How to clean a BBQ Grill with Oven Cleaner?

Cleaning a barbecue grill is very important. Also, a clean grill guarantees you not only hygiene but also optimal taste. As grilling can leave a residue on your grates, especially as burnt food. When you do not clean it and keep on grilling over it, it just passes that on to your fresher food. Hence, causes you to lose the lovely flavor of your grilled food. 

So, brush your residue off of the grates every time you grill something. And do a deep cleaning at least once a year. But if you are a frequent griller, your deep cleaning should not be less than twice a year. Also, our articles on how to clean a gas grill and how to clean a charcoal grill will help you.

In this article, we will tell you how to clean a BBQ grill with an oven cleaner. As you cannot invest a lot of time in deep cleaning every time, you can just clean the cooking grates. And an oven cleaner does a superb job of removing the residue.

How to clean a BBQ grill with an oven cleaner?

Further, we have the details of cleaning a bbq grill with the help of an oven cleaner.

Materials needed

These are the few things you will need:

  • Gloves
  • Wired brush
  • Oven cleaner
  • Paper towels
  • Liquid detergent
  • Warm water
  • Cleaning rags

The process

Here are the steps you should follow to clean a bbq grill with an oven cleaner:

  • First, if you have a gas grill you will need to preheat it. So 10 minutes at the highest temperature is enough. When heat is provided, the residue on the grates loosen. Although we recommend you do the cleaning after cooking every time because the grates are already hot. 
  • If you have a charcoal grill, do it just after grilling. Only thing you need to make sure of is to remove the ash pan from under the grill and empty it.
  • After that you can use your wired brush to scrub off the stubborn residue off the grates. Also, this is an option step and you can skip it to go to the oven cleaner stage directly.
  • Next you must put on your gloves. And this is an important process because the chemical in the oven cleaner is caustic. So this caustic substance can harm your skin or cause skin irritation.
  • Then you take the oven cleaner and spray it on the cooking grates. And cover the whole of it thoroughly without leaving a single space. Also, do not spray the cleaner on the exterior of your grills. As the exterior is usually made of stainless steel or has a polished aluminum or porcelain coating. And the cleaner will harm the material.
  • When you have sprayed the cleaner on the cleaner, you need to leave it to do its work. So leave the cleaner on grates for around 20 – 30 minutes to soften the residue buildup.
  • After 20 – 30 minutes, when the grime has softened up, wipe down the grates. And do it with the help of paper towels. Always keep replacing the paper towels if they are soiled. Also, the grime comes off pretty easily as the oven cleaner has broken it down.
  • Then you will need to lift out the grates from the grill itself. And you can also wipe the interior of the grill with help of paper towels.
  • Take around half a bucket of water. Then add 3-4 tablespoons of liquid detergent in it and mix it well.
  • Clean the grates in this detergent solution with the help of cleaning rags. And this is an important process because it will wash away the caustic remnants of the cleaner. So that your food will not take in the chemical substances, the next time you grill.
  • Rinse the grates with normal water.
  • Remember to dry the grates with the help of a towel. And you should not let it air dry. Because most of the cooking grates are steel or cast iron. When exposed to air, the moisture on the may cause it to oxidize and rust.
  • Finally, re-attach the grates in the grill.

We advise you to follow all the above steps diligently to clean your bbq grill with an oven cleaner.


Can you use oven cleaner to clean cast iron grates?
Yes, you can use an oven cleaner to clean cast iron grates of your grill. Also, this cleaner helps you in removing rust. As a lot of oven cleaners have lye, which is pretty great at breaking down the buildup and rust. So you can spray the grates with the cleaner and let it sit in a well-ventilated area for a day or two. While it is sitting out, you can seal it with a plastic bin bag. And after that you clean it with paper towels and rinse it out with liquid detergent and water. 

Is it safe to use an oven cleaner for your bbq grill?
Oven cleaner contains chemical substances which are not meant for oral intake. And that is why you don’t only use the oven cleaner for the grates. After the oven cleaner, you will need to clean the grates with the help of a detergent solution. So that your grates are rid of the chemicals.

Can you clean the exterior of the grill with an oven cleaner?
No, we do not recommend using an oven cleaner on the exterior of the grill. As the exterior is made of steel or iron or has a porcelain/aluminium. And the chemicals in the cleaner can degenerate the outer coating. Hence you must clean the outer surface with detergent water.

Do you need to preheat the grill before cleaning?
Heat loosens the grime buildup on the grates. So we always recommend that you preheat your gas grill before you clean. Also, if you have a charcoal grill, clean it while it is hot from the grilling.

Can I use anything else instead of an oven cleaner?
Although we recommend you use an oven cleaner for best results, there is also a DIY alternative. So you can make a home-made non-toxic solution. And this solution contains 1 ½ cups white vinegar, 1 ½ cups water and 1 ½ tsps baking soda. Put all of this in a spray bottle and use it as a cleaner.

Read More


So this was our take on how to clean a BBQ grill with oven cleaner. And we hope you now know how to do it. Also, be sure to follow these steps to clean the grill properly.

You can visit our website Cookinggearlab for other information on kitchen and cooking gadgets and other how-tos.

Leave a Comment