How to Properly Clean Grill Grates

Grill cleaning doesn't have to be a daunting or difficult task. Consider it part of your cooking routine. The most convenient time to give those dirty grates a quick scrub is after pulling off your food. While the meat is resting, grab your brush and get to work! A hot grill will always be easier to clean. First, make sure the gas is completely off before starting. Using a brush appropriate for the material of your grates, use firm pressure and sweep the tool back and forth across the grates. Many brush options feature a metal scraper for those extra tough areas.
For stubborn, caked on grime, try covering hot grates with tin foil. After 5-10 minutes, use your brush to scrub again. Once clean, allow the grill to cool slightly. Using protective gloves, rub the grates with a high smoke point oil, such as corn oil, canola oil, peanut oil or sunflower oil. This will create a non-stick finish to prevent future food from adhering.


Aside from a visual appearance, there are many reasons to keep your grill clean:

  • Lower the risk of food-borne illnesses- A dirty grill can harbor potentially harmful bacteria. Unsanitary cooking surfaces can contaminate your food and lead to a range of health issues. The easiest way to prevent this is to roll up those sleeves and get to scrubbing! Just like how you wouldn't use a dirty pan to cook dinner, it's best to start with a clean grilling surface.
  • Extend the life of your grill and prevent future corrosion- Proper cleaning procedures will keep all of the vital parts of your grill operating smoothly. This includes the burners, gas tubes and other essential components. Over time, this will require less replacement parts and maintenance. Routine cleaning also gives you the ability to detect any potential damage or defects on your grill.
  • Food tastes and looks better- Starting with a clean cooking surface leads to better tasting food. Period. Your perfectly seared steak won't taste like last week's old BBQ sauce. Additionally, dirty grates with caked on grease will not produce those perfect sear marks everyone loves to see.
  • Provide a safer cooking experience- Dirty grill grates with caked on food and grime can lead to uneven heating and potential flareups. Flareups could potentially burn you or even cause a serious fire. Another fact to consider, a dirty grill can attract unwanted pests. A small, dark space filled with greasy drippings makes for the perfect environment for mice or rats.


There are many products on the market to make grill cleaning easy. Let's explore a few of our favorite options.

The Grate Scrape Woody Paddle

The Grate Scrape produces all-natural BBQ cleaning tools that are a great alternative to a metal wire brush. Made from premium hardwood, it is designed to be used for years to come. The Woody Paddle is completely safe for every grill with custom fit-grooves. To start the grooving process, use on high heat and work back and forth with firm pressure.

Napoleon Grill Brush with Stainless Steel Bristles

Designed for Stainless Steel Cooking Grids, this brush scrapes away caked on food and grime without damaging grates. The sleek Black Hardwood handle is 18 inches long and completely ergonomic. This makes it easier to control and hold. Napoleon's Stainless Steel Grill Brush also features a metal scraper, perfect for those particularly tough areas.

Napoleon Grill Brush with Brass Bristles

This Brass Bristle Brush is perfect for keeping cast iron cooking grids clean. The brass bristles are gentle enough as to not cause damage, while still scraping away stubborn food and grease. The ergonomic hardwood handle with hanger makes storage easy. The Napoleon Grill Brush with Brass Bristles allows you to quickly and effectively clean your grill with ease.

Napoleon Bristle-Free Triple-Row Grill Brush

This triple-row grill brush features rolled stainless steel for a completely bristle-free cleaning. The extra wide grid scraper is ideal for removing stuck on residue from stainless steel cooking grids. The curved, ergonomic handle provides durability and extra leverage for those tough to reach areas. Convenient hook offers an easy storage solution.

Crocodile Cloth Grill Wipes

Crocodile Cloth Grill Wipes are fully biodegradable and great for quick cleaning. These wipes can be used directly on cooled grates to clean baked on grease and food. Additionally, these wipes are great for cleaning grill tools, utensils or even patio furniture. Wipes can be wimpy, but these are bigger, tougher and fiercely clean.

To put it simply, a clean grill just functions better. A clean grill is a happy grill!
Explore all of our grilling accessories below.