Apply a small amount of vinegar on the cooking grate and anywhere else where you see stains. Then, use a scrubbing brush or toothbrush to remove the stains. Finally, rinse the grate with water and start cooking.
Both expert and beginner grillers experience a grease fire every once in a while, but it’s the cleaning of the grill after a grease fire that’s the real trouble.
In today’s article, we’ll teach you how to clean a grill after a grease fire with vinegar, wet rag, or greaser, so let’s dive right in and learn more about grills.
What is A Grease Fire?
Just like a regular fire, a grease fire needs 3 basic things to start, including heat, oxygen, and fuel.
It’s a very harsh, instant fire that typically happens when the fuel, which in this case is in the form of oil, becomes too hot.
When the heated oil is continuously under heat, it starts boiling and smoking, eventually catching fire.
How to Prevent A Grease Fire in the First Place?
Just like with everything else, proper maintenance will not only extend the life of the grill but also ensure a smooth operation.
1. Act Quickly and Calmly
Suppose you’re about to cook a rack of ribs on your grill.
You’re all excited scrubbing the grates clean beforehand, hoping everything will go smoothly. Everything is fine until you coat your rack of ribs with your favorite BBQ sauce, and the sauce starts dripping onto the sear burner.
Keep in mind that if the sauce drops on the sear burner, instead of evaporating, it will initiate a flare-up and sparkle the grease buildup in the grease tray, if any.
In this case, you can quickly sprinkle a generous amount of baking soda to put out the flames instead of being anxious. Acting quickly and calmly is the key.
Also, to prevent this, clean every part of your grill correctly.
2. Clean Your Grill Regularly
You can easily prevent grease fires and flare-ups by cleaning your grill properly.
Grills have drip pans and trays under their grids and burners. When these pans and trays become full, and when the piled-up grease or oil has reached a maximum temperature, grease fires occur.
The good thing is that you can easily remove each pan and tray and clean them up regularly.
They’re removable, so if you’re a frequent griller, always check trays and pans and make sure they’re completely clean before using your grill.
Step 1: Remove the Drip Pan
First, make sure your grill is turned off and cool. Then, remove the detachable drip pan and scrape off any dried debris and grease, and toss it.
Step 2: Clean the Drip Pan Properly
Rinse the drip pan under lukewarm water. You can also soak it for a few minutes for a deeper clean.
Using a small amount of mild dishwashing soap and a non-abrasive cloth, remove any remaining residue, and then rinse well.
Finally, make sure it’s completely dry before putting it back on the grill.
Step 3: Check the Removable Drip Tray
Keep an eye on the grease levels in the detachable drip tray at the back of your grill. Once it’s full, replace it with a new one.
3. Scrape Your Grids
We suggest you scrape the cooking grids before and after every use while your grill is still hot.
Keep in mind that dried grease and meat not only attract bacteria and other germs that can affect your future meals, but they can also cause flare-ups.
Therefore, clean the grids with a grill brush while your grill is still hot. You can also give the grids a good scrubbing with soap and cloth when you clean your drip pan.
4. Stay Prepared
Always have baking soda on hand when using your grill, just in case. It’s one of the most effective forms of fire extinguisher.
In other words, baking soda can quickly cut off the oxygen supply to the fire.
We also suggest keeping a real fire extinguisher near your grill station for more serious incidents. Avoid using flour or water when you need to shut down a grease fire.
Important Note: Water can cause a real explosion and severely damage your home or, even worse, injure you and your loved ones.
Also, don’t leave your grill unattended because you’re cooking with fire, and anything can happen.
How to Clean A Grill After A Grease Fire: 3 Methods
If your grill caught on fire, it’s important to clean it properly before using it again.
First, wipe off any burnt or charred food from the grates. Then, using a putty knife or grill scraper, remove any grease and debris buildup.
Once they’re somewhat clean, wash them with soapy water and brush to clean any remaining residue. Finally, rinse them with clean water. Make sure they’re fully dry before using the grill again.
Extra Tip: Plug in the grill, put it to high temperature, and leave it working for about 45 minutes to eliminate any residual grease inside the unit.
After 45 minutes or so, remove the char with a brush, and you’re done.
We strongly suggest turning the grill on high temperature after every use to burn off any residual grease. That’s one of the easiest ways to prevent a grease fire in the future.
Now, let’s learn how to give your grill a deep clean with some of the following cheap and easily available products.
You can easily lift char by a grease fire with distilled vinegar.
Simply apply vinegar on the cooking grate and anywhere else where you see stains. Then, use a scrubbing brush or toothbrush to remove the grease.
The reason why distilled vinegar is one of the best cleaning products for grills is that it also helps to neutralize the burning smell along with cleaning the grease.
Once you’re done, rinse the grade with water and start cooking.
2. Wet Rag
If you don’t have vinegar on hand, don’t fret, as you can also use a wet rag, cloth, or towel to wipe away the residual grease.
First, remove the grate, then wipe it evenly. You can clean the drip pan in the same manner and have a clean grill for your next cook.
Lastly, you can also remove grease from your grates and grill with a degreaser. It’s a powerful gel that can clean anything sticky or charred with great ease.
We suggest using the Goo Gun Grill and Grate Cleaner to clean the mess after every grease fire because it’s highly effective, easily available, and affordable.
How to Clean A Grill After Using A Fire Extinguisher On It?
A fire extinguisher can successfully put out a grease fire. The bad news? It leaves a white residue on and around the cooking unit.
Removing this sticky, chalky, and tough substance can be a challenge. Here’s a quick and easy guide on how to do it properly.
Step 1: Remove Every Removable Part
Take off the cooking grates and place them in a large bucket. Add warm water and dishwashing soap to the bucket and let them soak for about 15 minutes.
Remove the firepot, drip pan, heat buffer, and other components from your grill and clean the inside of the unit with warm water and vinegar solution in a 1:2 ratio.
Step 2: Wash Your Grill Properly
While the grates soak in the soapy water, take the time to wash your grill. Place it in direct sunlight, then using your garden hose, remove any remaining residue.
Step 3: Reassemble Your Grill
Put everything back in place except the grates.
After the soaking process, scrub the grates, then rinse them with clean water. Once they’re completely dry, put them back in place.
Finally, turn on your grill for about 15 minutes, so the remaining residue can burn off, and brush away any residue with a grill brush.
Should You Clean A Grill or Burn Off the Grease?
Most people burn off the grease instead of cleaning their grill.
In our opinion, cleaning the grill is a far better option. It’s time-consuming and tiresome, but it’s also the best way to prevent a grease fire in the future.
Most people don’t clean their grill as they don’t want to spend a lot of money on grill cleaners, but this isn’t a good excuse for leaving your grill dirty and risking a fire.
You can use vinegar or a damp rag to clean your grill. You probably have these items lying around at home, so go ahead and clean your grill today.
Note that regular cleaning can make your grill last longer and prevent rusting.
If you don’t have time for cleaning, you can also burn off the grease before and after each use. It’s a quick way to remove the grease, but it’s not as effective as cleaning with soapy water or vinegar and water.
Extra tip: Burning off the grease should be done outside and away from flammable materials.
FAQs on How to Clean A Grill After A Grease Fire
How often should I oil my barbecue grill?
You should oil your barbecue grill at least once a month.
How often should I clean my barbecue grill grates?
You should clean your barbecue grill grates before and after every use to prevent grease fires.