I have a Vermont Castings grill that I like a lot. It's time to take it
apart and clean it up.
What's a good way to clean the grates? IIRC, they are porcelain. And the
flame diffusers, which are coated with layers of charred mammal fat? And do
I really go through it all thoroughly, or is there a soak that I can use,
and a power wash/air jet finish up? Some of it just needs a putty knife,
some elbow grease, and TLC. Or should I just power wash and scrape
everything, put it back together, and run it on high for an hour or so to
burn off the excess?
Many applications of Easy-Off oven cleaner works for me. Only problem
is that you may have to sign for it, here in IL it is considered a
In a lot of places, you have to sign for a lot of things now, as they are
used in the making of drugs.
My neighbor turned me on to using Oven Cleaner.
We just place the BBQ parts on many layers of newspaper and spray.
Spray at a shallow angle so the spray that "over spray" will hit other
parts of the grills.
I put one grill on top of the other but offset slightly so I waste
less of the spray.
Let it sit for 1/2 hr and just keep spraying the stuff on if areas
are dry or if gunk isn't loosened.
The interior of the BBQ I scrape with a putty knife or old spatula.
To avoid scratching the stainless steel I make sure my putty knife
doesn't have sharp corners or I use a plastic scraper.
I sometimes use the oven spray on the interior too.
I either scrape, wipe (old disposable rags) or hose off the loosened
Scraping is slow, wiping is a bit messy and hosing generates messy
Sometimes I run the grill through the dishwasher but be
there can a fair amount of carbonized residual that will require a
number of dishwasher runs to eliminate.
I would avoid running the BBQ very long on high without a cooking load
I would suggest maybe 20 to 30 minutes on low or medium....... just
enough to dry everything out without overheating the parts.
You want something with lye in it. I like the Grill and Stove
cleaner from Sams club-
[in the janitorial section- not the detergent section. It is
labeled commercial use]
That stuff is fairly inexpensive, and works fantastic. Soak and
wipe. for the worst of it, spray, wrap in a garbage bag and leave
I have without a problem, run on short self clean cycle.
As a matter of fact I put the top half in my self cleaning oven it
came out so clean I ground off the bolts and did the same thing with
the bottom half.
My grill is alunimum. remove parts like wood handles that can be
damaged by high heat
I like my VC grill until it rusted to crap after about 8 years. The
drip pan fell and almost burned through the propane hose. Any place
on the frame that had a hole through it rusted away. Very
disappointing for the money I spent for it.
Best way to clean the grates is to soak them in ammonia. Do this
OUTSIDE, of course. Put them in a plastic bag, wet them down and
pour the rest of a quart in the bag and seal it up. Let it stand
overnight. Open the bag and let the fumes dissipate. Wash the grates
with a hose and they will be as good as new.
Use the putty knife on the diffusers.
Last year I dumped the VC and bought a Weber Summit.
Like others have said "use oven cleaner", also whenever the wife runs
the self clean cycle on the oven I put grill pats that can stand the
heat in it. Some of the sheet metal bits will warp up but cast iron
and porcelain can handle it just fine. NaOH is also a good cleaner.
When I workeded in a fast food joint years ago we pulled the grill
every night and stored it in a vat of it for cleaning. Worked great.
I tried burning mine off like that and warped the cook surface. It
also takes the season out of cast iron and makes it rust. Cleaning in
a self cleaning oven works good. Coat with cooking oil as soon as you
can get the door open.
Old fashioned Drano is all NaOH, sodium hydroxide, lye. Make up a
strong solution and soak the parts for a few hours. Follow label
precautions, use a bare steel container.
If the finish is really porcelain, mechanical plus heat is needed,
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