How To Clean A George Foreman Grill (Step-by-Step Guide)

Ossiana Tepfenhart
by Ossiana Tepfenhart

When boxer George Foreman decided to make a grill, many people laughed at him. I ought to know; I was one of them. However, I’ve become a huge fan of the grills and now regularly find myself using one when I’m at my friend’s place. Cooking it up is a cinch, but actually cleaning it? Well, it was baffling for me at first, but I got a hang of it…

To clean a George Foreman grill, turn the heat off and wait until the grill is warm, almost hot. Grab some paper towels, wet them, and place them in the grill. The steam from the water will inevitably loosen up your food particles. From there, you can clean your grill with regular soap.

Taking good care of your personal grill is a must if you want to keep it around for a long time. Here’s how you can prevent your grill from dying on you, and make it look good as new in the process.

How To Clean Your George Forman Grill: The Basic Models

If you love to grill, you better know what kind of maintenance your grill will have before you start. Thankfully, most George Foreman products come with cleaning instructions included in their original packaging. If you lost them or got the grill secondhand, don’t worry. These instructions will work well for you:

  • Start with your George Foreman grill still in the process of cooling down. You want the grill to be warm, but not sizzlingly hot.
  • Grab three to five layers of paper towels, and run them in the sink. The paper towels only need to be damp to the point of wet, not soaking. Open a window or turn on a vent before the next step, since this can turn your house into a humid mess.
  • Place the paper towels in the grill, and close the grill cover. The heat from the towels is going to work to break up food particles that are stuck to the grill.
  • Clean off the grill with soapy water. Regular dish detergent will suffice.
  • Pat dry with another paper towel. Once it’s dry, your grill is good to go.

How Do I Clean My George Forman Grill If It Has Removable Plates?

If you were smart enough to buy a grill that has removable plates, then your cleaning job just got way easier. All the removable plates that come with George Foreman products are made to be dishwasher-safe, so just remove them and pop them in the dishwasher for a spin. Once your plates are in the wash, clean the rest of the grill with soapy water, avoiding any electrical elements there may be.

This is the general gist of it, sure, but there’s more to working with removable plates than meets the eye. These tips will help you make the most of your cleaning sessions:

  • You can stick both removable plates and the drip tray in the dishwasher. They’re all made to be dishwasher-safe, so there’s no need to worry about having your plates break. If you’re really that concerned, you can always just wash them by hand.
  • To help loosen up food particles, let your plates soak in the sink. The best soak you can give them is warm soapy water for an hour or two. Once the food softens up, use a gentle plastic brush or a sponge to wipe away excess food.
  • The safest way to wipe down the rest of the grill portion is using a wet sponge. When you’re wiping it down, make sure to avoid any electrical elements like sockets or connectors. Hitting them with water can damage your grill or even fry it out.

Do I Need To Use Official George Forman Grill Scrubbers?

If you’ve gone onto the George Foreman grill site, you probably noticed that the company sells specifically for the purpose of cleaning George Foreman grills. They’re known for having nylon scrubbers as well as a soft surface for more gentle cleaning. While they’re great sponges, you don’t need to buy them in order to properly care for your grill.

It’s important to realize that the sponges are a relatively new item on the George Forman line. So while they are absolutely wonderful at cleaning, they were never necessary from the beginning.

What Soap Should I Use To Clean A George Foreman Grill?

While there are some culinary items out there that can be “choosy” with their cleaning solvents, the George Forman grill isn’t one of these. Regular dish soap is perfect. If you don’t have dish soap, do not use caustic or corrosive substances like bleach to clean your grill. Those chemicals will harm your grill’s nonstick surface.

How Can I Prevent Making A Mess On A George Foreman Grill?

If there’s one thing I know all too well, it’s how quickly grilling can become a messy nightmare. Thankfully, veteran grillers have noted several key ways to cut down on messes with George Foreman grills:

  • If you are using a standard grill, line the plates with aluminum foil or parchment. When lining your grill, make sure that the foil covers the bottom grill plate and can also fold over to protect the top plate, too. Some also find it useful to shape the foil in a funnel that points towards the drip tray as a way to catch any side drippings.
  • People who are using a waffle maker need to pay special attention to greasing the crevices with a spray. Many people have noted that the deeply grooved sections of the plates tend to “catch” lots of batter that can be difficult to get out.
  • Actually, greasing the plates is kind of a must even if it’s not a “must must.” Not oiling up a grill plate is basically asking for food to get stuck to it, even if you aren’t typically grilling sticky food. We’ve all seen non-stick surfaces have stuff stuck to them as a result of not greasing them up.
  • Always try to clean the grill shortly after you’ve finished cooking your meal. Part of the reason why so many people complain about the food getting stuck to a George Foreman grill’s plate is because they let the food harden there. If you clean the food off shortly after you finish cooking, you won’t have as big a chance to have food solidify.
  • Avoid putting sugary sauces or caramelized items in your George Forman Grill. Sugary sauces tend to solidify and crust over fairly quickly. To make matters worse, they cling to cooking surfaces fairly badly—often to the point where they can only be scraped off with a knife.
  • If you need to scrape something off your grill, don’t use metal items to do it. Metal can scratch the grill’s surface pretty easily. A better option would be plastic, nylon, or even wood.

Related Questions

What’s the downside of using aluminum foil in a George Foreman grill?

If you were hoping for a quick way to prevent messes on your burgers, this is it. However, there is a minor downside. If you line your grill with foil, you will not be able to enjoy the grill marks that people want to see on their food. That said, this is a primarily cosmetic issue and won’t affect the taste of your food too much.

Can you use oven cleaner in a George Foreman grill?

Oven cleaner can be used on a George Foreman grill if the cleaner itself is not extremely caustic. Many users have found decent results (without damage to the grill) using Easy-Off oven cleaner. With that said, oven cleaner should be a last resort and should be used almost exclusively for hard-to-tackle stains.

Do you need to use oil on a George Foreman grill?

George Foreman grills have George Tough™ non-stick surfaces on the plates, which means that you don’t have to use oil in your grill if you don’t want to. However, most casual cooks find that the non-stick surfaces still need a little help from time to time. So if you want to use oil, then, by all means, do.

Are George Foreman grills actually healthy?

The way that George Foreman grills work is that they allow people to cook meals without fat and also drain the fat out of the meat while they cook. This leads to a lower fat count and a lower calorie count, which can aid in both weight loss and cholesterol. So, to a point, having this grill can be a good move for people that are worried about their health.

What does the little orange light on the George Forman grill mean?

Every grill from this company comes with a small orange light that acts as a heating indicator. When the light is on, the grill is working to get itself heated to a cooking-level temperature. When the light is off, the heat is no longer being activated. However, the grill can still be hot even if the light is off.

Ossiana Tepfenhart
Ossiana Tepfenhart

Ossiana Tepfenhart is an expert writer, focusing on interior design and general home tips. Writing is her life, and it's what she does best. Her interests include art and real estate investments.

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