While cooking food on a grill can give you some of the best-tasting dishes, it could also give you a bit of a headache when cleaning up. Even if your grill grates are non-stick or have lightly been coated with oil, the food you cook may still leave some residue.
Simply washing your grill grates after each use may not be enough to keep your grill in the best condition. With a BBQ grill cleaner, you’re able to thoroughly clean not just the grates but also the other parts of your grill.
Cleanup plays a big part in making sure your grill stays functional and serves its purpose. Taking proper care of your grill also makes it last longer and gives you more than your money’s worth.
Let’s look more closely at the benefits of using a BBQ grill cleaner.
Why You Should Use a BBQ Grill Cleaner
While it’s true that cleaning your grill means scrubbing the grates after every use, it’s not enough to thoroughly clean them.
Grilling produces carbon deposits that could stick to every part of your grill. And having too much of these carbon deposits on your grill decreases its functionality. It may heat up unevenly or take longer to reach your desired temperature in cooking.
Leftover grease or sauces may also invite bacteria into your grill. The food residue that doesn’t get cleaned may cause fire hazards the next time you use your grill.
A BBQ grill cleaner dissolves grease and other food residues that get stuck on your grill, making cleanup so much easier. With most BBQ grill cleaners, you only have to apply them to the surface, wait for a few minutes, and then wipe them off with a microfiber cloth.
BBQ grill cleaners also work on your grill’s exterior. They keep all parts of the grill clean so that your grill stays durable. Don’t overuse them, though. It would be enough to deep clean your grill once every two or three months, depending on how much you use it.
Best BBQ Grill Cleaner for Various Types of Grills
Weber Grill Grate Cleaner
The Weber Grill Grate Cleaner is a non-toxic BBQ grill cleaner that removes grease and grime on grill grates. It’s also non-flammable and non-corrosive. You can use it not just on grills but also on ovens, smokers, and microwaves.
3M Scotch-Brite Griddle Cleaning Liquid
It has a 3-step system for cleaning a griddle. Pour the cleaning liquid while the grill is still hot. Scour the surface with a brush to spread the cleaning solution. Then, use a squeegee or scraper to get rid of the dirt on your grill.
This food-safe BBQ grill cleaner comes in a 3.2-ounce packet. One packet is enough for cleaning a commercial griddle. For smaller grills, you might only need less than a packet.
Easy-Off Heavy-Duty Oven and Grill Cleaner
The Easy-Off Heavy-Duty Oven and Grill Cleaner is the best tough-on-grease BBQ grill cleaner on the market. It can remove even cooked-on food residues on stainless steel surfaces.
This heavy-duty fume-free cleaner is perfect for grills, ovens, and broilers. It works as fast as 30 seconds and is gentle on the skin. You won’t need gloves while cleaning with this spray.
Diversey Break-Up Professional Oven & Grill Cleaner
The Diversey Break-Up Professional Oven & Grill Cleaner is another great option for a heavy-duty grill cleaner. It quickly breaks down tough stains so you won’t have to scrub or scrape them off. Just wipe it away with a damp cloth.
This BBQ grill cleaner works on different cooking surfaces including stainless steel, iron, concrete, and glass.
TriNova Premium Stainless Steel Cleaner and Polish
The TriNova Premium Stainless Steel Cleaner and Polish can be used on any stainless steel surface in your home, including BBQ grills. Make sure your grill has cooled down completely before you use this, though.
This cleaner has a non-abrasive formula that will not scratch or streak any stainless steel surface. It also comes with a microfiber cleaning cloth to make cleaning easier.
Huligroi All-Purpose Bubble Cleaner Foam
The Huligroi All-Purpose Bubble Cleaner Foam is formulated to remove tough grease and grime in seconds. It’s tough on stains but gentle on your hands. The foam expansion technology of this BBQ grill cleaner allows you to adequately cover the whole surface to be cleaned.
It works on all surfaces including fabric, glass, plastic, rubber, metal, and wood. You can safely use it on grills, stovetops, and even pans and faucets. Just spray it onto the surface to be cleaned and wipe it off—it’s that easy!
Stardrops – The Pink Stuff
The Stardrops – The Pink Stuff is another all-purpose BBQ grill cleaner in paste form. It uses natural ingredients that work on all indoor and outdoor surfaces.
It’s formulated to tackle even the toughest of stains without damaging any surface it’s used on. The cleaning paste is also vegan, non-toxic, and eco-friendly.
ECOS All-Purpose Cleaner
The ECOS All-Purpose Cleaner quickly lifts grime and grease on virtually any surface. It’s perfect for removing grease on any type of BBQ grill.
It’s an eco-friendly BBQ grill cleaner that doesn’t make use of any harsh chemicals. It’s also plant-powered and has a 100% vegan formula.
All-Purpose vs. Focused Cleaner
There are two main types of BBQ grill cleaners you can use—all-purpose and focused cleaner.
An all-purpose cleaner is exactly what it says it is. It’s an all-around cleaner that can handle most types of gunk in your grill. It can be used on both the interior and exterior of your grill. It’s an all-in-one cleaning solution that does its job well in making sure your grill stays clean.
A focused cleaner targets more specific types of grill messes. There are different types that you can use for specific purposes, whether it’s for your grill’s exterior or interior. You can also find focused cleaners that target tough-to-remove dirt on your grill grates.
All-purpose cleaners are formulated to handle different kinds of dirt, but they’re not as effective as focused cleaners. They’re usually enough to clean your grill, though.
If you need a more thorough cleaning solution for a specific surface or type of dirt, definitely go for focused cleaners. They’re more effective in removing cooked-on food residue. Some focused cleaners are also better for different types of grills or surfaces. The only catch with focused cleaners is that you’d have to buy different kinds for different purposes.
How to Choose the Best BBQ Grill Cleaner
There are three key features to look for when choosing the best BBQ grill cleaner—volume, application method, and type.
Volume refers to the amount of solution you get in every bottle. Do you need a large solution for your cleaning needs? Will you be able to use up all the solution before it expires? If you don’t need to thoroughly clean your grill often, it might be more practical to buy smaller solutions. They’re cheaper, too.
BBQ grill cleaners have different methods of application. Most grill cleaners are sprayed on the surface and wiped off after a few minutes. There are also foaming nozzles that make it easier for you to see where you have already applied the solution and where you need more. Other grill cleaners are formulated to be put in a bag where the grill grates will be left to soak. Choose the application method that works best for you.
As mentioned above, there are two types of BBQ grill cleaners. Is a general cleaning solution enough for your cleaning needs? You might be able to save some money on an all-purpose cleaner. Do you have cooked-on residue that is hard to remove? A focused cleaner might be better in this case.
Look out for the benefits that different cleaners can offer.
Is it non-toxic? Is it eco-friendly? Does it leave a scent or is it odorless? Does it target stuck-on grime? Is it worth buying for its price?
A good BBQ grill cleaner can remove even the most stubborn food residue on your grill.
It would also be good to look out for the negative effects that your cleaner might have on your grill.
Does it have a strong chemical scent? Does it cause eye irritation? Some formulations have strong degreasing components that might leave streaks on your grill or cause paint to chip off.
Type of Grill Used On
There are cleaning solutions that work best for specific types of grills. Some cleaners are specifically for charcoal, gas, or infrared grills. Check if your BBQ grill cleaner is compatible to use with your grill.
It might also be good to take note of the material of your grill grates to make sure the cleaner you choose will not damage the surface.
Should You Use a BBQ Grill Brush?
It’s usually enough to spray on BBQ grill cleaners and leave them for a few minutes without scrubbing or brushing. It’s a hassle-free way to clean your grill thoroughly.
You can use a BBQ grill brush if you prefer not to use chemicals to clean your grill. A wire grill brush also removes food residue from grills. You just have to scrub the surface properly. Make sure to reach all corners of the grill so that no residue is left.
BBQ grill cleaners can be quite strong. They could cause some irritation if you don’t use protective gear when cleaning. Try using goggles or masks to protect your eyes and mouth from the solution. You might also want to use cleaning gloves.
Wait for your grill to cool down before applying the cleaning solution. Some cleaners can be applied even on hot surfaces, though. Just make sure that the fuel source is turned off or put out, especially for charcoal grills. Also, maintain a safe distance from the grill when applying the cleaning solution.
If you’re not sure whether the cleaning solution is safe for your grill surface, try it on a small area first and wait for its effects. If it doesn’t cause any damage, you can go ahead and apply it to the whole area as instructed. If it causes some discoloration or surface damage, remove it immediately and look for another BBQ grill cleaner.
The Bottom Line
Scrubbing and washing your grill after every use is a good way to maintain it. Grill cleaners help you clean your grill more thoroughly. But you shouldn’t overuse them as well since they might damage your grilling surface. Using them once every two or three months is enough to keep your grill durable.
Again, here are the best BBQ grill cleaners for various types of grills:
- Best Grill Grate Cleaner: Weber Grill Grate Cleaner
- Best Liquid Cleaner: 3M Scotch-Brite Griddle Cleaning Liquid
- Best Heavy-Duty Cleaners: Easy-Off Heavy-Duty Oven and Grill Cleaner, Diversey Break-Up Professional Oven & Grill Cleaner
- Best Stainless Steel Cleaner: TriNova Premium Stainless Steel Cleaner and Polish
- Best All-Purpose Cleaners: Huligroi All-Purpose Bubble Cleaner Foam, Stardrops – The Pink Stuff
- Most Eco-Friendly Cleaner: ECOS All-Purpose Cleaner
I love sharing my passion for BBQ with people who are new to cooking outdoors. We’re a family of foodies with a passion for grilling, BBQ and all things meat. We love what we do and we look forward to showing you.