How to Clean and Care for Your Barbecue Grate
A barbecue grate is the cooking
surface for your BBQ, the part which holds the food. BBQ grates are
available in various types, including stainless steel, cast iron, and
steel covered with porcelain.
Choosing a Charcoal Grill Grate
- Select one that's durable, resistant to rust, and easier to clean.
Plain steel may be cheaper, but it's also going to degrade faster. It
chips more easily which makes food stick to the grate a lot more.
Stainless steel is better, although it can also chip and over time,
will lose its non-stick properties too.
A cast-iron grill grate is a good choice if you're looking for
something long-lasting. They also retain heat really well so food
tends to cook faster. The downside is that they need more maintenance
- aside from a good clean, they need to be thoroughly oiled now and
then. We also find that you need more oil when cooking, because the
heat retained by the grate tends to burn it off quickly.
Porcelain-coated grates are okay, but they wouldn't be our first
choice. We find porcelain chips easily so whatever it's covering ends
up exposed, whether it's steel or cast iron.
- Look for an adjustable grate. This will let you move the food
closer or further from the coals.
- If you often cook larger quantities of food, look for grate
extenders - some grates will expand so that you have two cooking
surfaces, one on top of the other, while others simply hook onto
your main BBQ grate to create another cooking surface.
Cleaning and Maintenance
- Clean your cooking grate after every use. This will help to
prevent food from sticking, making barbecuing much easier. It
also prevents rust from developing (rusty food doesn't taste
all that great!).
Buy a good grill cleaning wire BBQ brush.
Sometimes we watch our neighbor hack and chip away at his grill with a butter knife,
trying to clean off cooked-on food! It is much easier to clean
a barbecue grate if you have the right tool.
- After you're finished barbecuing for the day, turn up the
heat for a few minutes to 'burn off' the remaining food particles.
This will make it easier to clean them off the grate.
- It's actually easier to clean off food particles when the
grate is still warm. You can either do this after the BBQ cools
down but the grate still has a bit of heat, or do it just before
you cook and the BBQ is pre-heating.
If you have lots of heavy residue left on the grate, then
use water too when you're cleaning: dip your cleaning brush into
some water and then brush the grate.
Don't use cleansers, soaps, detergents, etc.... you probably
won't enjoy these things flavoring your food!
- Keep your grate protected from the elements.
A good-quality barbecue grate can last many, many years with
regular cleaning and maintenance. Check out more BBQ tips
for your grilling adventures!
This website offers tips on how to BBQ
as well as
some of our favorite barbecue recipes
. We barbecue with a charcoal grill
in an outdoor kamado-style cooker called The Big Green Egg
We love food and we love the grill, and hope you enjoy our recipes!