With the warm days of summer, it seems natural to want to avoid heating up the house with the oven or range top. Grilling is as much a part of summer as lemonade and swimming pools. And while eating those tasty grilled treats is a lot of fun, cleaning up afterward isn't such a picnic. Fortunately, there are several tips and tricks that will make cleaning barbeque grill grates a snap.
It's surprising how many people don't know how to clean barbeque grill grates. The grease and food particles left behind after grilling are a haven from dangerous germs, not to mention an open invitation to a whole slew of pests.
What are Protein Toxins?
Food particles left on a grill are a breeding ground for all kinds of bacteria. These bacteria will leave behind protein toxins that are potentially dangerous. One doctor states, "Bacterial protein toxins are the most powerful human poisons known." In fact, many of the ill effects human suffer from bacterial infections are not caused by the bacteria themselves, but by the protein toxins they secrete as a byproduct of reproduction.
In layman's terms, as bacteria grow and reproduce on your grill, they secrete poisonous protein toxins on grill grates. When you fire up the grill, the heat does kill the bacteria, but the protein toxins remain and are impossible to destroy with the level of heat generated by a standard backyard grill. Fortunately, protein toxins are easy to remove with the simplest of tools: soap and water.
Safe Grilling Tips for Clean Barbeque Grates
- While grill is still warm, scrub the surface with a wire brush to loosen and remove any food particles.
- Clean the grill with warm, soapy water and a steel wool pad
- Rinse the grill with clean water
- Leave the grill lid open until grates are fully dry to prevent mold growth
Deep Cleaning Grill Grates
Once a month, deep clean grill grates by removing them entirely from the grill. Soak the grates in a mixture of hot water, dish soap, and 1 cup baking soda. Let the grates soak for at least an hour, but up to overnight is okay. After soaking, remove grates and rinse with clean water. Replace grates and run the grill on high heat for 15 to 20 minutes. You grates will be sparkling clean and disinfected.
If you are worried about food sticking to your clean grill, just lightly oil the grates before preheating the grill next time you cook. In the end, a little extra precaution when cleaning grill grates may make the difference between a care-free BBQ and a trip to the doctor later.