Clean Your Grill To Perfection With These 2 Common Ingredients

salting steak on the grill
salting steak on the grill - Bondar Illia/Shutterstock

When the weather warms up and the days get longer, it's time to get outside for grilling season. Tuck your soup and stew recipes away for a few months and get your palate primed for potato salads, burgers, and garden-fresh vegetables. But before you sear a single steak, make sure your grill is good to go by giving it a thorough clean. There's no need to reach for chemical cleaners to get your grill grates clean, either; just grab a fresh lemon and some salt.

No matter whether you're pulling the dust cloth off your grill for the first barbecue of the season, planning an epic July Fourth in the middle of the summer, or serving up one last burger night before the weather turns cold, it's important to keep the grates clean so that no built-up food accumulates on the cooking surface. Leftover bits hanging around from last week's dinner are a food safety issue, and you don't want yesterday's marinade to show up in today's dinner because a clean grill is essential to getting a perfect sear. Not to mention it's just kinda gross. Use the lemon trick between each grilling session, and you'll never have to worry about greasy, unsightly grill grates again.

Read more: 11 Tips For Keeping Your Grill Shiny And Clean

How To Clean A Grill With Lemon And Salt

Cutting lemons
Cutting lemons - Tolgart/Getty Images

Outdoor grilling is fun, and you can cook up almost anything — even a whole fish — as long as you have the right gear. But let's face it, it can also get pretty messy. There are grease splatters everywhere, and if you put the food on the grill before it's hot enough, you'll also get lots of stuck-on bits of edibles after you've finished cooking. It's easy to get all that gunk off of your grill grates, however, with a lemon and some salt.

First, turn the grill on and let it get pretty hot. High heat for about 10 minutes should do the trick. Now, cut a large lemon in half and dip the cut side into some coarse salt, like sea salt or Kosher salt. Finally, rub the salty side of the lemon across the grill grates while squeezing the fruit to release a little juice. This is a great job for a pair of long barbecue tongs or a fork so that you can hold the lemon away from your hands and avoid the heat from the hot grill while you're cleaning.

You Can Also Clean With An Onion

Cut white onions
Cut white onions - Nataly Studio/Shutterstock

It may seem too simple, but the combination of acid in the lemons, the abrasive texture of the salt, and the heat from the grill all work together to loosen any leftover grease and grime stuck to the cooking surface of your grill. Once you're done scrubbing, you can either go ahead and start grilling (all the lemon flavor will get burned off) or cool the grill down and close the lid until the next barbecue night.

If you don't have a lemon on hand, you can also use half an onion exactly the same way. While they're not as acidic as lemons (and harder to squeeze), onions have plenty of natural acidity to get the job done. Plus, if there's any onion flavor left behind, it'll just meld into your steaks and sausages. Whatever you do, however, don't use a metal grill brush to scrape off any grill debris. These common tools can leave wire bristles behind on the cooking surface, which can get into your food and be swallowed. Protect your stomach and grill grates by choosing an all-natural lemon or onion for cleaning, and you'll always have a perfectly clean grill while avoiding a trip to the emergency room.

Read the original article on Daily Meal