How To Clean A Charcoal Grill – Best Guide 2022

How To Clean A Charcoal Grill

A grill is cooking equipment where food is usually cooked where heat is usually direct to the food. It can either be from below, above, or even sideways. This is usually a dry heat, and it can be used to cook meat or even vegetables very quickly.

The importance of using a grill is that a grill can be used to cook various foods though it depends on the size of the grill. A bigger size grill can be used to cook more variety of food at a go and ease the cooking process. A charcoal grill uses charcoal as the source of heat for cooking your food as required.

Every item that we use requires cleaning, be it clothing, utensils, or even our cars. A charcoal grill should also be cleaned regularly according to how often you use your grill. The reason as to why you should clean your charcoal grill is because it builds up some ashes and may also rust as time goes by.

Cleaning your grill will help it last a long time and enable you to cook clean food. To reduce the amount of time you use when cleaning your grill, ensure that you scrape away any left food stacked to prevent food buildup after every cooking.

Step By Step Guidelines On How to Clean a Charcoal Grill

The following are the various steps that can be observed when cleaning a charcoal grill. You require the following materials when cleaning your grill; a grill brush, aluminum foil, a plastic bag, a bristle brush, gloves and may also need a fork though not a must. Select a place to clean your grill away from a sensitive area as the ash, as well as the char, will mess up your compound


Remove the grill grates as well as the charcoal grate. Use gloves to prevent your hands from being stained by the ash and the char. Clean them using a grill brush. Do not use so much force when cleaning the grates to prevent removing any coating on your grill, which could be preventing rusting to your grill.

Removing the coating may also affect the warrant given as in case of any malfunction, the dealer may refuse to change the layer is removed. You can use a lemon to ensure that there are no chemical residues left on your grill grates. Cut the lemon into two parts and use one half to scrub the grill grates, after which you wipe it using a piece of the cloth until clean. The aluminum foil can also help in cleaning your grates as it can act as a scrubber.


Cleaning of the grill lid and the bottom. The lid may collect a lot of grease and smoke as the lid gets older and also the effect of wear and tear. These materials are not harmful, but when present, they make the lid look undesirable, so they should be cleaned with soap and water and use a scouring or steel wool to clean it.

If the charcoal grill is for public use, you can use gloves to remove the debris from your grill and put them in a plastic bag to dispose of them later. The charcoal grill usually has an ash catcher, so you should also empty the ash catcher.

The charcoal may also cause some black soot to form on your grill. This may easily peel off, so use a bristle brush to scrape it. Use soap and water to clean your lid, after which you dry it using a clean piece of cloth.


Cleaning the bowl if the charcoal grill. This is the place where the charcoal is placed. It should also be regularly cleaned, even if not every time you do cleaning to your grill. You can use steel wool or a brush to scrub the bowl of your grill. However, it is essential to ensure that you remove all the charcoal remains and the ash from your bowl first. By cleaning it, you remove the buildup of soot, causing smoke to your meat, leading to bad taste. It will also enhance cleanliness when cooking.


After all the parts of your charcoal grill have been cleaned it is now time to put them back in place. The first thing to put back is the ash catcher, then put back the grill bowl and the grill grates. 

Advantages Of Using Oil To Clean A Grill

Alternatively, you can clean your charcoal grill every time you want to use it by using oil. This has the following advantages:

  • By this, you will prevent food from sticking on your grill and thus reduce the amount of time used when cleaning your grill.
  • The oil can also act as a preventive measure to prevent your grill from rusting due to exposure to moisture and oxygen, which forms rust on your grill.
  • It will also prevent food from sticking onto your grill.
  • How to clean a charcoal grill with oil
  • First, ensure that your grill is empty, and all the ashes and char remains are removed.
  • Heat your grill for some time.
  • Apply oil on your grill grates (use enough oil but ensure not to put too much oil on it using a clean towel).

When too much oil is soaked on the towel, it can cause to catch fire, which can burn you. To prevent such dangers, always wear gloves. If you do not have gloves, you can also use a pair of tongs to hold the wet towel and to avoid damage to your hands.

You can also apply oil when your grill is cold as well. This time around, it is not a must to use gloves as there is no risk of catching fire. After all the grill grates are covered with oil, you can now heat your grill. When it produces smoke and then stops, it is an indication that the excess crude applied has been burnt down. You can now use your grill.

Remember, this is not cleaning your grill. It is just a way of maintaining your grill and reducing the amount of time to clean your grill. It prevents food from sticking to it, so there is no bad taste on food due to undesirable smoke from previously cooked food.

Maintaining your grill will also make your food to be clean. Charcoal can cause your food to be very dirty. This can be unpleasing for the customers and lead to a lot of complaints. You are cleaning it before every cooking will reduce these complaints, have a perfect time with your customers, and encourage more to come.

How can someone prevent food from sticking on the grates of your charcoal grill as well as maintain the grill?

  • You are using lower temperature heat. Ensure that you do not put a lot of charcoal on your grill; thus, they will prevent the production of too much heat on your food.
  • Season your grill by applying oil to prevent food from sticking. You can also wrap your food, e.g. meat or fish, with aluminum foil.
  • Use a brush to remove any left pieces of food on your grill from the previous food that was cooked. After cooking still, you can brush while even worm and remove any food left on the grill. It is easier to remove when still hot than when it gets cold.

Maintaining your grill is very important as it will make your grill last longer. It will also help cook a nice meal which will be enjoyed by many.

A charcoal grill can be cleaned as many times according to how often it is being used. If it is a busy place like a restaurant where a variety of food is being cooked, it can be cleaned every week or otherwise it can be cleaned yearly.

 The grill usually has a manual to use the instructions on it to know what you should use to clean it with to avoid damaging it. Use plenty of water to rinse it so that all the soap used when cleaning it can be washed. Leaving it without rinsing it properly will lead to bad taste to the food being cooked and thus annoy your customers.


The right charcoal grill is one that has been properly maintained. Clean your charcoal grill to ensure that the food cooked on it looks attractive and delicious.

A charcoal grill is more preferred than a gas grill because a charcoal grill, even after you finish cooking the food, remains warm as the charcoal does not cool immediately. When you leave your food on the grill, it will continue to cook slowly and make it even more delicious.

When you have a big charcoal grill, it can help cook many different foods at a go and your food evenly as you will spread the charcoal to all sides and every corner.

Precaution to take whenever using a charcoal grill ensures that the grill is placed in an open place where there is proper circulation of air. When charcoal is not properly burnt, it produces carbon dioxide, which can be dangerous to our bodies as it can cause suffocation if you inhale the gas. To avoid the risk, place it in an open place.