How to Steam Clean a Grill

Steam cleaning a grill will remove years of burnt-on grease and food debris, giving it a like-new appearance.

A filthy grill may will cause grease fire flare-ups and burn foodA filthy grill may will cause grease fire flare-ups and burn food
Regular use of a grill tends to leave behind fats and food particles that cling to the surfaces of the grill in high heat conditions. Steam heat and moisture soften the cooked-on grime, making it easier to scrape it off the surface of the grill. Use the power of steam to thoroughly wash a grill down to the clean metal.

Turn off and disconnect the gas tank, or empty any remaining charcoal cinders from the grill. Consult the owner's manual for the specific model of grill you are using. Steam cleaning may damage grills with electric heating elements.

Fill the steam cleaner's reservoir with distilled water, and turn it on according to the manufacturer's instructions. Fit the end of the steam hose with a narrow tip for maximum steam pressure, if your model has this option.

Remove the grates, baskets and any other detachable part that needs cleaning so that you have access to both sides. Protect your hands with rubber gloves to avoid the black grease and steam burns.

Spray 6 by 6-inch sections of the grill with the steam cleaner to loosen the grease, and follow right away with a wire brush to scrub the debris from the surface. Spray steam onto the bristles of the brush as it begins to develop a greasy buildup.

Move on to complete every surface on the grill that you are able to reach before revisiting difficult sections. A second blast of steam and a few hard brushes will clear away even the thickest grease.

Wipe down the damp grill with a shop towel and reassemble the grates and other removed parts before reconnection to the gas and grilling.

Things You Will Need

  • Grill owner's manual
  • Steam cleaner
  • Distilled water
  • Rubber gloves
  • Steel or brass bristle grill brush
  • Shop towel

Tips

  • Steam cleaners with high pressure ratings are more powerful and will work faster to blast grease from a grill. Low-pressure steamers are often intended for steaming wrinkles from clothing and curtains. Look for a cleaner that achieves at least 60 pounds per square inch (PSI).
  • Grill brushes are available that spray water onto a hot grill, which quickly creates steam, making the grates easier to clean.

About the Author

Jeffrey Brian Airman is a writer, musician and food blogger. A 15-year veteran of the restaurant industry, Airman has used his experience to cover food, restaurants, cooking and do-it-yourself projects. Airman also studied nursing at San Diego State University.