How to clean your grill for winter storage
Don’t wait for spring cleaning, scrub and clean your grill properly before you store it this winter.
Grilling season is winding down and it is important to practice food safety when storing your grill for the winter. It is not enough to burn everything off; a little scrubbing action needs to happen. Cleaning the grill lowers the risk of harmful bacteria from growing on your grill throughout the winter.
Just like in the spring, heat your grill up for about 10-15 minutes. This will burn off some of the debris from the grates and heat the hardened grease for easier cleaning. Use a wire brush to clean grime and food particles from the grates. Let the grill cool until you are able to safely touch it. Take the grates out and scrape the sides and bottom of the grill, removing any extra grease and cooked-on food particles.
Use a degreaser type soap to scrub the grates and the grill inside and out. After it is cleaned check the usable parts to see if you need to replace any to keep the grill working safely. Preparing your grill in the fall will speed the process of getting ready to grill in the spring. Preparing your grill for storage does not eliminate the need for cleaning your grill in the spring, it just makes it easier to clean when you are getting your grill out.
Michigan State University Extension recommends using separate utensils and platters for raw and cooked foods when grilling. This prevents cooked foods from becoming contaminated with harmful bacteria.
Foodborne illness is not something anyone wants to experience. So take every precaution to avoid it, starting with cleaning cooking surfaces, even the grill.