush to clean the cooking grate, be careful as it may cause iron residue in your food.
  • Always oil your cooking grate before grilling as it helps prevent meats or vegetables from sticking to the cooking grate.
  • The ash catcher is very important for a charcoal grill, so ensure you check it every time, and make sure it is collecting the ash. When it is full, ensure to dispose of it properly and then replace it.


A little consistent cleaning can go a long way in keeping your charcoal grill at its best. Learn how to clean a charcoal grill easily today in the charcoal grill review. It is also essential if you make use of soap and water to clean your charcoal grill, you rinse it. After washing your grill, always make sure it is completely dried before you store it. The combination of water, iron, and air will cause your grill to rust. With all this in mind, you are on your way to ultimately preserving your grills for decades to come.

Leave a Comment