When it comes to cleaning a gas grill, there are steps you need to take after every cook and steps that can be done once or twice a year.
5 from 2 votes
dirty gas grill with grill brush lying on grate.

By Christie Vanover | Published July 13, 2022 | Last Updated August 2, 2022

Home | BBQ Tips | How to Clean a Gas Grill

What to Clean After Every Cook

There’s nothing worse than opening up your grill only to find food caked on the grates leftover from the last cook. You can easily avoid that by taking one extra step after grilling up a meal.

Whether it’s steaks, burgers or hot dogs, once you remove your food from the grill, turn the burners up to high heat and let the grill continue to burn for 5 – 15 minutes. Set yourself a timer, so you don’t forget.

Then, run a wire brush along all of the hot grates to force off any cooked on food. If you find that some pieces are really caked on, use a spray bottle filled with water and spritz water on the grates.

Then, use the grill cleaner again to work off the food. Sometimes, you’ll find there are some really stubborn pieces, so I recommend purchasing a grill brush that has a metal scraper on the end.

Run the metal edge along the side of the grate to scrape on the residue.

There’s no need to scrape the grates back to silver metal. You just need to clean off the residue, so it doesn’t stick to your next meal.

How to Clean the Outside of a Gas Grill

It’s best to clean the outside of the grill soon after you cook. Otherwise, grease will start to collect dust and could attract bugs.

Once the grill cools down, wipe it down with a damp cloth or paper towel to remove any grease splatters. If you attempt to do this while the grill is still warm, be sure to wear gloves to protect your hands from the heat.

If you have stubborn grease spots, use a little dish soap and water.

bottles of BBQ rubs on black background

What to Clean After Every 3-5 Cooks

The interior of a gas grill includes grates, burners and usually some sort of burner deflector or flavorizer bars. As you cook food on the grill, fat and ingredients drip between the grates, onto the bars and into the cavity of the grill.

Beneath all of those components, gas grills usually have a grease collecting pan and/or a pull-out tray that catches debris. We’ve all lost an asparagus or two between the grates. This is where it goes.

To make cleanup a breeze, use a disposable drip pan to line the grease collector and place a sheet of foil over the tray.

After 3-5 cooks, it’s a good idea to check both the drip pan and the tray and replace the pan or foil, as needed.

This is also a great time to check to see how much gas is left in your propane tank.

gas grill drip pan filled one quarter of the way with grease.

What to Clean Once or Twice a Year

Once or twice a year, depending on how often you use your grill, you’ll want to do a thorough cleaning.

You can either do this at the end of grilling season, so your grill is fresh and ready or do it at the start of grilling season, when the weather is ideal. Or if you’re like me, you grill year round, so just take care of it when it’s dirty.

This can be a kind of messy job, so I recommend moving your grill off the patio to the grass or a rocky area where you don’t mind greasy BBQ debris bits flying around.

grill stone on grill grates showing cleaned and uncleaned grates.

Start by using a grill stone on the grill grates. It will likely take one whole stone to clean all of the grates, but get two just in case. This will remove most if not all of the build up that has developed over time.

Then, rinse your grates and let them dry in the sun or wipe them down with dry paper towels.

How to Clean the Interior of a Gas Grill

Disconnect the propane tank or gas line, and remove the grill grates from the grill.

Inside, you’ll see the flavorizer bars and burners. Use the metal edge of your grill brush to scrape any build up on the bars. Rinse them with warm soapy water and let them dry. They don’t have to be perfectly clean and shiny. You just need to remove the build up.

Be gentle around the burner tubes. You want to inspect them to make sure all of the holes are clear and that nothing is clogging them, because this will effect how efficiently your grill works.

My buddy Kevin Kolman from Weber Grills does a great job at explaining the cleaning process in the below video.

In addition to cleaning the bars and burners, it’s a good idea to scrape out any additional build up inside the box of the grill. You’re likely to find that lost asparagus in there.

Wear gloves, because this can be messy. I usually use a paper towel to push the debris through the grease trap and then dispose of it at the end. Just make sure your grease drip pan doesn’t overflow, or you’ll have a mess on your hands.

GCG Pro Pitmaster Tips

  • Clean your grill grates and wipe down the exterior after every cook
  • Clean the drip pan and drip tray after every 3-5 cooks
  • Clean the inside of the grill once or twice a year
  • Keep your grill covered when not in use

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you remove stuck on grease?

After several cooks, the area to the sides and front of your lid will no longer look shiny and new. If you want to clean this up, I recommend using a degreaser that’s made for grills. Both Goo Gone and Simple Green make good products for this.

How to keep stainless steel shiny?

Stainless steel looks great when it’s clean. You can help keep it looking that way by polishing it and keeping your grill covered. I keep my Aspire Gas Grill and Accessories shiny with Sprayway Stainless Steel Cleaner and Polish. You can find it at Costco or Amazon. Simply spray the stainless steel and wipe it with a clean cloth. Then, use another clean cloth to polish it.

Can you use vinegar to clean your grill?

People have used vinegar for centuries as an alternative to chemical cleaning solutions. You’re welcome to use it, but honestly all you really need is a grill brush, dish soap and warm water for daily cleaning. I definitely don’t recommend using baking soda. While it may clean your grates, it will leave residue inside your grill that you’ll have to clean out.

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dirty gas grill with grill brush lying on grate.

How to Clean a Gas Grill

When it comes to cleaning a gas grill, there are steps you need to take after every cook and steps that can be done once or twice a year.
5 from 2 votes

Equipment + Tools

Grill Type
 

  • gas grill

Instructions
 

  • After Every Cook: After you remove your food, heat your grill to high for 5-15 minutes. Use a wire grill brush to scrape off any build up from the grates. For stuck on food, spritz the grates with water from a spray bottle. Use paper towels and warm soapy water to wipe down the exterior and shelves.
  • After Every 3-5 Cooks: Check the grease collector and tray. Replace the drip pan or reline the tray with foil, as needed.
  • 1-2 Times Per Year: Thoroughly clean the grates with a grill stone. Remove the grates. Scrape built up debris from the bars that cover the burners and the walls of the grill. Use a wire brush to gently clean the burner tubes. Using paper towels, wipe any residue inside the box through the grease trap and dispose of it.

Notes

Use a grill cover between cooks to help keep your grill clean longer. 
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