Grilling a meal outside is one of the most satisfying treats, but it should be cleaned regularly to keep it performing at its best for years to come. It's important to know that the best grill cleaner for the inside of your grill isn't necessarily the same one to use for wiping down the lid. Also, think about how much time you want to spend on the task since some cleaners take a few minutes while others work best given a few hours. Here's what you need to know to find the best cleaner for you:
Interior Grill Cleaners
- Sprays: Most grill cleaners are designed to be sprayed on and work for a few minutes before being wiped away, taking build-up with it. For optimal results, look for one formulated specifically to degrease and clean the inside of your grill, as opposed to one that's more of a jack-of-all-trades cleanser.
- Gels/Solutions: With more time on your hands and some seriously grimy grates, try a grill cleaner in a gel or solution form that calls for soaking the racks in a bag for hours for a deeper clean. You'll have to plan ahead, but that time does a lot of the work for you.
- Wipes: If you value convenience above all else, pre-soaked cleaning wipes with a handle attachment combine interior grill cleaners and a brush in one. These work best to wipe down the grates after each use since they're not as heavy-duty.
Exterior Grill Cleaners
- Soap & Water: Most interior grill cleaners are too harsh for the exterior and may tarnish the paint or finish. Warm soapy water (using your go-to dish soap) does the trick for cleaning most grill exteriors, especially if you have an enameled one.
- Polish: If you have a stainless steel exterior on your grill, it's important to take extra care. A polish specifically designed for that material will keep it in tip-top shape, preventing rust and damage.
Whichever one(s) you choose, you’ll be glad to know most grill cleaning products can also clean your oven and other kitchen appliances as well. Here are the four best grill cleaners for a better grilling season.
1. The Best Grill Cleaning Spray
Spray the best grill cleaner onto your grates, and in just five minutes for warm grates or 20 minutes for a cold grill, this pick, which is formulated specifically to cut grease, loosens baked-on food and spills. The sticky messes created from grease and burnt-on foods are easily wiped off the grates, and you can also use this cleaner inside your oven or broiler. It's no wonder this spray cleaner maintains an impressive 4.6-star rating with over 10,000 reviews on Amazon. Keep in mind the manufacturer does recommend wearing gloves and a mask when using this tough formula.
A helpful review: “I was ready to just throw out my grill instead of cleaning it. I had tried using various degreasers, and they all took a lot of elbow grease. This Easy Off, cut right through the grill grease with ease. Didn't have to get a new grill.”
2. The Best Gel Cleaner
If it's been a while since you've cleaned the inside of your grill, the best gel cleaner is a heavy-duty option for removing layers of grime — and fans report their grates come out "looking brand new." Place the grill grates or oven racks in the provided bag and pour in the whole bottle to coat the grates in the bag. After eight hours, rinse the grates and they'll be shiny and clean.
The bottle also comes with disposable gloves to protect your hands. For best results, the manufacturer recommends using a wire brush to scrape food particles off the grates before applying the degreasing solution.
A helpful review: “This is the only product I have found to get my grills cleaned. I have spent countless hours scrubbing with other products. Just pour the gel in the heavy plastic bag that is included and soak the grill plates for a few hours on each side. I highly recommend it!”
3. The Best Wipe & Brush Set
These grill cleaning wipes come with a handy brush so you have everything you need to get started. Attach one of the moistened wipes to the brush and watch as it removes the greasy build-up on your grill's grates. A stainless steel scraper on one end of the brush is built to tackle tougher burnt-on pieces of food. The kit comes with 25 wipes, and a new one should be used every time to clean the inside of your grill.
A helpful review: " [...] I have been using these wipes on my grill cooking surface for about 20 cooks and my grids are still like new clean! I like that it is super convenient to pop a wipe out and put it on the holder. It does take 2 swipers though generally to maintain a like new clean result. [...] Better than any grill cleaning spray I have tried."
4. The Best Stainless Steel Grill Polish
Eliminate fingerprints and spills on your grill's exterior with the best stainless steel grill cleaner. This streak-free formula is designed to remove grease and built-up coating the outside of your stainless steel grill's lid and base, and it'll restore its shine. This highly rated pick is popular with a 4.7-star rating and over 2,000 reviews.
You can also use this spray bottle to wipe other appliances clean, including a refrigerator, oven, stove, trash cans, and microwave. For a spray and wipe in one product, try this formula in this set of stainless steel cleaning wipes.
A helpful review: “Perfect streak free shine. Just take the cloth and apply the cleaner/polish and then wipe off. It only takes one minute and your appliance will be clean, [shiny] and streak free. No rubbing or scrubbing. I have tried several stainless steel cleaners and nothing works as good or as fast as this one. EXCELLENT PRODUCT."
Nice To Have: A Sturdy Grill Brush
If your grill brush is on its last legs, this sturdy grill brush and scraper gets the job done with up to three times more bristles than other brushes, according to the manufacturer. With over 6,000 reviews on Amazon, you can count on this highly rated brush — with a scraper end and soft, grippy handle — to effectively remove greasy build-up and food particles from your grill's grates.
This stainless steel brush resists rust and has a convenient ring at the end of the handle for hanging when not in use. The wire bristles are tightly woven into a steel pipe in the base of the brush, and the extra-long 18-inch handle easily reaches any corner inside your grill. Plus, this pick is dishwasher safe.
A helpful review: “I bought this wire brush to clean the grates on our new gas grill. I made a total MESS on those grates when I cooked barbecue chicken the other night. And boy did this brush get tested. I was amazed and impressed at how well it worked. There is a metal brush on one side and a metal scraper built in on the other side of the brush end. That scraper really came in handy to get the thick tough stuff off. And the wire brush did the rest. To my huge surprise, the brush was spotless when I was done (I washed the grates in our kitchen sink). I expected a bunch of gunk in the brush but it was spotless. SO GREAT!”
Also Great: A Set Of Microfiber Cloths For Cleaning Sprays
Whether you're cleaning the inside or outside of your grill, pair your cleaning spray with these extremely absorbent microfiber cloths, and wiping away the mess will be a cinch. The cloths are soft and non-abrasive, so they won't scratch your grill's exterior. This 50-pack of 12-inch cloths is machine-washable, so they're reusable for cleaning your grill and inside your home, too. In over 5,000 reviews, shoppers repeatedly noted how well these work and how versatile they are.
A helpful review: “I run my own cleaning company and have tried a lot of different types of cloths. These by far are some of the best I have used. They work great wet or dry. And they are amazing on stainless steel appliances. I recommend this product to everyone for any of their cleaning needs.”