What Happens If You Don’t Clean an Outdoor Grill?

Grilling season is right around the corner, which means it’s time to start thinking about cleaning the outdoor grill that’s been sitting in your backyard all winter long. Outdoor grills that go uncleaned can pose a large safety risk for those you’re grilling for, as old and burnt food particles can breed an environment full of toxic chemicals and bacteria. For this reason, you’ll want to clean your outdoor grill as often as possible, especially if you’re going to be barbecuing a lot in the coming months.

Today, we’ll discuss some of the reasons why you should clean a barbecue grill, and how to go about doing so with the right cleaning agent.

6 Reasons Why It’s Importance to Clean an Outdoor Grill

Is a dirty grill dangerous? The simple answer—yes! Failing to clean your outdoor grill prior to use—especially if it has been dormant all winter—can lead to potentially harmful consequences. Below are some common reasons why cleaning a grill is so important.

1. Maintenance Needs May Go Unnoticed

First and foremost, you are unlikely to recognize maintenance needs for your grill if it is left uncleaned for long periods. Like other appliances, grills aren’t meant to last forever and will need maintenance and repairs from time to time.

Failing to clean your grill may result in old food particles clogging up the burners, leading to deterioration. Additionally, if you don’t clear away the burnt ashes from burners, you may not notice rust that can form and slowly eat away at the metal. Gas lines and hoses can also begin to crack as they age, but this may be hard to recognize if old residue blocks your ability to fully inspect every nook and cranny of the grill.

Your grill will last a lot longer if these maintenance needs are taken care of as soon as possible, so you’ll want to keep your grill clean to ensure you can identify and properly fix these issues as needed.

2. Grease Stains May Become Permanent

We’ve likely all done it—spilled grease on our favorite shirt while cooking and put it through the wash only to find the stain still there. The same can be said for an outdoor grill. Without proper cleaning techniques—or not cleaning at all—grease stains may become a permanent nuisance.

Many fellow grillers out there may believe that warming up a grill before using it will burn off all the leftover grease from last time, but this isn’t true. Grease not only sticks to the grill grates and burners, but it also seeps down to the bottom of the grill while cooking. Without proper cleaning and care, the grease tray may overflow, leaving permanent stains on your patio.

In addition, unattended grease is also a fire hazard. Grease buildup may cause larger, unexpected flare-ups while grilling. Not only can this cause a fire if left uncontrolled, but you also may end up burning or scalding parts of your body, such as your face and arms.

3. Your Food Won’t Taste the Same

One of the reasons so many people love to grill is because of the wonderful flavor that can be achieved on meats, veggies, and other foods. However, failing to clean your grill before use may affect the taste of your food since you are exposing it to old grease and gunk. Charred pieces of meat, fats, and grease at the bottom of the grill can also carry through the smoke, thereby decreasing the fresh flavor of the foods you’re grilling.

importance of cleaning grill

4. Bacteria and Mold May Grow

If an outdoor grill is left for months without being cleaned, bacteria and mold can begin to form underneath the grill hood. Not only can this be visually disgusting, but it can also cause cross-contamination when cooking fresh meat.

Your grill’s heat is typically concentrated above the burners in the cooking area, which means that any space below the burners is not nearly as hot. Since the temperature isn’t as warm as it is closer to your food, bacteria caused by charred fats and grease may not burn off or be killed completely.

Mold is also prone to grow if your grill has been dormant for a while, especially in moist climates. Mold spores are dangerous to cook food over and can be incredibly harmful to those with allergies. To avoid mold growth, it’s best to stay on top of cleaning any grease buildup after each grill use.

5. You May Ingest Harmful Carcinogens

Leftover char from previous grilling sessions, also known as carcinogens, can be especially harmful to grill your food on. Oftentimes, these carcinogens build up on the grill grates, meaning they can be easily transferred to your food and ingested by your friends and family. Carcinogens are known to be cancer-causing, which is why it’s important to clean your grill and avoid this problem at all costs.

6. Your Grill May Attract Rodents

While none of us would like to think about rodents crawling in places where we cook food, it is possible in an uncleaned grill. Even worse, these rodents may leave urine and feces at the bottom of the grill, meaning you may end up cooking your food over rat droppings.

Cleaning your grill on a regular basis can prevent rodents like mice, rats, and squirrels from making their home inside of it and leaving behind toxic materials.

How Do You Clean an Outdoor Grill?

So, what is the best way to clean an outdoor grill? If you’re unsure what to clean the interior of your grill with, we recommend using Rock Doctor’s Grill and Grate Cleaner. This powerful cleaning agent is formulated to remove grease and other residues in a matter of minutes. Other benefits of this grill cleaner include the following:

  • Tough on stains with special foaming action
  • Easy to apply and use
  • No harsh fumes or toxic chemicals
  • Food surface safe
  • Removes charred food, grease, and baked-on deposits

If you’re looking for a reliable cleaner to start the grilling season off right, visit rockdoctor.com and see how our cleaning products can help you achieve a clean, non-toxic cooking environment.