We all love the delicious results our Z Grills pellet grill gives us, but we’re less crazy about the clean up process. If there were a self-cleaning grill, we’d all be extremely happy, but until that technology is invented, we need to clean our grills ourselves. And while cleaning your grill isn’t necessarily a lot of fun, it is the best way to ensure it keeps working just as well as it did the first day you fired it up. So, how do you clean your Z Grills pellet grill?
Read on for our step-by-step guide.
Table of Contents
How to Clean Your Pellet Grill
- Make sure your grill is off. It needs to be cold and unplugged from the wall before you perform your maintenance.
- Empty the hopper. If the pellets are still in good condition, return them to your storage. If they have lost some integrity, look old, moldy, or are soft, then throw them out.
- Clean areas where grease builds up. Clean these areas regularly to prevent the risk of grease fire. It’s easier to clean grease from these areas when the grill is still warm (not hot!), so put on your BBQ gloves and clean these areas first. Use a stiff wooden or plastic tool to do this, such as a putty knife. Once you loosen the grease, most of it will empty via the grease drain tube and fall into the grease bucket. When the majority of the grease has been removed, wipe up any remaining grease with an old rag or paper towel. Grease will naturally build up in your grill when you use it in the:
- Flue lining
- Grease drain tube
- V-shaped grease drain
- Grease drain pan
- Clean the Flue Pipe (smoke stack). Remove the chimney cap and rinse it in warm, soapy water. Then scrape grease and creosote accumulation from inside the flue pipe with the tool you used to degrease your grill. Again, use an old rag or paper towel to wipe it down.
Clean the lid with the grill brush. Put an old newspaper or cloth across your grill so it will catch any debris that comes loose for easy disposal.
- Remove all the elements inside your grill. Use your grill brush and scraper to clean the grates. Empty the ash in the firepot, or use a shop vac to do so. (Remember to make sure the ash and grill are cold before doing so, as hot ash is a fire hazard.)
- Carefully clean the internal temperature probe. Check your grill’s manual if you aren’t sure where it is. Make sure it’s clear of grease or debris so it can continue to accurately monitor the temperature inside the grill.
Soap-wash grill exterior. Don’t use commercial cleaners, oven cleaners, or abrasive pads on the outside of the grill, or you risk damaging the finish. You can, however, use car wax to protect the finish.
Recommended reading: How to Clean Your Barbeque Grill
Is It Dangerous If I Don’t Clean My Pellet Grill After Each Use?
Leaving your pellet grill uncleaned might seem tempting after a grilling session, but it can lead to trouble. Bacteria, mold, and even rust can thrive in the leftover grease and grime. Neglecting cleaning affects hygiene, grill performance, and lifespan. Embrace the cleaning ritual, scrub away residue, and show your grill some love. Your taste buds and future barbecues will thank you.
Do I Need to Follow All the Steps After Every Use?
No, but use your common sense. If you’ve done a lot of cooking, then it’s likely time to clean it. You can’t over clean it, but you can definitely leave things too long, so err on the side of caution if you aren’t sure. Always remove excess grease and clean the core components of your grill, such as the grates, and grease pan, and empty the hopper. If you stay on top of your routine maintenance, then you’ll be able to get 3-6 uses out of your grill before you need to do a deep clean.
When you put your grill away, cover it with a Z Grills rain cover to keep it in top condition. For the best accessories for keeping your grill clean, make sure you check out our range of bbq accessories here for a bacony flavor.