Imagine you have a beautiful salmon filet or a juicy sirloin burger on the grill. But when you slide the spatula under it, half of it sticks to the grates, it falls apart and dinner is ruined.
Your grill grates dry out with regular use and especially after washing them. There are a few things you can do to keep your food from sticking. You can oil your grill grates, coat your food with cooking oil before seasoning or immerse it in an oil-based marinade. Of course, you can apply oil to both your food and your grates. However, when grilling food you don’t want coated in oil, like burgers and hotdogs, oiling the grates is probably the better option.
Before you oil your grill grates, you need to clean them. Cleaning grill grates ensures food safety since you’re cooking food directly on the grates. Burnt food particles, grease and other debris accumulate on the grates, preventing them from retaining their nonstick properties.
So, brush off any burned food stuck to the grates from the last time you barbecued. We recommend using a premium nylon bristle grill brush on cool grates. Nylon bristle brushes are safer to use than economy metal-wire bristle brushes for cleaning your grill. When you need to clean your grates when they’re hot, use a wood scraper or stainless steel pad. You can also use a wadded up sheet of aluminum foil, using tongs as a handle. Scrub the grates until all burned food is removed.
HOT TIP: When you’re finished grilling, heating your grill to about 500°F will burn off any food stuck to the grates, turning it to ash.
Clean your grill grates more thoroughly every month or so. Use warm soapy water, rinse and wipe away excess water using a dry cloth. Return them to your grill and turn on the heat to dry completely before oiling. Once the grates are clean, oiling is the next step.