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Looking for the best way to clean a charcoal barbeque grill? As summertime approaches, the nights out with friends are also coming close, and so is the barbeque season: cookouts, barbecues, and tasty burgers. It is time to take out the old, trusted grill and give it a clean.

Even if you don’t own one and opt for using a public grill placed in a park, for example, you should always clean it to prevent bacteria and take advantage of the maximum potential of the grill.  

What is The Best Way to Clean a Charcoal Barbeque Grill

Charcoal vs. Propane Grills — When It Comes to Cleaning

Although propane grills (or other gas-fueled barbeques) are more convenient, charcoal grills give the food a better authentic taste.

But they are also worse when it comes to cleaning. Charcoal barbeques are dirtier to handle, and the debris that sticks to the grill grates, and other parts are stubborn and hard to remove.

Propane grills have only an ash box that you have to worry about and the grease or other food sticking to it that might give you a hard time, but other than that they are easy and quick to clean.

How Often Should You Clean a Charcoal Grill?

Owning a charcoal grill means you have to give it a deep cleaning at least once in the grilling season, but do not limit this activity to a one-time-only event. Depending on how often you are using it, this should happen more often. Carbon deposits or ash buildup spoil the taste of meat and make it look less appetizing.

Grill grates should also be cleaned more often, preferably before or after using the grill because of the grease building; this is the ideal place for bacteria to live.

Is it Hard to Clean a Charcoal Grill?

Cleaning a charcoal grill is easier than you think. With a few spare minutes and the right, tools, this can be done in no time and will guarantee the perfect cookout with your family or friends.

Best Way to Clean a Charcoal Barbeque Grill

How to Clean a Grill

The internet is filled with gadgets and gizmos to clean a charcoal barbeque and even different techniques. We will go through some of them and let you choose which one will work best for you.

The easiest, quickest way is an old, trusted wire brush, water, and elbow grease. Do not use toxic substances as they can affect food taste and are completely unnecessary. Some warm water mixed with dish soap and a paste made from baking soda and vinegar is the best formula you will need for this job. Just scrubbing and rinsing afterward will give the best effects in no time.

For a more sophisticated method, you will need the following items: a brush for the grill, plastic or paper bags, some foil, a putty knife, and a fork. The first step is to remove the grates of the grill for easier access to the grill itself. Clean it using the brush along with the charcoal grate.

Take the aluminum foil and shape it like a ball, making it excellent for scrubbing such surfaces. Brush the remaining debris from the bottom of the grill into the bag you brought along. If the barbeque you are cleaning has an ashtray or ash catcher, do not forget about this too; leaving it full affects the air coming to the fire inside the grill.

You should be left with black spots here and there from burnt grease or carbon flakes, which can be easily scraped off using the putty knife. A final brush and you’re done.

The next and final step is to put your barbeque back together, and you are ready to prepare those tasty burgers you have dreamt about during the whole winter.

After-Grilling Maintenance

When you have finished grilling, there are a few simple and quick tricks to follow to make sure the charcoal grill is ready for your next cookout.

Cleaning the grates while they are still warm is much easier since the grease and food debris have not have the chance to harden and stick yet. This also means you have more time at the next party to focus on prepping the food and not bothering about hardened grease on your grill.

To prevent rust, apply oil on the grill grates using an old rag or even a paper towel. It represents the best way to prevent rust from appearing.

Barbeque Tools

There are a lot of tools you can have for your charcoal grill. Many of them will not really help you in cleaning and maintaining your trusted grill for the long term, but here are some of the ones we recommend.

The NexGrill Grill Combo brush is a 2-in-1 long-handled brush, with a stainless-steel wired brush and a soft steel sponge on the opposite side. Having this in reach of your hand when cleaning your barbeque will make your old grill shiny and brand new.

The Detailing Grill Brush by Weber is another cleaning tool to help you reach those odd and far corners of your barbeque. Because of its oval-shaped brush, this can also be used for cleaning the grill grates, the brush itself being able to swipe between the grates with ease.

A hand vacuum will come in handy as well. This will help you clean the firebox without spreading ashes all over the place. Having a hand vacuum is convenient since it runs on batteries, and you can take it along to places where an electrical outlet is not available.


For some final touches, when cleaning your charcoal barbeque, use a cleaner designed for stainless steel. It works great, but keep in mind not to abuse it and spray responsibly on the grill. Clean it off with water or vinegar to make sure the substance is removed.

The last step is to fire up your grill and let any debris burn away. Then, all that’s left is to bring out the burgers, invite some friends over and start the party.

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