How To Clean A Traeger Grill (Step-by-Step Guide)
Who doesn’t love grilling? There is perhaps nothing that screams “summer” more than grilling. Cooking up delicious meals, spending time with friends and family, and just spending time in the sunshine can really make a summer.
Regular cleaning is important for keeping your grill working properly. So, how do you keep your Traeger grill looking brand-new well into the end of the summer? Follow this step-by-step guide and your Traeger grill will not only look great, but function optimally for a long time to come.
Invest in a Cover
Before we begin with how to clean your Traeger grill, it is important that you offer the grill some form of protection. Without proper protection, your grill can be at the mercy of the elements. Consistent weather exposure can rust and deteriorate the grill, leading to a much shorter life expectancy.
A grill cover is a great way to offer protection to your Traeger grill, especially if you keep the grill outdoors. A grill cover can keep water from getting into the various components of the grill, causing rust damage over time. It is also a good idea to store your grill indoors during the colder months of the year, especially since most of us don’t use grills when there’s snow on the ground.
Whether the cover is for a Treger or Flat top grill, it’s always a good idea. It’s important to clean any grill you own.
Cleaning a Traeger Wood Pellet Grill
Step 1: Empty Out the Grease
One of the most detrimental things to the overall condition of your grill is the buildup of grease. The drain pan is an effective way of funneling and collecting grease, but that doesn’t mean that it can’t do damage elsewhere.
Start by emptying out your grease. It isn’t all that pretty, but it is quite easy to do. Just make sure that you empty the oil into something that you can easily dispose of like a plastic cup. It is important that you do not pour grease int your gutter or sink as it can do major damage to the pipes. Also, make sure that the grease cools down so that it can be more easily discarded.
After discarding the grease, rinse out the grease bucket using hot, soapy water. This should take up any grease that is left over. For future cleaning, it’s a good idea to line your grease bucket with aluminum foil. It won’t keep all the grease out but should prevent most of it from hitting the bottom.
Step 2: Clean Out the Grease Drain Pan
While changing out the aluminum foil on your grease pan is a good first step, it isn’t the only thing you need to do. To get the most out of your grill, you have to clean underneath of the foil. When grease is allowed to build up and fester, it can actually eat away at the metal in the drain pan.
Start by scraping out any of the extra debris and grease that can build up in both the grease pan as well as the grease drain tub. It’s best to do this after cooking since grease is easier to clean when it is still warm.
Keeping the drain tub free and clear is not only much cleaner but can actually prevent grease fires from happening. Make sure to clean both the drain pan and the drain tube from time to time to prevent fires.
Step 3: Wipe Down the Exterior
Keeping the powder coating of the Traeger grill looking brand-new requires just a little bit of soap and water. Wipe down the exterior of your grill with that mixture and it should work to cut through any grease splashes, dirt, and grime.
It is important that you do not use any abrasive cleaners, oven cleaners, or scouring pads while cleaning the outside of the grill. These will damage the exterior surface of your grill, marring and scarring it with each clean. You’ll want non-abrasive cleaners to keep your grill looking brand-new.
Step 4: Remove the Ash from the Firepot
Every once in a while, you will need to remove the grease drain pan, the porcelain grill grate, and the heat baffle in order to clean all of the ash both in and around the firepot. Unlike grease, you don’t need to do any wiping.
Using a standard vacuum or a shop vac, you can suck up all of the ash that can permeate the internal components of the grill. A good rule to keep in the back of your head is to vacuum your Traeger grill after every fifth use. This will make the cleaning process a little easier than if you were to let the grime build up and it will keep the grill working properly for a long time to come.
Proper maintenance is the key with any appliance. By taking a few minutes to clean and prevent the buildup of debris that can decay the grill, you can keep it looking new and operating the way that it was meant to.
How Do You Clean Grill Grates?
Generally speaking, people will either burn or brush their grill grates to clean them. While that is fine, the grates should also be soaked at least a couple of times each year in order to prevent the buildup of grime, foodstuffs, and char.
All you need to do is fill up a large bucket or a utility sink with water and liquid dish soap. You can even add in a little bit of baking soda, allowing the grates to soak for an hour or so. This allows the soap to break down any buildup on the grates.
After the soaking period has finished, take them out of the water and scrub them. Soaking will loosen up the debris, char, and food buildup allowing you to remove it more effectively. When you’ve finished scrubbing, simply rinse away all of the grime.
Does Heat Kill Germs on a Grill?
The reason that we cook our food is to kill any bacteria that may be in it. Raw meat in particular has to be cooked because the bacteria of raw meat can be very dangerous for our digestive systems, leading to food poisoning more often than not.
By heating up the grill and allow the grates to get hot, it kills any bacteria that may have been leftover in the grill or on the grates. Even caked-on food can be removed by firing up the grill. Best of all, the heat can reach tougher areas of the grill that we can’t, providing a sanitary cooking station.
How to Clean a Grill Without Washing It
If you properly maintain your grill, you can get away with a quick clean that doesn’t require soap and water. Let the grill cool down to a temperature in the 250-300-degree range. You can then use a grill brush or a wadded ball of foil if you’re feeling creative and scrub off the leftover food and char that can build up on the grates.
Keep in mind that this is a short-term solution. It should prevent major food and char buildup, but you will eventually need to soak the grates to provide a more thorough clean. In any event, a quick hit with the grill brush can keep your grill looking clean and new, ready for its next cooking adventure.
Ryan Womeldorf has more than a decade of experience writing. He loves to blog about construction, plumbing, and other home topics. Ryan also loves hockey and a lifelong Buffalo sports fan.
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