Owning an electric grill can be a great way to get something of the traditional grilling experience without having to worry about buying fuel or even going outside. Just like a traditional grill, though, your electric grill does need to be cleaned. That’s why we’ve put together this electric grill cleaning guide to help you get the job done right the first time.
Safety Warning: Be Aware of Shock Risks
This should go without saying, but it is very important that you’re aware that you are working with an electrical device before you start cleaning your electric grill. On a basic level, this means that you need to unplug the grill before you start cleaning—even the best electric grills require this. Though you might think this is pretty simple stuff, you might be surprised by all of the people who skip that step.
Absolutely never work on cleaning your grill if it is still plugged in. In fact, you need to avoid soaking any kind of electrical appliance when there’s still electricity running to it.
Likewise, it’s important that you think about other ways that shocks can happen. It’s very easy to cause a shock whenever you touch metal to both the positive and negative electrical bits of your electric grill. This can not only cause you pain, but it can damage your grill and even end up causing electrical problems in your home.
As such, you’re going to want to avoid using anything metal when cleaning your grill. As effective as a wire brush might seem, using it just isn’t worth the problems that could be caused.
Finally, make sure that you’re waiting a bit before you start cleaning the grill. About ten minutes after use should be long enough to ensure that there’s no power lingering in the system and that your grill is cool enough to the touch not to burn you.
Cleaning an Outdoor Electric Grill
Outdoor electric grills are increasingly popular among those who want the fun of grilling outside but who do not want to deal with the mess. Unfortunately, you will have to clean off your grill if you want to keep using it. Luckily, the steps to do so are fairly straightforward.
As we’ve already discussed, you’re going to start this process by turning off the grill and then unplugging it from the power outlet. Once you’ve done that, you can do all of your other cleanups around the grill for the next ten minutes. Once you’re done waiting out the timer, you can move on to cleaning.
Start by using a non-metallic brush to scrape off the grill. You want to get as much debris and charred food off the grill as possible during this step, so be thorough. Next, take a damp but not soaking wet cloth and use it to wipe off any residue that is left on the grill. Once you’re done, take a dry cloth and dry off any of the parts of the grill that you had to disassemble so that you’ve gotten rid of any remaining moisture before you put the grill away.
Cleaning an Indoor Electric Grill
Even though indoor electric grills often seem similar to their outdoor counterparts, the truth is that you have to treat them as very different machines. This not only applies when you cook on one of these grills but also when you clean them. Fortunately, cleaning one of these grills is just as easy as cleaning an outdoor model.
Once again, you’re going to start by unplugging the grill and turning it off. Due to the design of an indoor grill, though, you won’t have to worry about waiting ten minutes to start cleaning. Instead, you’ll wipe away any food that is on the grill and then place a double layer of wet paper towels on the grill. Close the lid of the indoor grill, then wait for about two minutes—this should actually do most of the cleaning work for you. Once you’ve opened the grill and removed the wet towels, you’ll dry off the cooking surface with a dry paper towel and put it away.
Cleaning an Electric Griddle
Another common tool used in kitchens is an electric griddle. Popular for making pancakes and other breakfast dishes, it’s very similar to an indoor electric grill but without the usual clamshell design. As such, cleaning this product will be a bit different.
This is another grill that’s going to require a wait time, so unplug your griddle and let it sit for about ten minutes. Once it’s cooled off, you’ll use a paper towel to remove any food remnants, grease, or oil that is still on the surface of the griddle. From here, you’ll pour just about a tablespoon of water on the griddle, followed by a small drop of dishwashing liquid. Grab a non-scratch brush to clean off the surface, then use a paper towel to wipe down anything that’s left behind. Once you’re done, you can dry the surface and put the griddle away.
Cleaning an Electric Smoker
Another great electric tool loved by grillers is an electric smoker. A great tool for making anything from brisket to ribs, these slow cookers do take some extra care to clean out properly.
Cleaning your smoker does require unplugging it from the outlet, but you may have to wait longer than ten minutes for it to cool off. Ideally, you’re going to let your smoker hit room temperature before you start the cleaning process—something that might take longer depending on the size of the unit and the heat at which you were cooking.
Once you are ready to clean, you can take out the removable parts of the smoker. This usually means the box, the drip tray, the pan, and any racks in the smoker. From here, you can use a spray bottle of soapy water to spray down the parts of the smoker and then follow it up with a non-scratch brush to get rid of any built-up residue that’s left on these parts. Once you’re done, you can use a rag to sweep out any residue that’s left in the chamber of your smoker. Finally, dry off all the pieces you took out of the smoker and reassemble them when you’re ready.
It’s very important that you’re careful when you’re cleaning out your smoker, so don’t use a brush that’s going to scrape up the inside of the unit. If you don’t have a non-scratch brush, substitute a cloth or even a sponge for this part of the job.
Cleaning the Exterior of a Non-Stick Grill
Concerned about how the outside of your non-stick electric grill looks? If so, you’re lucky because the actual cleaning process here is a breeze.
As usual, you’ll start by unplugging the grill and removing the grilling surface if at all possible. From here, you’ll take a damp sponge and simply wipe down the exterior. This will get rid of all but the toughest grease stains. If there’s grease that sticks around, think about using an all-purpose cleaner to cut through it. Finish the job by reassembling the grill and storing it away.
Alternative Cleaning Methods
Not everyone likes the traditional soap and water cleaning methods. Fortunately, there are a few useful alternatives at which you might want to look.
Baking soda is very useful for cleaning a grill, as it’s great at helping you to deal with tough dirt and grease stains when properly mixed with water .
Using baking soda is as simple as sprinkling baking soda on the grill, then spraying a bit of water on the baking soda until you have a paste-like mixture. Once you have your mixture, you can use a cloth or brush to rub away the stains until you can no longer see your mixture.
Vinegar is another household item that’s great for cleaning grills. The acidic substance is a go-too for many stains, so it makes sense that it would be great at cutting through grease build-ups.
If you want to use vinegar to clean, you’ll start by mixing one part vinegar to one part water and putting your entire mixture in a reasonably-sized spray bottle. Once you’ve got your mixture ready, you can spray the resulting solution directly on the surface of the grill and let it sit for around fifteen minutes. Once your timer goes off, you can take your non-scratch brush and scrub away any debris or grease that was on the grill. Now that you have a clean grill, you can simply dry it off and put it away.
A rather unique way to clean an electric grill is by steam cleaning. Because you want to be careful about getting water on your grill, though, you’re actually going to use damp paper towels for this process.
As with every other type of cleaning, you’re going to want to start by unplugging the grill. Though you don’t have to let the grill cool off all the way before this step, you do need to wait until it is cool enough not to burn you or your paper towels. Once that’s done, you can take a few of your wet paper towels and squeeze out the water from each. Take those now-damp towels and place them on the grill, then close the lid. If you leave the grill closed for about thirty minutes, you get enough steam to cut through the grease on your grill and make it easy to clean off.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. How do you clean an electric grill after use?
This largely depends on the type of grill that you have at home. For the most part, though, you’re going to make sure that you turn off and unplug the grill and then use a combination of damp paper towels and a non-scratch brush to get rid of as much of the grease and grime as possible.
2. Can I wash my electric grill?
If the parts of your grill can come off and they say that they are dishwasher safe, you can wash them. Otherwise, you need to realize that you are using an electrical device and that soaking any of the parts in water is probably a bad idea. Remember, even failing to dry off your parts correctly could lead to sparking and major electrical issues that are not only a fire hazard, but that could end up completely shorting out your electric grill. As such, you’ll definitely want to err on the side of caution whenever you do choose to clean an electric grill.
3. How do you clean a nonstick electric grill?
You’ll definitely want to be very careful here. Don’t use any kind of brush and definitely never use anything metal to clean off the grill. Instead, you’re going to want to use a damp rag or paper towel to wipe away any grease or any debris that happens to have stuck to the grill. You can use a grease-fighting spray on the exterior of the grill, but you should avoid using anything stronger than soap on the surface of the grill itself. Be gentle with the cleaning, though, because the last thing you want is to remove the non-stick coating of the grill.
4. How do you clean an electric Weber grill?
The first step you’ll take is to turn off the grill, then unplug it and wait for it to cool down. You can use a simple non-scratch brush to scrape off any food residue that happens to be on the grill, then use a damp cloth to get rid of any lingering debris or grease stains. The most important things to remember are to never clean the grill while it is still plugged in and to never use any kind of metal brush when you are cleaning. Avoiding both of those issues will help keep you safe and your grill functional.