Basic Grill Maintenance

Basic Grill Maintenance
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Just like your car, you need to give keep your grill maintained to prolong its life. Here are some key things you can do to keep your grill in shape before you start the season and before you store your grill for the winter.

Just a note: You’ll need to disassemble parts of your grill, so prepare your workspace with a tarp or newspapers and make sure you have access to a hose. Your manual will be important to help you identify parts.  Also, we recommend taking pictures of the process, so you know how everything fits back together. And lastly, if you need any parts, we have everything you need on Char-Broil.com.

Check Your Connection
Turn all gas grill control knobs to OFF. Be sure the regulator is tightly connected to the propane cylinder. Completely open the propane cylinder valve by turning the hand wheel counter clockwise. If you hear a continuous rushing sound or smell gas, turn the gas off immediately—you have a leak at the connection. Turn off the tank valve and correct it before proceeding.

Test for Leaks
You should also brush soapy solution onto valves, regulator, tank, or hose and connections to test for leaks even if you don’t hear or smell it. If growing bubbles appear, there is a leak. Close the propane tank cylinder valve immediately and retighten the connections. If leaks cannot be stopped, DO NOT try to repair—call for replacement parts.

Prepare Your Cleaner
Mix a solution of dishwashing soap and hot water. Don’t use a grill cleaner, other than a Char-Broil authorized product as found on our website, because it could damage the paint on your grill.

Get Started
Make sure you first remove old briquettes from your charcoal grill and make sure the propane tank is turned off and is detached for gas grills.

Disassemble and Disconnect
Remove all the grates. Remove the grids and flame tamers or vaporizer bar. Disconnect the igniter wires and wrap them in aluminum foil for their protection. Now remove the burners.

Check the Igniter
Use a degreaser on the wire and electrode if covered in residue. Check for loose wires at the electrode and generator. Replace battery on electronic ignition units if not used for extended periods or if weak spark exists.

Clean the Burners
Clean the burner tubes with warm, soapy water and towel dry. Dry off the gas ports and then clean out each one as necessary to clear clogs with a pipe cleaner or toothpick.

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Spray the Tubes Down
Force water through the gas tubes with a garden hose. If water doesn’t come through the port holes, you have a clogged port and you’ll need to open it with a wire or an awl. Run a flexible brush into the gas tubes if you need to remove any webs or insects.

Inspect Your Burner
If you see cracks or holes (other than the port holes) in the burner tubes or seams, replace them. Otherwise, clean debris off gently with a brush.

Clean the Cooking Grids
The cooking grids can be cleaned with hot, soapy water as well. If your grid is excessively rusted or chipped, or has broken welds, replace it.

Clean Inside the Grill
Scour the interior of the grill top and bottom with a scrub brush and warm, soapy water. Then rinse and wipe dry with a paper towel or dishrag.

Clean the Exterior
For porcelain coated exteriors, wash with warm, soapy water and rinse. Then wipe dry with a paper towel or dishrag. For painted exteriors, do the same. If black paint has deteriorated, rusted or faded, the Char-Broil Black Grill Paint grill paint found on our website can help restore the look of your grill. Just use the paint according to directions. For stainless steel exteriors, after washing with warm soapy water and drying, use the Char-Broil Stainless Steel Grill Cleaner or Stainless Steel Wipes found on our website.

Reassemble
After you’ve cleaned, inspected and replaced any parts you need, you can either store your grill for the winter, or get ready to grill. We recommend you get a grill cover for storing or between uses.

Maintain It Regularly
Check out and print out our maintenance schedule to keep your grill working and grilling.

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Tip: It’s dangerous to cook on a burner with rusted out holes or cracks — replace it!

13 thoughts on “Basic Grill Maintenance

  1. Porcelain cooking grates are difficult to keep clean. Somewhere was told to only brush with brass bristle brush. No one carries this brush anywhere. Home Depot, Lowes. Looking to replace with stainless steel grates, but I can not find them on your site. I always keep grill inside and out clean. Purchased in June 06.

    1. Try using the nylon cleaning brush. When you pull off your food, turn your burners on high and let the heat burn off the food for about 15 minutes or so. Turn off the burners and let the grill cool. Then scrub with the nylon brush. The wire bristle brush can “shed” its bristles that may get into your food.

  2. If I put my stainless steel infrared cooking grates in my self cleaning oven to burn off BBQ residue, will it damage them. My self cleaning oven gets up to 500 degrees . Cleaning out the tiny holes are very difficult to clean.

    1. I wouldn’t suggest putting the grates in your oven. Try soaking the grates in a garbage bag with 2 cups of vinegar and 1 cup of baking soda; seal the garbage bag with a rubber band and let the grates soak overnight. That should loosen up the food that’s caked on so you can scrub the grates clean.

  3. We have the three burner grill with stainless steel grids (3 of them). This is the worst grill we’ve ever owned. The electronic starter went out very shortly after purchasing it. The grids are impossible to keep clean. The holes are constantly closed. It’s not just food, but now rust. The cost to buy three new grids (which would cause the same issue) is almost the price of a new grill.

    1. I feel the same way! Very overpriced when you have to start replacing everything on the inside within 3 months.

  4. the grates that hold the charcoal is welded to the “ash catcher”, I can’t get between there to really clean out the ashes, they are stuck on from grease. any thoughts?

    1. You may try soaking the ash catcher overnight in a 50/50 mix of vinegar and water to cut through the grease buildup or call our customer service at 1-800-241-7548 so we may look at your specific grill.

    1. Hi Jerry,

      In maintaining your grill, we recommend cleaning with mild dish soap and water. Also, avoid using stainless or oven cleaners in this area.

  5. Paint and metal shaving are coming off of my new char Broil infrared grill grates. I’ve clean thoroughly after each use and that’s when I noticed it. Yuk. What’s the deal.

    You can see bubbled paint on the grates where they “dip” in.

    What should i do. I don’t like the thought of metal and paint flakes in my burgers 🙁

    1. Hi Nancy, please contact customer service and they will be able to help you:

      Customer Support Line

      1-866-239-6777
      Monday – Friday
      8:00 AM – 8:00 PM Eastern
      Saturday
      9:00 AM – 8:00 PM Eastern
      Have a question about a product? Call the grill service center directly at 1-800-241-7548.

      1. I called customer service on the same issue. Used my grill a total of 4 times. They said they would ship me new grates on warranty. I don’t however feel this fixes the issues as I am sure my new grates will have the same problem. If you pay so much for a grill you should expect a good cooking service. Even if the system produces quality food, what is the point if it only works a few times?? Better grates are needed. They will hear back from me again I am sure.

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