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Just curious, how do you maintain your charcoal grill?

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Whether I am using a $35 charcoal grill or a recently bought Master Forge $200 grill, I would line the charcoal pan with heavy duty aluminum foil. The day after I use the grill is when I would just fold up the aluminum foil liner including the charcoal ashes for disposal. After a thorough scrub and wash of the grates and wipedown of the entire grill would I reline it with new foil and it is ready to use anytime in the future.
The $35 grill lasted me 15 years todate and could still be used if I wanted to. However, with the upgrade, its rightful place is next to the MF with the chimney starter as its new friend.

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  1. Weber kettle. I open and close the bottom vents until all ash is gone, dump the catch can whenever it fills. That's it, has not been cleaned in 16 years. No replaced parts, not a speck of rust, sits about 60 feet from salt water with the prevailing breeze heading right into it.

    The above is advice from a manufacturer of grills.

    1. Are you using a grill without lower vents? Because foil would block them and as a result limit air circulation and temperature.

      3 Replies
      1. re: rasputina

        Both old and new grills have adjustable lower vents to control air and temperature. These don't get blocked.

        1. re: selfportrait93

          I'm somewhat confused about how foiling the bowl under the charcoal doesn't block the lower vents but nonetheless I clean the outside of the grills once or twice a year, as needed and as far as the grates, I never wash them but instead scrub them with a stainless pad brush once the grill is hot and then an oil soaked paper towel.

          1. re: jnk

            I also have a Weber kettle. I do nothing, simply due to laziness. I grill 2-3 times weekly, year round. Twice a year, I take the grill and brush around the edges. I brush the bottom pretty good. Scrape the bowl with a serving spoon. 12 years outside on my deck. I find it easier to just buy another. Previous one I kept 14 years. Same maintenance. When the old one goes out on trash day, I blink twice and it's gone.

      2. I use lump charcoal so there a lot less ash than briquettes. I guess I'm lazy but there's hardly anything I need to do to maintain the grills:

        Big Green Egg - scrape out the accumulated ash via the lower vent every 2-3 uses. I heat up the grill & grate to about 600 degrees and scrape off the crude. I only wash the grate if it's very gummed up. Once a year I scrape down the interior.

        Weber Kettle One Touch - dump the ash pan when it gets full which is maybe after 4-5 uses. I heat up the grill & grate to about 450 degrees and scrape off the crude. I only wash the grate if it's very gummed up. Once a year I scrape down the interior.