Grill Cleaning Safety Tips

According to a  British study, the average BBQ grill contains 1.7 million microbes per square centimeter, which is 124% more than your toilet seat.

The culprit? You probably let the grill cool down and ignored it after your last BBQ. This allows bacteria from uncooked meats and food to make a home in the grill grates, edges and inside the lid, eventually becoming illness-inducing germs.

To prevent unwanted foodborne illness, follow this guide to a safer and healthier grill:

Cleaning the grill

What you’ll need:

  • Work gloves
  • A large bucket filled with warm soapy water
  • A grill brush
  • Paper towels
  • Hose spray

Before you begin, check that all the knobs are in the off position and disconnect the propane tank if you have a gas grill.

  • Remove the grill racks and place in the bucket of soapy water to soak. Turning up the heat is not a reliable way to kill extra bacteria!
  • Scrub the hood and inside walls with a grill brush and soap, then wipe dry with paper towel.
  • Remove your soaked grill racks and stand them up against a wall or bench. Scrub the racks and drip pan thoroughly, then rinse.
  • Replace the grill grates and drip pan back to its rightful spot and reattach the propane tank. Test to ensure the grill will turn on once you hook up the gas and start the grill.
  • Germs love the work surfaces on the side of the grill where most raw food is placed. Disinfect the outside of the grill and scrub down any surface that raw food may have touched.
While you cook
  • Preheat your grill for at least 15 to 25 minutes ensuring it reaches the right temperature before placing food on the rack.
  • Avoid cross contamination by using separate cutting boards, utensils and platters for raw and cooked foods.
  • Keep a squirt bottle of water near the grill to quickly douse any unexpected flare-ups.
  • Cook meat until it’s completely cooked to your liking.
After the food has been served
  • Don’t let food sit out buffet-style all day. The maximum time any food, including side dishes, should be left out is two hours.
  • Keep your grill clean for your next BBQ by using your grill brush to scrape the grill racks while the grate is still warm.

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Photo credit: arinahabich

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