How to Clean a Grill After a Grease Fire: Tips and Tricks

The Grilling Dad’s answer: After a grease fire the first thing you need to do is inspect the damage to your grill. As long as nothing is melted or missing, you can take the grill apart and clean it. You’ll need to scrub and dry all aspects of the grill before you attempt to use it again.

A grease fire is no joke, anyone that has dealt with one knows that. But often grease fires occur because of a simple mistake that can happen to any griller, no matter what your experience level.

Curious what parts you need to wash specifically? Read on to learn more about cleaning your grill after a grease fire.

Assess the Damage

After experiencing a grease fire on our grill, the first step is to assess the damage. This will help you determine the extent of the damage and whether the grill is still safe to use.

Inspect the Grill

The first thing you need to do is to inspect the grill thoroughly. Look for any signs of damage, such as melted parts, discoloration, or warping. Also look for any debris or grease buildup that might have caused the fire.

We recommend using a flashlight to check the interior of the grill for any residual grease or soot that might have accumulated. Also check the burners, igniter, and gas lines to ensure they were not damaged in the fire.

Check for Permanent Damage

If there is any visible damage to the grill, it is important to address it before using the grill again. Damaged parts can lead to further accidents or fires, so it is crucial to replace them.

Make a list of the damaged parts and looked up their replacement cost. Consider the age of the grill and the cost of replacement. If the cost of repair is too high, it might be better to replace the grill altogether.

If there is no visible damage and the grill appears to be in good condition, it is still important to clean it thoroughly before using it again. Grease buildup can lead to future fires, so it is important to take precautions to prevent them.

Related >> How to Clean Fire Extinguisher Residue from Your Grill

Cool Down the Grill

After a grease fire, the first thing you need to do is turn off the gas. If the grill is still on, it could reignite the fire. Once the gas, or other source of heat is turned off, let the grill cool down. This is an important step in the cleaning process, and it is essential that you don’t try to clean any parts of the grill while they are hot.

We recommend waiting one hour before cleaning to ensure the grill is fully cool. Even then, you may want to use fireproof gloves when handling grill parts.

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Remove the Grates

Grease fires can leave a lot of residues on the grates, making it difficult to cook on them again without proper cleaning. Here are some steps to follow when removing the grates:

Remove the Grates

Once they have cooled, you can remove them from the grill by lifting them up and pulling them out. Some grates may require some force to remove, so be careful not to damage them.

scrubbing a grill with a brush

Clean the Grates

Using a grill cleaning brush, scrub the grates in the direction of the metal’s grain. For a more thorough clean, you can also use a sponge. Once you have removed all the debris, you can rinse the grates with water to remove any remaining residue.

If the grates are still dirty, use a degreaser to remove stubborn grease and grime. There are many degreasers available on the market, but we recommend using the Goo Gun Grill and Grate Cleaner. It’s a powerful gel that can clean anything sticky or charred with great ease.

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Clean the Interior of the Grill

After a grease fire, it’s also important to clean the interior of the grill thoroughly. This will ensure that your grill is safe to use and that your next grilling experience will be a success.

Clean the Burners

The burners of your grill are the heart of the grilling experience. You can only clean them after you remove the grates. Use a sponge or grill brush to scrape off any debris or grease that may be on the burners. If there is any stubborn grease, use a scraper to remove it.

Clean the Drip Pan

The drip pan is an important part of your grill. It collects the grease and drippings from your food, preventing flare-ups and keeping your food from burning. To clean the drip pan, remove it from the grill and dispose of any grease or drippings into the proper container.

Use warm, soapy water and a scrub brush to clean the drip pan thoroughly. Rinse with water and allow it to dry completely before replacing it in the grill.

Clean the Lid

The lid of your grill can also collect grease and debris. To clean it, use warm, soapy water and a scrub brush or sponge to remove any grease or debris that may be on the lid. Rinse with water and dry thoroughly.

a bottle of vinegar

Use Baking Soda or Vinegar

If the grill brush or scraper is not enough to remove all the grease and residue, you can use baking soda or vinegar. Baking soda is an excellent natural cleaning agent that can help break down grease and grime. Mix baking soda with water to make a paste and apply it to the cooking surface. Let it sit for a few minutes and then scrub it with a brush or scraper.

Vinegar is also an excellent degreaser. You can use it by applying it to the cooking surface and scrubbing it with a brush or scraper. You can also mix it with baking soda to create a powerful cleaning solution.

Once you have scrubbed the cooking surface with a grill brush or scraper and used baking soda or vinegar to remove any remaining grease and residue, rinse the surface with water. Make sure to rinse it thoroughly to remove any leftover cleaning solution.

Once all the parts are clean and dry, they can be replaced in the grill. If you find really tough grease coating your grill parts, know that soaking the parts overnight is also a good option.

Related >> Why Does My Grill Smoke So Much? (Tips To Reduce Smoke)

How to Prevent Future Grease Fires

Grease fires can be dangerous and cause damage to your grill and property. Therefore, it is essential to take safety precautions and prevent future grease fires. Here are some tips to keep in mind:

Clean the Grill Regularly

One of the best ways to prevent grease fires is to clean your grill regularly. After each use, use a grill brush to remove any leftover food particles and grease from the grates. Also, make sure to clean the drip pan and empty it regularly. A clean grill reduces the risk of flare-ups and grease fires.

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Use a Grease Catcher

Another way to prevent grease fires is to use a grease catcher. A grease catcher is a tray or container that collects grease and oil drippings from the food. It helps to prevent grease from accumulating in the grill and causing flare-ups. Make sure to empty the grease catcher regularly and dispose of the grease properly.

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Keep a Fire Extinguisher Nearby

It is essential to keep a fire extinguisher nearby when grilling. In case of a grease fire, a fire extinguisher can help to put out the fire quickly and prevent it from spreading. Make sure to read the instructions on how to use the fire extinguisher and keep it in an easily accessible location.

In addition to these tips, it is also important to follow the guidelines set by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) for safe grilling practices. These guidelines include keeping the grill at least 10 feet away from the house or any combustible material, never leaving the grill unattended, and using proper grilling tools.

By taking these safety precautions and following the guidelines, we can prevent grease fires and enjoy grilling safely. In case of a grease fire, make sure to turn off the grill and use a fire extinguisher to put out the fire.

For more information about putting out grill fires, read our guide How to Put Out a Grill Fire and Grill Fire Prevention tips.

a flame on a black background

Grease Fire FAQs

Here are some frequently asked questions about cleaning a grill after a grease fire.

What should you do first after a grease fire?

The first thing you should do after a grease fire is to turn off the gas or propane supply. If you are using a charcoal grill, remove the charcoal and dispose of it safely. You should also let the grill cool down completely before attempting to clean it.

What tools do you need to clean a grill after a grease fire?

You will need a putty knife, a wire brush, a sponge, and some warm, soapy water. You may also need some salt or sand to absorb any remaining grease or fat. It is important to use tools that are appropriate for the type of grill you have. For example, a wire brush may damage the porcelain coating on some grates.

How do you clean the grill grates?

You should remove the grates from the grill and scrape off any remaining food debris with a putty knife. Then, you can use a wire brush or a sponge to scrub the grates with warm, soapy water.

If there are stubborn stains or spots, you can sprinkle some salt on the grates and scrub again. Finally, you should rinse the grates with water and let them dry completely before putting them back in the grill.

How do you clean the inside of the grill?

You should use a wire brush or a putty knife to scrape off any remaining soot or grease from the inside of the grill. Then, you can use a sponge or a cloth to wipe down the inside of the grill with warm, soapy water.

If there are still stubborn stains, you can use a mixture of baking soda and water to scrub them away. Finally, you should rinse the inside of the grill with water and let it dry completely before using it again.

How can you prevent grease fires while grilling?

You can prevent grease fires by cleaning our grill regularly and removing any excess fat or oil from the grates and the cooking area.

You should also avoid using too much cooking oil and keep a close eye on the grill while cooking. In case of an emergency, have a fire extinguisher or a bucket of sand nearby. It is always better to be safe than sorry!

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Hope Davis

Born in Denver, Colorado as the oldest of 5 children, I learned at a young age that the grill was one of the best ways to prepare food for a crowd. And during the winter storm months, when the snow was likely to knock out the power to our house, the propane grill was a lifesaver! You wouldn’t believe the number of things you can cook on a grill when necessary. With parents who couldn’t tell salt from pepper unless you told them, I spent my late teen years making my own seasoning mixes and marinades to dress the meat before barbecues. It wasn’t long before I developed a secret marinade that people still beg me to make for them today! When I was 21 years old I bought my first smoker. Picked up some cedar chips for making a cedar plank salmon...and well, the rest they say is history! I’ve been grilling and smoking all kinds of creations ever since and I’m always excited to share my passion with others through my favorite medium--writing!

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