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There are a few schools of thought on cleaning the grill.  Some think it’s the eighth deadly sin to clean it, that leaving the charred food and grease “seasons the grill”.  Others can be fanatical about keeping the grates sparkling clean.  Most of us probably fall somewhere in between.

If you lean towards cleaning the grill on a regular basis, these disposable grill wipes from Grate Chef clean and oil the grates at the same time. The absorbent wipes deliver a high-heat food-service grade oil to the grill which won’t burn off and keeps food from sticking to the grate.  The biodegradable wipes are also flame retardant and cling to the bristles of a rectangular grill brush.

Considering that a six-pack of disposable wipes will set you back a whole $3, are these wipes worth the money, or is the old grill brush good enough?  Let us know what you think in comments.

Grill Wipes [Grate Chef]
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Via Amazon [What’s This?]

 

10 Responses to Hot or Not? Grill Wipes

  1. Dustbuster says:

    I would say NOT. I’ve mostly used barbecues with heavier cast iron grill on them. The grill usually comes with black paint-like coating on it, but after a few months, the coating comes off from natural wear. Once that happens, you’ll get rust spots if you clean the grill. When you’re finished with the grill, use a brush to remove any large particles, then add a bit of cooking oil to a paper towel and rub the whole thing down. If you do it while the grill is still warm (but not hot), it removes almost all of the food particles and leaves thin coating of oil that prevents rust. Paper towels are biodegradable, can be used for other clean-ups and much cheaper than these towels.

  2. Ben76 says:

    What Dustbuster says. I actually sell commercial charbroilers for a living. Keep that grill seasoned with a little oil. If you get too much junk on there let it preheat for a little bit and burn that crap off. Then clean it up with a wire brush turn the heat down and give it a quick wipe with a little oil on a plain old paper towel.

    Also I would try to avoid grills with enamel on the them. Cast iron is perfect all by itself.

    *Safety Tip* If you do decide to get your grill real hot to burn off some of teh junk make sure there aren’t big deposits of grease down in the bottom of the grill or you will get a grease fire.

  3. Kevin says:

    Lately, there are basically three types of grates you’ll find on grills:

    *Exposed cast iron
    *Non-stick coated cast iron or steel
    *Stainless steel

    The exposed cast iron is really the one that *requires* seasoning as it is the method used for rust prevention and to give the grates a semi-non-stick quality so you don’t rip your foods apart as you pull it off. However, your key to cleaning every grate no matter what style or construction is using oil. My personal preference: spray Pam. It’s essentially aerosol canola oil and makes things very easy.

    Seasoning a cast iron grate is actually simple. The first time you whip the grates out on a new grill, just pick them up and give them a fairly healthy coating of Pam (or any other spray or bottled vegetable oil, Pam is just easy) and then put all your grill burners on low and close the lid for about 5-10 minutes. This allows the oil to soak into the exposed cast iron preventing the oxidation of the iron over the long term (rust) and giving it a semi-non-stick quality for ease. Cook your foods and whatnot and then once you’re done, while the grill is still fairly hot, spray another coating on top and let it sit for a minute or two, then use the grill brush to get off most of the ash and food residue. The oil will still protect your grates from rust and leaving the food residue on the grates can often breed bacteria or entice small animals to nest in your grill. You can season your grates about once every 3 months or so in addition to the after cleaning depending on how often you grill.

    Non-stick coated grates are often coated with porcelain or a Teflon like substance. As most grill masters know, that coating will often rub off. But, it doesn’t have to. You don’t need to pre-season those although I know some guys that like to give a little spray or wipe of oil before turning it on anyway just to make sure their delicate foods don’t stick at all. To clean up once you’re done cooking, just spray or wipe a coat of oil on while the grates are still hot and let sit a bit. Then, don’t use a bristled grill brush. That is actually what is removing your coating no matter how much the manufacturer of the brush claims that it won’t. Use a wet Scotch-brite pad. You can get them at any Wal-Mart, Target, or grocery store. It’s got a sponge side and a rough scrubbing side. Use the scrubbing side, it is just rough enough to really take off all the food residue and ash but gentle enough not to scratch or remove your coating. My grill is 5 years old with that type of grates and they look practically new.

    Stainless steel grates really you can do anything with. Oil is still very good as a solvent used to clean it but honestly, tossing it in the grass and aiming a pressure washer at them works well also. You can’t really damage them.

    So with that said, I’d say these are a NOT. Too expensive to use when those Scotch-brite pads and a bottle of Pam work fine, are cheaper, and can be used probably 20 times before needing replacement.

    ~Kevin

  4. george says:

    one of the best grate cleaners is a waddwd up ball of aluminum foil. then rub grates while holding ball with tongs. oil as stated previousely.

  5. Ken says:

    Put some Pam on the grates and then scrub the hell out of them with 80grit sandpaper.

  6. Brau says:

    Don’t have much problem with rust on my grills mainly because we use it every 2 days at least. I find a simple brushing, followed by a paper towel wipe is enough for me, and occasionally leaving it to burn off. I do use an occasional spray of Pam for things that stick, like burgers or chicken, but not always. My biggest problem is the rest of the BBQ rusts out long before grills do and replacing the burners, rock tray, warming tray, and any worn controls can cost as much as a whole new unit.

  7. Chris says:

    @Ken: Seriously, are you *trying* to destroy any protective coating a non-stick or cast-iron grill might have? Because “scrub[bing] the hell out of them with 80grit sandpaper” is going to destroy anything other than stainless steel. I really hope you’re kidding.

    cl

  8. Mike says:

    If you read any BBQ book (i.e Bobby Flay, and others), it always states that you must starrt with a clean and well oiled grill grate. I have used the Grate Chef Grill Wipes and can tell you that it keeps your food from sticking, you apply it to a hot grill grate, unlike can sprays ( that have to be used on a cold grate and evaporate as soon as the heat hits the grates)and it gives you those nice grill marks that you pay big money for in a resturant. The other point is if your food is not sticking then clean up is alot easier. My two cents worth and I grill out about 5 times a week.

  9. bob b says:

    I have used the self cleaning oven in the house to clean really nasty grill grates before. They both fit in the oven & I was able to clean them at the same time I cleaned the oven. There was a ton of ash on the grates when I was done. I washed them off with the hose & wiped some cooking oil on them before putting the grill away for the season.

  10. @bob b:

    That is the best tip I’ve heard all day. I’m going to try that next time I clean the oven.

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